The internet is having an ever-increasing impact on all of us. We shop online, we read the news online, we live large parts of our lives through social media, we can even go to school online. So, it’s logical then to also market your business online. But how exactly can digital marketing benefit your business? What sets it apart from traditional marketing techniques?
Let’s start off by defining the concept of marketing. Marketing expert Philip Kotler defines marketing as “the science and art of exploring, creating and delivering value to satisfy the need of a target market at a profit. Marketing identifies unfulfilled needs and desires. It defines, measures and quantifies the size of the identified market and the profit potential. It pinpoints which segments the company is capable of serving best and it designs and promotes the appropriate products and services.”
So, marketing is much more sales and advertising. Rather, marketing refers to all the activities that go into making a product or service attractive to potential customers. Aside from advertising and sales, the marketing process thus also includes things such as branding, which is the practice of creating a unique name and image for your product, thereby differentiating it from other products, as well as customer service.
There are countless ways of marketing products and services. Traditional marketing methods include print advertisements, such as newspaper ads, billboards and flyers, as well as television commercials and radio spots. Digital or online marketing methods, which are becoming increasing popular, include websites, ads on social media, YouTube videos and search engine optimization (SEO), among many others.
While the aim of traditional and digital marketing strategies is very similar, namely to attract potential customers and consequently to generate profits, there is on significant difference in the way in which they try to achieve this goal. Whereas traditional marketing is outbound, meaning businesses initiate the conversation by sending a message to an audience, the goal of digital marketing is opposite, namely for people to find the business. Businesses post content and advertisements, which people can find through search engines and on social media platforms. The greater your company’s online presence, the greater your visibility and the greater the chance people will find and remember you.
So, with this new approach to attracting customers, what benefits does digital marketing have that traditional marketing does not?
- Greater exposure
Traditionally, it was possible to quite effectively reach a local audience. Digital marketing, however, now enables business to reach people all over the world, 24 hours a day. Using traditional marketing techniques, reaching a worldwide audience would cost a fortune. Moreover, on social media there is always the possibility for content to go viral, which gives your business amazing exposure without any extra effort or costs whatsoever.
As the image below shows, digital marketing can save your company lots of money.
Source: Digital Resource
- Easy to measure
Through tools such as Google Analytics, it is easy to keep track of the traffic to your website as well as conversion rates, among other things, and you can adapt your marketing strategies accordingly. Tools such as these provide great insight into the effectiveness of your digital marketing campaigns.
- Customer engagement
Traditional marketing tends to be uni-directional. On the internet, however, communication goes both ways and digital marketing can be very interactive. Consumers can ‘like’, ‘share’, ‘follow’ ‘retweet’ and comment on social media, as well as review your products and servies. Digital marketing thus enables potential customers to easily engage with your business, while simultaneously giving you more publicity. Moreover, digital marketing is less intrusive than traditional marketing. Individuals can choose to opt in or out of newsletters and they can hide your Facebook posts, if these do not interest them.
- Easily refine strategies
Traditional marketing campaigns often take a long time to develop and are expensive. You cannot simply decide overnight to take a different course of action if your campaign does not seem to be working. Conversely, if your digital marketing campaign seems to be ineffective, you can just change your strategies. It is easy to post different types of content on social media or to update the design of your website, for instance. Online, there is always room for adjustment.
- Greater brand development
Branding can be defined as “the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.” This is much easier to do online than offline. Your website is a very important part of your brand and so are your social media channels. Both are accessible day and night and are the face of your business in the digital world.
- Level playing field
Finally, the internet has made it so much easier for small businesses to compete with larger organizations. Traditionally, smaller businesses generally did not have the resources to organize marketing campaigners with as a great a reach as those of larger businesses. Through digital marketing, however, while large businesses still tend to have some advantages, particularly in terms of human resources, as long as you have a well-thought out, comprehensive marketing strategy and a good-looking, properly working website, all business have a chance. The internet does not discriminate.
Are you looking for support with developing or executing digital marketing strategies? Enablecode can help. Our services include, but are not limited to search engine optimization and social media marketing. Contact us to see what we can do for you!
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