Digital vs. Traditional Marketing
Marketing is a necessity for agents and advisors. If consumers don’t know you exist, you aren’t going to get their business. Those of you who have been in business long enough probably remember when your options were limited to what we now call “traditional” marketing methods. For years, we had to rely upon TV, radio, print, and direct mail to get our messages out to consumers.
Fortunately, this is no longer the case. The digital era has opened us up to a wide variety of ways to get in front of prospects and communicate with consumers. But that doesn’t mean digital is the be-all-end-all of marketing your business. Traditional methods are still viable and, in many cases, necessary. A good marketing strategy requires balance. And balance, in turn, requires insight. To help agents and advisors make the most of their marketing efforts, we look at some the key difference between digital and traditional marketing.
The money you spend on traditional methods will depend on the medium used and the frequency of the campaign. For TV or radio ads to be effective, they need to run multiple times a day and during times when more people are tuned in. This can get expensive as most outlets charge more for peak air time. When you factor in production costs (or layout, print and postage fees for direct mail), these campaigns can quickly consume your marketing budget.
By comparison, digital marketing and advertising is very cost-friendly and flexible. Social media platforms allow you to set a budget before launching the campaign and make adjustments as needed. While it will cost more to run an extended and high-frequency campaign, you have the ability to dial things back and change course mid-stream if the campaign isn’t going as well as expected. This is where the benefits of analytics come into play. You can get real-time results on the performance of your campaign, measure ROI, and gain valuable, data-driven insights so you know what’s working and (more importantly) what isn’t working.
Reach, Control & Presence
Unless you buy ad space/air time with an outlet that caters to a niche audience, you have little to no control over who might (or might not) be exposed to your message. Even then, there’s no guarantee that your target market will be actively watching or listening when your ad runs. The same concerns apply to print and direct mail. Will the consumer stick your mailer on the fridge so they can come back to it later? Or will it land in the recycling bin?
Digital ads and sponsored posts follow the consumer and can be shared across multiple channels. Social media, Google AdWords, email services all provide the benefits of segmentation, customized audiences, and geo-targeting. This hyper-focused delivery allows you to target specific demographics, regions, and markets. Digital also comes with an inherent “always on” factor. This means that anytime a consumer is online, they could potentially come across your content.
Traditional methods of content delivery are a one-sided conversation. There is little to no opportunity for active participation or engagement from consumers. Basically, once you launch the campaign, it’s up to the consumer to respond and start the conversation.
Consumer experience is a key ingredient to a successful marketing campaign. Digital content provides an opportunity for businesses and consumers to interact and communicate with one another. This is a great way to build credibility and foster real relationships with your prospects before they sit down for the first appointment.
These comparisons aside, traditional marketing still has a place at the table. Print and radio ads are great for brand awareness and can help boost your professional status within your community. But this is the digital era. With more and more people abandoning print and broadcast in favor of their online and streaming counterparts, you need to consider how many eggs to put in each basket. That balance largely depends on your services, target market, budget, and other factors. This can be a difficult, but important decision to make.
Did these points speak to you? Stay tuned for information on how we can help turn you into a digital marketing rockstar.