The Great Debate: Digital Vs Traditional Marketing

The Great Debate: Digital Marketing vs The Letter Box Drop

I attended a Sydney Marketing function in June this year held by the popular Real Estate platform, RateMyAgent, and led by CEO, Mark Armstrong. His presentation was aimed at addressing the evolution of communication with an audience based on how quickly the commercial environment is changing today. This is both a relevant and tough debate, indeed!

While this event was Real Estate specific, it is a topical discussion being held across every industry and every market around the world in all boardrooms and strategy meetings: digital vs traditional marketing.

Where do we spend our precious budget to get the most cut through to engage our audiences and achieve our organisational goals?

So, it’s finally time to analyse both sides and get to the bottom of this debate.

Where Are Our Customers?

Effective Marketing is all about your audience. This is never up for dispute as we all know it to be true. Knowing that, it may be time to take a step back and consider that age old question: have we thought about our customer?

Recent research shows that 87% of consumers now search online for reviews to determine the quality of a local business, and I’m sure that statistic is pretty similar for how people are researching product information too. This is a big shift in behaviour from only a couple of years ago. Organisations didn’t start this- consumers did. We did. We, as people, changed the game, and organisations today are hugely na├»ve if they don’t think people are already doing most of their research before even contacting your business.

As An Example

Mark Armstrong said his son needed an internet router for his house the other day, and at first, he had no clue what a router even was. In about ten minutes online, he become a pro with all of the brands, prices and specifications, then went straight into a local store, went to the shelf and purchased it without speaking to anyone in store.

This is very indicative of the modern customer.

The Digital Interview

Today, it’s all about ‘the digital interview’- in other words, searching online to find more information about a person or business without actually contacting them. Online dating, LinkedIn, Facebook, websites- it’s all about research before meeting in person. Around 70% of customers make up their mind before that stage, which is something businesses need to accept and adapt to.

While statistics are always fickle, all you need to do is think about your own customer’s behaviour, and you instantly know this to be true. Hardly ever does a customer go in unprepared or uninformed.

They’re All Online

How often do we go to a bar or a restaurant, and find everyone looking at a screen? It’s a sad reality, but a reality none the less. That is where your customer is! On their digital device.

People aren’t looking for reviews and information in your physical office or in your marketing collateral – they are looking online. So, being there for your audience is absolutely crucial for your business success.
It’s all about your audience, after all.

The Three Arguments: Digital vs Traditional Marketing

There are the three main considerations when deciding the pros and cons of new digital marketing versus more traditional methods, like the letter box drop or print.

(1) Cost
(2) Effectiveness
(3) Accountability

COST

As a general rule, more traditional methods tend to be far more costly in so many ways. It’s expensive to design, print and physically deliver materials like these. Now look at digital methods: it’s almost instant, requires little design due to templates, and the reach is not physically limited, meaning you can get ten times the exposure for around one-tenth of the cost.

They seem to be light years apart on the cost front.

For example, a client came to me recently and told me that the only advertising he was doing was on the back of local shopper dockets, which wasn’t giving him any tangible results, but was still costing him a few hundred dollars a month. For a fraction of this cost, I put his adverts onto Facebook and Google, and he immediately noticed the difference in leads generated!

EFFECTIVENESS

How long do letterbox drops, print media and even mainstream advertising last?
Think about a letterbox specifically. The printed material sits in an office, then in a mail box all day. Then, when your audience gets home, are they truly engaged when they check their letterbox, stumbling in from work? They are coming home with the shopping, or wrangling the kids. This material has literally one second to capture them in amongst the rest of the clutter, and is so easy to ignore. That’s not to say it doesn’t occasionally work, but the chance of engagement is very low.

Now, consider digital ads. It stays online for a much longer time, and due to the customisable nature of online targeting, it can pop up when the customer is more engaged and in the right headspace. It meets them on their terms, like when they are on their phone killing time, or browsing on a website, and so on. They can also interact with it by clicking on it, watching it, zooming in on it, saving it and much more.

In comparison, think about when you hear a radio ad or see a TV ad: you have to remember and recall the advert at a later time for it to have any impact. This means your audience has to spend the effort to remember to act on it at a later time when it’s more relevant, such as when they get out of the car. Making this worse today is that we are constantly bombarded by ads and messages, which means that it’s very hard to keep one specific advert in your mind. You can’t rely on your customer recalling the message – you need to make it easy and at their fingertips.

Digitally, your customer can fully interact at the very point they experience the piece of content, meaning engagement is far greater.

