When you consider the numerous advantages digital marketing now has over traditional forms of advertising, particularly television, it’s hard to understand why any company (particularly a start-up or early stage company) would choose anything else. Digital media has reaching the point in popularity where social networks now challenge television for ad dollars, and this trend is not likely to change anytime soon. This article discusses why social networks may be preferable to television for any company, particularly start-ups and early stage companies with limited budgets.
Digital Marketing vs Television Advertising
Traditional advertising (i.e. television, radio, print) has been coming under attack in the past decade or so largely based on the fact that it is very expensive--- almost prohibitively so, and it’s hard to measure its efficacy to say nothing about whether it actually provides a positive return on investment.
The problem with television is that it requires a substantial upfront financial commitment, generally in the millions, that cannot be scaled down. This represents a formidable “economic barrier to entry” for small to mid-size companies with limited budgets. Also, this financial commitment must be made without knowing specifically how many sales will directly result therefrom. Television advertising (like most traditional advertising) is indirect and passive in nature. That is, the company has to rely on the consumer to respond to the ad by coming into the store or going online, and ordering a particular product or service. If he/she does not find the message appealing, there is very little that a company can do to correct the campaign midstream. Also, television has no mechanism for effectively dealing with human procrastination. Television does not promote strong customer relationships. Finally, there is very little “audience targeting” with television advertising, which means that a company must pay for messages to people who may have absolutely no interest in purchasing its products or services. Although cable television is far more targeted than broadcast T.V., it’s still impossible to target a television ad so that it “plays” only to audiences with a specific interest.
Digital marketing is different. Many of the shortcomings of television advertising (discussed above) may be minimized or eliminated altogether with digital marketing. Digital marketing is generally cheaper, and can be scaled to fit almost any budget. The efficacy of digital marketing is easier to measure, particularly interactive digital marketing. Digital marketing campaigns can be structured to counteract human procrastination. Also, digital marketing promotes strong customer relationships that can generally withstand challenges from other products or services. Finally, digital marketing is more targeted than traditional marketing, and can be limited to those who have a specific interest in a product or service based on demographics or other factors. Thus, it’s easy to understand why digital marketing campaigns can produce fairly substantial returns on investment.
The key is to hire the right consultant to craft a digital marketing campaign that is:
Targeted to the right audience via smartphone;
Scalable to fit a limited budget;
Effective at delivering the company’s message; and
Produces measurable results.
Once your company decides upon the merits of digital marketing over television, generally, it is important to understand some of the techniques used by companies to effectively promote their brands over the various digital media.
In the digital realm, it is important to have a web presence that accomplishes the following goals (i) establishes the essential elements of the brand, (ii) creates a "framework" for engaging meaningfully with customers and web visitors, and (iii) creates a "digital sales funnel" through which web visitors are ultimately turned into paying customers . This includes a website (preferably ad-agency quality), as an anchor to the company's web presence, and social media profiles on those social media networks where targeted customers are most active (i.e. Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, among others).
For more information about how your company may build its brand effectively over digital media, please contact us at (805) 796-5655.
Mr. Wright is a graduate of University of Southern California, Economics, and Harvard Law School. He is currently the President and CEO of E-Copywriters Plus.