This is probably the greatest dilemma that businessmen and marketers are facing at present. Back then, marketing was not as complicated as it is today. Companies used to depend solely on Traditional Marketing for their promotional activities, which revolved around the tri-media—print, TV, and radio. These types of placements usually come with a monetary cost, depending on the slot and on the duration of the advertisement, unless the company is lucky enough to get the spot through an exchange-deal. An exchange-deal or ex-deal involves giving the publishing or broadcasting company a sample product and/or service in exchange of the advertising spot.
Because of the expense that came along every exposure, some companies have started viewing advertising as a liability, rather than an asset. Doubts on Traditional Marketing’s effectiveness have also started arising due to its perceived limited audience as broadcast and circulation may be restricted by geographical limits. Since these media are highly accessible to audience of all ages, traditional marketing contents needed to be somehow generalized; thus, failing to focus mainly on the brand’s target market.
However, the coming of a new marketing platform provided solutions for these problems. And to rephrase the aforementioned statement, “back then, marketing was not as diverse as it is at present.” With the coming of the Digital Age, development of technology, and emergence of internet-capable or “smart” devices, it is not any wonder that there would come a time when marketing would be “digitized” as well. This phenomenon has eventually brought about the shift from Traditional Marketing to Digital Marketing.
Digital Marketing used to be limited to emails and websites. This is more effective because it provided a direct and personal connection with the brand’s potential market. However, the World Wide Web can be a world full of deceit. It is sometimes hard to tell the difference between a legitimate advertisement and an adware. Certain advertisements may expose the users to spyware, malware, and other threats. And what happens to unwanted and unsolicited emails? They simply end up in the Spam folder, worse, Trash folder even without the user reading the email. Same goes for some website advertisements. Fancy visuals and catchy taglines may get users’ attention, unfortunately, only a few dare to click them. These ads may have successfully raised awareness, yet it should not stop there. Since then, there has been a need for a new marketing platform that companies can use without giving customers the feeling of being spammed or bombarded with unsolicited ads.
Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, Kevin Systrom, Ben Silbermann, and many more — great names that surely ring a bell, right? These web programming geniuses and their brainchildren have definitely given legitimate advertisements justice, providing a new avenue to prove that they are indeed, legitimate. By their brainchildren, of course, we are talking about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest, and many other social networking sites! Perhaps the great success of social media may be equated to people’s fear of missing out or simply FOMO. With these sites’ goal for people to “stay connected” and “get in-the-moment updates,” unknowingly, users have eventually started to develop a certain kind of attachment with their gadgets, virtual friends, and followers. Definitely, marketers saw this as a great opportunity to get in touch with their current and potential customers.
Before, it used to be companies feeding, bombarding, and spamming customers with their unwanted advertisements. Now, customers themselves seek advertisements and updates directly from the brands as they choose to follow them online. It is empowering in the part of the customers because they are given the option to follow these brands or not. Moreover, it is empowering for the brands as well, as customers choose to follow them.
Almost all companies nowadays have engaged in Social Media Marketing. Why? because it’s the trend! People spend almost half of their days scrolling up and down their newsfeeds, liking and sharing posts, favoriting and retweeting tweets, and even reposting posts. Aside from that, companies want to do more without spending more. How? The effort they have to exert in developing their pages is not as much as the time and money they have to spend in other marketing channels. Plus, social networking sites allow real-time interaction with their customers, thus, it’s a lot easier and faster to gather customer insights. These are just some of the benefits of social media marketing. More of these shall be discussed as we go further.
So, the question remains, is Traditional Marketing still applicable in the Modern Day? Maybe yes, maybe no. It actually depends on the company’s objectives and its target market. But just as how some conventional traditions from our ancestors are still applicable at present, some companies still incorporate the use of traditional marketing in their strategies. It’s probably safer to say that it’s not totally a shift, but an integration, rather, of Traditional and Digital Marketing.