A New Age: The Journey From Traditional To Digital Marketing

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    As many things evolve over time like technology, social trends and human behaviour, marketing follows a similar path of evolution as it is dependent on the aforementioned variables. 

    Since how we communicate, people’s interests and the requirements to make people listen changed over time, marketing evolved from posters and billboards to television and radio advertisements to social media and blogging, which make up what we now call content marketing. 

    Content marketing is the creation and sharing of online content like videos, blogs, social media posts to not explicitly promote a brand, rather to generate interest in its products or services  — a tactic that is very different from traditional methods. 

    In this article, we aim to discuss the differences between traditional and modern marketing strategies by delving into the following:

    • Then: What is traditional marketing?
    • Now: What is digital marketing?  
    • Is traditional marketing still important? 

    Then: What Is Traditional Marketing?

    Traditional marketing refers to marketing that isn’t online. Print, direct mail, phone, billboards, posters, newspaper ads, television and radio broadcasts make up what we know to be traditional methods of marketing. 

    These traditional methods primarily consist of outbound marketing, which is a type of marketing that interrupts consumers. It distracts people from what they are initially thinking, talking or focused on, only to have a few minutes to watch, listen or look at an ad promoting a product, service or business. 

    A big upside to traditional marketing, depending on how you strategize your ad campaign, can make thousands to millions of people receive your message instantly, sometimes all at the same time too. However, depending on who your target audience is, not everybody who receives your message is the right audience for you. This means you have to be sure you are using a channel, medium or network that your audience is also tuned into, otherwise you utilize a very expensive marketing tactic that can easily be ineffective due to careless planning. 

    Now: What Is Digital Marketing?

    Digital marketing is the use of paid ads, organic posts, email marketing, influencer marketing, videos and podcasts to promote a brand or generate interest in their products and services. As much as digital marketing has been more popular lately, causing businesses to spend more money on it than traditional methods, it has been around for quite some time. 

    From 1995 to 1997, Internet users started searching for information, products and services they wanted. This change in consumer behaviour made marketers find ways to be visible on search engines, and made Google find better ways to serve the needs of customers using their platform. It was around this time the word “Search Engine Optimization” or SEO started gaining traction and by 1998, Google introduced PageRank — a metric system that determines how websites should rank. 

    By the early 2000s, PPC or pay-per-click along with Adwords began to help give marketers guaranteed ways to be more visible on searches, and shortly after Google Analytics arrived to help measure and track the success of a business’s online efforts. 

    Unlike traditional, outbound marketing strategies, digital marketing is more closely associated with inbound marketing, which is the type of marketing that doesn’t speak at people rather speaks with the people. Digital, inbound marketing puts a greater emphasis on data sharing, user-centric design and collaboration, which offers consumers a new way to engage with brands. Unlike its outbound counterpart, inbound marketers don’t push advertising at consumers online but create value for their brands by finding ways to meaningfully connect with customers.  

    Not only is this approach more beneficial for the consumer, it also greatly benefits businesses as inbound marketing costs 62 per cent less than outbound marketing efforts. 

    By 2012, over 40 per cent of businesses reported to gain customers through channels like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and company blogs. This also led businesses to increase their social media budget by 64 per cent.  

    In 2017, Impact Plus reported that 43 per cent of digital marketers say social media is one of their most effective tactics, whereas 84 per cent of CEOs and VPs say social media helps them make a purchasing decision. 

    Organizations utilizing inbound marketing methods also have the benefit of experiencing a 61 per cent lower cost per lead than organizations that use outbound marketing tactics.

    Is Traditional Marketing Still Important?

    Although inbound marketing delivers better results to businesses, this does not mean there is no use for outbound methods. Expensive campaigns like TV, radio or online video ads can still be beneficial if an organization has the budget to support these marketing strategies. Digital, print and newspaper ads are less costly and can still do the work of increasing brand awareness when you need it. 

    Overall, outbound marketing is still beneficial in support of inbound strategies. Having a mix of both gives you a wholesome strategy to implement and refine according to the ever-changing needs of your business. 

    There are many digital marketing programs that can help you learn how to effectively market brands. The demand for SEO specialists and other digital marketers are on the rise, so it could be worth looking into pursuing a career in these professions.

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