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As the years grow on, many aspects of our daily lives such as shopping and even conversation, have been merged with the digital world. There are of course both positives and negatives for all digital means, such as for the use of marketing digitally instead of the more traditional methods.
Many small businesses may struggle to choose which method best suits them in the long run. Depending on how much budget a business has to spend on marketing also plays a huge factor in the matter.
There are many differences between traditional and digital methods of marketing and many different arguments to support each subject. Listing both benefits and negatives for each subject, I will express my personal opinion on which method is suited more for use within the business.
The main methods of traditional marketing include; print, broadcast, direct mail and telemarketing.
This is one of the oldest forms of traditional marketing and was even used in more ancient times. Print marketing today usually refers to companies writing articles and having them printed in local and nationwide newspapers, newsletters, magazines and other forms of printed material that are intended for distribution.
People are more likely to spend time reading articles within a newspaper or magazine, as there are no pop-ups, ads and notifications to keep people distracted. Print readers are also more likely to comprehend and remember more about what they read!
The quality of images printed in magazines and newspapers, are not necessarily the best quality and may become distorted or pixelated. You are not guaranteed a specific page placement within the magazine/newspaper. Depending on where your ad is located within the page layout, can affect how many people actually read your article.
This method involves the use of advertisements being filmed/recorded and placed on TV and radio channels. It has quickly become one of the main forms of advertising for those businesses who are wanting to pay that little bit extra. The main role of this form of advertising is to get people on your side about the benefits of your product/service.
The main benefit you can achieve from this form of advertising is you can potentially mass market to a whole nation!
One of the main drawbacks would definitely fall under cost. If you want your advertisement to reach higher audiences or a specific type of audience, then you will need to pay a lot more for that premium spot.
As the name suggests, this method involves companies sending out printed promotional material such as brochures and sales letters.
You can target certain households for specific target audiences. For example, if your company offers family-oriented services, then you would target households with families. Simple! Advertising via direct mail has an advantage of being easily trackable which allows a company to easily compute their return on investment.
A similar issue to broadcast marketing being that advertising direct mail is also highly costly. It cost companies a lot of money to send mass amounts of mail. Also, the consumer is not guaranteed to read the flyer or brochure that gets sent to them. Admit it, even you will receive a lot of this kind of mail and consider it to be ‘junk mail’. Then what do you do with it? More than likely you will throw it away.
We have all at least once in our lives received a phone call from a random number, where someone tries to offer you a deal on some of their companies products… that’s telemarketing. This form of marketing is where an employee at a company will ring you either because you want them to or by cold calling, to try and sell and offer you deals regarding their products.
One of the main advantages of using this type of marketing is that you are able to engage with your customers personally and learn more about how they view your business. Your clientele can also ask you directly about any issues they’ve been having and can offer you feedback immediately around the service/product you provide.
Telemarketing is perceived as a nuisance in most people eyes and could potentially harm your businesses image. Also training your staff to offer telemarketing can be a costly affair. Customer lists may not always be clean and opted-out – this leaves you with a potential risk of breaking the law!
This involves any marketing that is done online which includes; SEO, email marketing, advertising on social media and videos.
SEO stands for search engine optimisation. This method focuses on using things like keywords and tags to get your business to the top of search engines and search results.
If used correctly, SEO can see your business to the top of search engines and vastly increase traffic through to your businesses website. If you have an online shop on your website then SEO will help you possibly receive more sales.
It will take time to see the results in action and there is no guarantee your business will get to the top of search engines.
As the name suggests, email marketing is basically using emails to send out promotional offers to customers new and old.
The emails are fast and easy to produce and send out. They help increase your brand awareness by letting your customers know you are still there. If you email promotional offers to your customers or subscribers, this can increase your customer relations vastly.
Some of your customers might view your emails as spam and may not read the content. Your customer’s email accounts may already be full with other emails from their other subscriptions.
Social Media Posts
This is one of the most common forms of digital marketing! Companies will create a profile or a page on different social media platforms, and post regular updates and information to their followers regarding their progress or any promotional offers.
Advertising via social media makes it easy to target certain groups of people who will more likely be interested in what your company has to offer. Most social media sites are free to use! And each person who reads your content and likes what they see, are more than likely going to share it and spread your content further, free of charge.
Simply put, updating your social media accounts with continuous updates can be a very time-consuming job. Another thing to consider is that the information is only visible for a short time before newer posts replace it. Lastly, any bad news about your company that is posted online, can spread like wildfire…
Short videos will be created to advertise a company or even show tours or tutorials about what they do to try to interest their target audience. The videos can be posted on social media sites and on a companies website.
Creating a video for use of advertising online, can cost less money than the traditional method of creating adverts for use on TV channels and radio stations. Online videos are widely shareable and can, therefore, reach a much larger audience than broadcasting on TV for instance.
You cannot force people to watch your videos. You may make, in your eyes, the perfect video, but you might not get the amount of publicity that you expected. And this process can be rather time-consuming.
So in general, digital marketing works out to be a lot cheaper than some of the more traditional methods of advertising. The digital world is still an ever growing platform with each new generation getting more enveloped online than the next.
In my opinion, the more traditional methods of advertising are still as relevant today as the more digital methods are. But with everything these days moving online more or less, it might be wise to possibly combine some of the digital methods with the more traditional ones.
You can connect with the whole world online, and reach potential customers around the globe!