Traditional Vs Digital Marketing: Which is the best strategy for small businesses?

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Digital Marketing for small business

In simple words, the major difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing is the channels used for communicating with customers. While traditional marketing uses traditional channels like print media, TV commercials, billboards, etc. Digital marketing utilizes digital channels like social media, websites, etc.

The challenge for any small business or a startup is to not just have a marketing budget but also possess the understanding of spending it in the right direction and making the most of it. The current trend is finding a balance between traditional marketing strategies and digital marketing for small businesses to scale their brand.

Before the revolution: Traditional Marketing

Before 1990, when we had not come up with the life-changing technology of the internet, the brands used traditional marketing methods to increase reach and communicate with the customers. It was the time when businesses used traditional media like newspapers, magazines, TV commercials, billboards, etc. The major characteristics of traditional marketing methods are as follows:

  • Used for broadcasting: communicate to a large audience
  • Expensive: works as long as you pay
  • One way communication from the brand: customers cannot interact
  • Low conversion: targets people who are not even looking for a product or a service

The turning point: Digital Marketing

It was the mid-1990’s and what was initially supposed to serve the military found itself transforming into the revolutionary world wide web(www). The internet was a global revolution that took us by storm, after which, life as we knew it, would never be the same. It completely revolutionized the way we sourced information. As a result, a new form of marketing strategy started gaining traction called digital marketing.

Using the internet for a variety of things and several hours a day has become a part of most people’s day-to-day life. Digital marketing has managed to utilize this and cleverly weave in marketing communication into the various digital channels. What digital marketing does so brilliantly is, make use of every touchpoint of our daily use of the internet, to reach us. Any business can leverage digital marketing to reach out to its target segment and convert more of them into customers.

Digital marketing for small businesses has worked wonders in scaling their brands and gaining popularity. Understanding the various aspects of digital marketing enables startups and small businesses to utilize their full potential and obtain effective ROI. Digital marketing for small businesses delivers results because it is a form of inbound marketing, which means rather than you having to go out there to find customers, the customers end up finding you.

Doesn’t matter if it is a blog, an advertisement on Google, or other online promotion, eventually, it’s all about attracting your target audience and generating awareness. For instance, if you are a startup and you want to utilize digital marketing for small businesses to build your brand and increase your customer base, you could hire a brand marketing consultant like My Big Brand Story. Major characteristics of digital marketing strategy are as follows:

  • Used for specific target segment: the communication is targeted towards selected segments
  • Cost-effective: offers better ROI
  • Customer interaction: sparks a conversation with the customer to provide value

After the revolution: Digital Marketing for small business VS Traditional Marketing

It is evident that even though a lot of marketing currently is done traditionally, digital marketing is steadily gaining an edge. Most startups and small businesses are opting for digital marketing. As a business, you need to make sure that you are ahead of your competition, which derivatively means keeping up with the progressing marketing methods. This does not necessarily mean that traditional marketing is out of date and can be ignored. Let’s get down to comparing them based on some factors, let us see which one comes out on top:

  1. Customer Interaction: Traditional marketing uses a one-way street approach, we like to call it an ‘in your face’ approach, where the brand communicates what it wants, but the customer has no option of interacting with it.  Whereas, digital marketing allows the customer to interact with their communication and provide value. Digital marketing for small businesses enables the customer to get the feel of the brand and connect with it.
  1. Reaching the target audience: Traditional marketing, although having a larger audience, lacks a defined audience. Even if the person watching a TV has no interest in the product or service, he would still randomly see the advertisement which can sometimes lead to negative publicity too. Whereas digital marketing helps the advertisers to direct their communication to the right target audience based on various factors. Digital marketing for small businesses can help narrow down the target audience to only your potential customers and hence is more effective.
  1. Cost Effectiveness: Traditional marketing is used for advertising on radio, TV, mailers, billboards which is very expensive. According to Demand Metric, traditional marketing is 62% more expensive than modern digital marketing. Whereas digital marketing is more cost-effective, as advertising on social media, using blogs, and content marketing are not expensive. Digital marketing for small businesses can generate 3 times as many leads, compared to traditional marketing, says Demand Metric.
  1. Measurability: Traditional marketing deals with a broad target audience and hence tracking the impact of ads can be very difficult. Figuring out the reason for a customer using the business in traditional marketing mostly relies on guesswork. Whereas digital marketing is easily measurable. Digital marketing encourages the use of tools and plugins which help in tracking the numbers. Digital marketing for small businesses provides detailed data which can be studied to understand the customer’s behavior and characteristics better.

Ladies and Gentlemen, and the winner is:

The secret behind running a successful business is not only about deciding upon the appropriate market or having a premium product, it is about striking that perfect balance between different marketing techniques. Utilizing a combination of traditional marketing and digital marketing for small businesses to reach out to the target audience and convert them into leads or customers is the most ideal way to go about it. Get in touch with My Big Brand Story to obtain that perfect blend and scale up your brand right away!

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