Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing
Whether we like it or not, the world is rapidly changing and the rate of change is only getting faster. Technology has infiltrated nearly all aspects of life. The changes that come with it have a disruptive effect on our personal as well as our business lives.
Fortunately, most of this change is beneficial and helps us in many ways. This is only true, however, if we adapt fast enough and keep up with the ongoing change.
Times are changing..
One area of business that technology has caused to change dramatically is marketing. For centuries, the principals of marketing remained the same. Students of the subject could have gotten away with using the same textbooks for decades. Now, they would probably need new study material every few months.
Many businesses, big and small, well established or just starting up, are now at a crossroad when it comes to marketing. Companies need to decide to invest their limited marketing budget on traditional marketing or digital marketing. Or, if investing in a combination of the two, in what ratio should the budget be divided?
For clarity, traditional advertising includes media such as TV, radio and print advertising, including, newspapers and magazines, brochures, banners, billboards and signage.
Digital marketing is content that is accessed online such as websites, blogs, vlogs, social media marketing, banner advertising, Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, YouTube channels and webinars. New online platforms and marketing opportunities are constantly developing and evolving.
Advantages of Traditional Marketing
Traditional marketing connects with the brain on an emotional level. This is mostly due to years of familiarity, but this is changing as people become more digitally active. It can be targeted to, in most cases, to local or national markets. Printed material, such as a magazine or a directory, can be around for a while and looked at by multiple people.
Disadvantages of Traditional Marketing
Most traditional marketing is expensive to produce and distribute. It is often fleeting, so once a TV advert has aired, it is gone forever. Traditional media itself is dying a slow death. Newspapers, magazines and traditional TV are all on their way out with massive declines in readership and viewers. This trend is set to continue at an alarming pace, as more people view their content online or in a digital format. Lead times are long so you can not make instant changes to your messages, if necessary. The results are incredibly hard to measure so you often have little to no idea what your ROI is with traditional marketing. Traditional marketing is one directional and not interactive as it is with digital marketing.
Advantages of Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is extremely cost effective. Firstly, it is inexpensive to produce and can reach a vast amount of people very quickly. More importantly, you can target it highly effectively, depending on interests, demographics, geographical location or any combination of various relevant factors. With PPC advertising, you are targeting people specifically interested in your product or service and you only have to pay if they click on your message. It is also highly measurable using Google Analytics, social media and other online tools and applications. If managed properly, you can work out your ROI with great accuracy. Messages can be changed in an instant, something that is essential in today’s fast-paced environment. The other great advantage is that digital marketing is interactive. People can see your message and respond, comment or share. This allows you to form relationships with customers or potential customers and also provides you with a wealth of valuable insight into consumer thinking and behavior. Another benefit of digital marketing is that it can be published in multiple formats, so the potential customer can view the message in video, images or text. An effective digital marketing campaign often goes viral, giving you great exposure at a very little cost.
Disadvantages of Digital Marketing
Digital marketing can take some time to gain momentum. Many companies lack the knowledge and experience to understand digital marketing as well as they do with the familiar traditional marketing, so there is often resistance from those that do not yet appreciate the benefits. There is also the risk of negative online feedback and reviews so this has to be handled quickly and effectively if it occurs.
So what is the answer?
Right now, there is no perfect answer, without considering the industry, the market and to a large extent, the budget. For now, there is still is place for traditional marketing. It is however essential that this is complemented by a strong online presence. This has to be closely monitored and measured, as the landscape is constantly changing. In the not too distant future, digital marketing will definitely overtake traditional marketing in importance and relevance. It is critical for the future success of your business, that the digital aspect of marketing is given full attention and that there is a quality strategic plan in place to continuously grow and improve your exposure in the ever-growing digital world.