Business Marketing: Physical Vs Digital
In recent years, more and more emphasis is being placed on digital marketing, sometimes to the detriment of more traditional (often tried and tested) marketing methods.
This is due, at least in part, to the newness of many digital platforms and the constantly advancing functionality of various social media and communication channels.
Nevertheless, campaign tracking and consumer research findings tell us that some of the more traditional marketing approaches, such as print advertising and solus campaign, are still effective ways to reach receptive target audiences.
Both physical and digital activities will have a place in most marketing campaigns, but it can be tricky to decide on the best combination of the two. Ultimately, this will depend on the nature of your business and the products and services you’re promoting. However, there are advantages and disadvantages to both physical and digital methods and these will need to be given full consideration before settling on your marketing mix.
Print campaigns, leaflet drops, print advertising, direct mailings, solus distribution and “outdoor” ad campaigns are all physical approaches to marketing that have yielded results for businesses in the past.
If yours is the type of business that publishes a brochure or catalogue, then this is likely to account for a significant portion of your annual marketing spend.
By comparison with digital alternatives, traditional marketing can seem costly and the temptation is sometimes to switch all of your efforts to bolstering your digital campaigns. However, when you consider the demographics that you’ve identified as target markets, it may well be that certain physical marketing methods are more appropriate.
Your business website, PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising, social media channels, banner advertising on other websites or on search engine results pages, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), blogging and email marketing are all examples of digital marketing methods that have come into their own in recent years.
The most immediate and apparent benefit of digital marketing is the seemingly lower cost. Email is often touted as having the highest ROI (Return on Investment) of any marketing activity. However, it’s important to monitor your digital efforts to make sure you’re getting worthwhile results.
Banner advertising is attractive to many business owners and marketing managers simply because it seems so cheap compared to print advertising. However, just because a website with ad space boasts a high volume of traffic, doesn’t necessarily mean that their traffic will be receptive to your product or service.
Another pitfall is the assumption that social media marketing is free. Although it’s possible to create and execute a highly effective social media marketing strategy for very little outlay, nurturing and growing your online audience takes time and effort – precious resources which must not be overlooked.
At the end of the day, the particular mix of physical and digital marketing techniques you choose will depend on your product/service, your budget and the size of your team. However, the best approach is to keep an open mind. To get the most from your marketing campaigns will involve a certain amount of trial and error and a constant willingness to adapt and refine your activities.