Can Digital Marketing Replace Traditional Marketing? The Answer May Surprise You!
Ramdas Shenoy asks you to get your basics right with regards to marketing.
The other day when we were heading from South Mumbai to Central Suburbs, one of my friends Sudarshan asked me the question—Can digital marketing replace traditional marketing?.
The problem that we see today is that, there are many so called digital agencies who will tell you that digital marketing is the new success mantra and that traditional marketing is waste of money and so on. What you are failing to understand is that the medium is different, the fundamentals of marketing remain the same.
Many people jump the bandwagon, of how they will start seeing results with a digital marketing strategy in place. What they do not understand is that if you try to bypass the basics of marketing, then all your digital marketing spend is going to go down the drain. These so called digital marketing agencies will just use your ignorance and it will be difficult to get the promised results. I once was introduced by a CRM SaaS organization’s founder to a digital agency, who claimed that they will achieve the target sales with their digital strategy and then when we deep dived further, it was only a tall claim, where they were asking for an initial investment without any RoI guarantee.
When companies consider marketing strategies, they may find that their available channels fall into two main types – traditional marketing and digital marketing, which essentially means that the medium of communicating with your customer changes. The right question that one needs to ask is — what are the tools to reach your target audience be it traditional or digital. How would you define your customer? How would you like to position your product? What is the consumption pattern and behaviour of your target customers. What is the scale of business that you are looking at?
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Digital Vs Traditional Mediums
Digital marketing focuses on the use of internet, and a company’s presence on it. It includes some of the following types of marketing strategies:
- Search Engine Optimization
- Social Media Marketing
- Paid Search Advertising
- Website Optimization
- Affiliate Marketing
- Marketing Automation
- Email Marketing
- PPC and SEM Marketing
Essentially, digital marketing includes different routes to meet the target audience on the world wide web. It includes things like optimizing a website and all its content to appear higher in search engine rankings, targeting social media users with promoted and sponsored content, or running ads on popular websites like Google or Facebook. Email marketing campaigns are another popular method, too!
The fundamentals of marketing even with Kotler’s 4Ps of Product, Price, Place and Promotion has to be understood, only difference being, in digital marketing one manages to satisfy the four P’s of marketing strategy, with the internet. While traditional marketing meets customers where they’re at in terms of physical location: at home, at office, etc while digital has to check whether the customers are online.
The world is moving to virtual world, so the traditional world looks passé, but the fact remains that someone with a very localised presence and business, traditional methods might still be required. Also you could have a virtual tour of the house that you want to buy, but when you want to make the final decision you would like to physically present at the site. Depending on your budget, location and market goals, traditional forms of advertising are still used for many companies. Somewhere traditional marketing tools have to marry digital marketing tools.
End of the day, it is like online dating Vs Real Dating—which is more effective?, I asked Sudarshan. Digital marketing will not replace traditional marketing entirely but yes the world is changing..
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