Traditional vs. Digital Marketing- What Works Best?

The goal of small to medium sized business marketing is to grow sales, and marketing is a core activity for generating new leads and sales. According Sydney web design agency Magicdust- ‘One of the key challenges for most small businesses is that they can’t afford to invest in marketing that does not have a direct or immediate impact on bottom line’.

Not only this, but with the advent of digital marketing, there has been an overabundance of new marketing terms to understand. Terms like closed loop marketing, multichannel marketing and inbound marketing can be distracting and can make you feel like marketing strategy is a daunting topic.

So, how is a business owner with limited financial resources, time and marketing expertise supposed to make good decisions about where to invest their precious marketing dollars? The following guidelines can help you figure out the difference between digital and traditional marketing, how they complement each other and what’s best for you.

There is still a place for traditional marketing.

Twenty years ago marketing was much easier. If you needed leads you used a direct response method like direct mail, telemarketing, newspaper, or magazine advertising with offer oriented advertising. If you wanted to build awareness of your business to a large audience of people you used TV, radio, magazines, or billboards.

The advantages of traditional marketing still exist today. They include:

1. It’s superior for delivering messages to mass audiences; especially TV and radio.
2. It’s an excellent method for building broad awareness about your brand.
3. It allows you reach anyone, including people who don’t use technology or computers very often.

A few of the key limitations with traditional marketing are:

1. It can be very expensive.
2. It is hard to measure the results and return on investment.
3. The creative elements can be hard to produce.
4. The majority of people who see, hear or read your advertising are qualified leads.
5. It can be costly, time consuming and difficult to change your advertising once it starts.

These are all potential reasons why expenses for traditional marketing have fallen 160% during the last year as it tries to compete with more cost effective digital methods. Although traditional has multiple benefits, it’s most important weakness is that it needs to interrupt whatever the consumer is doing in an effort to get their attention. Digital has the upper hand with being able to target and segment audiences so that marketing is focused on inbound rather than outbound interactions.

Digital marketing is all about the consumer.  

Today, you don’t have to invest large marketing dollars to find consumers that may be interested in your product or service. Consumers register which businesses that they’re interested in their search or browsing data of products and services on the Internet. According to research by BIA/Kelsey, 97% of consumers now use the Internet to research and/or buy products.

Digital marketing offers important advantages over traditional marketing, particularly when targeting a niche market or qualified segment which has a higher chance of conversion.

In most cases, digital marketing has a better return on investment with 61% lower costs per lead. You can also implement digital marketing on a low risk, pay for results basis. For example, when you use pay-per-click, you only pay when you get someone to clicks on your ad and visits your website or landing page.

Other advantages of digital marketing include:
1. It’s very measurable – so you’ll know when to pull back spend or invest more.
2. You can target your advertising to a very specific audience.
3. You can personalise your messaging
4. Most of the time, you can change your advertising quickly, and without a great expense.
5. You don’t have to wait for the next publication or available time slots. You can advertise almost instantaneously if you choose.
6. Digital is eco-friendly since you don’t need or use paper products at all.

Since consumers are more or less telling businesses exactly when they’re interested in via their browsing data, interruption marketing is virtually non-existent, which explains the growth of inbound marketing. Considering that 90% of people use the Internet to research and buy products, your prospective customers are either going to find your business online, or they will not, and you will surrender the opportunity to engage with prospects who are telling you that they are interested in what you offer.

Regardless of size of your businesses you no longer have a choice of whether or not to use digital marketing. Even if you choose not to use pay-per-click, search engine optimization, online display or even a website, your business is online. Remember, almost every print directory has moved online, and there are many other sources that people use to find information online that aren’t yellow pages directories or your website.

To find out how your business is listed online, Search Google for your business name. You may be surprised how much information exists about your business that you didn’t even know about.

The real key to success is using both traditional and digital marketing holistically.

Yes, people still read newspapers and magazines, watch TV, and listen to the radio. Just not as frequently or in the same volume as five or ten years ago. Good marketing consultants and agencies understand that traditional marketing is not dead.

Quite simply its role has changed in the over-all marketing mix. Businesses that want the highest return on their marketing dollars are learning their customer’s buying cycles, and using the traditional marketing axiom of using the right media to deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time in a highly personalised fashion.

This article was contributed by Magicdust- who provides online marketing, e-commerce solutions and website development as the go to web design company Sydney small business owners trust.