Successful business owners understand the importance of investing in marketing in addition to having a great product or service to sell. In today’s hyper-competitive business landscape, just having a good product or service is not enough; you need to get out there to tell people about the better quality of your products and services if you want to get ahead of the competition.
Not so long ago, marketing usually meant advertising your products in trade shows, newspapers, magazines and other print mediums. Slightly bigger businesses also invested in TV, radio, billboards and other such things. However, the way people interact with these traditional advertising mediums has undergone a complete transformation. People interact with digital mediums a lot more these days but the basics of marketing remain the same.
Let’s take a close look at the 4P’s of marketing:
You need to understand your own product to market it effectively. It could be a physical product, digital product or a service that offers what people need or want.
Pricing matters a lot, especially in a competitive market.
You need to get the word out to your target audience.
It is perhaps the most important aspect of marketing as you need to reach the right audience, at the right time and at the right place. If you advertise your product to an audience that has no need or desire for your product, you are unlikely to sell much. Therefore, you need to find the right place and the right time to reach your audience.
What is Traditional Marketing?
Traditional marketing is what you see all around you. It includes various marketing methods including advertising in print mediums such as newspapers and magazines, advertising on TV and radio, direct mail advertising such as sending postcards or catalogues, telemarketing or SMS marketing as well as outdoor marketing on billboards or flyers among other things.
There have been a few changes in the traditional marketing methods but it has more or less remained the same. It is still important but the emergence of digital marketing has exposed the limitations of traditional marketing.
Traditional marketing doesn’t offer any form of interaction. You can only hope to get the attention of your target audience. It’s a static form of marketing as you can’t update it and you have absolutely no control over the timing. An ad once printed can’t be changed. It also happens to be costly.
It is also extremely limited in terms of the marketing message you want to convey to potential customers. You are limited to a certain number of words or time to get your message across but at times, it’s not enough. Traditional marketing also isn’t customizable as you can’t target specific campaigns towards a specific group of customers. While you can do some kind of customization in terms of market segments but micro-specific targeting is something you can’t do with traditional marketing mediums.
One of the biggest limitations of traditional marketing is that you can’t accurately measure your results. Anything that can’t be measured is difficult to improve. If you don’t know whether a particular campaign is working or not, you can’t make changes and improve it.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is also known as online marketing. Simply put, anything that uses a digital device to convey your marketing message to a targeted audience falls under the umbrella of digital marketing. It takes many different forms including search engine optimization, content marketing, PPC marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, affiliate marketing, inbound marketing and a whole lot of other things.
It is much more versatile and offers a number of advantages over traditional marketing.
It is an interactive form of advertising. Engagement is the name of the game when it comes to digital marketing. You can create marketing campaigns wherein you can display different marketing messages to different groups of users based on the input received from the users. You also have a lot of customization options and you can target extremely specific groups of people. It allows you to create an almost infinite number of campaigns for different segments of your targeted market. You can also have the ability to update your marketing message on the fly based on the response received from the users.
Perhaps, one of the biggest advantages of digital marketing over traditional marketing is that it allows you to measure everything. You can measure the performance of every single campaign and calculate your ROI. Once you are able to deduce ROI of different marketing campaigns, you can choose and scale up successful marketing campaigns to make the most of your marketing budget.
Traditional Marketing Vs Digital Marketing – The 3 Biggest Differences
Many research studies have been conducted to study the effective attention span of people and all these research studies have concluded that the attention span of people is generally going down. It means you need to develop marketing campaigns that are engaging and get attention from people in order to get across your marketing message. With traditional marketing, you can’t interact with people. There is no engagement. It is a one-way street as you just publish your ads and hope that people either read it, watch it or hear it, and are impressed by it.
On the other hand, digital marketing allows you to interact with your targeted audience in a number of different ways. You can reach them through emails or you can reach out to them through chat applications or through social media platforms. You can have interactive quizzes that engage users and help in getting across your marketing message. In short, digital marketing scores over traditional marketing as it is much more engaging and interactive which also makes it much more effective.
Traditional marketing costs a lot of money. Creating and running advertisements for traditional marketing is expensive, especially for small to mid-size businesses. Usually, only bigger businesses can afford to spend that much money.
On the other hand, digital marketing is much more affordable. You can try out many different styles of campaigns to find something that works for your business and your targeted audience.
In fact, many forms of digital marketing are free. For instance, you can create your own website with a blog and get targeted traffic from search engines through search engine optimization. Similarly, you can create popular handles on social media platforms to attract potential customers to your website.
Measurable and Real-Time Results
As mentioned above, traditional marketing is a one-way street. You just publish your ad or in newspapers or on flyers or magazines and hope that people like it. There is no way for you to measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaign.
On the other hand, everything can be measured with digital marketing. Since every single point of interaction can be recorded and analyzed, you can continuously improve your marketing campaigns to get an even better ROI on your marketing budget.
Is It Worth Investing in Digital Marketing?
For a marketing strategy to be effective, you need to be where your customers are, and your customers are on the Internet. More than 90% of consumers use either a social media platform or a search engine to find businesses. The Internet has become the primary source of information for a significant majority of the population. Simply put, your customers are spending most of their time online. Therefore, if you want to reach them, you need to be online and digital marketing is the way to reach potential customers who spend a huge amount of time online.
While there is a lot of debate around the whole “Digital marketing vs Traditional marketing” concept, the fact is that digital marketing allows you to reach more people at a much lower cost as compared to traditional marketing. You can try out a lot of digital marketing campaigns which is definitely not the case with traditional marketing.
It does not mean that traditional marketing doesn’t have its place but nothing can beat digital in terms of ROI. Ideally, you should have a comprehensive marketing strategy with budgets for traditional as well as digital marketing but if you’re just starting out or you want to make the most of your marketing budget, digital marketing is the way to go.