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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.