Regardless of whether you are a sole trader, start-up, SME or a corporate giant, it is a well-known fact that a clear Marketing plan and budget should play a part in your business strategy, irrespective of the size of your business or industry sector. How you reach and connect with your target audience will inevitably be a driving force in the success of your business.
However, deciding on the right route to find your target audience, by which means you deliver your message and how you monitor a marketing campaigns success or ROI, can be challenging.
There is still a debate on Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing and if one is more rewarding than the other. Many would argue that in a Digital and Smartphone era, the Digital approach now overshadows Traditional Marketing methods – especially when you look at recent occurrences such as The Yellow Pages announcing that after 51 years in production the last of the yellow books will be delivered in January 2019, with them concentrating solely on their online platform with an aim to help a million businesses be found on its online directory by 2020.
Should Traditional Marketing techniques still play a part in your business strategy?
Before we set one against the other, let’s look at what we mean when we use the terms ‘Traditional Marketing’ or ‘Digital Marketing’.
Defining Traditional Marketing
Traditional Marketing examples are more likely to include tangible items such as adverts in newspapers or magazines, business cards, flyers or handouts. It can also include audio and visual marketing techniques such as TV and radio adverts or billboards and brochures and direct mail. Traditional marketing can also include telemarketing, inbound call capture, a referral or generating business through a network or trade show. None of these in my opinion are redundant avenues to consider, with some having real impact and positive outcomes, but they do have some downsides which we discuss later.
What is Digital Marketing
One of the biggest differences that digital marketing offers, is its dynamic ability to be able to shift and evolve along with technology and audience networks. Aspects of digital marketing include websites and search engine marketing and optimisation, social media profile marketing and PPC (pay per click – one of the most recognisable would be Google Ads). It also includes email marketing, video platforms such as YouTube, blog and article writing. In the main, Digital marketing has the same aim as traditional marketing – to increase brand awareness and to deliver a business message with the purpose of driving a target audience to engage with you and your business – but connecting with the consumer through digital devices. Digital marketing has the goal and ability of connecting with people at the point they are searching for a specific service or product, ideally interacting with them in real-time and being able to track that interaction.
Advantages and Disadvantages of These Marketing Techniques
When considering your target audience and where they are located, there is still a place for recognised marketing methods such as adverts in the press, radio advertising and direct mail, mainly due to the consumer being accustomed to seeing branding in this way, particularly when trying to connect with a local audience – flyers advertising a local event or service discount for example – so these can still be worthwhile activities. However, one of the main disadvantages of these traditional marketing methods is the inability to measure results accurately, if at all. Cost is obviously a big factor in any marketing campaign and in most cases; digital marketing is much more cost effective.
Whilst Digital marketing can offer direct contact between the audience and the business, one aspect that digital marketing cannot totally replace, is a tangible meeting face-to-face, telemarketing which can still be an effective marketing method especially B2B and inbound call handling which builds rapport , strengthens brand confidence and generates effective communication.
The unparalleled accessibility to information that smartphones and likeminded devices provide has reshaped the way we consume and interact with media. By its very nature, traditional marketing is static and therefore has a disadvantage against digital marketing which does have the ability to interact with the audience it is targeting. Digital marketing has a greater ability to direct an audience to take action and to track results.
Whilst an online audience offers an infinite reach potential, Digital marketing does require steady and constant activity to remain effective. Without persistent attention and certainly in the case of new businesses or those not traditionally active online, it can take time to see a measurable success or competitive results in search engines. This can be a disadvantage if you do not have the time to manage a successful online campaign – especially if you need to concentrate your efforts on actually running your business- or if you are unsure of how to effectively manage social media accounts or update and optimise a website. Involving a digital marketing expert to point you in the right direction or to offer some guidance in managing this for you would be a worthwhile investment.
A Connective Marketing Campaign that utilises the best of both
There is no doubt our world is now a digital environment, so it would be advisable to take advantage of a digital marketing campaign to boost your brand. If you only have time or the budget to cover one activity, ensuring your online presence is sound would be most advisable. However, don’t be too quick to dismiss all traditional marketing methods and what it can do to support your digital activity. Designing a parallel campaign that draws attention to your business can be the most effective way to see results.
Firstly, do a review of where you actually appear online, for example do you have a website? Is it up-to-date and technically sound with relevant content, making the most of the latest SEO techniques? Which social media profiles have you set up? Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube? Do you have a Blog? How active are you and your target audience online? What are your competitors doing? How will you measure the success of the campaign?
An effective campaign, whether traditional or digital will be dependent on how efficiently you can interact with your audience. Running traditional alongside digital can tap in to best of both worlds and ensure your brand is reaching the right target audience at the right time and on the right platforms, providing several routes to establish new consumer relationships and maintain brand loyalty.
For example attending trade-shows, conducting follow-up calls after an email campaign, or handing out flyers advertising your local services that details your website and contact details, whilst running a social media campaign with the same messaging and ensuring your website delivers the correct message can provide a strong connective marketing campaign with a greater reach potential and goal performance.
Designing the perfect Campaign for your Business on a budget that suits you
FireTap Marketing understands the importance of creating a targeted campaign unique as you and your business. We don’t believe in a one service fits all, whilst we will stick to your budget, there are no ‘fixed monthly plans’ and uniquely only charge per the hour and without contract, effectively allowing our clients to ‘pay per task’ or campaign, which gives our clients greater control and transparency on the services we provide.
What does that mean?
When working with our clients we design a campaign around their business and their target audience, designing goal centric tasks to match business objectives and budget. We will tell you exactly how many hours we think it will require to perform the relative tasks surrounding that campaign and we won’t tie you in to any contract; you can disengage with us at any time, or ask us to perform tasks ad-hoc as you need them. We are confident that we can provide a parallel, worthwhile service that compliments your existing activities that will drive success.
Our services cover a broad spectrum of marketing techniques and specialise in assisting businesses in the legal and professional services sectors.