It’s all been done before: trade shows, print advertising, billboards, radio commercials, channel marketing partnerships, etc.
Don’t get us wrong, we love a good business card exchange and a well-designed brochure as much as the next person, but it’s time to spice things up.
Enter: Digital marketing.
Digital marketing is like the cool kid in school that everyone wants to hang out with – it’s hip, trendy, and where all the action is. And the best part? It’s not just for B2C companies anymore. B2B companies can benefit from digital marketing tactics, too.
In this article, we’re going to show you why it’s time to switch from traditional marketing to digital marketing tactics. However, you won’t have to rip the band-aid off; we’ll also show you how to supplement your tested traditional marketing methods with digital as you ease into it.
Let’s dive in!
Traditional Marketing vs. Digital Marketing
Traditional Marketing Explained
Picture this: You’re driving to work and pass by a billboard for a new restaurant. You get home and find a postcard for a store sale in your mailbox. Later that day, you hear an ad for a car dealership on the radio.
What do these all have in common? They’re all examples of traditional marketing – the OG of marketing techniques.
Traditional marketing has been around for many decades. It’s all about using conventional media channels like print, TV commercials, radio, billboards, direct mail, and telemarketing to promote products or services.
While traditional marketing is on the decline, it still has its place in our day-to-day lives. We see posters for movies, hear jingles from fast food chains, and flip through magazines with advertisements.
Traditional marketing has its benefits, including:
- It’s widely known and understood: Since traditional marketing methods have been around for so long, people know what it is and what to expect.
- High visibility: These tactics make it easy to reach a broader audience, especially with the use of television, radio, or print ads.
- Tangibility: Printed materials such as brochures, flyers, and billboards are tangible, making it easier for potential customers to interact with them.
- Establishing credibility: Traditional marketing tactics can establish credibility with older demographics who may not be as familiar with digital marketing tactics.
But let’s not forget about the downsides. Traditional marketing can be expensive, difficult to measure, less targeted, and hard to adapt to changing market trends.
And that’s where digital marketing comes in!
Digital Marketing Explained
Since the internet hit the scene, businesses and even individuals can advertise their products and services from the comfort of their own homes. Why put on your fancy pants when you can market in your PJs, right?
According to DataReportal, nearly 5 billion people worldwide use the internet, and they spend a whopping 12.5 trillion hours online. That’s why digital marketing is a no-brainer.
Digital marketing uses all sorts of methods to reach potential customers. Email marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), mobile marketing, affiliate marketing, and more – it’s a pretty long list. Still, each can help your business succeed in its own way.
For example, do you want to get more leads, build brand awareness, or increase sales? There’s a digital marketing strategy for that!
Benefits of Switching from Traditional to Digital Marketing Strategies
Now let’s take a look at 5 key benefits that make digital marketing the optimal choice:
1) Digital Marketing Offers a Broader Reach
When it comes to reaching a wider audience, digital marketing takes the cake. Traditional marketing may give you a few local leads, but to expand beyond that, you’ll need a big budget like the Super Bowl ad’s price tag.
Online ads, on the other hand, can be seen by anyone, anywhere in the world. You can cast a wider net and even target specific demographics (more on this below) with tactics like social media marketing and email marketing.
Plus, strategies like SEO can help people find your business online for free – instead of you having to find them.
Last year we helped construction equipment company JCB increase their social media following by 300% and improved engagement rate by 78% – all in just 6 months – through social media marketing.
Find out how we did it from the full case study.
Digital marketing is a clear winner when it comes to cost-effectiveness.
Think about it, a billboard can set you back thousands of dollars, and a spread in the New York Times could easily surpass $100,000. That’s a lot of moolah!
But with digital marketing, you can get more bang for your buck. You can spend the same amount on Facebook ads and reach far more people than you would with traditional marketing.
Plus, sending out emails to potential leads is free! You can’t beat that, right?
Traditional marketing can be rigid and inflexible, which is not ideal in a rapidly changing world. When you’ve already printed a thousand flyers or published a magazine ad, it’s tough luck if you need to make changes or updates.
But with digital marketing, you have the flexibility to quickly pivot your efforts based on new trends or changing market conditions.
Here are a few examples of how digital marketing is more flexible than traditional marketing:
- Social media ads can be quickly edited or paused if they’re not performing well.
- Email marketing campaigns can be adjusted and updated on-the-fly to better engage your audience.
- A/B testing allows you to try out different variations of your marketing campaigns to see which ones are most effective.
