Is social media better than traditional marketing?

All of have seen television advertisements when we were younger. It was a 1980s – 2015s thing. Now-a-days we see advertisements on different platforms and they have become more fascinating. In this article we will compare both traditional as well as social media marketing methods and know which one is beneficial. Though both of them have their own advantages, we will decide which is more popular, easy to implement, cost friendly and attracts more audience. Before comparing both the types of marketing we should know a little more about them. 

What is social media marketing?

Social media marketing, as the name suggests, uses social media platform for marketing. It uses social media platforms to connect with the audience to build a brand, increase sales, and drive website traffic. This involves publishing great content on your social media profiles, listening to your followers and engaging your followers, analyzing your results, and running social media advertisements. It is consumer oriented.

The most important factor that makes people to turn towards Social Media marketing is convenience. Social Media Marketing is an economical and faster way to promote your service/brand as compared to the more expensive and time-consuming process of traditional marketing.

Social media marketing is a part of Digital marketing in which content writing and publishing plays a huge role. Content marketing is more about what does the audience want than about your brand or product

What is traditional marketing?

Traditional Marketing is a marketing strategy which applies traditional methods, more specifically it is an offline method. It relies upon offline strategies like direct sales, direct mail (postcards, brochures, letters, fliers), tradeshows, print advertising (magazines, newspapers, coupon books, billboards), referral (also known as word-of-mouth marketing), radio, and television. In most cases, the goal of traditional marketing is to create brand awareness. 

The strategies for developing a traditional marketing plan vary widely, according to the form of advertising used and the type of business. In some companies, particularly small businesses, the entire staff will contribute to planning and execution. Larger companies often have marketing departments dedicated to creating advertising campaigns that use traditional marketing.

Social media marketing vs Traditional Marketing: 

  1. Permission vs. Interruption
  • Social media marketing – Permission-based marketing is customer-centered, allowing the customer to be an active part of the marketing communication and not just a passive recipient.

It often has a high conversion rate and can effectively target and engage specific audiences.

  • Traditional marketing – Interruption marketing is the traditional model of product promotion, in which people have to stop what they’re doing to pay attention to the marketing message or deal with it in some other way. Examples of interrupt marketing include: Telemarketing calls, Mail campaigns, Salesmen going door to door to sell a product
  1. Earned Audience vs. Rented Audience
  • Social media marketing – Earned media is marketing by third-party entities that isn’t paid for. It is an outcome of a brand’s public relations and branding, and customer experience efforts.
  • Traditional marketing – Traditional advertisers pay money to media platforms with an existing audience to get their messages across to people who use those platforms.
  • Paid media could be heading toward saturation as customers grow weary of ads and ad fatigue sets in. Earned media, on the other hand, continues to grow in prominence as users actively participate in engaging with the brand.
  1. Less costly vs. more costly
  • Social media marketing – When comparing the costs with other marketing methods, Social media marketing costs the lowest as all the social media platforms are free to use. Most of the times it is not outsourced. Even when people outsource it, costs incurred are minimal.
  • Traditional marketing – Traditional marketing methods cost enormous amounts of money as they may or may not be digital. One has to buy ad spaces and all the advertising is paid and not free.
  1. Valuable information vs. Sales- Specific Information
  • Social media marketing – As it aims at drawing audience towards the brand, the information presented is informative as well as very interactive.
  • Traditional marketing – As traditional marketing aims towards promoting and advertising more, the information presented by it is always sales specific and brand related.

If we are playing favorites, then traditional marketing has a different type of charm to it. Though interruptive but the suddenness of it causes the audience to take a look at the and the message is conveyed. It also consists of some amazing advertising campaigns like

  1. Nike: Just Do It.

Ad Campaign: Print, Television, Internet

  1. Coke: Share a Coke

Ad Campaign: Print

  1. Old Spice: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like (2010)

Ad Campaign: Television, Internet

  1. Fevicol: #TodoNahiJodo

Ad campaign: Television, Print

  1. Vodafone: Zoozoos

Ad campaign: Television

And let’s be real, we all sing the washing powder nirma song and throw various ad references into conversations. Although, we can’t ignore the fact that while comparing pros and cons of social media marketing and traditional marketing, pros of social media marketing outweigh traditional marketing. Also, traditional marketing has many cons that can’t be ignored.

Pros of traditional marketing

  • Easy to reach local audience.
  • Promotional materials can be kept and recycled. 
  • Its familiarity makes it easy to understand. 
  • Studies suggest that hard copy marketing are easier to process and recall. 
  • It has a high and proven success rate.

Cons of traditional marketing

  • Traditional marketing can be more expensive than digital marketing. 
  • Traditional marketing is often not as measurable as digital marketing.  
  • Traditional marketing can take longer to execute and refine than digital campaigns
  • Traditional marketing doesn’t have the same ability to target and sub-segment as digital. 
  • Traditional marketing is gradually losing its audience.  

We are able to see that traditional media has its own advantages. However, this type of marketing spending isn’t recommended for firms of all sizes. On the other hand, social media marketing is a solution that can and should be employed by all firms due to its highly effective, cost friendly and very simple nature.

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