The question of the day – will digital marketing replace traditional marketing? Well, let’s see.
Do you remember the last commercial you saw on TV? How about the last ad you saw in a newspaper or magazine?
Like many people, you may not be able to remember so easily. If you can, well done. That’s impressive.
Because the fact is, people are bombarded with so much advertising each day, that we naturally begin to tune it out. Or stop noticing it altogether.
Why is that? Well for one, most of the advertising you come across every day is not really targeted towards you. Meaning it doesn’t relate to you or speak to your specific needs.
However, every so often you’ll come across an ad that you like or can recall easily. Maybe you’ve even bought that advertisers product as a result. These ads were likely more targeted toward you. Meaning you are the intended audience.
But the fact is, most people ignore the traditional advertising they come across on a daily basis.
As a result, businesses and advertisers are often forced to adapt with a digital marketing strategy that more closely aligns with the behavior and purchase intent of the customers they hope to acquire.
Since advertisers can more narrowly target an audience for their product or service through digital marketing, this often leads to more qualified customers. This is why it’s such a good option to consider for small businesses.
Is Traditional Marketing Still Relevant?
For the last century or so, people have been exposed to any number of marketing and advertising messages. For the longest time (even today), these traditional media methods come in the form of:
- Newspaper ads
- Magazine ads
- TV Spots
Naturally, these media worked quite well because this is primarily how people used to learn about new products and services. They would see a commercial, hear about it on the radio, or read about it in the paper.
When it all Changed for Traditional Media
When mainstream use of the internet came around in the late ’90s and early 2000s, this is really when this dynamic began to change. Today, the use of the internet to research, learn and make a purchase decision is at an all time high. Around 82% to be exact.
With the use of online research, consumers don’t rely on advertisers as much to educate them on products or services. People will usually do their own research if they are interested. A quick Google search will usually give you enough results to the determine cost, description as well as reviews for any product that you might be interested in purchasing.
When you factor in the trend that print media is also on the decline, it may seem like traditional media is on it’s way out altogether. However, traditional media is not dead. It’s simply shifting and evolving.
How Traditional Media is Shifting
When you think about it, people still watch TV. But many people have opted to use streaming services instead such as Netflix or YouTube TV due to cost. With these changes in where viewers are watching, traditional methods must now shift to advertise to these consumers.
And here’s the kicker. Since streaming services often keep a watch history of your viewing preferences, advertisers can now show ads that are more likely to relate to you because of type of shows that you watch. So in a sense, traditional commercials are becoming more targeted than before.
With that being said, we do believe traditional marketing is still relevant.
So is Digital Marketing replacing Traditional Marketing?
Someday digital marketing may replace traditional marketing methods, but not right now. However, digital marketing is a necessary supplement to every marketing strategy.
The gap with traditional marketing is in the measureability of return on investment. Plenty of companies have found that their return is not nearly where it used to be when traditional marketing was the only option. Because of this, business owners are left wondering if they need to change things up with their marketing.
Prior to digital marketing, you knew if your advertising was working based on increased sales. This is still the primary indicator to determine if your marketing is working or not, but with digital media, you have much more useful data to improve your marketing based on insights.
You can tell how many people clicked through to your website, called your office or even made a purchase. In the past, advertisers didn’t have as much trackable data as today and were left to rely on viewership, impressions, and survey results to tell them how well their ads were performing.
So while digital marketing has been on the rise and continues to do so, traditional marketing is still a key component to reaching the masses and creating top of mind awareness and recall.
Digital Marketing Narrows in on Audience Targeting
With the changes that are constantly taking place in the marketing world, competition for customers continues to rise. As a result, advertisers need to become more focused on their target audience.
With tools such as Facebook detailed targeting, advertisers are able to much more easily and narrowly define their audience. From demographic data, to geographic location and interest levels, digital marketing and the use of social media offers a way to reach an audience that matches your ideal customer.
Advertisers simply were not able to segment audiences like this in the past without having overlap of unintended audiences. Now, they can. Meaning businesses can show ads only to the people who make sense to use their product of service, while excluding unintended audiences.
With advertising tools offered by Google and Facebook ads, it’s much easier to reach the people you want to. In doing so, budgets are often spent more efficiently.
Because of this, digital marketing is a great option for companies that are limited in budget.
Big businesses still use traditional advertising such as TV, radio and print. But this is because they know the primary benefit is reach and awareness. Competition is fierce, even among the big guys.
Benefits of a Digital Marketing Agency
If you’ve decided that you want to leverage digital marketing for your business, but not sure where to start, a digital marketing agency can help. A digital marketing agency is able to look at your business goals and provide recommendations on how to advertise your business online as well as how to improve your company’s online presence.
This way you are getting maximum exposure for your company, while using your marketing budget efficiently to reach your goals.
Branchleaf Digital is a web hosting and digital solutions company based in San Antonio. We have worked with clients to help improve their overall online presence and increase their business a result. If you are interested in growing your own business online, please contact us.