Is Online Marketing Better than Traditional Marketing?
I was recently in a debate with a close friend about marketing. He is convinced that the only way to truly market his business in online. Unfortunately he is wrong! They both have major pros but they do have some cons. It is very easy to get comfortable with how you are marketing. Traditional marketing has been around for years and for some of us we have a hard time seeing outside the box. In today's digital age everything is instant, and people want to have instant gratification. Having a reputable online existence and exposure will definitely make your small business flourish. If you are still trying to figure out which way to go I recommend doing both.
What is Traditional Marketing?
Traditional marketing consists of word of mouth or referrals, print media, broadcast media, direct mailers, and telemarketing. These have been around forever. These are normally everyone’s go to because they have be proven to create leads and revenue. The traditional method will target everyone. The younger and older generations will be reached. It also gives the prospective customer something solid they can hold. Most times people like to have a hard copy to read over and understand.
Now there are some cons to traditional marketing. The main con is that it costs money. Ads on television can cost $400,000 for every 30 seconds! Realistically this is out of reach for most small businesses. Newspapers can be expensive as well, it can range anywhere between $100 to $1000 for just one issue of the paper. Traditional marketing is about 3x more expensive than digital.
It is also very hard to track your results. I compare it to playing a slot machine you can put money in and hope that when you spin the reels you land on 7’s. It is not reliable. You may get some new business but you won't know where they came from.
It can also feel forced and one way. Basically you are reaching out to prospective clients and hoping they dont throw your mailer in the junk pile. This also doesn't allow for engagement with your customers. It is also very limited as to who you can market to. You will be marketing locally and not as broad as you could be. Not to mention not very cost effective for small businesses.
What is Online Marketing?
When you market your business online that is called digital marketing. There are plenty of pros to this. You can reach a lot more people plus its a heck of a lot cheaper. This includes multiple channels so that your soon to be and current customers can pick their favorite way to receive your information.
With social media, emails and comments you can engage your following. This will help your followers learn about your company but also learn about you as an owner. This will help build your company sales flow and attract new customers.
One of the best things about digital marketing is the fact that you can track your results. Doing this you will be able to visually see what is working and what isn't. This way you will not be wasting money on marketing that doesn't show any results.
With every good thing that digital marketing offers there are some cons. Perfect example digital marketing is time consuming. You need the knowledge and experience of the web to do this efficiently However these are easily manageable with a professional marketing company. This will also help free up your time while still bringing in the sales flow you are looking for.
Both traditional and digital marketing have its pros and cons. However digital marketing is actually proven to hit more consumers at a cost saving level. As a small business owner you may be leary about changing your marketing habits. Just know there is great potential in what the web has to offer. Once you start marketing digitally you will be shocked at the results. Now you know the pros and cons of both. If you are small business with a tight budget for marketing then I highly recommend doing all of your marketing online. If your budget is bigger than by all means do both, but have the majority of your marketing dollars go towards digital. One last thing if you decide to do digital marketing make sure you have your conversation tracking system set up that way you can measure results from different channels.