Marketing is everything a company does to place its product or services in the hands of potential customers. In order to do this better than the competition they must know everything about their customers from what their need is and how they can satisfy it, to what need can they further create. In order to be successful, the companies need to maintain a very good relationship with their existing customers and to know their future need even before they know it. The focus nowadays is to sell as much as one can to a customer, focusing on the existing customers while acquiring new ones and treating them as individual persons and not as a target group. The amount of big data coming from everywhere, starting with the website, social media or direct calls helps companies to know their customers, to do analysis and forecasting. But in order to use wise these big amount of data, companies need to automate their marketing processes through marketing automation tools. Brand awareness and customer retention may rise if companies become more aware of the potential blending both digital and traditional marketing campaigns.

The digital marketing concept

“The practice of promoting products and services in an innovative way, using primarily database-driven distribution channels to reach consumers and customers in a timely, relevant personal and cost-effective manner is known in the theory and practice as digital marketing”.

Digital marketing is a blanket term for the targeted, measurable, and interactive marketing of goods or services using digital technologies in order to reach and convert leads into customers and preserve them. The main objective is to promote brands, shape preference and boost sales through several digital marketing techniques. Alternative terms for digital marketing are often: ‘online marketing’, ‘internet marketing’ or ‘web marketing’. The fundamental concept in digital marketing is based on the inbound marketing approach or generally it’s called customer centric approach. Inbound marketing means to promote a business through blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, e-newsletters, whitepapers, SEO, physical products, social media marketing, and other methods of content marketing which serve to interest customers through the different stages of the purchase funnel. Inbound marketing means marketing activities that bring visitors in, earning the attention of consumers, making the business easy to be found, and also drawing customers to the website by generating stimulating content. As long as technology continues to advance, digital marketing will as advance as well. Digital marketing is similar to traditional advertising, but the main difference is in the use of digital devices.

Digital marketing’s advantages

  • Cost efficiency: compared to traditional mass media marketing, digital marketing has much lower cost and in many cases websites can generate traffic even for free.
  • Interactivity: the online users can choose when to initiate contact and for how long.
  • Empowering effect One of advantages of online marketing is related with its enabling effect especially on small businesses since “internet can extent market reach and operational efficiency of small and medium enterprises (SMEs)“.
  • Infinite audience: a web for example can reach an entire globe, but if necessary it is also possible to tailor a digital campaign to reach a local net.
  • Duration: online information is permanently available. Active users approach: the offered online content is offered to users on an ongoing basis, and they choose to consume it or not.
  • Dialogue with and among users: online marketing allows collaboration between users and gives the wright to free expression of their opinion regarding the product /service.
  • Rich content: digital marketing offers practically unlimited content and also the possibility to easily update the content when necessary.
  • Easy measurable: digital technologies allow the measuring of impact much easy than traditional marketing.
  • Adaptable: It is easy to change online content based on users feedback.
  • Personalized: digital marketing is able to create offers and programs that can be customized or personalized based on the profiles or consumer behavior and their preferences.

The balance between traditional marketing and digital marketing

It is no doubt we live in a digital era and the use of internet has increased and still growing as statistics show. The world has transitioned into a very digital environment. There is a continuous debate on whether digital marketing is overpowering and surpassing traditional marketing or not. Many analysts think that digital marketing has taken over and traditional marking has lost his importance. But others consider that traditional marketing is still very much used and digital marketing is combining very well with it. A recent study conducted in 2015 by ZenitOptimedia shows that in the last five years the use of internet has grown a lot and on the other hand the use of other media has decresed or just slightly grow. The situation states as follows: Internet (+105%), Outdoor (+3%), Television (-8%), Cinema (-11%), Radio (-15%), Magazines (-23), Newspapers (-31%). The same study made by ZenitOptimedia reveals that in average people spend over 490 minutes daily using some sort of media but what is still surprising is that television remains dominant, representing approximately 3 hours of daily media consumption, while internet is on second place. But the trend shows a decrease for television, while internet has constantly growing. The biggest increase in the use of internet has been among young adults, with time spent online almost tripling in the past 10 years, fueled by increasing use of tablets and smartphones. Older people may seem to still prefer to spend their time on more traditional media channels like television or radio and in consequence they are still consumers of traditional marketing.

This is a summary of the article “Blending Traditional and Digital Marketing”, written by Raluca Dania Todor, Transilvania University of Braşov, and originally published on the Bulletin of the Transilvania University of Braşov, Series V: Economic Sciences • Vol. 9 (58) No. 1 – 2016– Vol. 13, 341 – 360 (December, 2015).

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