Social media platforms function very differently from traditional marketing platforms. Social media campaigns can be modelled and executed to cater a specific segmented target market with almost continuous updates as the preferences and likes of community changes at large. On the other hand traditional marketing platforms distribute messages to a passive audience. In case of traditional marketing whether the campaign reaches the target customer is not known.
Thus these two platforms are different and require a completely different marketing approach. Here are few of the fundamental differences that I believe segregate the two approaches–
- Targeted vs Broadcasts
Social media marketing campaigns are able to reach its desired customers when they are actually looking for products that the marketing campaigns are promoting. While it is not necessary that the pamphlets distributed for traditional marketing are reaching the appropriate person.
- Word of Mouth vs Traditional
Mass marketers always look for referrals. Thanks to new age digital media, the word of mouth has is at a new level. Social media collaboration tools have made everyone a reviewer and allow individuals to recommend brands at their convenience. When sharing is so easy and any information is readily available on Internet, people research on products extensively and take informed purchase decisions. So, people, rather than listening to traditional marketing broadcasts, rely on friends to provide feedback.
- Restricted vs Viral reach
In past, marketing teams were able to mould a brand’s perception around the likes or dislikes of its target audience. The scale and exposure achieved was mostly based on the amount of money spent on traditional mass marketing campaigns. However, the message is not so easily controlled. Social media users choose what they want to share and their choices determine, to a great degree, what messages receive the most exposure online. If they like it, your post can go viral and be shared by thousands or millions of social media users. By the same token, if your brand is subject to negative online attention, it can very quickly lead to chaos.
- Pull Strategy vs Push Strategy
These days if one has to leverage digital media, she/he has to capture interest and web traffic through reliable and useful content. This is all about better customer experience and reflects Pull strategy.
While, Magazines and newspapers mastered this art of push strategy by offering useful or entertaining articles as an allure and then printing ads in the sidebars in traditional space.
- Collaborative vs Competitive
Social Media Platforms promote collaboration where one is leveraging other’s already done work for its own advantage. Though there would always be competition between brands, social media channels have developed an air of collaboration. Internet has always been a tool to facilitate mass connection. Thus, building a long-term community online overtime can have a much greater impact than yesterday’s one-off campaigns.
To conclude I would say, traditional marketing creates limited awareness about brands or products while digital marketing is a revolutionary marketing which consists of advanced features. But without a past there is nothing. We have to use the best out of traditional marketing, and a balance can be achieved between both, Traditional marketing may still have a space to fill but it is narrowing as the world is becoming more digitally based.