In other words, digital marketing lets you go with the flow, so you can adapt to changing circumstances and optimize your efforts for the best results.
4) Targeting Capabilities
In traditional marketing, reaching your ideal customer can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack.
But with digital marketing, you can target the exact people who are most likely to be interested in your product or service. You can use data to identify your ideal customer’s age, location, interests, and behaviors.
Then, you can create ads that speak directly to them.
You can retarget customers who’ve already interacted with your product or website, find lookalike customers, and more with digital marketing.
We recently worked with supply chain company TVS SCS to help increase their leads. We worked with them to create a valuable whitepaper, and then distributed it through highly targeted LinkedIn Ads, where we were able to pinpoint operations staff at healthcare companies who worked in supply chain.
Read the full case study to learn how we helped them generate 69% more customers YoY through digital.
One of the biggest advantages of digital marketing is the ability to measure and track your campaigns in real time. With traditional marketing, it can be difficult to gauge the effectiveness of your efforts. You might know how many people saw your ad, but you won’t know how many took action after seeing it.
On the other hand, digital marketing gives you access to a wealth of data and analytics. You can track metrics like click-through rates, conversion rates, bounce rates, and more. This means you can quickly identify what’s working and what’s not, and make changes accordingly.
With digital, gone are the days of guessing which tactics are working best. You can know without a shadow of a doubt – and save money because of it.
Read our complete guide to digital marketing measurement and reporting.
Pairing Digital and Traditional Marketing
Of course, you don’t need to completely give up traditional marketing. Combining both digital and traditional marketing strategies together can be a match made in heaven!
For example, if you run a radio or TV ad, you can include a call-to-action to visit your website or follow you on social media for more information. This can help drive traffic to your online platforms and increase your digital presence.
Another way to blend the two is by creating personalized experiences for your customers. You can start by targeting specific customers with traditional marketing, like sending out a flyer to their office.
Pro Tip: If you’re doing direct mail, always offer a physical gift to accompany it! It will significantly increase your chances of getting your information read.
Then, provide a call-to-action that gets them to continue their experience online, such as signing up for a newsletter or downloading a coupon. This can help create a seamless experience for your customers and encourage them to engage with your brand across multiple channels.
Here are some more examples of how digital and traditional marketing can work seamlessly together:
- Using QR codes: Include a QR code in your print ads so customers can quickly and easily access your website or social media pages. Either place them in direct mail or in high foot traffic places where people can easily pull out their phone, snap a picture, and visit the link.
- Trade shows and influencer marketing: Attend trade shows to showcase your products and services, and partner with influencers in your industry to help promote your brand and get people excited about what you have to offer.
- Incorporate user-generated content: Encourage customers to share their experiences with your product or service on social media. Then, showcase that content in traditional marketing efforts like print ads or billboards.
- Combining apps with in-store experience: Retailers can use apps to build brand loyalty by allowing customers to redeem coupon codes, gain points, or similar tactics when shopping in the store.
- Add website links to print: Whether it’s a newspaper ad, magazine, or even a billboard, adding the URL to your website and social media can drive readers online.
- Geotargeting: You can target specific locations using geotargeting data pulled from online platforms like Google or social media to place print ads, flyers, and billboards.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to combining digital and traditional marketing strategies. And by making them work together, you’ll create a well-rounded and effective marketing plan that reaches customers both on and offline!
How to Get Started with Digital Marketing
As mentioned, we don’t recommend ditching all of your traditional marketing tactics and taking everything online – unless you’re confident none of it is working.
Here’s what we’d recommend:
- Cut the current marketing activity with the lowest ROI.
- Take the budget you were spending on it and use it to get your feet wet in digital. Pick one channel to start.
- Attribute and track your leads closely.
- If you see a higher ROI from digital, start cutting more from your traditional tactics and scale on the digital side.
- If you don’t know where to start or how to track – get in touch with a digital marketing agency who does.
Slowly start to work it into your budget over time, and only cut out the activities and tactics that aren’t generating a great return-on-investment.
Traditional & Digital Marketing Go Hand-in-Hand
Ultimately, going digital is a no-brainer if you’re in B2B. Digital channels offer an effective marketing solution without breaking the bank. And by embracing the digital age, you’ll be able to stay competitive and grow your brand like never before.
Apply your traditional marketing learnings to your digital marketing, and you’ll soon have more leads than you know what to do with.
Don’t get left behind in the analog era. Go digital and unlock your brand’s full potential!