The Covid-19 pandemic created plenty of opportunities for marketing experts. While many traditional marketing channels were closed to promote social distancing and avoid overcrowding, marketers found themselves with a significant amount of free time on their hands. Entrepreneurs and small businesses had the chance to rise to the occasion and prove their marketing mettle.
Online marketing gained particular attention. While most industries shifted online due to the pandemic, some, like retail, were able to avoid the shift and maintain their traditional marketing activities, including email marketing and online store promotions.
But is the digital world forever? Is email marketing going to be a viable approach to connecting with customers in the post-pandemic world?
Before answering this question, it’s important to understand what digital marketing is and how it differs from traditional marketing. First, let’s take a quick look at what digital marketing is and is not.
What is digital marketing?
Put yourself in the shoes of a digital marketer for a moment. What do you consider yourself to be? Are you a traditional marketer who has dabbled in digital marketing? Or do you consider yourself a true digital marketer, someone who is experts in all things digital?
If you’re the latter, congratulations! You’ve successfully made the transition from traditional marketing to digital marketing. If you’re the former, though, then congratulations! You are now a traditional marketer who realizes the power of digital marketing.
Where does digital marketing fit within the marketing world?
For decades, marketing was mostly about traditional methods of advertising, such as billboards, bus stops, radio ads, and magazine and newspaper articles. With the rise of the digital world, the practice of marketing has changed dramatically. Today, digital marketing encompasses a variety of marketing activities, including email marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, and online store promotions.
While some of these practices, like SEO and content marketing, are considered “traditional” digital marketing, others, like email marketing and online store promotions, are considered to be “newer” forms of digital marketing. Using SEO to get your site to the top of the search rankings is considered “traditional” digital marketing, while using SEO to promote your email list or using email marketing to send out a weekly newsletter are considered “modern” digital marketing.
Why is traditional marketing different from digital marketing?
Well, for starters, most forms of digital marketing are performed online, which means you have access to an unlimited audience. A traditional marketer, on the other hand, usually targets a specific audience and makes use of paid advertisements to attract that audience. In a nutshell, digital marketing allows for broader reach and a lower cost per acquisition (cost per conversion, if you will).
Which is better, online or offline marketing?
Although marketing changes with the times, some things never go out of style. One of these is the traditional approach of marketing in person. With the resurgence of the “stay at home” market and the need to socially distance, people are turning towards in-person marketing events, such as trade shows and conferences. Offline marketing, particularly trade show marketing, has seen something of a resurgence in the last year.
Why? Well, businesses that are present at trade shows have the opportunity to meet customers face to face, which allows for personal interactions that may not have happened if the business was a pure-play digital marketer.
The main drawback of offline marketing is that unless you’re executing a trade show campaign, you’re usually limited to a specific geographic location. Also, the costs associated with traveling to a remote location and the accommodation can add up. Still, in the right scenario, the cost savings and reach of an offline marketing campaign can be very worthwhile.
In the coming months, we’ll discuss strategies for both online and offline marketing, as well as how to position your brand during this time of uncertainty.