Marketing Trends for 2018: Is Digital Marketing a Replacement or an Added Asset to Traditional Marketing?


All kinds of businesses in all kinds of industries are investing in digital marketing to generate significant traffic and leads. At a global level, marketers are devising digital marketing strategies and implementing them to optimize the use of various digital channels like email, social media, search engines, and others. As per Adobe’s 2018 digital trends survey, the top-performing companies are twice as likely to classify themselves as digital-first as compared to their peers. Why? What led to the popularity of digital marketing practices over the traditional marketing methods over the last few years?

Let’s dive in to know more.

The major reason for this marketing evolution is the remarkable presence of audience on digital platforms. According to a research by Statista, there are over 4.1 billion active internet users and 3.3 billion active social media users as of July 2018. Such huge numbers are what compels the modern marketers to go online and instantly reach the users or prospective customers across the globe.

Traditional marketing

In most simple terms traditional marketing involves print ads in magazines and newspapers. It also includes TV commercials, flyers, business cards, and others. These are the advertising methods which every 90s kid is well-acquainted about and has grown reading and watching them.

These traditional ways proved to be beneficial in terms of higher attention spans, longer shelf life, and tangible feeling. There is something special about them as they deal in physical space with the physical beings. It is remarkable how these methods effortlessly inform us about the services or products without trying too hard. Sometimes, in the comforts of our home, we come across a TV commercial which talks about something new and then it becomes our all-time favorite brand, that’s the beauty! Or a flyer comes across that directs us to our fitness destination, and so on. This often results in a random discovery of a product or a place which we desired for or where we always wanted to be.

However, these traditional means of marketing are now on a decline as we are accustomed to the digital data in the form of app content, online text, video, and more. Also, they have become less favorable overtime because of following low points:

  • Often intrusive
  • Don’t provide much value to the customers
  • Expensive

Digital marketing

When the marketing tactics utilize the internet and various online platforms to reach the global audience, it’s considered as digital marketing. It involves building a website, sending out business emails to the stakeholders, posting blogs, posting Youtube videos, and advertising the brand via varied social networking sites. As a result, digital marketing tactics are further branched out and comprises of subcategories but not limited to:

  • SEO
  • Content marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Automated marketing
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Native advertising
  • Pay per click (PPC)

There are multiple ways to club these marketing techniques to create a robust and profitable marketing policy. As an example, a company’s digital marketing strategy might include an SEO expert to optimize the website content and blog posts, a content marketer to churn out high quality and valuable content in the form of a series of blogs. Then, a social media marketer may repurpose the written content to promote the brand across the social networking platforms. And then lastly, an email marketer may send out regular client emails to the existing users and prospective services promoting and educating them about their products or services.

Some of the advantages of digital marketing over the traditional methods include:

  • Delivers value: In the form of blogs, infographics, newsletter subscriptions, or Youtube videos, digital marketing focuses on distributing high-quality unique content. This helps in keeping the audience well-informed and help them analyze and make the best decisions. As stated by Inc., 70% of the internet users prefer learning through content rather than through traditional advertisements.
  • Delivered on request: Unlike traditional advertising which is often intrusive, a user consumes digital content as per their wish. The audience visits a website, read a blog, watch a video, and subscribe to a newsletter only if willing and convinced. Also, they have complete freedom to consume content over the desired platform and in the desired format like video, text, or graphics.
  • Cost-efficient: Creating and distributing online marketing materials is highly cost-efficient when compared to the traditional marketing materials. Where print involves high printing costs and distribution prices, the digital content can be swiftly distributed worldwide at zero or minimal costs. However, paid online ads incur expenses but are often less expensive than the print ads and generate high ROI.
  • SEO benefit: Digital ways of marketing have the advantage of getting indexed for various online search engines. For example, posting weekly blogs to your website increases your brands’ page from a few to hundreds, this will help your brand in gaining more online exposure and chances of grabbing user attention. The search rankings can be further improved by adopting proven SEO tricks.
  • Shareability: A highly valuable digital marketing content quickly and easily gets shared online. If luck supports, it may even become viral in a matter of seconds. This benefits the businesses in terms of positive word of mouth marketing and may prove to be a game changer. It’s also supported by the surveys stating that buying decisions of customers are highly influenced by the opinions of their friends and family.
  • Detailed analysis possible: Digital marketing becomes all the way more preferred because of thorough analytics right at your comfort zone. The success or failure rates of a marketing campaign can be immediately recognized with the help of numerous efficient analytics services available in the market. Based on these insights, one can modify or improve the future marketing policies or campaigns.

Way forward to an integrated path

Now that we know the highs and lows of both traditional and digital marketing. What comes up as a viable solution is an integrated marketing approach to make the best of both worlds. Yes, it’s entirely possible and makes sense. Utilizing both of them together will let you reap all the benefits technology has to offer and simultaneously connect with the audience on a personal and emotional level.

traditional marketing

For example, if you’re a health magazine publisher, you can publish an app and deliver captivating content, subscriptions, and tips to the customers. When the app users are in the vicinity, you may send out notifications to visit your store, compliment them with freebies, educate them with personalized health tips, and attract them towards buying a magazine subscription. At the same time, look forward to organizing local promotional events and distribute free sweatshirts and business cards along with personalized recommendations and worthy information.

You may also choose to adopt the cross-promotional techniques where you can simultaneously promote more than one service. Say you’re an online fashion magazine publisher. In addition to publishing your magazine, publish blog posts to provide valuable information to your audience and conduct promotional events to spread awareness. Here, you can inform users about the trending designer houses with their complete store addresses or distribute discount coupons of a salon on buying a yearly magazine subscription.

Next steps

We’ve gone through the marketing aspects in detail and found out how a merged marketing approach can take our business to a higher level.

So, what do you think? Are you ready to tweak your marketing strategies and generate big revenue?

This post might have given you goals on how to attract your modern consumers and prospective customers without being invasive and trying hard.

Stay motivated and get started with innovative marketing!!

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