Marketing: Traditional vs. Digital

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When venturing into business, marketing is an aspect which every business can never ignore.  In fact, marketing and sales are the lifeblood of most businesses. Marketing simply means creating awareness and publicity about your product, services, and business using strategic means/plans to get people to purchase them. As the business space becomes more competitive and intense, using the right marketing channel is the only means a business can stand out from the competition.

These days so many businesses are using the online approach to market their products, therefore it has become more difficult to choose between traditional marketing vs digital marketing. One has to choose a marketing method that will maximize returns for your expenditure. Often times, most entrepreneurs have a budget set aside for marketing and these budget is capable of accommodating only one marketing method.

Then there is a question of which marketing method is suitable for your business? Before we conclude on which method is suitable for you, let us have a clear understanding of what traditional and digital marketing means and these pointers will help you make the right marketing choice.

What is traditional marketing?

Traditional marketing is a broad category that has been around for several decades. It includes so many forms of advertising and marketing which include prints like magazines, newspapers, flyers, postal letters, brochures, banners, hoarding; broadcast like radio, tv, and Telemarketing using a telephone. The traditional means of marketing encompasses so many different strategies that can be used by any company not minding the available marketing budget.

What is digital marketing?

The era of the internet has influenced every area of life including marketing. Digital marketing also referred to as online marketing is the new trend of marketing to the global market. It includes marketing on platforms like social media( Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Reddit, Pinterest etc.), business networking websites like LinkedIn, Paid pop-ups, Promotional ads via emails, Clickbait links for viral contents and blogs. Over time, the online marketing methods have proved to be very effective at bringing in real time results. Every business has been encouraged to establish an online presence and make use of every digital marketing strategy to see quicker returns. Every day new avenues of online marketing are emerging.

Advantages of traditional marketing

  • Easy to understand: Marketing a product or service using the traditional method is the easiest to read and understand. People without internet can be reached using this method and a lot of people tend to understand ads printed on hard paper faster.
  • Reach a local audience easily: Advertising on a local newspaper, FM radios can easily reach targeted customers in a particular vicinity. Handbills, flyers, and information passed by word of mouth can specifically target potential customers in a specific area.
  • Save hard copies: When you advertise with materials like magazines, newspapers, and flyers your target audience can save copies of your advertising materials and go through them repeatedly.

 

Disadvantages of traditional marketing

  • Little Interaction between medium used and customers: In traditional marketing, there is a one-way mean of interaction between potential customers and the brand. You can only provide information to your targeted audience about your services or products and hope it attracts the attention of the right audience which can later be converted into customers.
  • Higher costs: Traditional marketing can be costly to set up and may or may not produce a good return. Any advertisement created on a newspaper needs to be created and run on a new print any time you want to reach out to prospective buyers.
  • Results on the marketing strategy used cannot be easily measured: It is difficult to see how successful your advertising or marketing campaign was as there are no numbers to measure.

Advantages of Digital Marketing

  • Connect with a wider audience: Marketing your product online means you can reach a wider range of potential customers and your product and services can be found anywhere in the world. Digital marketing drives in more sales as a huge percentage of consumers use the internet to search for products like yours. You can connect with customers online through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and a lot more.
  • Cost effective: Putting your business online doesn’t cost you a lot of money when compared to making adverts on newspapers. Once your business is online, your potential customers can find you anytime and you do not have to spend a lot to gain traffic.
  • Tailor your content to suit your audience: With digital marketing, you can personalize your contents to suit the persona of your ideal buyer. You can also create content that grabs their attention depending on their age, gender, income, profession, fears, goals, dislike etc.
  • Open interaction between business and consumers: Digital marketing makes it easy to engage your target audience, ask for feedback and reviews and supply them with first-hand knowledge of new product and services.
  • ROI can be measured: There are analytical tools which can be used to record your purchases, page visits, how many people clicked on your ads. This way, you can easily know what worked for your business and what didn’t and change your marketing strategy.
  • Suitable for all Industries: Every type of industry can benefit from digital marketing. The size of the business and how long it has operated is not important if the business has its presence online with will attract customers.

Disadvantages of Digital Marketing

  • Negative reviews: The internet is an open marketplace and unhappy customers are quick to drop a negative feedback about your business. These reviews are visible to the general public and could make your brand look less trustworthy.
  • Need to be an expert in the field

One has to be an expert in the field of digital marketing or hire a digital marketer in order to truly exploit the potential of getting quick returns from this method of marketing.

Which one should you use?

From the above pointers, Digital marketing gives a business the freedom and exposure needed in the shortest period of time. You can work at any time, keep track of your data in real time and it is cheaper than any other marketing platform in the market. We can all agree that digital marketing wins the battle against traditional marketing. However, traditional marketing is indispensable and works for people who are still traditional.  Often times the right answer is a combination of the two. For example, you may generate leads online then convert them to sale through a more traditional approach.

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