ACCOUNTABILITY

Which technique truly works? What really has cut through and metrics to measure it? If you ask most organisations who spend budget yearly on letterbox drops, for example, they will say things like “$50,000 a year”, and then if you ask them “does this work?”, all they do is shrug their shoulders.

The problem is, some businesses get into a rut of “it’s how we’ve always done it.” This represents a concerning shortfall in our perspective and our priorities. Our industries are too tough and our competitors too smart for us to be thinking this way anymore.

On the digital marketing side, with retarget marketing and tracking cookies, online communication and adverts are able to serve up your communication to more defined and far better aligned demographics. Your adverts are more intelligent because they learn about the behaviour of your audience and adapt to how they consume content, then works out where and when to best display your marketing.

The Three Battlegrounds of Marketing

From the 1960ies, there has been an evolution of Marketing and communication battlegrounds based on how we built our customer database.

(1) The Physical Address

Organisations clambered to obtain the physical addresses of customers to communicate with them physically, either with a sales person, door knocking or letter box communications.

(2) The Email Address

Next, emails went through an effective stage and businesses rushed to fill their databases with everyone’s @.com address. However today, we have found this to be far less effective do the quantity of spam everyone receives daily.

(3) The Computer Address

People live on their mobiles and tablets now- this is where they are today. The battlefield has become exposure based on IP address online. Building a database of tracking cookies has become the Marketing battleground of today.

While these IP addresses are kept private due to Privacy Laws and you never get the actual details, it doesn’t matter as you can rest assured that this technology is getting your message in front of the right people. Then tracking success comes from the metrics and analytics behind these interactions.
The core essence of Marketing hasn’t changed across any of the above battlegrounds: it’s always been about reaching your audience. The only thing that has changes is how- and this is a direct result from how the marketplace and consumer behaviour is evolving.

What is it about Digital Marketing then?

Digital Marketing is effective because it is customisable. It can target specific demographics to ensure that the best audience is getting your adverts and content at the right times.

The following are three combined ways of how digital marketing finds your audience.

(1) Location

Google tags computers with a geographical location. While letterbox drops can do the same, location is where the comparison ends. Digital is able to combine location with the following two qualifiers to ensure that your message is tailored, rather than mass distributed to just anyone.

For example, in the Real Estate industry, around 70% of residences are investor controlled, which means letterbox drops are ineffective because the people receiving the materials are not the decision makers and therefore not finding themselves in the hands of the right people. Digital equivalents would use location and the following two to ensure it is being fed to the right customers.

(2) Browsing History

It is the fact above that allows digital marketing to take it one step further. The history of your browser paints a picture of the type of person your customer is and their interests, which means that adverts can be served up to match this. It’s not a perfectly accurate science, however due to the cost effectiveness of digital marketing, it has a far better cut through and success rate.

(3) Remarketing and Tracking Cookies

As you move from website to website, tracking cookies embed themselves into your web browser to allow the content be catered specifically to you, so you are not receiving irrelevant messages. This allows advertising content to be shown to a relevant audience rather than just anyone.

Where is Marketing Heading Next?

Given that digital marketing is following around your ideal customer and delivering them relevant content, it seems to be working effectively at the moment. However, if I know Marketing the way I think I do, the next stage will be empathetic retarget marketing, which means showing the advert not just anywhere on any website, but when the person is browsing material that is contextually relevant.

For example, when your customer, who has already been identified as interested in Real Estate, reaches a Real Estate or property website, the ad will be displayed, as opposed to how it is now, where it comes up on any website they may be looking at.

It’s all about being in front of the right customer when they are in the right frame of mind.

The Attraction Marketing Concept

Have you heard of the term “attraction marketing” along your travels before? Many people have come across this concept and tried to implement it into their business, unfortunately with little to no results. In today’s post, I’ll be taking a closer look at attraction marketing in the hope that you can yield some positive results from implementing the concept into your online business.

How cool would it be to have prospects lining up to get at what you have to offer, instead of having to chase them for their cash? That’s what attraction marketing is all about, it’s simple, yet very effective strategy that can elevate your business onto a whole new level.

Attraction Marketing Concept:

The concept of attraction marketing begins when you lead with value, instead of with your products, business or opportunity. Your goal is to position yourself as an expert when people come searching for what you have to offer. You then aim to provide value to that person above everything else.

People come online each day in search for experts, mentors and/or authority figures. When you came online to make money, did you search for an authority figure to learn the ropes from?… it’s called mentor shopping. You need to position yourself as a leading expert in your field and have people searching for what you have to offer. The truth is though, attraction marketing is a skill that must be learned, but, if you do put the time into learning and implementing this approach to marketing within your business, you will skyrocket your income with very minimal effort.

