Traditional Marketing: Obsolete in the Era of Digital Marketing?

Marketing plays a very vital role in every type of business which no one can ignore. One has to set apart a nominal amount of their budget and costing behind a product specifically for marketing. But still today we in an era where a large population of our economy prefer online transactions whereas, on the other hand, we will also find people who don’t even know how to use internet or online portals. Many companies (small or big) struggle in deciding which kind of marketing to do, traditional marketing or digital marketing? because it will ultimately affect their budget and costing. The struggle is not an easy path as there are many questions which act as hurdles: How do we know that the marketing plan we chose, is working? How to invest in it when there is a huge risk involved?

Traditional Marketing 

There are many facets of traditional marketing. For some companies or brands, it can be business cards, print ads in newspapers or magazines or posters and flyers, commercials on TV and radio, billboards and brochures.

Benefits of Traditional Marketing

Because of its longevity, people are habituated to traditional marketing as they can have a hard copy of the material which they can read over and over again.  You can easily reach your target audience by means of a radio ad or mailbox flyers that will go to all households in a given area. The content is easy to understand as customers are used to it. There are still some people who are not comfortable with the idea of digitalisation. As a personal interaction always makes people take something more serious, this is the reason door to door marketing or promotion will never be outdated. Moreover, in traditional advertising things are tangible in nature and can be preserved for the future.

According to a report, direct mailers require less overall cognitive effort compared to digital media, suggesting that for current customers, it is both easier to understand and more memorable. Tests performed to compare the effect of both types of marketing validated the findings above. Not only that but when customers were asked to cite the brand (company name) of an advertisement they had just seen, the recall was significantly higher among participants exposed to direct mail advertisement than a digital ad.

The Downside to Traditional Marketing

The most important drawback is the results which are not easily measured, and in many cases, they cannot be measured at all. So then how do you find out whether the print campaign was successful? Traditional marketing also costs more, as printing materials are expensive and on the other hand, you need to hire people to do the distribution. There is no direct interaction with the audience. We just place the information in front of our audience with the hope that there will a positive outcome or response in regards to demand and sales.  It involves very less actual engagement of the audience or potential customers.

Digital Marketing

The world of digital marketing started to evolve because of the advancement in technology and it will continue to advance. Digital marketing includes things like websites, social media mentions, search engine optimization and YouTube videos. Companies put content in the form of ads or information for their audiences who conduct an online search to find a product. They can be directed to the brand’s product based on that search on a social media platform or to related content that has been published online such as a blog or an article. All this effort is performed to make them familiar with the brand so that they will eventually develop trust and a rapport with the company through this online presence.

Benefits of Digital Marketing

You can target your audience both locally, as well as internationally. You can conduct campaigns which are more impactful. Campaigns are cheaper as compared to traditional marketing. Interaction with potential customers is encouraged where you can ask your followers or clients to visit your website, read about your products and services, rate products and services based on their experience etc. You can also facilitate direct sales through an e-commerce setup. In most cases, customers are encouraged to provide feedback which helps in meeting the desired expectations of your customers. Your customers can choose what type of content is best for them; it can be reading a blog post or watching a video on Youtube or any social media platform. With Google Analytics and the insight tools offered by most social media channels, you can easily record your data and results and can even check the outcome of your campaigns. You don’t have to wait weeks in order to check whether your marketing was successful or not as you can easily trace it out by the numbers of visitors on your website, increase in subscribers’ rate, conversion rates of audiences to customers and much more at just the click of a button. A well-maintained website with good quality content adds value to everything and they serve in getting businesses the desired potential opportunities. The same is true for utilising social media channels and for personalised email marketing. 

The Downside to Digital Marketing

The main drawback of digital marketing is the negative feedback or complaints of the unhappy customers which are also highly visible to the audience. Marketing by digital tools is subject to the rules and regulations of search engines like Google. The search engine algorithms are also updated regularly. You would need to employ someone who has expertise in the field and must be able to tackle each and every situation on a positive note. 

Which method should you choose?

The debate continues as to which type of marketing is overpowering and surpassing the other. Over the last year or so traditional marketing has faced a rapid downfall while at the same time expenses for digital marketing have increased tremendously. The world has transformed into a very digital environment in a short span of time. We perform many of our daily tasks such as banking, shopping online these days and much of our reading is done via e-books. Therefore, investing in digital marketing over traditional marketing is the strategy to pursue. Even though traditional marketing still has value, but with the advancement of technology, it is diminishing in our digitally based world. For today’s businesses, it is important to have a website and use it in order to interact with your customers and potential audiences.

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Lavanya GuptaAVIJIT SINGH Recent comment authors
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Great work Lavanya , your article does make lot of sense.keep it up