Traditional and digital marketing both aim to reach the target market and spark a consumer interest in the product or service. Traditional marketing encompasses media channels such as television advertising, radio, magazines, newspapers, billboards, fliers, brochures and direct mail. These means have provided retailers a way to present their products to broad audiences in targeted areas.
This form of communication is basically a one-way communication, where the advertiser communicates to the consumer.
The advent of digital advertising has opened up a whole new means of reaching consumers. Advertisers present their products on websites, through e-mails, as ads on web pages, social media platforms and on mobile technology. Digital technology created a two-way conversation between retailers and consumers in an open system where engaging communication in a real-time format can occur.
Consumers can interact with retailers, friends and competitors easily; therefore, retailers must prioritize a positive brand relationship within the digital community. In providing friendly and engaging advertising, brands now can create a personal relationship with their customers. This will reinforce their brand presence and brand loyalty greatly.
Digital marketing complements traditional marketing
Digital marketing complements traditional marketing in a format which enhances advertising integration. Many retailers use a marketing mix that combines both formats in their campaign strategies. By optimizing their brand presence with this strategy, a wider exposure to target market consumers can be obtained.
For example, Summit Racing, which sells high performance auto parts, advertises their products in automotive magazines and specialty catalogs. Summit provides consumers with at retail catalog which includes all its merchandise and prices. Summit also advertises at racing events and tracks across the country using banners, stickers, and fliers in addition to race car team and track sponsorship. The retailer also advertises digitally on automotive websites, e-mail advertising and other racing interest websites (Summit, 2015).
The evolution of digital marketing
Digital market continues to evolve at lightning speed. New technologies are being created daily and marketers continue to embrace the opportunities that arise to reach new consumers. As Mark Schaefer, Executive Director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions predicts, the advent of wearable technology will revolutionize the digital market scape dramatically (Odden, 2014).
Mobile phone technology has opened a whole new avenue to market products and services.As Tom Webster, Vice President of Edison Research points out, the improvements and increase in use of mobile technology will eventually allow for the improved integration of a human-centered model which will unify both online and offline marketing completely (Odden, 2014, para. 23).
Consumer exposure to digital marketing
Consumers today typically view digital marketing on a daily basis. Many enjoy the convenience of online shopping and use a variety of shopping clubs to save money on purchases.
For example, cash back shopping sites such as TopCashBack or Ebates allow consumers to get a percentage of their total shopping purchases back, just for shopping through the aggregator. The aggregator advertises retailer sales, discounts, and special deals. This is a great place to make money while you shop!
Another great example of digital advertising is Ad Choice ads which appear on webmail accounts and various other pages online. As consumers peruse their e-mail or other sites, tailored ads appear that are based on their past shopping preferences.
For example, a consumer may be shopping on the Nike website and viewing a variety of different athletic shoes they may be interested in, but perhaps did not purchase on that site visit. Advertisements for the exact athletic shoes they were viewing may appear on other web pages prompting them to possibly reconsider their purchase decisions.
Some consumers may feel that these types of ads are intrusive, however, retailers have been very successful in providing an additional opportunity for product sales. E-mail marketing provides a great way for retailers to bring attention to a great product offer or discount coupon while providing an easy call to action button where customers can just click and shop directly.
The Google search engine is also a great place for advertising. Paid Google ads which are relevant to the search query appear on the right side of the search page providing retailers with additional consumer exposure.
One of the top digital marketing leaders
Amazon.com is one of the top leaders of the digital marketing approach. Consumers love the fact that they can obtain just about anything they may need through this retailer, receive exceptional customer service, and track or view all past purchases very easily. Amazon Prime also provides members with several other exceptional benefits in addition to the free two-day shipping option, which is very attractive on its own.
Amazon sprinkles its customer banners and ads just about everywhere on the Internet. Providing some of the best price options, individual sellers on the marketplace, ability to sell your own products, etc., makes Amazon the one of the top retailers in the digital environment.
In fact, according to data compiled from Kantar Retail for Stores (2014), Amazon's U.S. retail sales increased by 27.2 percent to $43.96 billion, which increased the retailers overall sales ranking (Wahba, 2014).
Changing roles in the marketing profession
The traditional role of the marketing manager has substantially expanded to encompass a wide variety of new skills. A need for new occupations has been created in the marketing arena due to the explosion of technology and the rush for retailers to harness new opportunities. Market specialization in areas such as social media, e-mail marketing, search engine optimization, content marketing, and marketing analytics have emerged due to the digital environment.
Skills in all of these areas must be learned so that marketers have a strong handle on the digital marketing format of the new era. "The industry is rife with missed opportunities in existing training and skills acquisition efforts" (Kelly, 2015, pg. 3). In essence, there is a lack of fully digital marketing professionals. Many retailers are recognizing the need for specialists in each of the new marketing areas to ensure smooth integration of the marketing strategy across all formats.
Kelly Services. (2015, July 1). State of digital marketing talent. Kelly Services. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu/bbcswebdav/institution/USW1/201560_04/MS_MRKT/MRKT_6110/readings/USW1_MRKT_6110_DigitalTalentReport.pdf
Odden, L. (2014). 21 digital marketing trends & predictions for 2015. Retrieved from http://www.toprankblog.com/2014/05/digital-marketing-2015/
Summit Racing. (2015, July 1). About Summit Racing. Summit Racing. Retrieved from http://www.summitracing.com/customerservice/about?ibanner=FB1