Are Digital Marketing and Traditional Marketing the Same?

The Great Digital Marketing Debate

 The Marketing Process Defined

If you asked five marketing agencies what they thought marketing was, you would get five different answers. I prefer to use a definition written by Mindy Lilyquist of TheBalance.com. She defines traditional marketing as:

Marketing is essentially anything you do to promote your business to entice customers and clients to buy from you, including advertising, publicity, sales, merchandising, and distribution.

Is Digital Marketing Different than Traditional?

Yes and No.  Here’s what I mean, the same marketing concepts apply, such as the marketing mix, but where they are used (offline vs. online) is completely different.  Theoretically, there is no difference between the two, except that digital marketing uses the power of the web to achieve success and can be measured, then adjusted in real-time.

Difference Between Traditional & Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is basically using traditional marketing concepts to connect with potential customers through the use of the Internet. In traditional marketing you would generally use offline resources such as Television, print, radio and outside display (billboards) to connect with potential customers.  Digital marketing would use online resources often referred to as digital channels to engage with customers, which offers several advantages over traditional marketing techniques.

What are Digital Channels?

That connection with potential customers I mentioned above, is made by utilizing the digital channels that apply to your target market and your business. Digital channels are the online resources or tools that are available to you. For example, if you ask most industry experts what are the best digital channels for marketing, they would most likely mention many of the ones listed below:

  • Your Website
  • Email Marketing
  • Video Marketing
  • Social Media
  • Content Marketing (by leveraging SEO)
  • Paid Search
  • Mobile Marketing

Note: Mobile phone marketing happens on both the Internet and mobile network (for example, SMS texting system).

There are many more channels and sub-channels. You can check out this list of the various digital channels you have at your disposal. At the end-of-the-day, it is up to you to choose the right channels or places to market to your target customers.

The Benefits of Digital Marketing

In traditional and digital marketing the same concepts apply, they are: products and services are promoted, purchased, distributed and serviced. However, digital marketing has a few advantages over traditional marketing. You can:

  • Reach a potential customer base that is national, even global in nature
  • Often engage in a two-way conversation with the customer
  • Run marketing campaigns and either succeed or fail fast
  • Perform near-real-time monitoring of your campaign results
  • Make quick adjustments to your marketing efforts

Do I Really Need to Worry About Doing Business Online?

If starting next week, all business was done online, would your business fail? Now you and I both know the chances of this happening anytime soon, are unrealistic, but doing business online one day might be the difference between success and failure for a company.

There are many business owners that think they don’t need to worry about online marketing. These are usually owners that have been so successful using traditional marketing methods that they have chosen to ignore the digital arena.

Take-A-Ways

Even if you are successful with your brick-and-mortar business, the Internet offers a tremendous opportunity for you as a business owner to expand your customer-base well beyond your local reach.

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