Digital marketing, or as it’s being called these days, inbound marketing is the new hot word in the market. But what is it exactly? And how does it differ from traditional marketing or rather outbound marketing?
Traditional marketing includes everything; from TV commercials to billboard and newspaper ads to direct emails. Basically, everything that’s been around since ‘forever’. Digital, on the other hand, is the new rising star, slowly and subtly erasing the ground of the former. It boasts of fancy words like SEO, SMM, lead generation, webinars, blogging and so on.
“The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow.” – Bill Gates
It’s true that Digital is ushering in a new era of marketing. At the same time, it’s equally true that Traditional has stood the test of time. So what’s the best way out.
Let’s br-br-break down both Traditional and Digital Marketing …
Company VS Customer
Traditional marketing caters to the company’s needs. It tries to sell what the company wants to sell and not what the customer needs. It doesn’t care whether the potential buyer is ready or not, it shoves its products in their brains.
Digital marketing, however, is a gradual process of nurturing a viewer to a customer, at their individual pace. It usually offers a solution to people’s problems, thereby building trust and engaging prospective buyers.
Interruption VS Permission
Traditional marketing is (literally) like a jarring TV commercial about some ‘pan-masala’ in the middle of your favorite show. No wonder, people tend to find it annoying as it intrudes in their personal lives with great hullabaloo. According to Mashable, 84% of 25-to-34-year-olds have left a favorite website because of intrusive or irrelevant advertising and 86% of people skip television ads.
Digital marketing is more careful. It seeks out customers in an environment where it has been granted permission by them like blog subscribers or subscription-based emails. Though it targets a significantly less number of people, since the audience is friendlier, it tends to yield better results.
‘One-Size Fits It All’ VS Personalised
Since Digital is permission-based, it offers a more personalized and satisfying experience to customers. While the Traditional, it treats a teenage boy and a working lady just the same. It tries to sell the same thing to all sorts of people, disregarding the diversity of needs and wants. This is a major stumbling block as it leads to wastage of resources without any provision of significant gains.
Custom Content Council reveals that 61% of consumers say that since they feel better about a company that delivers custom content. They are also more likely to buy from that company.
Rigid VS Interactive
Digital marketing gives the platform for tête-à-tête between the company and the customer via blogs, social media, and online polls. A real conversation cannot certainly take place with a billboard!
According to a Forbes survey, 62% of adults born between the 1980s and the year 2000 say that if a brand engages with them on social networks, they are more likely to become a loyal customer. And only 1% of the same group say they trust what a brand tells them in a commercial.
Quick VS Gradual
If devised and implemented correctly, Traditional marketing has the potential to provide quick gains. Swiftness in attracting customers is perhaps its biggest strength. Digital marketing, on the other hand, is a slower process and demands sustained and long-time efforts.
Promotional VS Problem-solving
Traditional marketing is about openly promoting your brand. Digital marketing is a subtle way of promotion. It works through the premise of helping people with their problems, by answering questions that they are asking. It provides prospective buyers value and is educational.
Thus it helps in building a healthy and mutually-beneficial relationship with the people.
Short-term VS Long-term
Traditional marketing usually demands a lot of money and as the monetary flow ceases, so do the benefits. Whereas investing in Digital marketing is akin to investing in some asset, whose value increases at a faster pace than the costs of maintenance.
Traditional involves a plethora of expenses like printing, mailing, not to mention the high production costs. The advent of technology like caller IDs, spam filters and Adblock spells bad news for outbound. It makes traditional advertising even more difficult and expensive. People continue to find ingenious ways to avoid annoying ads.
Mashable says that 3 out of 4 Digital marketing channels, namely, blogs, social media and SEO cost less than any Traditional platforms.
“Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, build on to that which is already excellent.”
― Auliq Ice
Even though inbound stands out as a virtual winner, in the end, there is no one-size-fits-it-all solution. Though an inclination towards Digital Marketing is a need in today’s world, it might be unwise to completely write off outbound. Businesses need to analyze, introspect, research, test and decide which path to take.
Both Digital and Traditional Marketing are if implemented wisely, effective on their own and as a combination. More often than not, an approach mixing the two in the right way and proportion is the answer. The key is to let the synergy between the two work its magic.