Digital marketing vs traditional marketing | Digital Ritesh

 Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing

Digital Ritesh

Digital Marketing Vs Traditional Marketing


The aim of this article is to examine the current state of Digital Marketing subject, identifying what are the key factors and external influences that are continuously disrupting the way to communicate a brand, a product, a service, or a single message.

The digital revolution affected all the spheres of human behavior and living style, and every single business is affected by the power of this fundamental change.

Marketing discipline is not an exception and despite the marketing process being almost the same, the enhanced mediums and levers brought by the technological revolution created a sub-discipline of marketing, called “Digital Marketing”.

Digital marketing vs traditional marketing

Since the beginning of our existence, humans have been social creatures, using any means at their disposal to communicate thoughts, ideas, visions, opinions, and values to all who would listen. They have used hands and voices to speak and write, paint and shape, mold and design, and in doing it, they have often relied on an intermediary as pigment and papyrus, to transmit thoughts and visions into a physical medium that would store them for later observation, review, or sharing.

Communications media have grown in both sophistication and impact over time, inventions such as the printing press, phonograph, magnetic tape recorder, and motion picture let humans increase social connection to an exponential level, allowing a single person or group to share their thoughts and vision with millions across the world.

Indeed, it is fair to say that communications media have always played a role in shaping human cultures, although their relative influence has been largely dependent on external geographical and technological factors.

The great religious doctrines, artistic masterpieces, writings, all eventually become iconic treasures recognized and enjoyed all over the world but it often took time, decades, centuries, or even millennia in some cases, because have been dependent on an analog distillation process often controlled by a select group of intermediaries and constrained by the limitations of geographical distance and existing technology to reach their greatest cultural import.

Marketing is exactly the same, geographical and technological constraints play a fundamental role in the diffusion of a message. Marketing was born in the US in the first ‘900, some text gives the paternity of the marketing in the XVII century in Japan, when a merchant of Tokyo introduced the organization of his warehouse with innovative criteria that today we call marketing techniques: this merchant organized his market taking account of the preferences of his clients and after a study of the market, obviously these were only first steps.

The real origin of the modern marketing was in the 1910s, in 1915 was born the National Association of Teachers of Advertising, made of teachers, academics, and marketing scholars, that only for theory, while, in the field, business was still in the hands of the single entrepreneur and his experience. Some years later, in the 1930s, the American Marketing Society, an association made by scholars, managers, entrepreneurs, and advertisers, a flanked businessmen in their decisions. In 1934, with the National Association of Marketing Teachers, Marketing is completely separated from the Advertising discipline in the field of academic studies.

The growth of the US market pushed the study of the distribution and the research of the best corporate organization in order to satisfy an ever bigger and more global market. Until the 1960s marketing is the study of the distribution of goods and services from the producer to the customer. With the flow of the time the word “marketing” acquired a more general sense, with the comeback of the meaning of advertising, distribution, selling, market analysis, and market research all mixed in its meaning and today the definition proposed by the American Marketing Association for marketing is:

“the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”

The definition that considers all the activities of marketing considering the internal environment, including the communication to the employment inside the company and the process or procedures of an organization, the external environment, that is, the right communication with the world, and the interactive environment, that is the link with clients and other companies.

A lot of tasks are related indirectly way into the marketing subject, listing a series of activities that together are the subject of marketing and another series of activities that we define as a marketing process, something much more linked to branding than before.

As part of branding in the marketing process a company has to know the industry in which is going to operate, the players that are inside the battleground, has to analyze the potential new players, has to consider the operational model evolution in that industry, and has to imagine the disruptive scenarios;

Is also a task of marketing to know how to measure the performance of a business, from the commercial point of view using KPI indicators and from financial aspects knowing how to read a analyze financial trends;

After that marketers have to consider the strategic shareholders’ goals in order to generate cash flow in the future and guarantee the profitability of the business;

It’s also about marketing deciding how to challenge the value proposition, to quickly understand the reason behind a bad performance, because the value proposition of a company is constantly being challenging so that means that a company has to be agile in order to change their value proposition not to be displaced by competitors or future ones.

The operational aspect is what usually is called in literature as marketing mix, this task consists in making your product or service deliverable to the customer audience, in this part you have to exploit your brand touchpoint, here is where an idea became reality. Another important part of marketing is the business planning activity, this regards the planning of a budget for the short and medium-term projecting the company’s performance according to shareholder goals.

So as described there is a process of activity related to marketing, and talking about traditional marketing can we consider as it anything except digital means to communicate a brand a product or a logo. Many examples might include tangible items such as business cards, print ads in newspapers or magazines, it can also include posters, commercials on TV and radio, billboards and brochures. Another overlooked means of traditional marketing is when people find a particular business through a referral or a network and eventually you build a rapport with them.

Because of its longevity, people are accustomed to traditional marketing. Finding ads in magazines and newspapers, or reading billboards are still familiar activities and people still do them all the time. On the other side most of the time, traditional marketing is reaching only a local audience even though it is not limited to that. 

One of the primary disadvantages of traditional marketing is that the results are not easily measurable, and in many cases cannot be measured at all. In most cases, traditional marketing is also more costly than digital marketing, but the biggest disadvantage 9 today is that traditional marketing is static, which means there is no way to interact with the audience.

In that context digital interface has changed all of that. Digital technology may very well prove to be one of the most profound innovations in human history, this is a great leveler, allowing average citizens from all walks of life and all corners of the planet to impact the greater world in countless ways, endowing them with the ability to publish and disseminate ideas and innovations in a matter of minutes, or even seconds.

The term digital marketing appeared only recently in the world of professional marketing and communication and it refers to the promotion of products and brands among consumers, through the use of all digital media and contact points.

Although digital marketing has many similarities with internet marketing, it goes beyond it, since it frees itself from the internet’s single point of contact and accesses all so-called digital media, including, for example, mobile telephony and interactive television, as the communication channel. The term digital marketing, therefore, seeks to bring together all the interactive digital tools at the service of marketers for promoting products and services, while seeking to develop more direct and personalized relationships with consumers.

With marketing and advertising becoming increasingly interactive, digital marketing covers ever more techniques and methods generally derived from traditional marketing, for example, direct marketing, since it can communicate individually with a target but in a digital way. The world of digital marketing continues to evolve and as long as technology continues to advance, digital marketing will as well. Examples of digital marketing include things like websites, social media mentions, YouTube videos, and banner ads.

Digital marketing is considered a form of inbound marketing and its goal is for people to find you. Businesses put content or ads out for individuals to find. People may conduct an organic online search, a paid search, find your business on a social network or by reading content that has been published online such as a blog or an article. The more they see you or your content, the more familiar they will become with your brand and they will eventually develop a trust and a rapport with you through this online presence.

One benefit to using digital marketing is that the results are much easier to measure, and more important is that a digital campaign can reach an infinite audience. It is also possible to tailor a digital campaign to reach a local audience but it can also be used on the web and reach the entire globe when appropriate.

One of the disadvantages to using digital media marketing strategies is that it can take some time to realize measurable success. In the coming years, marketing will be digital or nothing. Capable not only of selling but also creating loyalty and even fanaticizing customer relationships, digital marketing is essential for attracting and retaining increasingly connected consumers and forevermore fragmented media uses.

Reference: Bill Kovarik, “Revolutions in Communication: Media History from Gutenberg to the Digital Age”, 2011

This is the series on Digital Marketing.
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