Is digital marketing just the cheap version of marketing?

You’ve probably had that thought at some point in time, that digital marketing is just the budget-friendly version of traditional marketing (which often comes at an exorbitant cost!).

If that were the case, then when would it stop being called ‘digital marketing’ and just become… marketing? Is traditional marketing on its way out?

By all accounts, no. It’s not. Offline marketing is still to be seen in the five main categories, namely: Print, Broadcast, Direct Mail, Telephone, and Billboards. There are definitely some outdated marketing techniques, but some of the oldest marketing concepts are still applicable today.

Even if you don’t have a commerce degree, you’ve probably heard about the 4 P’s of Marketing: Product, Price, Place, Promotion. These 4 P’s are used to create a sales funnel. Tried and tested! Let’s put that in the pros list.

… Wait. Go back. Did we say funnel?

Yup. A funnel has been around long before GrooveFunnelsTM Software or any other internet marketing software – as we’re sure many of the sales gurus have been yelling from the rooftops.

Why all the buzz around funnels?
You’ve got your ideal, high quality product. You’ve found your well-researched, appropriate market. Surely your business is ready to succeed?

Apparently not.

As many business owners can attest, you need to find a way to effectively leverage a marketing strategy to convert your target market into paying customers.

That’s where a funnel comes in.

So, when faced with selecting the right marketing techniques for your business to succeed, what exactly is the difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing? Do you go for digital marketing just because everything seems to be online these days?

Traditional marketing has its place

The first, and obvious, downside of offline marketing is the cost. It yields favorable results for established brands – who often use their offline marketing as a means of complimenting their online marketing strategies. “Why not do both?”, asked the giant corporation.

Another problem with traditional marketing is the lack of interaction with your customers and the chosen medium. It’s a one-way communication method that only allows for businesses to speak to the consumer by grabbing their attention.

If a customer gets an unsolicited flier in their mailbox and they happen to find it to be a brilliant advert (pro tip: they won’t), then that’s the end of it. They won’t share the flier with their friends and neighbours, or go to the post office and mail off a letter describing how hard they laughed.

But if the same funny graphic was shared on social media, then they would share it on their feed, or comment with laughing emojis.

That’s the power of digital marketing; the fact that consumers are able to have a direct line of two-way communication with brands, in real time, as events unfold.

A sign for jerky
What qualifies as digital marketing?

Any and all forms of marketing that happens on the internet.

That’s it – that’s all you need to do. This includes emails, social media posts, paid online ads, SEO, PPC, influencer marketing, affiliate marketing, content marketing, and more!

For all it’s bad qualities, one of the most redeeming qualities about the internet is that it creates a space for the small players to outshine the bigger ones. Even with a tiny marketing budget, the internet is a goldmine of potential for creative minds. And let’s be real, when we have a tight budget then creativity is at an all-time high.

With the use of optimization tools, you can easily generate leads online. And not just any leads, you can reach already qualified leads which means you get an even higher ROI.

Remember the person with the imaginary hilarious flier? Well, in the digital marketing version of that, their feedback and engagement is recorded for analytics and algorithms. As a company, you’ll have real time feedback on the ad performance – and complete control to make changes as necessary.

Where to put your money?

Well, you wouldn’t need us to tell you that it’s an ongoing debate. In terms of risk, digital marketing will get you the most bang for your buck. And as the algorithms get smarter and the software gets more sophisticated, digital marketing offers businesses an affordable medium for generating qualified leads. It would be somewhat of a missed opportunity if you failed to give it a go.

At the same time, traditional marketing channels can yield favorable results – that’s why it’s still around.

All that to say, it would depend on whether or not a particular marketing strategy is best suited to the needs of your business. Traditional marketing is still very much part of our everyday lives so if you find that would be the best strategy then, by all means, go for it.

Generally speaking, it’s likely that the vast majority of small to medium businesses would make far better use of that budget on digital marketing channels. You don’t need to be a digital marketing guru to get started and connect with customers. But ultimately, instead of asking which of the two you should opt for, rather ask how you can most effectively use the one which you do opt for!