The days of billboards, commercials, and newspaper advertisements seem to be fading into obscurity these days for professional services firms (unless you are a personal injury lawyer). Instead, digital efforts such as social media advertising, Google ads, and optimized websites are replacing these traditional marketing efforts. But is this switch benefitting companies? We say yes.
The divide between companies and customers used to be much more defined. There were typically only a few outlets to reach customers, and all the businesses were vying for those spots.
Today law firms, accountants, healthcare providers, and other professional service businesses can interact directly with customers via websites and social media for virtually nothing. When these companies spend money on digital advertising efforts, it becomes even easier to reach the right audiences.
This ease of access is just the tip of the iceberg regarding the benefits digital marketing has over traditional tactics.
Five Reasons Why Traditional Marketing Isn’t Helping You
1. Traditional Marketing Provides Less Data
Traditional marketing efforts are difficult to track. For instance, a personal injury law firm may receive an estimate of how many cars drove past its billboard but not how many people actually noticed it. In contrast, social media advertising allows you to break down results into valuable bits of information.
For example, social media allows you to analyze impressions, clicks, the amount of time someone interacted with an ad, and more, all with a simple dashboard.
Another critical element missing in the data traditional tactics offer is demographics. Again, you may know how many cars drove past a billboard, but not who was driving. This type of information is particularly valuable when branding as it allows you to assess if your advertisements are reaching your target audience.
2. Interruptions Versus Continuation
Many consumers view commercials or magazine advertisements as interruptions to the media they’re consuming. This means that more often than not, the most a consumer may feel while looking at a traditional ad is indifference as they quickly pass it by for the content they were really looking for.
In contrast, effective digital marketing is often more integrated into a platform and can even enhance or continue the digital experience.
For example, how often have you interacted with a video or photo that was interesting to you, only to realize later on that it was an advertisement?
This is the beauty of digital marketing. If done well, it can be engaging and appealing to the consumer.
3. Conversation is Key
More and more people are seeking authentic interactions with brands rather than being spoon-fed impersonal advertisements. Direct mail, billboards, or print media lack the interaction that consumers are craving today. When considering branding, an essential element is to have a personality behind your brand.
With digital marketing, there are countless ways to create a connection and engage with consumers. Whether through the comment section of a post, direct messages, or digital surveys, consumers and brands can have open, two-way communication.
4. Don’t Skip Out on Brand Awareness
Traditional marketing provides fewer opportunities to build brand awareness. Almost any conventional method pushes a product or service rather than establishing general awareness of the brand. This could be because large-scale traditional efforts are cost-prohibitive, limiting them to already well-established brands that aren’t concerned with building awareness.
In contrast, digital marketing efforts offer many ways to establish an undeniable and memorable brand presence. From various social media pages and websites to newsletters, there are countless ways to implement brand awareness tactics less centered around sales and more centered around establishing the brand.
5. People are Online A LOT
We all know that the American people spend a considerable amount of time online. We even saw a whole new level of that digital dependency during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ultimately, a business should always be where its audience is.
With traditional marketing, you can’t guarantee your desired customer will be watching tv at the right time, flipping to the appropriate page in a magazine, or looking up as they drive past a billboard.
On the flip side, digital marketing can offer that guarantee. Not only is it a fair assumption that your target audience is online, but you can also directly target them through advertising efforts to make sure they connect with your business.
All of this information doesn’t mean there isn’t a time and place for traditional marketing. Instead, it should simply serve as a reminder that the amount of time or places are far more limited than they used to be. As a professional service business focusing on branding and engaging its audience, more often than not your money is better spent in the digital sector.