I spend a good deal of my time reading about products and services which are designed to help you, our readers, build your online business. Recently however, I came across an interesting product review where they explained that traditional marketing is dead and buried while Internet marketing (and in their case, specifically social networking) is alive and well.
What is Traditional Marketing?
Just to get our points clear, traditional marketing refers to things like newspaper and television ads, yellow pages ads, billboards, etc. I don’t think these things are dead by any means. I still relish reading the New York Times each day for example, but I do think that Internet marketing is much more effective at much lower cost.
Not convinced? Consider broad vs. targeted marketing. Anyone who has arranged for a marketing campaign before will understand these terms:
Broad marketing refers to sending your message out there, to a broad audience. For example, if you were to purchase an ad which runs during the popular TV show Glee, that is broad marketing.
Now I’ll grant that there are demographics. For example, Glee is likely less watched by the highly intellectual individuals and is probably more watched by mainstream America (I don’t claim to be an expert on demographics for TV shows so this is my best guess. I know I enjoy the show and I’m a middle aged man).That said, you are still reaching a very wide swath of the population by putting out this kind of an ad.
Targeted marketing by comparison tries to be a bigger fish in a smaller pond. The idea is that you look for customers who have a specific interest in your products. A traditional media method for example would be a union newsletter.
Years ago, I was a public school teacher and the union newsletter always had ads targeted at teachers. That makes sense. You wouldn’t put ads in a teacher’s union newsletter if you were trying to sell services aimed at law firms, now would you?
The thing about targeted marketing however is that it’s often much more effective than broad marketing because you are hitting people right where they want to be hit. They have plans to make a purchase of a specific product and as such, they are more open to being targeted for a specific ad tailored to their needs.
The Internet Excels at Targeted Marketing
Sure, there are broad marketing options on the Internet as well, things like advertising on the New York Times website for example, where you’ll gain a very broad swath of the public. However, the Internet is much better at helping you to get targeted marketing.
SEO for example is all about targeted marketing – you are looking for a very specific swath of people who are interested in a very specific type of keyword. That’s why I’ve said in the past that long tail marketing is so powerful – because it lets you laser target people interested in what you have to offer and lets you be the big fish in the small pond.
So Is Traditional Marketing Dead?
I wouldn’t go so far as to say that. Then again, I’m not trying to sell you a specific product (the item I mentioned above was a course in social media marketing). I will say instead that for a small business trying to make their mark, using tools like SEO and highly targeted marketing strategies is almost always going to be a better use of precious advertising dollars than traditional marketing.