Marketing is mainly about communicating the value of your business to customers. Let’s say you own a beer company which produces a really great tasting beer called Purebrew and you know that most of your customers live in a town called Betatown. In order to communicate the value of your beer and to eventually attract more customers, as a good marketer, you have to market your beer in Betatown. As a conventional marketer, you would probably do this by advertising in Betatown newspapers or by going there and distributing flyers to the Betatown inhabitants. Although that might sound like a great plan it does have some flaws. Most of the inhabitants of Betatown read the newspapers but many of the readers don’t drink beer. Also, many of the people who get the flyers will simply throw them away because either they don’t drink beer or if they do, they are too busy on their way to work to think about which beer to buy. What a waste of money. A waste which you can’t afford since Purebrew has started recently and you are not making a lot of profit right now.
There is bigger problem though. You’ve heard of a new town which was built a few years ago and the thing is that most of the inhabitants of Betatown are moving over there. A cool thing with this new town is that you don’t need to physically leave your current place to go there. It’s like a virtual town. However, most of the inhabitants of Betatown spend a large amount of time in that virtual town. As a result, the Betatown inhabitants don’t read the newspapers anymore as they spend more time in the virtual town. Forget about those flyers too. How are they going to know about your great tasting beer? Well, you have to market your beer in that virtual town. You have to market where your customers are. If you haven’t guessed yet, the town I’m talking about here is called Internet. You have to market over the Internet and this is what is basically called Digital Marketing.
Soon, traditional marketing methods are going to die. Why? Simply because the new generation is growing up with the internet and probably two mobile phones in their pocket. That’s the new world. As a marketer, you need to adapt or risk extinction.
Why Digital Marketing will inevitably win over conventional marketing?
People shop and learn in a whole new way compared to just a few years ago. Nowadays, customers use social networks like Facebook or Linkedin to participate, collaborate and share views before making purchase decisions. The world of new marketing is about building relationships and trust. The lack of interactivity in conventional marketing methods doesn’t allow that. Through your website and social media networks, you can stay in touch with your customers 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. You can see what customers are talking about and use that information to tweak your products to better satisfy your customers. You can help your customers and answer their queries anytime and believe me, customers love that.
Digital Marketing allows you to reach out to a greater number of customers at a lower cost. First of all, advertising over social networks for instance is much more affordable than advertising in newspapers. For companies which have a low marketing budget such as start ups, this can be an ideal solution. Second, online marketing is targeted. Advertise to people which have a greater chance of buying your products or services. This will improve your return on investment. Advertise beer only to people who drink beer. “Oh! But how can I know that?” Through social media networks this is possible!
If you spend Rs5,000 on marketing and in return get Rs3,000 of sales, it’s definitely not worth it. But how can you measure that? Well, although it can be possible to measure the impact of conventional marketing methods, most of the time you get the information only after the marketing campaign and can’t really do anything about it. Digital Marketing techniques on the other side has a lot of tools which allow you to track customer acquisition, behaviour and conversion. Those information are available during the campaign and can be used to tweak your marketing strategy immediately. For instance if you notice that a particular post on Facebook has much more interaction than another one, you can take the resources spent on the second less performing post and place them on the first one for even more impact!
Digital marketing allows you to think bigger. Conventional marketing methods are constrained in the sense that you have to target local customers. Targeting global customers would involve a much greater cost. Online marketing techniques on the other side allows you to target globally at an affordable cost. It allows you to think global.
Steuart Henderson Britt, the author of Marketing Management and Administrative Action wrote in his book:
Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does.
In today’s world, with more and more people moving online, I guess we can safely say:
Doing business without digital and social media marketing is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does.