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As a business owner or Managing Director, it’s hard to keep up with changing trends and demands from your target audience, especially when there are bigger issues at play – like supplier price increases, staffing issues or simply earning enough to get the wages paid.

Marketing your business is often left to the last and de-prioritised when under pressure. But the way your customers are shopping for houses, holidays, cars, clothes, and seeking products and services has changed. Therefore the way your product or service is marketed needs to change with it, in order to keep the momentum and sales revenue going, and in the right direction. Here we discuss the merits of Traditional vs Digital Marketing activity, and what is the right mix for business success.

Don’t Ignore Digital

Traditional methods of marketing your brand, product or service (print, radio, direct mail, TV) will still drive awareness and has merits that cannot be ignored, but you may be missing a large portion of your target audience if that is the only way you communicate with your target audience. In 2013 Frost & Sullivan’s new research reported that in NZ, over 65 % of New Zealanders between 15 and 65 owned a smartphone, with ownership expected to rise to 90% next year in 2018  – essentially we have the internet in our pockets, with the ability to research, share referrals or buy anything with absolute immediacy. 89% of consumers begin searching for products or services using a search engine. (Fleishman Hillard)  If you have no digital presence or brand – you may not have a brand at all.

Know Your Target Audience

We’ve said this before, but it’s crucial to really understand who you are targeting, and what their preferences are; where they research purchase decisions, how they shop (for products, services) when they are busy and what their purchase influencers are. If your target market is baby boomers; (born 1960’s) you may want to consider a mix of traditional media as well as digital, but targeting Generation X, millennials & Generation Z (born 2000’s to now) is a whole new ballgame.

We Have a Website

It’s not enough anymore to simply have a company website. Working solo, your website is simply a static billboard that may not have anyone driving by for weeks. It’s important that website content is updated regularly, the site is easy to navigate both on desktop and on mobile, and that it serves a purpose/actually achieves something. Does your website truly reflect the brand or services you are selling?  A good digital strategy will then drive your target audience to your website.

The Benefits of Digital

The benefits of digital marketing are many, but the clear standouts are the cost per reach and instant results you achieve with digital – the engagement and interaction with your target audience is instant. Receive feedback and comments on what worked and what didn’t, as soon as you post or update. Sales, clicks & visitation can be tracked immediately, and interaction can be measured easily with online metrics. Traditional media can be harder and costly to measure.

Digital marketing is very cost-effective – reach your true target market at a fraction of the cost of a 6-month print campaign. Reach more of your desired consumers, in multiple markets without needing to leave the country. Did you know you can even geo-target your consumer online?

Digital allows you to have closer engagement with your customers and potential customers. Test ideas, thoughts and new products and services with them first, before investing in development. Receive insights and ideas even from those you are marketing to but are not currently purchasing. Digital marketing allows you a fascinating insight into your target consumer if handled right.

Right Platform

However, you do need the right digital platform for your brand or service. Facebook isn’t a must for every business, and very much depends on who are trying to reach and the type of business you are in. Is Pinterest right for a car insurance company? It may well be – if this business is trying to recruit Gen Z as they learn to drive. A good Marketing Consultant that is briefed on your brand/product or service will easily be able to take your business objectives, understand your target market needs and develop a comprehensive digital strategy for you, within a comprehensive Digital Marketing Action Plan. Contact us to find out how we can handle it all for you.

Don’t Rely Solely on Digital

Digital activation also can’t be done successfully in isolation – consumers still need the reassurance of authenticity. There is still value in Traditional media and methods of marketing; consumers still want to test, taste and experience their preferred services or brand directly and in real life. Traditional media can and should support a good digital strategy, to form an integrated approach if you will, where the brand or service messaging is consistent and true across multiple mediums. Don’t dismiss the impact a well delivered industry event or well messaged traditional billboard can have, with a link into a compelling call to action within an online campaign.

In Summary, it’s a Mix

A balanced mix of Traditional and Digital marketing activity, targeted correctly to your target market can increase your brand or service awareness, engagement levels, reach and ultimately your sales revenue. Don’t be frightened by digital marketing, it has enormous power, is cost effective and has the ability to connect you directly with your desired target audience.

If, as a business owner, entering the world of Digital Marketing feels too hard, a good Marketing Consultant that is briefed on your brand/product or service will easily be able to take your insights and objectives and develop a comprehensive digital strategy and implementation plan.  Contact us to find out how Energise can help you.

EMA “Business Plus” magazine July | Energise Marketing

NB: This article was published in the EMA “Business Plus” magazine. Enterprises of all types and sizes join the Employers and Manufacturers Association, for opportunities to learn and grow, make valuable business connections and change the world. EMA provides its members with professional advice and training to succeed in many aspects of business.