When you have your own business, one of the important decisions to make is how to effectively market it? To know the answer to this question you first need to ask yourself a set of important questions – What is the best way to hook the attention of the consumers? Is it through their smartphones? Is it through Television? Will email marketing do the job? Wow… that’s too many questions. So let’s just start from scratch. Let us first try to understand what is traditional marketing and internet marketing and the various factors that need to be considered.
What is Traditional Marketing?
Traditional marketing refers to the different ways of promotional activities or advertising techniques that businesses have been following for ages before the internet gained popularity. Some of the common traditional marketing methods that are still used today are:
- Print media such as magazines, newspapers, etc.
- Broadcasting media such as TV, radio, etc.
- Direct Mail catalogs, postcards, etc.
- Telemarketing & SMS marketing
- Outdoor marketing – billboards, flyers, etc.
What is Internet Marketing?
Internet marketing or online marketing which is commonly referred to as digital marketing in the business world includes all the marketing activities done online. Below are a few examples of digital marketing activities.
- Search Engine Optimization
- Pay per click Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Mobile Marketing
- Affiliate Marketing
Now to understand whether you must adopt traditional marketing or internet marketing or both, we first need to come to a conclusion based on the following questions
Who are your customers?
The nature of your consumers correlates to the nature of your business or the product you are selling. For example, if you own a sweet shop, your customer could be of any gender, age, ethnicity and so on. So you need to think of different ways to target a big customer base. Here the cheapest option for your business to reach your customers would be internet marketing. There are various organic ways of doing digital marketing wherein you won’t spend a single penny. All you need is access to the internet and choose the right platforms to do internet marketing. You could go for a traditional marketing method if you are running an offer or wish to announce the opening of your new business/ branch by distributing flyers in the neighborhood area.
Now let us assume you run a cafe and would like to attract a young crowd. The age of your target audience would be around 15 to 30 years. For these net-savvy youngsters, you can adopt internet marketing strategies such as display advertising, video ads, social media marketing, etc. The popular digital media platforms to target them are Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube.
If selling glucose monitor is your business, then your customers are in the age group of 35 to 65. This constitutes the middle-aged and senior citizens who are conscious of their health. Though this group spends their time on the net, they are not overly active online. Hence we must consider both the techniques fo marketing, but emphasize more on traditional marketing. One effective way to digitally market the product to them would be through video marketing which can be circulated on popular digital platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp. Instagram marketing is not popular among this age group and thus is not a good platform to market. For those who do not splurge their time on digital media can be targeted through traditional marketing methods such as print ads, flyers, etc. Partnering with businesses that share a parallel goal, such as pharmacies and health clinics in this example, will not only help in promoting your product but can help to build credibility.
Similarly, if you are targeting a professional audience or corporates then email marketing is a good choice. Also, telemarketing, SMS marketing or ads in the corporate section of print media can help to strike the deal. Hence, we can say in every business there is a possibility to use a mix of internet marketing and traditional marketing methods. The only trick is to know which methods of these marketing types are good for your business’s promotion.
What’s your reach?
If you are running a local business, then simple flyers or local SEO would do the trick. While the flyers need minor investment, performing Local SEO is free unless you are facing major competition. In that case, you can resort to PPC marketing to get superior visibility on search engines. One of the biggest benefits of internet marketing is that it is highly beneficial in marketing local businesses. SEO – which is an integral part of internet marketing is free when done organically.
If your reach is bigger at a city level or more, then under internet marketing you have options such as social media marketing, SEO and SEM. Here the traditional way of marketing may not give you the desired return on investment. Considering you have a humble budget it is better to opt for internet marketing over traditional marketing. Talking about budget, let’s move on to the next important question.
What is your budget?
It is favorable for big established companies to adopt traditional marketing methods because they can afford to have a big marketing budget. But when it comes to small companies and start-ups, they need to work with a tight budget. The more they can save on marketing the merrier. That’s where digital or internet marketing steals the show. It provides the newbie and small businesses various opportunities to target prospective customers with zero to a minimal budget.
It is a great decision to first try your free marketing skills and put in the efforts to do internet marketing in an organic way. Social media optimization and Search engine optimization will be two best friends while working with a small marketing budget.
If your budget is on the lavish side, then you have some great options in front of you that can help you achieve your business goals. While you can afford to invest in paid marketing be it in the form of traditional marketing or online marketing, you must not completely ignore the organic way of marketing.
What is your purpose?
Are you looking for customer engagement? Do you want to build a brand that leaves a lasting impression on consumer minds? If yes, then get on board with internet marketing. Traditional marketing is one way of communication. The companies give out their message and the audience listens or reads. Whereas in digital marketing there is a two-way interaction. Consumers can contact the business and have their issues addressed or provide feedback via social media comments or emails. Internet marketing also lets you build long-lasting relationships with customers by interacting with them via different digital platforms.
If your purpose is time-constraint, then paid forms of marketing will give you faster results. For example, you are having a sale for a festive season and have a very limited time to promote the offers, then broadcasting platforms such as television and radio are most effective, provided you have the capital for it. Also, taking other factors such as budget and customer type into consideration. if online marketing seems like a favorable option, then you must go for PPC marketing. It gives you the visibility your business needs and can send the message across a wide audience.
To arrive at the answer to ‘What is the best way for me to market my business?’, you need to analyze these 3 main factors –
- Who is your customer?
- What’s your reach?
- What is your budget?
- What is your purpose?
Of course, there could be several other factors depending on the type of business, but these 4 are the common factors that help you decide on a marketing strategy. Once you arrive at the data, you will be in a good position to decide if you must go for internet marketing or traditional marketing or both. In most of the examples discussed in this blog, we see that a marketing strategy that has both internet and traditional marketing techniques can benefit the business well. Traditional marketing is not dead yet but can be pricey and has its limitations. Thus, it is wiser in today’s scenario to give priority to digital marketing over traditional marketing.
Why Internet Marketing is preferred over Traditional Marketing?
- Internet Marketing is comparatively inexpensive. It can be done at no cost or with a modest budget.
- Internet Marketing provides real-time results. You can see how many people have viewed your ads or visited your website, what actions they have performed and so on.
- Traditional marketing media such as radio, magazines, etc. are enjoyed by fewer people today. Hence the ads on it are likely to go unnoticed.
- Internet marketing methods are non-intrusive when compared to traditional marketing methods wherein ads are just thrown at you and all you can do it wait for it to end. In Internet marketing, you have the choice to skip/close/ignore an ad.
- Internet marketing has higher exposure as it can be viewed by anyone all around the world whereas traditional marketing is limited to a particular location.
- Internet/online marketing suits all sizes of businesses, be it small, medium or large.
- Last but not least, almost everyone in this present digitally revolutionized world has access to the internet and spends a good amount of time online. Hence, it makes online an ideal place to target consumers.
If you would like to discover digital marketing further, we have some very insightful and interesting courses designed for you. To know more click here.
Thank you for reading.