What is digital marketing anyway? The world of marketing has changed dramatically over the past few years. Like every other industry, the internet has had its impact on how we market and it’s changed the dynamics significantly. Given all these changes, it’s now difficult for business owners to understand whether your focus should be on traditional marketing, digital marketing, or some semblance of both.
With any marketing, it’s important to come back to the fundamental problem we are attempting to solve. First, it’s a matter of awareness. The first thing we want our marketing to do is to make people aware—aware of our company, our products and services. The second thing we want our marketing to accomplish is to get them to take action—to get them to raise their hand and indicate that they are interested in what we have to offer.
So let’s take a look at both sides and see what they have to offer for the purpose of marketing your business.
Traditional marketing methods cover all of the marketing techniques that were used up until about 5 years ago and exclude anything online or electronic. Traditional marketing was filled with broadcast types of messaging where whoever screamed the loudest attracted the greatest attention. Tactics like direct mail ads, television advertising, print advertising in newspapers and magazines, and radio spots are all examples of traditional marketing methods.
The challenge with these types of marketing today is really getting the attention of your targeted prospect and then being able to measure it. Today, we are bombarded with messaging everywhere—billboards, lighted signs, window dressings, television, magazines and newspapers, etc, all struggling to get our attention.
But the attraction to these methods continues to change simply because of what’s happening with other technology. With the ability to fast-forward through commercials has changed how we watch TV and impacted the effectiveness of some of these methods.
Direct mail is what some might now call an old school marketing tactic because it relies on snail mail, but because of the ways we receive messages today, it’s actually an opportunity to differentiate. In this technology world, direct mail can deliver surprisingly effective results if done right.
Recently, Newsweek made a huge announcement as far as their digital marketing strategies go. They decided to forgo their printed publication in favor of a magazine that was purely digital. Was this decision extreme? Some people are saying it was. Others are saying that Newsweek is made up of a group of pioneers who will pave the way for other similar publications in the near future.
There’s no question digital marketing is effective. People rely on social media, email, search engines and smartphone apps for almost everything. In every city across the country, daily newspapers are facing huge challenges as a result of the digital world. As previously mentioned, live TV is being replaced by the DVR and on-demand programming, and traditional radio is being dropped in favor of commercial-free music programming. People want immediate satisfaction and want their information quickly, which is why Google has become a household name, and why social media relationships are growing in popularity.
As long as technology keeps changing, there will be innovation around traditional and digital marketing methods. Regardless of the medium or marketing tactic used, the single most important fundamental to remember is to understand your ideal client. If you understand your ideal client really well, you’ll know where they hang out and know what kinds of mediums are useful in reaching them.
It’s likely that reaching your ideal prospect is going to involve incorporating both traditional and digital efforts into your marketing action plan. In fact, from a lead generation perspective, recent studies indicate that some old-school tactics outperform many of the newer digital tactics as we discuss in this recent post about B2B lead generation.
If you find yourself confused about how to approach your marketing program because of all the recent changes and technology involved in marketing today, consider taking our no-obligation marketing audit. It will help you summarize your marketing efforts and we’ll review those details and give you some ideas for opportunities to improve those efforts.