Category Archives: Predictions in Marketing

Traditional VS Digital Marketing

Marketing Smack Down: Traditional vs. Digital

When it comes to your marketing strategy, how do you know where your efforts and budget will be best spent? With countless options available in both the traditional and digital marketing worlds, it’s best to weigh the pros and cons of each to determine what will be best for your unique business and budget.

Traditional Marketing

What is it?

Traditional marketing’ – also referred to as ‘outbound marketing’ – is the oldest form of marketing. This method relies on one-way communication to share a message with an audience.

Examples include:

  • Print – print ads, magazines, newsletters, brochures
  • Direct mail – post cards, catalogs, fliers
  • Broadcast – radio, TV

Pros and Cons

Pros of traditional marketing: Traditional marketing allows you to reach a high number of people with your specific message or promotion. This can be an extremely efficient way to blanket an intended area or audience with what you have to offer.

This method of marketing also provides you with the opportunity to give potential customers something tangible to touch and feel, physically connecting them with your brand. When done well, these materials can give them a great impression of your brand that will have a long-lasting effect.

Cons of traditional marketing: Because it relies on one-way communication, this method of marketing is more direct and less personable, lacking the ability to establish a trusting relationship or an open dialogue with potential customers.

Generally speaking, traditional marketing tends to be more expensive overall than digital alternatives, and the platforms on which many of these materials are featured – such as newspaper and cable TV – have seen a steady decline over the years.

 Digital Marketing

What is it?

Digital marketing’ is the newer kid in town. This umbrella term encompasses all of your online marketing efforts and is heavily focused on fostering two-way, open communication with existing and prospective customers.

Examples include:

Pros and Cons

Pros of digital marketing: An online presence is a must in today’s world. Everything from the way people shop to how they work has shifted to the digital side. Digital marketing allows you to take advantage of this by connecting with people where they are. Plus, with digital you are able to better target your audiences and drill down to people’s likes, dislikes, online searches, demographics, location and more.

Digital marketing is an extremely cost-effective method because it does not rely on the production of tangible pieces, such as magazines or brochures. In addition to the cost to produce and promote digital content being substantially less than traditional methods, the results generated from your digital spending and efforts are more quantifiable.

Cons of digital marketing: The extremely rapid pace at which digital marketing methods and best practices evolve is enough to make one’s head spin; what was hot at 1 p.m. may not be so hot at 2 p.m. This fast-paced flow requires businesses and marketers to continuously and diligently research, test, and implement the latest and greatest to stay relevant.

Because digital marketing focuses on two-way communication, building trust and relationships with people, businesses have to be immensely attentive and cautious. Solid customer service has always been essential to the well-being of a brand, but with today’s digital world one disgruntled customer can publicly shake up your brand’s world in seconds flat. Authentic and helpful responses in a timely manner are essential.

 

Balancing the Two
Overall, the whole point of marketing is to connect with people at the right time and place. These two methods do exactly that, each in their own uniquely effective way.

An important and still relevant component to a well-rounded overall strategy, traditional marketing will always continue to serve an important purpose for businesses. The key to success here is to ensure you’re using these tried-and-true methods to the best of their ability – know what mediums your audience uses and craft your message appropriately for the platform on which it is shared.

On the flip side, it has become evident in recent years that your marketing strategy must include a digital/online presence to stay relevant and ensure that potential customers can easily find you. Meeting people where they are, helping them easily find you, and being a useful resource will prove beneficial to your business, regardless of your target market or industry.

 

Looking for some guidance as to what your marketing strategy should include? We recognize that every company has its own services, audience, and goals, and that it is essential to understand that what’s best for one business won’t always be right for another. Our team is here to help you craft the perfect plan of action. Get hold of us today to discuss how we can help you build and implement it.

 

2016: The Year of the User Experience – Part 2

With 2016 well underway, in this post we continue to build on ‘The Year of the User Experience’ predictions for what lies ahead this year in the marketing world. Many of the elements featured in our Part 1 post focus specifically on graphic design and how vital it is to make sure the experience your design efforts create is extremely user-friendly and intuitive. Here, we continue that theme with a slight shift to focus more on how to best present the content within those design elements and marketing materials. Without further ado, let’s see what trends in content we can expect to see becoming more prevalent in the coming months.

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Modular design allows you to present content in an interesting way that aims to keep users engaged. Because we have busier lifestyles than ever before, as users our attention spans continue to get shorter and material needs to be extremely intriguing to hold our interest. Layouts that feature hard-to-anticipate designs keep one’s eye moving from one thing to the next, offering the fun experience that is preferred by our busy minds. This style of breaking up content is comparable to the shorter paragraph layouts of most blog posts you’re seeing these days, but with the flair of visually interesting design elements to make it pop. For a deeper understanding of modular design and resources to help you get started with this cool trend, check out this article.

