With the rise of digital marketing, the landscape of online marketing has changed. What was once considered “traditional” marketing – radio ads, billboards, and magazine spreads – is now just a small part of a much broader approach. And as the industry continues to evolve, the definition of what is considered “traditional” marketing is constantly changing too.
Traditional Versus Digital Marketing
The line between traditional and digital marketing has blurred. When people think of marketing, they often think of traditional methods of advertising – radio ads, billboards, or magazine spreads. But today, when someone mentions marketing, the first thought that comes to mind is most likely related to digital marketing.
Digital marketing includes all of the methods of marketing that take place entirely online. This can include everything from advertising on social media platforms to email marketing and everything in between. It is essentially everything that you would do to market a business or product online.
Traditional marketing typically involves more offline activities. While digital marketing can include plenty of inbound activities – writing blog posts, creating whitepapers, hosting webinars – the line between the two still exists.
The Rise Of Inbound Marketing
Traditional marketing is often considered a “top-down” approach; you have the brand or company promoting the product and, in most cases, the individual receiving the marketing material is considered the target audience. Inbound marketing flips this idea on its head. Inbound marketing defines marketing as a “bottom-up” approach; you, the marketer, seek to engage with your audience wherever they are – whether that is a blog post, a whitepaper, a webinar, or wherever else they might be spending their time. So instead of a list of customers or potential customers, you have a list of “interested parties” – people who might be interested in your product or service.
Inbound marketing was created as a response to the growing complexity of marketing. Back in the day, if you wanted to market a product, you would go out and buy all of the available radio ads or place ads in a couple of local newspapers. You would also mail out some postcards, hit some radio stations with a pitch, and maybe send out a couple of press releases. The results of all of this were mostly dependent on chance: maybe a few people would listen to the radio ad, a few would see the ad in a newspaper, and a few more might see your postcard. But nowadays, with companies able to monitor and analyze every bit of activity on the internet, this is no longer enough. The random nature of traditional marketing simply doesn’t work anymore.