Adopting the right marketing strategy is essential to the success of a company. Whether you're a small business owner or the marketing manager in a large firm, you're bound to have encountered the debate over whether digital, online marketing is more effective than traditional, offline marketing. More and more companies are choosing to go the online marketing route as opposed to engaging in traditional/offline marketing strategies, so what makes this option such an attractive one?
What does Online Marketing Have Over Offline Marketing?
Online marketing has 10 main advantages over offline marketing:
- Reduced costs: It's more cost effective because advertising on the internet or sending emails costs significantly less than having an advert played on television or sending catalogs by post, for example.
- Immediate conversion: Customers can easily click on an advert directing to your website where they can make an immediate purchase, unlike when they hear an advert on the radio, for example.
- Tracking and measurement: Online analytic tools allow for precise measurement of just how effective an online marketing strategy is. For example, you can measure how many times a link was clicked and which adverts were most successful in which online locations.
- Adaptability: Unlike a leaflet or poster, an online marketing campaign can easily be changed mid-way to either adjust to public opinion or to take advantage of an unforeseen opportunity.
- Specific demographic targeting: It makes it easier to target very specific demographics and can help to identify a very precise target group in order to make marketing campaigns more effective.
- Wider audience: A business can gain much more exposure on the internet as opposed to advertising on television and radio stations that may only be available in specific areas and may only be viewed by/listened to by a relatively small group of people.
- Less Intrusion: Many people are put off by unsolicited phone calls, emails or letters/catalogs in the mail. Online marketing is a less intrusive option because it allows for potential customers to access information that is relevant to their needs.
- More efficient communication with potential customers: When potential customers sign up for a business newsletter for example, a business can easily and quickly send out any new information that they would like their potential customers to be aware of (for example, new products, sales, etc.).
- Brand development: Personalised email marketing, a well designed website with high quality content, as well as an active presence on social media networks can help to solidify a brand's image and to secure consumer loyalty.
- Potential to go viral: Social media can facilitate quick and easy information sharing. Unlike an advert on the television or a paper pamphlet, an online marketing campaign can be shared by millions of people within minutes!
Do You Have To Stick To One Marketing Strategy?
In today's world of growing technological advances that continuously provide exciting new marketing methods, it's easy to dismiss traditional marketing altogether. Offline marketing can however, still prove to be beneficial to businesses whose target audience may not have access to the internet, as well as to businesses offering products that a consumer may want to physically test out before making a purchase. The face-to-face interaction that traditional marketing offers is still often a crucial part of high value transactions, as well as services that tend to be relationship based.
In short, while online marketing has some significant benefits over traditional marketing, traditional marketing should not be underestimated or completely dismissed. Some types of businesses do well to stick strictly to online marketing, others could benefit from adopting a combination of the two strategies - the type of business, the type of services/products it offers, as well as its target audience need to be carefully considered in the making of this decision.