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Did you know that 100 million people watch at least one video per day? Or that website visitors are 64% more likely to make a product purchase after watching a video? As humans, we process visuals 60,000 times faster than the written word. These are extremely powerful statistics that you’d be wise to use as fuel in your marketing efforts. Telling a story through visuals, especially video, is becoming more and more essential when it comes to sharing your brand with the world. Learn more about the video production services we offer and how we can help you grow your brand.

In addition to video, other visual essentials to include in your marketing strategy are good photography and infographics. These handy and appealing graphics are a fabulous way to organize and distribute information or stories using the power of visuals. Not only do they make data look pretty, but they are also 3x more likely to be shared by viewers than any other type of content. If increasing traffic is one of your top goals for 2016, infographics would be a good area to prioritize.

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Truly great design cannot be complete without the key element: typography. A language in itself, typography has the ability to give the written word a voice, ignite emotion and even make the reader believe a statement to be true. This coming year we expect to see some blasts from the past such as retro, serif and handwritten fonts. Check out this great infographic from Design Taxi with some need-to-know trends. Plus, with all the great resources available for finding fonts of all shapes and sizes these days, you’ll never have a shortage of options; in fact, you could most likely spend the rest of 2016 looking at every one out there – you’ve been warned.

Want more information on how to apply these anticipated trends to your own marketing efforts? As always, we’d love to meet with you and discuss how these elements can be incorporated into your marketing plan to help grow your business. Contact us today to learn more.

2016: The Year of the User Experience – Part 1

The beginning of each new year triggers fond memories we’ve made, reminds us of growth from lessons learned, and brings a sense of wonderment about what the future holds. As marketers, we become giddy at the thought of NEW – new design concepts, new innovative tools and resources, new advancements for better experiences and big dreams for the future.

Looking forward to what the coming year has in store, we’re already beginning to see changes in processes, design and more. What are some of the top predictions for changes this year? Grab a coffee, kick back, and let’s take a trip to Daydream Land to imagine all the opportunities to explore and trends to anticipate in 2016.

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We cannot stress enough how vital it is to provide users with the best, most seamless experience possible. Your company could feature the most outstanding web design ever, which you feel should be displayed in the Louvre next to the Mona Lisa, but if it isn’t easy to use and quick to load, users will jump ship and move on to the next.

Be mindful of what effect the interaction with your site will have on a user, and allow that to help determine the best route. For example, will your mobile site make someone want to toss their smartphone at the wall because their fingers have to go ninja-status, zooming in and out to read a product description? Or will they feel a sense of calm tranquility from the clean, intuitive design that does exactly what they want without having to do much more than lift a thumb?

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A key factor that will contribute to giving the best user experience possible on your website is the first screen. With mobile screens becoming the primary screen users interact with, it is paramount to the success of your site – and business – to grow with the times and put smartphone screens as the top priority when developing design concepts. Focus on elements such as calls to action that require little to no extra work by the user, simple sign-up fields for capturing emails quickly, and easy-to-read content that is both effortless to view and full of rich, useful information.

A top-notch responsive design will cater to both mobile and desktop, leaving nothing to the imagination when using either device. For a superb example of a recent rebrand that encompasses the perfect balance of design, functionality and user-friendliness, look no further than Netflix. The company appears to have immersed itself into the life of the end user to fully understand how people use their devices these days and how to best cater to their needs. If you find your site is not able to provide a cohesive experience across every device, it’s time to take it under the knife for a facelift.

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There is a saying that goes “if it doesn’t nurture your soul, get rid of it.” Take this flower-child-like philosophy to heart when it comes to your website and the creation of an excellent user experience. For each piece of content, every photograph, logo or form – ask yourself “What purpose is this serving?” If the answer isn’t a solid justification to keep it on your site, it’s most likely best to remove it and allow the user to engage with the pertinent information of your business, rather than sift through what may or may not be of interest.

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Intuitively designed websites are of the utmost importance, and with this in mind, the ‘navicon’ or Hamburger Menu will be your new best friend moving into 2016. Clever little hidden menus are starting to replace the more traditional navigation menus across all devices, desktop included. Check out some great examples of these hidden menus on websites across a wide variety of industries. Intuitive and space-saving, these menus not only provide more white space for you to work with visually, but also give a subtle sense of clarity that allows the user not to be distracted from more important elements of your site you want them to focus on.

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Modular Scrolling

The infinite scroll function became a huge trend in 2015 on some of the world’s most popular sites, including Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, and has since been adopted by numerous sites around the web. What’s the new thing in 2016? Enter module scrolling, a layout that enables modules of a site to scroll independently from each other, like this prime example from a hotel in Rome showcasing two columns working in harmony side by side. While the functionality and feel of this trend is pretty nifty in itself, its purpose all comes back to the top priority – user experience. This scrolling feature on a site allows the user to continuously absorb content from your site without being interrupted by loading pages, searching for links via clicks, etc. and providing a one-stop-lane for your site’s entire library of contents.

To learn more about the trends and concepts reviewed in this post and how you can apply them to your marketing strategy, contact us today. We find this stuff interesting and exciting, and would love the chance to take this journey into the coming year with you to help your business grow. Cheers to 2016!