According to Smart Insights’ managing digital marketing research report, nearly half of all businesses don’t have a clearly defined digital marketing strategy. In other words, half of businesses are leaving profit on the digital table. This is a shocking number considering the year-over-year rise in the number of internet users. Amazon just became a trillion-dollar company. Online shopping has become the default way to buy goods and services for millions of people.
If you don’t have a strong digital presence, you’ll never be found by people who start their customer journey online. Let’s look at some of the advantages of digital marketing, as well as the disadvantages of digital marketing. It will help you weigh the pros and cons of hiring a digital marketing agency.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Digital Marketing
There are many articles out there boasting about the advantages of digital marketing, but you should also be aware of the disadvantages of digital marketing before investing your time and money into a digital marketing strategy.
Advantage 1: Digital Marketing can Reach More People With Less Effort
Digital marketing has made barriers of distance a thing of the past. For instance, any company can ship worldwide. The internet has made it possible to sell and provide a variety of services remotely. For example, a digital marketing agency in Orange County can service clients all over the world with a fully remote team.
The challenge is getting your business found. Many people start their buying journey at Google. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the branch of digital marketing that focuses on putting your business in the best possible position to be found by potential customers. In other words, SEO is the most important strategy in today’s digital age. When done well, search engine optimization lets you target many more people with less effort than was possible in the pre-internet era.
Advantage 2: Direct Customer Interaction Is Possible With Digital Marketing
The internet revolutionized marketing by making it conversational. For example, email marketing and social media marketing are the two areas of digital marketing that revolve around direct contact with your target audience. This is an advantage for a couple of reasons.
Customers take to social media to express their good or bad feelings about a product or service. If you have an active presence on social media, you can address complaints as they happen and potentially fix the situation.
Advantage 3: You Can Measure Effectiveness and Make Adjustments Post Campaign Launch
Directly engaging with your target audience also provides you with way more insight than any fake buyer persona ever could. The better you know your target audience, the easier it is to make changes to your marketing campaign.
With Digital marketing, everything is trackable. You can see how long people are viewing your videos on platforms like Facebook and YouTube, for instance. With email marketing, you can see exactly who opened your email and if they clicked on any links.
Now let’s look at the disadvantages of digital marketing.
Disadvantage 1: Having a Digital Presence Makes it Easy to Go Viral for the Wrong Reasons
When a company’s digital marketing campaign goes viral, more often than not it is because of something controversial. In other words, “All press is good press” certainly does NOT apply to digital marketing.
In addition, having a digital presence means unhappy customers can express themselves on their blogs or social media profiles and negatively influence your target audience.
Disadvantage 2: It’s Easy to Get Distracted by Bells and Whistles
Many software companies prey on business leaders who want to reap the benefits of a digital marketing strategy but want to use tools to automate the process. They get distracted by the bells and whistles of these tools and, before they know it, their entire marketing budget is spent on tools with no ROI to show for it.
Disadvantage 3: Maintaining a Digital Presence A Lot of Time and Energy
Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking they can handle the management of their business’s digital presence themselves. Then they spend all their time doing the things it takes to run their business, therefore leaving themselves with no time for digital marketing.
You must have a passion for digital marketing if you want to handle it yourself. If not, you should outsource your digital marketing to a digital marketing agency.
Advantages of Digital Marketing over Traditional Marketing
It is great if you already have success with traditional marketing efforts, but don’t get too comfortable and think you don’t need to add digital to your marketing mix. Let’s look at the advantages of digital marketing over traditional marketing.
Digital Marketing Allows You to be More Efficient with your Budget
The first advantage of digital marketing over traditional marketing is efficiency. For example, imagine you are gifted $5 million you can spend only two ways. You can either buy a 30-second ad during the Superbowl, or you can invest it all in your digital marketing budget.
You could fund your digital marketing campaigns for years with that kind of money. Obviously, you don’t have millions to spend, but the point is the same regardless of budget – you get way more bang for your buck from digital marketing than you do with traditional marketing methods.
Digital Marketing can Track the Customer’s Journey through Your Marketing Funnel
Trackability has always been one of the limitations of traditional marketing. Coupons, for example, are really the only way to track if a traditional advertisement leads to a purchase. They can only measure general trends that take weeks, sometimes months, to provide any meaningful data.
The second advantage of digital marketing over traditional marketing comes down to metrics. There are several metrics you can use to track the customer journey from awareness to purchase. Most digital marketing content includes links to sales pages on a company’s website. Every single click on these links is trackable. You can see exactly which post or advertisement was the source of the traffic. You can also see which actions people take next once they get to your website.
Digital Marketing Allows Marketers to Create Highly Personalized Campaigns
Targeting in traditional marketing usually involves generic buyer personas that paint a business’s customer types with broad strokes. All they have to work with is the subscriber information of a print publication or the viewership of a TV channel.
The final advantage of digital marketing over traditional marketing is you can create highly personalized campaigns with digital marketing. One of the biggest benefits of hiring a digital marketing agency is they have experience using digital marketing tools. These tools collect and analyze customer behavior data to maximize the use of personalization in campaigns.
Discussing the advantages of digital marketing with a team of experienced digital marketing professionals will help you see exactly how a strong digital marketing strategy can increase your share of the market. Contact us to learn more about what we do.