Depending on the unique needs of a business, any style of marketing can bring favorable results. However, that does not mean that anything works. To indeed make the most out of your marketing budget, you need to learn the benefits and drawbacks of different types of marketing.
Business owners who are just starting their marketing efforts often wonder whether they should invest in digital or traditional marketing or both. That’s an interesting question because there are distinct pros and cons to each. Let’s have a look at some of them.
Traditional Marketing Basics
Many marketers will argue that this type of marketing has seen its day. In many instances, they would be right. However, advertising your product or service through non-digital channels can still yield good results. Newspaper, flyers and radio and TV ads all still have their audiences — it’s only a question of whether your business can make optimal use of them. Consider the following pros and cons:
Pros of Traditional Marketing
- It’s easy to reach a local audience — for companies which only target the locals, advertising through traditional channels can bring good ROI;
- Hard copies that linger — any flyers, newspaper ads and the like remain for the prospect to review again, or they can keep it until they need it;
- Easy to understand and access — when there’s no need for internet, your message can reach those prospects who don’t use it.
Cons of Traditional Marketing
- Lack of ROI (Return On Investment) metrics — the most obvious drawback is not being able to measure how many people an ad brought in, which leaves you unable to tweak a campaign so that it can attract more people;
- It’s often expensive — sometimes an advertisement in the newspaper or on the TV can be too expensive, especially for a local business;
- Less engagement and focus — you can’t target a specific audience or engage them — you’re just providing information in hopes they will buy.
Digital Marketing Basics
On the other hand, advertising through digital channels brings you plenty of options. If you have an internet presence and your prospects are aware of it, you’re almost always better off doing online marketing. There are a lot more advertising channels to choose from, too, which means it’s easier to create a marketing strategy that would fit your business needs. Let’s have a look at the most prominent pros and cons of advertising digitally:
Pros of Digital Marketing
- ROI tracking — whether you opt for SEO, PPC ads, content marketing or email campaigns, you’ll know exactly how many people you’re bringing in with precise digital metrics;
- Cost-effectiveness — it’s often cheaper to advertise digitally, and easy to make a strategy work with your budget;
- Laser-focused audience — with online marketing you can dig deep to define your target audience and have your message only reach them;
Cons of Digital Marketing
- The possibility of negative feedback — everything is public and widely available to broad audiences online, including any negative feedback your products may get;
- You may need to hire an expert — with online or website marketing. You’ll get the best results if you know what to do, or if someone else who does know, handles your campaigns;
- Strict search engine rules — if you’re unaware of how online marketing works, primarily related to search engines and visibility, your efforts won’t pay off.
Whichever marketing strategy you choose, you’ll likely see the results after some time passes (4-6 months.) If that’s too long to wait for you, give me a call, and we can talk about providing you with quicker results.
Rob Dunford is a Marketing Consultant in the Great Toronto Area with over 20 years of experience in implementing marketing plans for small businesses.