Is Digital Advertising The Only Way Forward For Business Growth?

There are many businesses out there today who believe the future of advertising is a digital one.

In fact a considerable number of them believe that internet marketing and social media marketing are the only future, and therefore neglect other more traditional areas of the marketing mix like PR and offline branding and promotion. There is a danger however, that some of these companies may miss out on new business if they fail to address the traditional advertising methods that have served businesses well in the past.

Has the future already arrived for digital advertising?

Whist Search and More has every confidence in internet and social media marketing, we also believe that’s important not to neglect what could be termed as bread and butter advertising, in other words, the strategies that have been proven to work for business. Yes, digital advertising can be good for business and make a significant contribution to growth, but it won’t fix a business overnight or guarantee that growth: the overall marketing strategy will determine this. The important thing to remember is that all advertising, including digital advertising, needs to be integrated into the existing marketing mix and be thoroughly planned. There’s no absolutely no point in sticking a link to a Facebook account or adding a Twitter link at the bottom of a web page, if these sit in isolation and fail to amplify other areas of the businesses marketing mix.

How much of the marketing budget should be allocated to digital advertising?

So what proportion of the marketing budget should be allocated to digital advertising? Should it be 15% or 50%? Well, that depends: it is dependent on the size of the business and the sector of the market in which the business trades. Some analysts have suggested around 15% as a ball park figure, but this could in some cases be prescriptive. Smaller businesses may be able to get away with spending more, and larger ones may wish to allocate less, but the crucial factor is that the digital advertising needs to be integrated into and work alongside the existing advertising strategy and to complement it.

Why is traditional advertising still important?

Now you may wonder why traditional advertising is still important in the digital age. Well, its value lies in its ability to connect with new customers and audiences. It can help to generate leads and connect with the other sectors of the market that online marketing never reaches. Your business can blog or tweet until it’s blue in the face, but there’s a certain sector of the market that these mediums will never reach. As much as it may pain us, some of the decision makers in businesses don’t start their days reading blogs and tweets, but instead rely on good old fashioned newspapers and business journals for their daily fix of news and industry information. Traditional advertising can reach these people: digital advertising probably won’t.

There’d be few would argue that the media landscape is changing quickly, and that digital advertising is the future, however, there is sufficient evidence to suggest that we haven’t quite reached that point yet. Traditional media, PR and branding still plays a significant role in the day to day lives of ordinary business, and to ignore that by focusing exclusively on social media marketing could backfire. The cleverest businesses are using a mixture of old and new media to target as wide a range of customers as possible. Social media marketing is then used to make this advertising more effective and to improve customer service.

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