Still Thinking Traditional Marketing Is Better than Social Media? Think Again!


Recently, I’ve met with several prospective clients who questioned the value of social media versus traditional marketing.

Like it or not, traditional marketing is going away.

Anecdotal evidence abounds!

Just look at the amount of advertising copy in your local newspapers. (That’s if you can find your local newspaper anymore!)

The New York Times Sunday edition is not as heavy as it once was even at Christmastime.

On television, many of the consumer goods commercials we used to take for granted are long gone and seem to have been taken over by ones pushing healthcare and financial planning to aging Baby Boomers.

Part of this switch has do with the collapse of brick ‘n mortar retailers.

As I write this blog, Toys ‘R Us is having going out of business sales for all its remaining stores.

While their traditional advertising has been declining for years, does anyone really expect Amazon or Wal-mart to start printing ads to fill the gap left by their demise?

Don’t hold your breath.

The graphic that I included with this article comes from a very good article on Inc42 entitled The Transition from Print Marketing to Social Media Marketing. (The link is above.)

The highlights from that article that I want to discuss are the drawbacks to traditional marketing and why it’ll continue to go away.

First, little to no interaction with your audience.

Traditional marketing has often been described as “fire and forget.”

You spend your money and hope for the best.

Social media allows for interaction and allows the world to see this going on.

Second, traditional marketing is very costly.

Social media has global reach and an unlimited ability to use various content types.

Not to forget, that this capability can be almost immediate without the delays and printing schedules of traditional media.

Third, tough to measure ROI.

With the possible exception of coupons, it’s very difficult to determine how effective traditional marketing is.

Remember how AC Nielsen used to collect viewer data back in the day?

If anything, social media may suffer from too much data to calculate ROI.

Next, difficult to receive feedback.

Traditional marketing is pretty much divorced from the feedback process.

Social media is two way and real time.

Further, everyone can see how well you respond to customers.

Finally, poor conversion ratio.

This leads back to the problem with ROI.

How can anyone tell what caused the customer to commit or to buy?

Social media allows the customer to tracked all the way through the sales funnel to becoming a real, live customer.

When you ask yourself, why social media?, think about these points I just laid out.

Traditional marketing will be around for a long time, but, it’s hey day is long gone.

The question for businesses now is whether they want to associated with the past or the future.

That’s it for now!

Please check-out my 8 step approach for developing a social media program to get some more ideas on how to use social media.

Also, never forget to reach out to either ask questions or to ask for help from someone like myself!

In the meantime, thank you for following and reading my blog!

I look forward to any and all comments that you may have. I will reply to any comments made to this blog post as promptly as I can.

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