Marketing is a tool that can be used on a variety of different platforms and take many forms. Traditionally marketing and advertising was created on billboards, newspapers and through television adverts. But since the rise of the internet and the innovations in social media as a bi-product marketing has seen a shift from the real world to the virtual. Trends in marketing tend to suggest that more and more companies are using online marketing over the more traditional marketing methods. There are great arguments and reasons why online marketing is better than print and vice-versa, but the reality is your marketing and where you choose to place marketing is subjective and depends on your business, target market and what your goals are.
Choosing the correct platform is essential, if you choose to market your company in a place where none of your target audience is then the campaign will not be worth the time and effort. Here’s an example, two clothing brands want to create an advert and market it to their target audience. One brand is modern and aged at 18-35 year olds and the other is aimed for the over 50s. Due to the first brand being aimed for younger generations using social media such as Facebook to advertise would be a good place to start as that is where you can find that demographic. Using this logic, the brand aimed at the over 50s could advertise their garments in a newspaper, magazine or in a TV times type of publication. Unfortunately, in many cases it is not as straight forward as this because target demographics are not always so clear cut.
When your company has a range of different demographics for your products and services using a mix of marketing platforms will work best. Being visible on platforms and in places where your target is creates more business and brand awareness.
Online marketing pros
Marketing online is a great and often cost effective way to get your company out there. The internet is used by millions for finding out information, researching and looking things up. So by having a website or social media presence alone will help your company reach interested leads.
Using social media platforms for marketing allows two-way conversations between your company and your clients. Due to the nature of social media, communicating, talking and engaging is easy and provides customers the ability to interactive and react instantaneously.
The Internet is always open, 24/7, this allows constant access to your company’s website and social media is someone chooses to access it.
Online marketing campaigns can have a faster turn around than print methods, this is due to the ease of uploading images to a website or social media platform, flash sales or discount codes can be posted within a matter of hours, whereas doing this by using print media could take weeks, in addition you will have to pay for advertising space.
When using online marketing tools, for example posting a video advert of Facebook you can instantly track how many views, likes, shares etc. the video gets, this kind of immediate feedback allows your company to move faster in addition to have instant feedback and gain insight into customers opinions.
Online marketing cons
Due to the endless scope of the internet it is easy to lost within its depths. Being the top of a Google search is costly and not always effective. Although the interactive nature of social media can be great it can also create undetermined back-lash. There are many occasions where companies have taken a risk on social media but Tweeting resulting in damaging their brand. If a customer is unhappy or displeased with your companies services or products a negative review might be made. Negative reviews can damage your company’s credibility and effective future successes.
Print marketing pros
Although print marketing does not appear as modern as other digital forms, the scope and impact of it is noteworthy. Print publications are offer a unique set of benefits for marketing and gaining interest. Unlike emails that can be easily missed, deleted of flagged as junk, having a tangible leaflet, flyer or business card is hard to miss.
Having a printed piece of marketing is often viewed as more legitimate due to its physical form.
Print marketing materials are also super trustworthy. In this recent survey, over 500 UK smartphone users were asked who they trust with their data. The findings revealed that flyers are the least intrusive (7%) and most trustworthy (21%) form of marketing. Online ads trailed behind at 17%.
Targeting specific demographics is made easier when using print items such as leaflets, your company can target certain areas, house and demographics that you be best for your services.
Having a tangible item also makes it easier for potential customers to look back and find out information, searching online when you can not remember the exact name of a company can be difficult.
Print marketing cons
Print marketing does tend to be more costly than digital alternatives due to the resources, printing, design and production of making a leaflet, poster or flyer. Using paper and plastic for marketing has environmental implications that being purely online does not.
It can be hard to decide if your company should use online marketing or print variations, however using both in unison can create a well round, operational and successful marketing plan. Marketing campaigns are successful for many reasons, but firstly having reach, accessibility and visibility over a mix of marketing platforms makes sure that all options are covered and your company is out there and in the minds of customers and potential new customers.
Printed business cards or leaflets can be used to direct people to your company’s social media or website. Integrating both online and offline marketing maximises your company’s visibility and accessibility to a wider range of potential customers.