Internet marketing is any form of marketing that takes place online. Traditional marketing, on the other hand, includes all offline advertising methods, with marketing channels that include radio, newspapers, TV, printed coupons, billboards, and direct mail.
If you are still torn between marketing the old-fashioned way and marketing online, here are some pointers to help you make a decision.
1. The Cost Of Marketing
The cost of marketing via traditional channels depends on a number of factors and variables. Depending on the platform, these include the type and quality of paper used, the target market of the program or publication, the size of the advert, the number of adverts released, and for radio or TV ads, the time that the advertisement airs. There is nothing free though. All you can do is try to cut down the costs of marketing to the lowest possible value or make sure that you get the best value for your money in terms of target and reach.
On the other hand, with online advertising, you do not have to deal with printing costs. However, your costs will still depend on the size of the advert, where it is displayed, and the quality of advert created. Unlike traditional marketing methods, online marketing can be done with little to no cost, especially if you opt for channels like email, social media pages, and blogs.
2. The Audience You Are Targeting
In order for your potential customers to see the adverts you display online, they need to have access to the Internet. Your audience is, therefore, likely to be made up of the youth and anyone who has regular access to the Internet.
On the other hand, traditional methods of advertising can reach even those who are offline – provided they can see and hear. Traditional marketing methods are also appropriate for most senior citizens or anyone else who does not have access to the Internet or the devices that can connect to it.
In order for you to market your products successfully, you need to understand your audience. Ultimately, your target market should determine whether Internet marketing or the traditional marketing methods are suitable.
3. The Coverage You Want
For how long do you want your adverts to run? What kind of reach are you looking to achieve?
Traditional marketing methods are limited to a certain region unless the marketing platform used has a national or global reach. For example, if you opt for fliers, you can only pin so many. There is no way you can pin fliers across the country. In addition, traditional marketing methods are limited by time, and their impact is short-lived. Most printed adverts will be discarded soon after being seen.
On the other hand, when you go online, you get global coverage as there are no geographical boundaries online. Anyone with an Internet connection can access your adverts as long as they are looking in the right place. The adverts that you display online can be archived and can therefore be accessed forever. The online marketing coverage has a wider reach, and its impact lasts longer.
4. The Tracking Capabilities
It is difficult for anyone to determine the impact of traditional marketing efforts on consumers. You will have to do extensive research just to get the information that you want.
With online marketing, tracking can be done using a number of readily available tracking and analytical tools and software. These tools can give you feedback to help you determine the methods that are most effective.
While traditional marketing cannot be discarded completely, Internet marketing can be more effective—and certainly less expensive—if you're selling to particular target markets. Its benefits cannot be underestimated.