Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing
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All the focus these days is exclusively on digital marketing. And it’s easy to see why because the Internet is the easiest way to reach a huge audience. Websites and blogs are the main marketing choice for most businesses.

One stat that everyone seems to be talking about is US companies will be spending $120 billion on digital marketing by 2021. It’s amazing just how quickly digital marketing has grown in the last ten to twenty years. But what does that mean for those who still rely on traditional marketing?

The answer is that you still need to rely on both. Each aspect of marketing has its pros and cons and giving up on traditional marketing is not the answer. You’re essentially missing out on an entire audience filled with paying customers if you do one but not the other. There’s a reason why major corporations continue to use both types of marketing.

But can you do both on a budget?

The answer is yes. You don’t need to have a huge marketing budget to get the success you want. But you do need a plan. Your marketing plan has to be robust and you must be clear about what you want to achieve.

What is Traditional Marketing and the Pros and Cons?

Traditional marketing is quite a simple concept to understand. It is the type of marketing that happened before things like search engine optimization became a thing. Many of us will remember that this is how businesses marketed themselves when we were young and before the Internet took off.

So why is it still relevant today?

  • Target a local audience.
  • The psychological pull of a physical marketing tool.
  • Easy to understand.

Physical marketing tools are still powerful because they feel ‘more real’ to people. It’s also something everyone has been exposed to, so it’s easy for them to understand. This style of marketing is still timeless.

And that’s why billboards, leaflets, posters, and live events are as relevant today as they always were. You wouldn’t expect corporations to spend millions of dollars on TV and radio ads if they didn’t provide any benefit, would you?

Think about it. 36% of Internet users discover new brands from TV ads, and this study was conducted in 2018.

But there are disadvantages to this type of marketing.

The main problem with it is that it doesn’t reach a huge audience. You can only target a certain number of people in your local area or region. It’s also typically more expensive to do this than the online equivalent, so many small businesses have done away with traditional promotion entirely.

Another problem with the traditional promotion is that you can’t easily measure the results. Unless you ask a customer how they found you, you’re never going to know whether it was something you did offline that drove them to your business.

Tailoring your promotions and improving them is more difficult.

What is Digital Marketing and the Pros and Cons?

Digital promotion encompasses a range of different tactics, including social media marketing, blogs, and search engine optimization. It’s the most widely used form of marketing today, and it’s only going to keep growing as older companies begin to understand its value.

So let’s take a look at the main reasons why you should be investing in digital marketing:

  • Target an international audience.
  • Better managed campaigns.
  • Easier to make improvements.
  • More affordable to invest in.

These are just some of the many benefits of running an online campaign. You can target the largest possible audience all over the world, but your marketing doesn’t need to be like shooting a target with a double-barreled shotgun.

It’s easier than ever to tweak and target your campaign to only target a specific audience. It’s possible to target people between certain ages, based on their geographical location, and even their publicized interests. There’s no type of marketing that’s as accurate as this.

Furthermore, you can manage your entire marketing campaign from a central dashboard at home. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is because you can get real-time results.

That’s not the case with physical marketing materials, where it could take weeks to figure out whether it actually worked.

So are there any disadvantages to digital marketing?

There’s only one real disadvantage to a digital promotion and that’s ad blindness. The concept of ad blindness is that we’re so exposed to online ads and sales posts that we automatically tune them out, so your ads might be being seen but ignored.

Physical marketing tools better connect with people’s emotions, therefore increasing the chances of getting a sale. And no matter how advanced your digital campaign gets you’re never going to replace this impact.

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Last Word – Which Option Should You Choose?

We recommend incorporating both options into your marketing plan. It’s a mistake to exclusively focus on one option or the other. This is especially true if you’re targeting an older audience that may not be versed in the online world.

But how you weight your spending depends on your target market. You need to do your research and figure out where your audience likes to hang out. Before you spend any money on marketing, conduct research into the needs and expectations of your target market.

This will give you an idea of what has the biggest effect on your targeted demographic and you’ll be able to come up with a plan from there.

What’s the best avenue for small businesses on a limited budget?

You can’t go wrong with digital marketing. It will help you to reach the largest audience and you can operate on a much smaller budget.

It’s cheaper to build an organic reach through Facebook and Twitter than designing and printing leaflets to hand out in your local area.

Of course, it’s always going to depend on the type of business you’re running. There are so many factors to take into account and it’s all part of your preparation. Don’t rush these stages or you could find yourself wasting money unnecessarily.

Which type of marketing does your business engage in?

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David Cherry
David Cherry is Co-Owner of Visibly Connected which he started in 2010 because of his passion for small businesses. He loves learning the stories behind each business he works with and helping them reach their full growth potential. His passions are fitness, family, and reading, and during the weekends you usually find him out on the golf course!
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