Integration of technology into businesses has influenced all aspects of a business, including marketing. In the early days, marketing mainly involved print marketing but the digital age has redefined the term business marketing. Innovative, creative and flexible, there are endless ways and methods of advertising a business online. When companies plan their marketing strategies, it includes 2 categories – Print marketing and digital marketing. Print marketing is the traditional method of marketing that involves brochures, flyers, signage, posters, business cards, newsletters and other promotional pieces that enable communication of a product/service. Digital marketing, on the other hand, involves promotion of products/services using electronic devices like smart phones, computers, laptops, tablets and the Internet.
There is a continuous debate whether digital marketing is dominating and overpowering print marketing methods. With the growing acceptance of technology, devices and the Internet, applications and scope of digital marketing are growing by the day. Still, businesses are especially apprehensive about using digital marketing, and opt to stick with the traditional advertising methods. Not just consumers, numerous businesses still communicate with their employees using print methods. Costs involved with print media are higher compared to digital methods, and their impact is less comparatively. From the cost of hardware like printers and cartridges to cost of workforce involved in distributing and putting them up, there are several time and cost consuming factors involved with print media.
Advertising basically is done to generate an audience, and hence, it is targeted where the audience is present. Now a days, the audience is usually connected to gadgets and available ‘online’. With the audience being online, businesses have to adopt digital marketing to reach a wide audience and convert them to customers. Technology has become an integral part of lives of consumers, and it is the best tool for approaching them too. Businesses have to get past the old marketing methods as the behavior, the mindset and lifestyle of the consumer has changed. They need to adapt to the new technology rather than emphasizing on the same old traditional print media techniques for advertising. Businesses need to get this basic understanding about advertising and realize that they are losing business revenue and market share to others by not adopting the latest methods of advertising. There are several myths surrounding digital advertising and its benefits, and businesses need to break those myths to understand the true picture. Only then businesses will be fully convinced of using digital media over print media and change the way they approach customers. Another reason that keeps businesses away from digital media is the initial cost involved. But, costs of running a digital campaign for marketing are much less compared to print media. Hence, in the long run, digital media is more cost effective for advertising and promotion.
Advertising needs a well-planned strategy, and a well-executed strategy for digital marketing is a powerful tool that can take a business ahead of its competitors. Benefits of digital marketing are multi-fold; their benefits methods over print media can be summarized as:
- Digital marketing methods easily allow businesses to reach a wide audience base, without the geographical limitations. So, you can target campaigns at the local, national or even international level. With print media, organizing national or even international advertising campaign is difficult and time consuming, and may not reach a wide audience.
- With availability of free and paid platforms for marketing online, the initial cost of digital marketing campaigns is almost a fraction of budget required for print media. Thus, businesses can experiment with new online marketing techniques and run several campaigns within a fixed budget. Cost of paper, printing and distributing print media promotional pieces is significantly high.
- Digital marketing methods allow businesses to start experiments on a small scale and then grow in volume. Thus, a business can develop an online campaign at a local level; check its response before expanding on a higher level. It not only allows correcting or modifying campaigns, but also increases probability of positive return.
- Performance of online advertising campaigns is measurable as every aspect of the campaign can be tracked and monitored with online tools. In print media, it is very difficult to measure the performance of an advertisement given in newspaper, a campaign run over the local radio or any other campaign.
- Digital marketing campaigns allow businesses to create personalized campaigns based on the habits and behavior of customers. It helps targeting customers who truly need and will value your product instead of aimlessly targeting everyone with the campaigns.
- Digital media methods have made it possible for businesses to directly interact with the customers as well as employees. From emails to social media pages, there are several ways in which businesses can communicate with the customers, take suggestions and feedbacks, and organize their promotional activities. With print media, scope of direct customer interaction is almost negligible.
With the cut-throat competition in the markets, it is very important for businesses to effectively deliver their messages to customers. A well-executed digital marketing campaign helps in approaching new customers while retaining the old ones. Businesses today are about building a relationship with customers! And this relationship cannot be formed if the business does not have its presence in the digital world.