Is Marketing Better Online or Direct Sales?

With marketers’ reliance on digital media and social platforms growing daily, many are wondering if traditional marketing methods like advertising and PR are on the decline. While digital marketing’s share of the overall market has risen, there is no denying that traditional sales methods still have a spot in the marketing mix. In fact, in 2021 alone, some 40% of all spending on marketing activities was allocated to digital marketing and social platforms.

Which is more relevant to your business: marketing online or offline? According to HubSpot Blog Reader research, 13% of respondents cited online marketing as the most effective channel for growing their business, while 11% chose offline marketing and 7% said they were equally effective.

But what exactly does that mean? Is marketing online or direct sales better for business?

The Evolving Role of Marketing

While digital marketing and social platforms have played a transformative role in marketing, their impact has been quite different in each industry.

In B2B sales, marketing has traditionally been the funnel through which potential customers learn about your company. However, with many companies shifting their focus to digital marketing and social media, B2C marketing has evolved to match.

In the past, if someone wanted to learn about your product they would visit your website or call your customer support line. These days, with content emerging on social media channels, people are discovering your brand and learning about your products through articles, videos, and ads.

Marketing has evolved to become a more holistic approach, encompassing not just traditional advertising but digital marketing, social media, content strategy, and email marketing. In the future, expect to see even more evolution as marketing evolves to keep up with the rapidly changing digital world.

Why Marketing Is Still Important

Despite the rise of digital marketing, face-to-face interaction continues to play a crucial role in generating leads and sales. In a world where everyone is connected virtually and brands can be found online, billboards, commercials, and magazine ads may soon be a thing of the past.

According to HubSpot Blog Reader research, only 7% of respondents said their main source of lead generation was from digital marketing and social platforms, while 18% said their main source of lead generation was word-of-mouth marketing and 16% cited email marketing. So while digital marketing is playing a more prominent role in marketing, it is not yet mainstream enough to replace all of the leads generated from traditional methods.

Which Type Of Marketing Is Suitable For Your Business?

If you’re asking this question, you may be wondering which type of marketing is better suited for your business. You have options! It depends on your budget, the types of products you sell, and how much you’re willing to spend on marketing.

According to HubSpot Blog Reader research, only 2% of respondents said they did not have the budget for any type of marketing, while 12% said they did not have the budget for traditional methods and 8% chose to only spend on digital marketing and social platforms. So while there is an option to avoid investing in traditional marketing, the vast majority of businesses do not have the budget for a complete disregard of marketing activities.

If you are looking for ways to save money while still increasing your leads and sales, you might want to consider a hybrid approach—combining the best of both worlds. With the right mix of marketing activities, you can ensure your business is reaching its full potential, regardless of your budget.

Hybrid Marketing

Increasingly, businesses are taking a more holistic approach to marketing, blending digital and traditional methods to create hybrid marketing strategies.

In 2021 alone, some 40% of all spending on marketing activities was allocated to digital marketing and social platforms, demonstrating the industry’s growing reliance on this type of marketing.

If you are wondering if you should allocate more resources into digital marketing or if you should continue to focus on conventional methods like newspaper ads or radio spots, ask yourself these three questions:

  • How much are you paying for ads?
  • How much are you spending on online marketing and social media?
  • How much is your social media following contributing to your bottom line?

If your answers are not favorable, it might be time to reallocate your marketing budget to more effective channels. After all, the competition is always prowling for the best possible strategies to secure business wins.

What Is The Role Of The Website In Your Marketing Mix?

In addition to offline marketing and social media, your website, along with email and phone call, forms the foundation of your online marketing plan. Your site is the first point of contact for your customers, so it follows that it should be the first place customers come for learning about your business and the types of products you offer.

According to HubSpot Blog Reader research, respondents said their main source of lead generation was from search engines (26%), followed by social media (19%) and websites (11%). While these are important touchpoints along the buyer’s path to purchase, it is important not to rely solely on digital marketing tactics for lead generation.

In a nutshell, your website forms the digital foundation of your marketing strategy, serving as the hub around which you can build your digital marketing plan. You can use online marketing to supplement your website or use the website as a stand-alone channel. It’s all about what works best for your business.

Building A Marketing Plan

When it comes to digital marketing and social media, planning is everything. You don’t want to scramble to put together a plan after the fact, trying to piece together a strategy that works. To that end, it’s important to take time to plan and map out your strategy, formulating key performance indicators along the way. This should be a collaborative effort with your team, focusing on areas like lead generation, conversion, and retention.

If you follow the above steps, you’re sure to come up with a solid digital marketing strategy, one that can be mapped out and measured against key performance indicators.

Which Onesensors Should You Get To Keep Up With The Trends?

A lot of people love luxury items, so if you’re marketing a luxury brand, it follows that you’ll be competing for the attention of affluent consumers. One way to attract these consumers is by using wearable technology, or ‘wearables’, such as smartwatches or fitness trackers. These items are becoming more popular all the time, especially among the Gen-Z and millennials groups. So if you’re looking to attract these coveted consumers, you’ll need to get on board!

HubSpot Blog Reader research found that 11% of respondents use smartwatches and fitness trackers while 9% use their smartphones to access social media. The rise of the young consumer and the digital native means that the line between marketing and sales is becoming blurred. As a marketer, it’s your job to stay ahead of the trends and find new ways for your business to stand out.