Market to Market: Deciding Between Traditional or Digital Marketing
In our last blog about marketing, we discussed the importance of developing a marketing strategy and what that meant. So now that you have an idea on how to get started with making the plan, let’s talk about the different avenues there are to market your businesses and services. This is the HOW in how you are going to reach your customers.
Ask yourself, what kinds of marketing am I currently using? Are you hanging up flyers in your town? Or maybe you just have your website and customers are able to find you online. If you’re doing both print and digital, consider yourself ahead of the game. If you haven’t yet started with marketing, this is an area you should focus on in the next couple of months.
So, what kind of advertising should you be doing? First, let’s dive into the differences of traditional and digital marketing and the benefits of each.
Traditional marketing refers to any type of marketing that isn’t online and has to target the audience through physical printed forms like magazines, newspaper ads, tv ads, radio ads, billboards, pamphlets, direct mail, and banners.
Traditional marketing is not only one of the oldest forms of marketing and although we’re in the digital age, most businesses still utilize some form of traditional marketing today. You encounter some sort of traditional marketing in your everyday life, whether it’s getting the mail or your daily newspaper, reading a sign on the top of a taxi cab or a billboard along the highway, or watching a commercial in the middle of the football game.
So what are the pros and cons of traditional marketing?
- Hyper-local reach: Traditional marketing plays an important part in reaching local
- Maintains a long “shelf life”: Printed advertising can be kept for a long period of time and give from one person to another. For example, if you mail post cards or magnets, those may be on refrigerators for some time, keeping you and your business in the back of their minds the next time they need a refinisher.
- Reach may be too broad: While traditional marketing does reach a broad range of potential customers, it’s also wasting a lot of time and money by reaching people who aren’t considered your target audience.
- Limited use: All your printed material can be used once only. For example, you distribute 500 flyers, how many of those 500 people are actually looking for a refinisher at that particular time? There is no way to find out. If you need to make an update or your phone number changed for example, you would have to print all new materials rather than making a quick update.
- High cost: Paying for local radio and tv ads can be very expensive. They can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars per seconds and minutes of advertising, and again, reaching a broad range of customers without being able to target those needing your refinishing services.
All in all, it’s a good idea to choose your traditional marketing wisely. It’s important for you to know and understand the best marketing choice for your business at that time and for the type of customers you are trying to target.
Digital marketing is referring to any marketing that uses electronic devices to convey messages. This typically refers to marketing that appear on a computer, tablet, phone, or other device and can take many forms including online video, display ads and social media posts.
We are living in a digital world where everything is just one click away. In this age, digital marketing has significantly altered the way businesses reach and communicate with their customers, but the processes are still very similar to successful traditional marketing efforts.
So what are the pros and cons of digital marketing?
- Ability to transform traditional marketing into digital: You more than likely already have a few traditional marketing campaigns going. The best part about that is, you already have done most of the work, now just turn it into a digital piece. Digital marketing is one of the best techniques which can boost your business.
- Saves you money and time: it’s much faster to post a digital ad than to run a printed ad in your local newspaper. On most social media platforms, you can start a digital marketing campaign as little as $5 and in less than 5 minutes.
- Ability to target your customers: You can select the target market you want to reach, by gender, age, location, and even by a persons’ hobby interests. You can also track each person that clicks the ad.
- Ability to make ongoing updates: You can change and edit that ad endlessly so you can retarget and remarket the ad at any time based on its performance. Your phone number changed? That will only take you a couple of clicks to update.
- The learning curve: The idea of digital marketing can be a little overwhelming if you don’t have a good idea of what it involves, especially if you haven’t even started to establish and online presence yet.
- Requires a lot of updates and monitoring: If you want your digital marketing to be highly effective, you can’t just create one ad then call it done. You should monitor its success, make any updates as needed, then continue to tailor your digital marketing to what’s working vs. not working.
All in all, both traditional and digital marketing have its pros and cons and there are benefits to each. Most small businesses do a mix of each type of marketing, and you should determine who your customers are and how they are finding you and your business to determine where to spend most of your marketing dollars.
In this “Market to Market” series, stay tuned for other blogs on marketing your services and how to reach more customers.