As an entrepreneur you know the importance of constant development. Your marketing strategy is an important guideline for the realization of your future plans. You examine the opportunities and threats in your market and ensure that your organization is ready to respond to these developments. Due to the advent of information technology, the pace at which changes take place has increased considerably and the behaviour of both the consumer and the business customer has changed drastically. Moreover, we are facing a daily overload of information. As a result it is becoming increasingly difficult to reach your target group.

 

Online marketing versus traditional marketing

Due to internet the marketing discipline has changed completely. Where in the traditional marketing, communications were primarily aimed at the masses, online marketing is ideally suited to individualize and personalize the communication. Below are the main advantages of online or internet marketing to the offline version:

  • Online marketing makes it possible to provide tailored information.
  • The effects of marketing on the internet is very well measurable.
  • Online marketing offers potential interaction with the audience, where offline marketing is mostly one-way traffic.
  • The reach of online marketing is much greater.
  • Online marketing makes it possible to gather a lot of information about the behaviour of the target group.
  • Online marketing makes it possible to use the marketing budget more effectively, especially since the information can be tailored to the target group in a very detailed way.
  • Online marketing resources are relatively inexpensive. “Relative” because it takes a significant investment in time to deploy these resources or channels effectively.

Seamless integration

The fact that online marketing offers considerable advantages compared to offline marketing, is obvious. This does not mean, however, that we have to turn our backs on traditional marketing or offline means of communication. Just when both forms of marketing are harmoniously integrated with each other, the best results can be achieved. After all, word of mouth still shows the greatest positive effect on strengthening your image. In the current era, however, conversations have also moved to the digital environment and this online word of mouth can be influenced in a positive way by the organization itself. Not participating in the online conversations results directly in missing opportunities.

Customer journey

The main reason why it is important for entrepreneurs and marketers to coordinate both forms of marketing as closely as possible is that in this way the purchasing process that the customer goes through can be influenced in a positive way. This purchasing process is also known as the ‘customer journey’. Consciously and unconsciously, we are all being influenced daily by the marketing tactics of many organizations. For example, the height of an article on the supermarket shelf determines whether you are just or just not grabbing that one product and putting it in your basket and recalling a banner from Booking.com on your smartphone reminds you that you still have to book that business trip to Singapore. Bad experiences with a provider of a product or service is often a reason to switch suppliers. More and more organizations realize that a pleasant customer experience is crucial for customer loyalty across all contact channels. Because this customer journey takes place both online and offline, it is therefore very important to properly coordinate all contact channels (also known as ‘touchpoints’). All these links ensure that a potential or already existing customer is guided through the purchasing process as well as possible. For example, a prospect may consult your website after seeing a post on LinkedIn and then contact the sales department by telephone. If the employee in question who answers the call does not convey the same feeling as your website or social media page did, then this is directly at the expense of your credibility. Does this feeling for your potential customer match, he or she will be more likely to purchase.

Opportunities for your organization

Making use of online marketing offers many opportunities. Once you have mapped out where your audience is online, you can use social media to promote a positive word of mouth. Not only will this strengthen your brand image, but also can it lead to a significant increase of your name recognition. In addition, if your online communications seamlessly merge into your offline communications, you can actively guide your target group through the ‘customer journey’. What content corresponds exactly with your target audience, is something you should investigate and test just like with traditional marketing. The advantage of online marketing compared to the traditional form is that you can accurately measure the influence of your online presence, allowing you to spend your marketing budget more effectively. Social media platforms also provide the perfect opportunity to engage in an interactive conversation with your audience. This is an excellent way to bind your relations to your organization for a longer period of time.

Online support

If you, after reading this blog, have questions or would like help with your online marketing strategy and its implementation? For a free consultation about the digital marketing opportunities within your organization you can fill in the contact form below.

Author Kelly

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