Businesses have multiple electronic options for reaching billions or millions of current and prospective customers through digital marketing tools such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, email, corporate websites and blogs.
For decades, conventional marketing traditionally involved carefully crafted radio spots, television ads, telephone book listings and ads, newspaper ads, magazine ads, brochures, slick sheets, postcards and newsletters.
Although it appears that there will always be a place for print marketing to exist alongside digital marketing – much like the co-existence of e-readers and printed books – Internet marketing offers several advantages that print marketing cannot. For example, digital marketing has a much greater reach than conventional marketing. Mailing a printed postcard involves design work, printing, postage and shipping to the recipients of a mailing list.
Digital Marketing Offers Greater Reach With Customers
But creating an electronic newsletter or a Twitter tweet ensures that marketing messages consistent with the company brand can be seen locally, regionally, nationally and even globally. And the marketing message isn’t just limited to words and images; it can be spread through video as well. YouTube videos have the potential to go viral and reach millions of potential customers, with viewers serving as self-appointed brand evangelists and spreading marketing messages worldwide.
Internet marketing also offers greater flexibility than conventional marketing. Once printed, a marketing piece may not be altered unless it is redesigned and reprinted, with the accompanying costs.
Digital Marketing Offers Greater Flexibility
Internet marketing, however, is much easier to tweak. A LinkedIn company profile can be quickly changed to show new business products and services as the result of company expansion, or a business may use A/B testing to determine the e-mail subject line that resonates most effectively with customers and encourages them to open and read an e-mail.
Similarly, a Facebook ad can be tailored to suit a specific local audience of a predetermined age range and who have a common interest, as opposed to the traditional “spray and pray” approach of conventional marketing. In addition, there are numerous electronic tools available to measure the effectiveness of a targeted marketing campaign.
Digital marketing’s biggest advantage, comes from its ability to create meaningful links between a business and its customers. Customer reactions to blog posts, tweets and Facebook posts provide helpful insights into customers’ true needs and opinions, so that products and services can be adapted to meet those needs, which consequently results in greater sales and improved profits.
Digital Marketing Offers Tighter Bonds With Customers
Most importantly, Internet marketing provides small and medium-size businesses with an equal chance to compete with much larger businesses. Many forms of digital marketing are free or low-cost, allowing companies with smaller marketing budgets to be as effective as big businesses with well-funded marketing budgets.
Digital marketing offers customers numerous opportunities to react and reach businesses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Although quick responses places a considerable amount of responsibility on businesses, the companies who demonstrate fast reactions to their customers’ queries and issues typically create more lasting and trusted relationships with their customers and ultimately increase their chances of long-term survival.