Has Digital Marketing Replaced Traditional Marketing?
It’s pretty clear that technology has provided strong alternatives to traditional marketing. Emails are an alternative to letters. Blogs and online news websites are equal to newspapers. Social media and online reviews are the internet’s word of mouth.
Even though there are currently digital versions of most forms of traditional marketing, they haven’t completely replaced them. We still get letters in the post, people still buy and read newspapers, and people still talk to each other.
To put it simply, both traditional and digital marketing are still very much alive within the marketing world.
To subscribe or not to subscribe, that is the question?
Let’s look at email vs letters as an example. Email marketing is a great way to get messages out to your subscribers. It’s quick, easy, cheap, and you can include links to as many products as you want. However, you can’t reach those who aren’t subscribed to you.
Luckily, you can drop a letter directly into a house or business with traditional letters. This can be by hand, although the reach will be restricted, or by post, if you know their address.
Many find that receiving a letter is more personal and direct. Not only that, but people also find the business message more trustworthy compared to information sent in an email. Emails are riskier to online customers, as they can come with potential viruses. So, unless you send them a giant wooden horse, they won’t have threats to their security dropped through their letterbox.
What are the kids using these days?
Using digital or traditional can also depend on the target audience.
Teenagers and children probably don’t own a house or even subscribe to email newsletters, but they will have a smartphone. People who use Smartphones spend 50.1% of their screen time on social media. Spending on average 2 hrs and 33 mins a day scrolling and posting. Therefore, reaching out on social media such as Tik Tok and Instagram would be the best approach. According to wallaroomedia.com, out of the one billion users on Tik Tok, the average user is aged 16-34. With 32.9% of all users being 10-19.
Get them on their way to work.
If you are hoping to target those slightly older, then a mixture of traditional and digital would be ideal. They own a house, may subscribe to emails, want to catch up on the news, use social media and often commute to work. According to thebrandsmen.com, 7 out of 10 consumers make buying decisions on their way to work. This can be influenced by the magazines they pick up on the train, what they hear on the radio and the billboards they see. It may be interesting to note that 30% of drivers visited a business when prompted by a billboard.
Social media, dominantly Facebook, also plays a big part in their lives. They may enjoy a good scroll through their feed when they are on their lunch or just chilling at home. SocialFilms.co.uk has found that Facebook has 44.84 million users in the UK and is used daily by 44% of the UK population. The largest age group using Facebook in the UK is aged 25 to 34, with 11.2 million users. And the number of users aged 65+ has increased from 4% in 2019 to 9% in 2020. So, you will still have a good chance of reaching your target audience on and off the internet.
Kids these days, with their internet.
As we just read, only 9% of Facebook users are over 65. Many people in retirement age don’t even have social media. My nan doesn’t even have WIFI. Therefore, a great way is traditional. Grandmas and Grandads are more likely to pick up a newspaper or read a letter.
Newspapers? I know! They may be the last thing on your mind when deciding to market your business, but they are still getting good circulation in the UK. Statista.com has released a report that shows just how many people are still buying newspapers. During August 2021, The Daily Mail had 925,550 sales, the Mail On Sunday had 809,730, and Daily Mirror had 35,510. So, the numbers are still pretty good, considering the popularity of online news sources.
How much!? I’m Sorry But No.
The decision to use digital over traditional, traditional over digital, or both depends significantly on two factors. 1. How much budget do you have. 2. How much knowledge do you have.
Digital media is a lot cheaper than traditional. Running ads on social media is very cheap, and posting is free. A digital store doesn’t require rent, and sending an email means no printing and stamps. Meaning, digital marketing is the best option for businesses with little to no budget.
If you have a little more budget, you can play around with using both. You can use your spare marketing budget to print out posters or buy a stand at an exhibition. And, if you are one of those businesses that have millions to spend, then everything is available to you, aren’t you a lucky bug.
Using all aspects of digital media is also a skill. You need to know how to use social media, email, website hosting tools, design tools, and SEO. So, sometimes sticking to the traditional is just easier.
So, what’s the Verdict?
To answer the question: Has Digital Marketing Replaced Traditional Marketing? All I can say is no. Well, at least not right now. Depending on your target audience, capabilities and skills, you may not even use both. But you should be.
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