A whopping three in 10 American adults are continuously online, according to the Pew Center. The same study found that eight in 10 adults are online at least once a day. It’s no wonder that digital marketing has taken off.
Many companies are weighing the benefits of digital vs traditional marketing. Navigating the benefits of digital marketing, influencer marketing, and social media marketing can seem daunting. Here are some must-know basics.
Digital vs Traditional Marketing
So what do we mean when we say digital and traditional marketing?
Traditional marketing encompasses all the marketing techniques that were used before the internet became widely used beginning in the 1990s.
Examples of traditional marketing include:
- Print ads
- TV and radio ads
- Banners, fliers, and billboards
- Mailed ads like postcards
- Telephone calls (telemarketing)
Traditional marketing continues to be a viable option for reaching customers. In 2020, companies spent nearly $13 billion on radio ads in 2020.
The proliferation of smartphones and other digital devices has made digital marketing an effective marketing option. Digital ads exist digitally, meaning they do not require physical placement.
Examples of digital marketing include:
- Business websites
- Email marketing
- Blogs (particularly ones optimized for SEO)
- Social media ads
- Ads that target mobile devices
Digital marketing is constantly evolving. Artificial intelligence is used to predict what products a customer wants. Ads are then placed to meet that need.
Digital marketing innovation is driven by marketing thought leaders like Aron Levin.
Benefits of Traditional and Digital Marketing
Choosing between traditional or digital marketing is not an either-or proposition. Many companies use both marketing options because each comes with unique strengths.
Know Your Target Audience
Is your ideal customer over 65? If so, an Instagram or TikTok ad is unlikely to help you reach your goals. You may have better luck reaching older customers through mailers or door flyers, for example.
In general, the younger your target customer, the more likely he or she is to be spending considerable time on the internet. Do you market research so you don’t waste valuable marketing dollars.
Benefits of Traditional Marketing
Traditional marketing has the benefit of being tangible. Someone may not read your mailer at first. But they may see it on their coffee table the next day.
People are increasingly using pop-up ad blockers. Even if they don’t, many people are conditioned to not pay attention to website ads. Traditional ads are not as easy to ignore.
Benefits of Digital Marketing
Digital marketing ads can be carefully targeted. While mailers generally go out to large swaths of a town, digital marketing can target specific demographics.
SEO-optimized blogs are one example. The articles are craft the “catch” interested readers who may then buy products. Social media ads can also be targeted to specific age groups and interests.
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