Are the Days of Traditional Marketing Dead?
Updated: Jan 4
Marketing is both art and science, and this definition holds true in the case of digital marketing, although the definition is still debatable when compared to traditional marketing. Digital Marketing is an art. Today’s brands understand consumer behaviours, matches your personality with goods, products, or services and attempts to create a wonderful experience for their target audiences based on research. It is truly all about the creativity in developing content and designs that please the consumers’ eyes and ears.
We can’t deny the fact that creativity, marketing campaigns and consumer experiences are irrelevant if it’s not developed by research, measured by numbers and backed by data. It’s like a protocol in the industry of digital marketing: Any campaigns can only be developed if it has been researched and measured prior to being launched on the web. The main area where digital marketing takes a lead over traditional marketing is: We can not only measure the campaigns, but make predictive analyses and redress the entire campaign quickly if it does not seem to be working successfully. This can be done before adding more investments, due to the analysis of real time results. Hence, digital marketing is also a science; the science of prediction and result analysis of data, which is generated from digital mediums.
With the evolution of the Internet and the advancements made in digital marketing, we have seen more numbers of start-ups than what we saw ten years ago. Also, these startups can now easily operate internationally. Whether it is Uber, Quora or a personal YouTube channel, digital marketing has given successful potential to every single individual, business or brand as you can now target specific age ranges, genders and locations. Also, startups now have more leverage and are becoming rapidly successful due to their digital marketing strategies, which is much more cost effective than traditional marketing. A startup in today’s market has the potential to compete with many brands and businesses regardless of their size. The beauty of digital marketing is consumers ultimately get to decide how they want content to be delivered, for example, via e-mails, blogs, videos, apps, newsletters or digital flyers. Traditional marketing was more like a “hit or miss” method where marketing specialists struggled to understand consumer behaviors and just kept pushing television advertisements, radio jingles, banner ads, posters, physical flyers, etc. in hopes of increased sales. Marketing departments were spending a lot of money, however, and no one knew where the revenue was exactly coming from. It was difficult to measure the “marketing vehicle” (medium used to advertise the message, i.e. television, radio, print,) output in numbers, which is essentially what Google Analytics does now as an example. A phrase by John Wanamaker (a successful U.S business personality) accurately summarizes this argument, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, the trouble is, I don’t know which half”.
The major drawback with traditional marketing is its interaction with brands, however, the digital world has made this possible. Currently, brands try to encourage you to interact with them, in real-time and then they take action. Brands now follow the “purchase funnel” concept which is: They build awareness, engage consumers and make consumers interact with the business. By using marketing techniques such as: “Open door” feedback, excellent customer support and adequate room for referrals and advocacy, a two way communication stream has developed, which is the backbone of digital marketing.
Does this mean we should completely neglect traditional marketing? Not necessarily, we are humans! Human touch, sympathy, empathy and all common forms of “humanization” are what humans search for. The digital world has made people feel more isolated and alone than ever before. Homes are silent in the evening and the dining table no longer brings forth discussion and happiness after a long, tiring day. The issues of loneliness, on a global scale, are getting serious. In fact, the UK government announced in January of 2018 that they will be appointing a new “Minister of Loneliness.” The British prime minister said in a press release, “As the minister of loneliness, (Tracey) Crouch will be tasked with working with the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, businesses and charities to raise awareness about loneliness and isolation and create a government strategy to combat it.” source: CTV News
According to neuroscience research, certain advertisements offer special connectivity with our brain. A study sponsored by Canada Post and performed by the neuro-marketing firm “True Impact” stated that when consumers were asked to recite the brand/company name of the advertisement they saw, recall was 70% higher for the participants exposed to direct/physical advertisements, as opposed to digital. However, the situations remains: Consumers are shifting from paper to screens and offline to online. Therefore, the conclusion may be to have a “Best of both worlds” approach to marketing, offering both traditional and digital forms of marketing.
The more brands steer towards a “humanization” approach, the more trust and sense of association consumers will have with the brand. Digital marketing is constantly evolving and research into this field is becoming more popular. Marketing managers use to have sleepless nights the day before an advertisement release, knowing that if it fails, there is no way back. However, in our new, digital world, digital coupons and offers can be shared within a click, videos can go viral overnight and engagement with the ads can be observed in real-time, putting the marketing team at ease. This is the power of digital marketing. We have come to point in time where advertising is no longer a guessing game, but a calculated and strategic plan that can be easily edited, withdrawn or retargeted, crowning digital marketing incomparable to traditional.