In a span of just five years, the way we find and consume information has changed more than we could have ever imagined.
In 2013, only 64% of US adults got their news from traditional news sources (like TV news shows or newspapers). Now, less than half of Americans get their news this way. Instead, we’re seeing people flock to online news sites and social media platforms to seek out the news and information they need.
This shift to digital is also happening in the marketing world. Just as people are researching, learning, and interacting with content online, marketers are following suit and shifting their strategies to keep up with the changing times.
The Rise Of Online Marketing
If you’re reading this, I assume you’re already in some way aware of the digital transformation that’s taking place. Maybe you’ve seen the headlines about Google or Facebook dominating the search and social media landscapes, respectively. Or, you may be aware that marketing on platforms like Twitter and Instagram are becoming popular because of their viral nature and ability to spread virally.
With every wave of change comes new opportunities. And, as you’ll soon see, digital marketers are seizing the chance to grow their businesses and connect with customers online.
Let’s dive into the numbers and find out how traditional marketing strategies stack up against online marketing.
Traditional Marketing Vs. Online Marketing: What Is The Difference?
The terms ‘traditional marketing’ and ‘online marketing’ are often used interchangeably. However, there are key differences between the two. Traditional marketing is widely considered to be ‘old school’ because people usually think about traditional marketing in terms of TV commercials, radio ads, and magazine spreads. These methods of marketing are still very popular, but digital marketers are changing the way we think about and engage with marketing messages.
What Is Traditional Marketing?
Traditional marketing is using various media types to reach a wider audience and keep them interested in your product or service. That means you’re typically using TV commercials, billboards, magazine spreads, radio ads, and websites to reach your target audience. While there are still some differences in terms of the platforms used, the main purpose of traditional marketing remains the same: to get people to think about you or your product without directly selling it to them.
Why Should I Do Business With Traditional Marketers?
If you’re looking for a traditional marketer, your main task is to convince them to represent your brand. You provide them with the products or services you offer and they’ll use their media platforms to promote your products or services to the public. In other words, you’re not the one engaging with the consumer but rather, the marketer is doing the talking and promoting your products or services while being somewhat impartial. Your job is to provide them with the money to make the ads show up.
This is often seen as a better option for smaller businesses or startups who need to raise awareness about their product or service and don’t have the budget for paid media campaigns. Plus, with more and more people relying on the unbiased information found online, it’s a safer bet to partner with a digital marketer who has no vested interest in selling your product or service.
Here To Help
If you want to learn more about traditional marketing and how to work with a marketing agency, continue reading. Alternatively, if you’d like to dive into the details of how to engage with consumers via online channels like social media and email marketing, keep reading.
Which Is More Effective: Online Marketing Or Traditional Marketing?
While there are certainly pros and cons to both approaches, online marketing can be extremely effective when used strategically. The key is to focus on the platforms your target audience is currently using and incorporating them into your strategy. With that in mind, here are some broad strokes about which strategy is more effective:
- Online marketing is more effective for attracting attention and engaging consumers.
- Traditional marketing is more effective for building brand recognition among target audiences.
- If you’re looking for broad brand awareness, go with traditional marketing.
- If you’re looking for deep engagement and conversion, go with online marketing.
Broad Brand Awareness
With broad brand awareness, you’re looking to gain the attention of the public to raise brand recognition. That, in turn, will lead to consumer demand for your product or service. You can use a myriad of methods to accomplish this, including TV commercials, billboard ads, magazine spreads, radio ads, and websites. While you might need to experiment with different media to find which works best for your brand, you should see an increase in brand awareness throughout your marketing campaign.
Think of Pepsi. While they still use traditional advertising (like TV commercials), they also heavily rely on social media to spread the word about their products. Through various campaigns and interactions on social media, the company has grown its brand recognition and sales of its products. According to a Nielsen report, 58% of Americans recognized the name Pepsi instantly and 62% knew what the drink was within a minute of seeing the ad. That’s astounding! It’s clear that Pepsi is gaining brand recognition on multiple platforms and is using that to its advantage. So, if your product or service is somewhat unique or requires some explaining, you may want to consider using some of the many platforms available to you to gain brand recognition.
Deep Engagement And Conversion
If you’re looking for a way to develop brand loyalty and gain more customers, you should consider using online channels to engage with your audience. The key is to find a way to connect with your audience and make them feel that your product or service is a direct reflection of who they are, what they care about, and what they want. This deep engagement will make your customers feel valued and, ultimately, motivate them to buy your product or service.
Think of Dove. They’re a brand known for its quirky, self-reflective commercials and the company has capitalized on that with an extensive social media strategy. Through witty banter, self-reflection, and emotional connections with their audience, the brand has grown a following of over 75 million fans across Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. So, if your product or service is a bit introspective or sheds light on issues that matter to your audience, you may want to consider using social media to connect with and engage your audience.
If you have a bigger budget or you want to try something new, you can partner with a strategic marketing agency. These agencies will help you find the best possible approach for your marketing strategy, whether that’s traditional or online. Working with a reputable agency will ensure you make the right choices for your business and that your money is being spent wisely. Plus, agencies usually have a better idea of the platforms your target audience is using and what methods of marketing work best on each platform. Working with an agency will be a step up from doing everything yourself, but it likely won’t be as effective as working with an expert in online marketing who knows exactly what approaches work best on which platforms.
So, Which One Should You Go With?
If your product or service is available online or you have a website, go with online marketing. It’s simpler, easier to implement, and more cost-effective. Plus, it gives you the ability to track conversions and ROI (return on investment) much more easily. If you have a traditional ad agency, work with them to develop a strategy for your brand. Once you have that strategy, implement the plan by using the various platforms your target audience relies on.