The rules may be changing in the world of marketing, but there are some things that are still staying the same. Digital marketing is something that cannot be ignored, but the processes used to reach people over the internet or through other digital outlets is very similar to successful traditional marketing efforts. That makes it very easy to implement a digital marketing plan right now.
On the other hand, there are specific resources, platforms, and processes you may need when considering digital marketing for your next outreach effort. If you don’t have them, then you may wind up spending money without actually reaching your targeted demographics.
Before stepping into this world, the pros and cons of digital marketing should be considered so you can gauge the level of involvement you need for your next campaign. Here are some of the key points to be considered.
What Are the Pros of Digital Marketing?
1. Digital marketing is very low cost.
If you’re running a shoestring budget, then you can’t beat what digital marketing can provide. Some platforms can even be operated for free if you’re willing to put in the sweat equity to get results. Even if you’re paying professionals for your digital marketing efforts, however, the costs can be up to 50-75% lower than comparable marketing efforts with the same potential outreach.
2. Digital marketing can access a massive audience.
The issue you have with traditional marketing efforts is that you must target a generalized demographic. You can target TV viewers, for example, or radio program listeners or magazine readers. Direct mail can reach a specific zip code or neighborhood. Digital marketing, however, can reach an entire globe. There is no limit to the scope of this process. As long as someone is connected to the internet in some way, you can reach them with a marketing message.
3. Digital marketing caters to multiple demographics simultaneously.
This might be the biggest advantage you receive when implementing a digital marketing plan. No matter how specific your targeted demographics happen to be, you can have your message reach people within that group. Gender, age, socioeconomic status – virtually everyone is online or can connect to the internet on a regular basis today.
4. Digital marketing is fast – like super ultra fast.
According to Statistic Brain, the average attention span for someone online right now is 8.25 seconds. For the record – that’s shorter than the attention span of a goldfish. It’s a good thing then that digital marketing is fast enough to keep up with these shorter attention spans. One status update, one helpful post, or one responsive comment is all that is needed to get your branding message to the top of a prospect’s mind.
5. Digital marketing reaches decision-makers.
About 2 in 3 adults who have access to the internet and regularly use blogs, social media, and other online communication tools consider themselves to be the decision-makers in their homes. This means you get to reach the people who decide how to spend their money instead of reaching only the people who need to ask someone else if they can buy what you’re offering.
6. Digital marketing creates brand interactions.
Business transactions will always involve two components: how well you can solve a problem and how deep the relationship is you have with a customer. Digital marketing encourages brand interactions, which helps you to build up effective relationships. As long as your products, services, and digital marketing efforts offer a strong value proposition, you’ve always got an opportunity to make a sale.
7. Digital marketing offers you an opportunity to expand your customer service.
One of the biggest complaints customers typically have about a brand or company is the lack of customer service they receive. If you’re on Twitter, Facebook, or quickly respond to emails that are sent, then you can get ahead of certain issues that might come up during the sales process. This can help to eliminate some of the negative feedback that might head your way and eventually damage your online reputation if it happens frequently enough.
8. Digital marketing creates higher levels of brand loyalty.
Relationships create loyalty. Loyalty creates repetitive business opportunities. It is far more profitable to attract repeat customers than it is to constantly reach out to first-time buyers. Digital marketing can help you establish the loyalty that you’ll need to solidify your business presence.
What Are the Cons of Digital Marketing?
1. Digital marketing is going to consume a lot of your time.
According to data compiled by Social Media Today, more than 60% of digital marketers report spending at least 6 hours per day on their digital marketing efforts. About 1 in 3 digital marketers say that they spend 11+ hours working online every day. This means it may not cost a lot to get a marketing campaign up and running from a financial standpoint, but you’ll need to make a solid sweat equity investment.
2. Digital marketing always creates negative public reactions.
Digital marketing will attract plenty of people within a targeted demographic. The only trouble is not every person is going to have a positive response to your efforts. There will be negative responses, especially from people who may feel like your brand has wronged them in some way. There are trolls that may work to destroy your brand reputation because it’s “fun” for them to do. Scammers, spammers, and other trouble is lurking out there as well. You’ve got to have a thick skin when you’re working online today.
3. Digital marketing sometimes takes control out of your hands.
Sometimes this can be a good thing because your campaign goes viral and you end up receiving a lot of unexpected exposure to your brand message. It can also be a bad thing when someone takes your marketing campaign, publishes negative content about it, and their post ends up going viral. You really can do everything right and still discover that your brand reputation has been tarnished at the end of the day.
4. Digital marketing can make it difficult to determine your ROI.
Only 1 in 3 digital marketers report that they can reliably measure the results they receive from their digital marketing efforts. Another 1 in 3 digital marketers say that they don’t know if they are measuring their metrics or Key Performance Indicators correctly. The other digital marketer in that group of 3? Yeah – they don’t even know how to measure their ROI. This is an area you’ve got to get sorted out before you get your campaign up and running.
5. Digital marketing sometimes takes control out of your hands again.
When you are working online, you are relying on the services of others being reliable and accessible. If your digital marketing efforts revolve around Facebook and that site has a prolonged outage, then your campaign has a prolonged outage as well. It is far too easy to put all of your eggs into one basket to save some time when running a campaign, but that can backfire in a big way.
6. Digital marketing campaigns are very easy to copy.
It literally takes two clicks of the mouse to copy information from your campaign efforts. Sometimes all that is needed to take away a market share from your efforts is to trade out one logo for another one. You must remain vigilant when marketing online to make sure that your efforts aren’t being used against you by your competitors at the end of the day.
7. Digital marketing can get lost in the online white noise that exists.
People are inundated with information today. This causes many people to either skim information or to completely ignore it because they are feeling overwhelmed. If your campaign feels like internet advertising, you might find more people are ignoring what you have to say just because they have information fatigue.
8. Digital marketing judges you on first impressions.
First impressions matter everywhere, of course, but they might be the most important aspect of a digital marketing effort. If the first impression of your campaign is unprofessional in any way, your products or services aren’t going to be taken seriously by a majority of people who encounter it. You must be targeting people in ways that are appropriate for your product or service in order to establish the positive first impression that is needed.
These pros and cons of digital marketing show the importance of being online, as well as the importance of having clear, precise message. If you can establish a tempting value proposition and then follow through on that promise, then you’ll be able to increase the chances of experiencing a successful campaign.
Have you participated in a digital marketing campaign in the past? What do you feel are the key pros and cons of digital marketing that should be considered before initiating a campaign? We’d love to hear some of your thoughts about this important subject.