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  • Aleandro

Traditional vs Digital Marketing

The current state of play

As entrepreneurs, businesspeople, and marketers, we have a wide selection of marketing platforms to choose from to spread our message. Over the last decade or decade and a half, we have witnessed the rise of technology. This ever-changing phenomenon has transformed the way we communicate with each other and with potential customers.

Before the age of social media, google and youtube, marketers made use of television, radio, printed media, word-of-mouth, and vehicle wraps just to name a few platforms. These mediums of communication in promotion and marketing terms however have seen their popularity decline. This is not to say that they are not being used anymore, far from it, but marketers nowadays are recognising that congregations of fans, followers, and customers are being assembled online.

We now live in a global society. No longer are we exclusively subjected to news, products, and services supplied by local organisations. Thanks to the internet, we are now living in one giant global society with access to millions of products at our fingertips. From behind a keyboard, one can find out what packaged food is being offered in an Italian supermarket, irrespective if they live in Milan or Australia!

And what happens when a new society is created? What natural phenomenon exists in every society on planet earth? We mentioned this in passing above, congregations! Since the beginning of the internet, people have found others like them who love a certain celebrity, like a certain sport, support a certain team, follow a certain idealogy, etc.

Before the age of Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, but even today, people usually met on fora and chat groups to discuss whatever was going on in their small group. Before the arrival of online advertising, marketers did not have the luxury of directly targeting people in their target market or segment.

Targeting could only be achieved by advertising and putting promotional spots on TV and radio during programs with demographic audiences matching their market. And even then, they did not have any guarantees that the message was being delivered and they had very limited resources for founding out where their traffic was being generated from.

But do you see the difference between the ‘traditional’ and more ‘old-school’ way of doing marketing, and the new, innovative, technology-based platforms in use today? In the next section, we will discuss the massive differences between the two and point out some facts that make digital and internet marketing a winner over the more traditional method.

Marketing on the internet - the winning formula?

Back in 1995, when the first network was introduced to the world, no one could imagine the power a few cables would have 20 years down the line. The moment the first computers became connected, and hence, when the internet was live, that moment changed the world forever. It changed business forever, it changed lives forever and it changed storytelling forever.

Why do I mention storytelling here? There is a simple reason for this but which I think is quite often overlooked by businesses and entrepreneurs when devising their marketing strategy. As human beings, we have a huge desire in our innate nature to learn about our past, to read about the histories of men and women that came before us and how they paved the way for us today. We simply relate to their stories, their adventures, their ups, their down, their tribulations and their triumphs.

See, every person in the world, every business in the world, every entrepreneur and every customer has their own story to tell. The trick is, however, that not every person in the world is triggered by the same story or the same type of communication.

For example, someone could like history but they learn and do research by watching documentaries; so a video-based medium. Another historical researcher might prefer the written word, and so they track down the oldest of manuscripts to learn about history. Aren’t they both passionate? Aren’t they both curious and fans of history? Of course, they are!

Just like those two researchers prefer using different mediums to learn, customers and potential customers in different stages of the buying process are triggered and hooked by different stories and different advertising methods.

Marketing, and this cannot be stressed enough, is all about storytelling. It is all about telling your story, your business’s story, and your brand story; and everything in between! Here is where digital marketing wins the game.

See, traditional marketing methods provide few, if any, opportunities to tell an engaging story. This is particularly true for print, radio and billboard advertising. Storytelling space on these platforms is virtually non-existent. And what did we say customers (as human beings) relate to? They react to stories. Television is a bit different in that it allows for longer promotions to be aired.

But then again, marketers face the reality that their audience can switch channels instantly if they got bored of watching advertisements. So although TV is a better medium to sell a product through a story, it still faces the very real problem of audience fatigue. This is a painful truth especially if the marketer or entrepreneur has paid handsomely for their ad to be displayed during programs watched by their target audience.

And there is another real problem for traditional advertising real estate. Television channels, radio channels, printed magazines or newspapers, charge big fees to display ads on their media. Even though ads may be prominently displayed, a business would still be competing with another ad just three pages or just a few seconds after its own.

This makes it even more difficult to stand out and more difficult to grab a reader’s, listener’s or viewer’s attention. Recent studies suggest that the average attention span of people is 7 seconds. 7 seconds!

Imagine running a 30 second commercial on TV, printing an ad in a newspaper among 10 other placements, or running a 15 second commercial on the radio during a 3-minute break! What are the chances that people will remember your ad or that you will stand out enough to be remembered?

So what tools make digital marketing the go-to option nowadays? And why does it win the game? For starters, by using the internet effectively and leveraging channels across the internet, you have an advantage over competitors who are just using traditional methods or are using the internet sparingly and incorrectly.

Competitive advantage is created because you would be telling the story behind your business. This makes people want to listen, and when people listen and relate, they are more likely to pay attention. When you have their attention, you can then propose the solution you have for them.

By using multiple channels across the internet, you will be adapting to your audience’s different needs as we highlighted with the historian example - some people prefer the written word while others prefer to consume advertising through visual versions.

Secondly, internet marketing gives the tools which traditional marketing does not, or if it does, to a very limited extent. For example, we mentioned TV commercials being aired at certain times to target specific demographics. Although the intention is to actually reach people in the target market, this is not guaranteed to happen. And even if it does, one runs the risk of their ad being skipped in favour of another channel.

Radio ads have the same problem. Print on the other hand has no targeting whatsoever unless you are running ads in niche newspapers and magazines. Here, no targeting is present and the ad is sent to the entire population.

Online advertising gives you a full suite of targeting options. Channels like Facebook, google and youtube, for example, have massive targeting power in their advertising setup. Without using targeted marketing, you would basically be fishing in a pond with a shotgun; shooting randomly trying to hit and catch a couple of fish.

Targeting, on the other hand, would see you putting bait on a fishing rod, and lowering the rod in the area of the pond which you know is guaranteed to hold the fish you are looking for. That is where congregations come into play! Facebook, Google and others have made it easier for marketers to pinpoint the exact location where their target audience is.

Last but not least, communication is made simpler with internet marketing. For example, websites, landing pages, google search, youtube and funnels all present massive opportunities for businesses to communicate faster with their target market. Not only that, but online selling has transformed the way people purchase.

Funnels and commerce stores provide a gateway to unlimited income as they can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Funnels, especially, are the new breed of websites and landing pages. They give entrepreneurs and marketers a platform where they can generate a lead, tell a story to raise interest and then make their audience an offer - all with a few clicks! The possibilities are truly endless.

The Bottom Line

The internet and digital media has transformed the world and transformed how businesses can get access to potential clients. A good marketing campaign, therefore, should have the following:

  • Built on a number of digital platforms, not one

  • Showcases the brand story

  • Sparks curiosity

  • Raises interest through emotions

  • Makes an offer to the audience

A marketing campaign will be successful if it follows the path outlined above. Why? Because everything in marketing is built around one solid foundation - storytelling.

If you tell the correct story, to the correct audience using the correct tone, at the correct time, you are bound for success. That is because people will relate to you, will listen to you and will eventually turn into loyal customers - who are the lifeblood of any business!

Get in touch with us for any help or clarifications on the above information. The above information, although based on research and experience, is subjective, and we believe that every business is unique and should approach marketing in a unique way designed for its needs.

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