The Basics of Attraction Marketing:

The basics are pretty straight forward in theory. In practice though, it can be a little tricky for most marketers, simply because the whole concept of giving value before looking for anything in return is alien to them. Your number one goal should be to ALWAYS provide your prospects with value. Anything else is just going to get in the way. Think of all the big name marketers out there at the moment. Are they providing value? Are they fulfilling a need? Are they experts in their niche? Do they over deliver? Have they got raving fans willing to buy their next product as soon as it’s released?

When your goal is to help people get what THEY want, you will see the very same thing being attracted into your life/business. If I sell a crappy product, I can be sure that customer is not coming back. If I give advice that’s useless and helps no one, I can be sure I will not be attracting people to come listen to what I have to say. I know this all sounds very simplistic, but let me tell you, most marketers out there are looking to make money. Their goal is nothing more than that… and they’re failing big time.

I would much rather give incredible value away for FREE to help people get to where they need to be. Only then can I expect them to come back to me for more advice/services further down the road. Think about the power of this. People are naturally attracted to authority figures and people they know can help them. This is why attraction marketing is very important in your online business. If you are just like every other marketer out there selling products, you will find it very difficult to rise above the noise and stand out from the crowd. You MUST have people searching for what you have to offer, instead of YOU searching for them. Imagine that, having people actively searching for what you have to offer… what a contrast to how I see so many others doing it.

If you provide enough value to people they will come back, tell their friends/family and share your stuff within their social communities. People love to buy stuff, they just hate being sold to. Just give them what they want and over deliver every time.

Important: Attraction Marketing is NOT just about providing great products to your prospects. It has a lot more to do with “YOU” as a person. You need to be a person that others are attracted to. Like I mentioned earlier, people look to authority figures for guidance. You must position yourself as that authority figure. If people trust you, they will listen to you, follow you and buy from you over and over again.

How to Find a Successful Ecommerce Marketing Strategy

There are many ways that you can find a successful ecommerce marketing strategy. These factors include determining what your needs are and which efforts of marketing will work right for you.

There are many different types of advertising efforts that you will see in an ecommerce marketing strategy. These include press releases, content writing, email campaigns, and even link building. It will usually depend on what your needs are before you can determine which efforts you want to add in your campaign.

The first thing you need to do is make a determination of exactly what your needs are before you make a decision on the type of ecommerce marketing strategy you want to use. You need to know exactly what you need to do to meet the goals you want to achieve. First, determine what it is that you want to do. You might be lacking traffic to your website and need to draw in more customers or you might notice that you have plenty of traffic but you notice that they continue to leave right away as soon as they get to a certain page on the site. Make a list of all of the problems or goals you want to achieve.

Once you have a list of the things that you want to achieve with your ecommerce marketing strategy then you will know exactly what it is that you need to do in order to be successful. This is because each of the different marketing techniques are designed to provide different results. For example, if you hire someone to provide content on your site then they may draw in more traffic to your site by getting you a better ranking with the search engines. If you already have a good ranking then this may not be what you need. Blogging can draw in traffic and get you a better rank as well. You might just need someone to come in and repair broken links or fix pages on your site. By looking at your needs, you will know what it is that you will need for the marketing campaign. If you hire a professional marketer then they can help you with your efforts also and they will know exactly what to do to help you meet your goals.

Some people try different things to get their ecommerce marketing strategy working the way they want it to. However, when you are clear on your needs for the business then you can be successful the first go around. It is important to remember that a marketing professional cannot make promises to you that are unrealistic. This means that if they promise you a number one rank in a search engine it may be short lived. You might actually get a top rank for a week or so but things change on the web all of the time. A more realistic promise would be that they can get you on the first or second page of a search. However, it is important to keep in mind that you need to continuously update the site to remain in the forefront.

Another factor with a successful ecommerce marketing strategy is cost. It is not successful if you are paying more money than you are gaining with the efforts. For example, if you are paying for keywords as pay per click campaigns require then you might have a ton of traffic clicking on your link but not purchasing. This can be a high cost for you without a return. The goal is to make money. Today, most of the marketing efforts in a campaign are free if you have the time to do them yourself. If you decide to hire someone then the efforts are very low cost and much less than pay per click. This is because you will pay a one time fee and not a continuous monthly payment for the keywords. You can make use of keywords without paying for them and a professional can show you how to do so.