Here’s a fact: marketing is one of the few aspects of business life that you literally cannot afford to ignore. Within every industry, businesses set aside an entire budget dedicated to marketing efforts. But that’s only a fraction of the battle; next comes questions like, “what kind of marketing should we invest in?”
The information age came quickly, and with it, new avenues of potential marketing. This can often leave a lot of businesses feeling overwhelmed by new techniques. So today I want to discuss the potential benefits of going digital.
First, what is marketing? Any business owner knows the simple definition. It’s the act of connecting with customers in a bid to convince them towards purchasing a service or product. It’s basically sales, on a grand level. When it comes to sales, consider traditional marketing vs a “salespeople.” Traditional marketing, like TV spots, ads, flyers, radio advertisements, or billboards are all directed at a mass public – marketers are throwing a message at a wall and seeing what sticks with people. The hope here is that there’s a specific demographic that sees the message, understand the call to action, and comes through with purchasing a product. This is referred to as “return on investment” or ROI. The benefit here is that marketing can reach a large number of people, with the obvious downside of being ineffective to a potentially large number of them.
On the other hand, effective salespeople can work directly with customers, in a one-on-one setting, to understand their wants and needs, and strategically position the product in an enticing way. The benefit here is that most customers respond better to a personalized approach. The downside is there can be a lot of downtime for the traditional “salesperson” position.
But what if there was a way to combine the best parts of both of these tactics?
Welcome to digital marketing. The world is in a digital information age, where the majority of our nation is spending increasingly larger amounts of time connected online. Businesses have the ability to leverage this opportunity to talk directly to their customers and clients in ways never before possible. Let’s talk about a few of the benefits…
Traditional marketing is burdened with a high cost of investment. According to grasshopper.com, the national average cost for a billboard is up to $23,000 per 4 weeks. And did you know that a 30 second commercial during the Super Bowl costs $5 million? Digital marketing offers a more affordable alternative to the traditional model. At a fraction of that cost, a digital marketing agency can take your message (and help you create one if you don’t have a great message), and spread it wider and further than traditional marketing ever could. The best part? It’s completely scalable up or down to fit your budget as you grow.
We talked briefly about return on investment. No amount of marketing will matter if your return doesn’t outweigh your initial financial investment. Advertising, pay-per-click, and PR (public relations) campaigns offer ways to tailor a message, distribute it to the right people at the right time, and earn a trackable return on a low initial investment cost.
Your next question should be, “does digital marketing suffer from the same ‘throw against a wall and see what sticks’ model of traditional marketing?” Good question. The answer is simply, no. But how you ask? Digital marketers have methods of directly targeting users who would be highly probable of making a purchase. This is done through historical search trends, purchase history, or preferences that are known about that person and accessible to the world now. The idea here is to get your message in front of the right person, at the right time – instead of shotgunning your message to thousands of people while keeping your fingers crossed.
The success of any campaign lies within its ROI, but how do we measure that? With traditional marketing, you can put up an advertisement in a magazine and see your sales increase or decrease that month. Sometimes you can attribute it to that advertisement, but unless you directly ask your clients, you don’t really know for sure if that was the cause. Digital marketing allows you to track every aspect of an advertisement through performance trackers based on consumers actions. Whose clicking your ad? How many of them are converting? What words are most effective? What words are the least effective? What if there was a way to combine the best attributes of all of your best ads into one superpowered ad? Welcome to digital marketing.
Trying to adjust a printed ad campaign is… difficult, expensive, and usually requires a great deal of patience. The knowledge of ad performance informs business decisions on how to proceed. For example, A/B testing lets your business put up two similar, yet competing ads. (Think of us like mad data scientists) Whichever ad does worse gets adjusted and sent back out. Your digital marketing company will keep doing this as often as possible: being able to adjust your ad is one of the benefits of not having a hard printed ad, TV spot, or radio commercial.
Most digital marketing channels allow users to share content. In the industry, this is referred to as earned media or growth hacking. If your content is captivating, witty, or compelling enough, you can count on users to like, comment, and share your information to their circles and networks. See, not all hackers are evil.
The key to staying relevant and keeping customers engaged is evolving with your customers, and here’s the reality: most customers are going digital. In fact, I can’t think of a single benefit of traditional marketing that outweighs digital marketing. Can you? Let us know below!