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15. June 2022

Digital advertising: Better than offline marketing?

In this article: 

  1. Digital advertising: Better than offline marketing?
  2. Adaptability is required
  3. What is digital advertisement?
  4. What does digital media offer that TV advertising does not?
  5. What are the costs of digital advertising?
  6. Offline marketing vs. online marketing: Which one is better?
  7. Conclusion
  8. FAQ

 

Digital advertising: Better than offline marketing?

Businesses prove themselves against competitors with good marketing. Because of the rising competition, it is required to re-think strategies and be innovative. But even more important is advertising to reach the right target group. In the past years, the direction has changed and social media as well as facebook advertising have started a new age of marketing. But are these methods better than the classic ones?

Social Media icons
Digital advertising: More than Social Media | © Adem AY 

 

Digital advertising: Adaptability is required

A company's success is defined not only by a brilliant idea or marketing strategy, but also by its ability to adapt to current trends. Until around 2010, digital marketing was still in its infancy and only a few companies even had their own website or email inbox. But in recent years, it has become very clear how businesses of all sizes benefit from digital marketing. It has never been so easy to achieve national or even international recognition and to address one's target group in a targeted manner. 

How dangerous it is to oversleep such trends is demonstrated by the company "Quelle". The company from the Bavarian town of Fürth successfully held its own on the market for more than 80 years, but the situation changed - the company continued to rely on the tried-and-tested Quelle catalog and disregarded digital trends. The insolvency application followed in 2009. Admittedly, an insolvency application is not due to a single misstep, but oversleeping current marketing trends played a serious role in this case.

This example shows the serious consequences that affect even established companies if they fail to adapt to change. The transition from classic marketing methods to digital advertising is not complete - on the contrary - new trends regularly emerge and this allows more creative scope, but this also increases the pressure in the competitive battle. 
The change is having an effect, and this becomes clear when looking at the strategies of companies of all sizes. Terms such as "social media" or "content" did not attract any attention ten years ago, but in 2022 they are an integral part of every marketing portfolio.

 

What is digital advertisement?

Marketing and advertising - many use these terms as synonyms but they have different meanings. Marketing is a holistic, strategic process which doesn’t only focus the aspects of advertising but also involves administrative and personnel decisions. Advertising on the other hand is how businesses communicate their marketing strategies to their potential customers. Classic marketing methods are TV advertising, flyers and banners. Digital marketing re-defines the process of communication and focuses on social media as well as social advertising. 

Examples for digital advertising:

The influence of digital advertising is growing and plays a decisive role in the marketing of a company's own offering. This also expands the opportunities to try out creative approaches (e.g. gamification). A few years ago, few people would have thought of presenting their advertising via a screen rather than a billboard. But it was precisely these changes that redirected the course of success for many companies.

 

What does digital media offer that TV advertising does not?

More and more businesses use the possibilities given by the age of digitalization. People of all ages use social media as well as they use google search to find inspiration. Digital displays prove themselves because they appear more high-grade than classic banners and the possibilities regarding designs are much bigger. There are many more reasons because besides reaching the right target group and the process of design, businesses find more other advantages. 

The advantages of digital advertising are the following: 

  • Higher adaptability
  • Mobile availability
  • Efficiency in terms of costs
  • More discreet 

Both companies and their target group benefit from these advantages - this interaction makes digital advertising an useful option as a whole because businesses work more efficiently and they reach new customers at the same time.

-> Article: User Experience: How to execute it in 2022 

 

Higher adaptability

Growing competition is causing companies from all industries to think in several directions. Not only does a company's own offering and its relevance for potential new customers play an important role, it must also constantly keep an eye on the competition. Competitive analyses were already part of a company's tasks before the digital transformation, but in the course of digitization, this subarea is weighted more heavily than ever before. New trends are regularly established and there are changes in marketing, which means that companies that do not take these trends into account will be at a competitive disadvantage.

The short-lived needs of the target group also require a flexible rendition of advertising in order to appeal to precisely these needs and target people. Classic advertising methods such as flyers or banners reach their limits here. The design and printing process takes more time than content creation for digital advertising, and adaptation options are few and far between. Every time a trend changes, new flyers or posters are required and the entire process behind them takes a lot of time.

Taking digital billboards as an example, it shows how uncomplicated modern ways of advertising are: Throughout the day it is possible to display ads for target group A and in the evening businesses can reach target group B. The content of digital signage is adaptive and unbound - even service providers take advantage of that because they are given the possibility to display the latest information on a specific topic.

 

Mobile availability

Having access to content everytime and everywhere - the flexibility of tablets and smartphones has a positive impact on businesses' reach. Banners almost exclusively reach people from one region and flyers barely make it outside the neighbors post box. Things work differently with digital advertising: The target group searches for something on google and then goes to facebook - thanks to social ads a company from Vienna reaches customers from Munich. 

 

online webinar digital signage

 

Efficiency in terms of costs

The purchase of a mobile display might appear expensive and social ads can also cost businesses a lot of money. But the adaptability creates space for test phases. Especially social ads provide advantages because the measurability of results gives a better insight and therefore creates potential for improvement. 

 

More discreet

Digital advertising primarily reaches people who have a potential interest in services or products. Google ads are only visible for people who searched for something specific and digital ads aren’t intrusive either. However, it’s a different story with a flier in the post box and advertising breaks on TV are also annoying (because they interrupt the most exciting scenes of a movie).
 


Communication: Thanks to digital marketing it is uncomplicated and businesses reach more potential customers | © Headway

 

What are the costs of digital advertising?

Companies better calculate more generously at the beginning, because the first step requires some test phases that cost money accordingly. However, it must be weighed up which goals a company sets. If the focus is on lead generation, more budget is required than if brand awareness is to be expanded. 

The cost aspect must always be considered on a case-by-case basis. The more extensive the strategy and the advertising measures that go with it, the more expensive it is to implement. Much more important than the costs, however, is the efficient use of the available budget. In the long term, the measurability of digital marketing measures allows for good potential savings and better targeting of advertising to the target group. 

Not every form of digital advertising grants good measurability, however, but the potential for savings can be seen in other ways. Let's take the digital billboard as an example: it's hard to track how many people buy a product in a clothing store through advertising displays, but parallel processes for evaluating the target group enable more effective reproduction of content. If analyses show that mainly younger people visit a shopping center in the afternoon at 3 p.m. and middle-aged people tend to visit in the evening from 7 p.m. onwards, the flexibility in content playback allows the content to be aligned with the target group accordingly. 

 

Offline marketing vs. online marketing: Which one is better?

It’s wrong to say that all classic marketing methods are bad because they are the fundamental approach to digital marketing and many businesses use flyers as well as banners successfully. In comparison, digital marketing only provides advantages.

That mainly shows in the possibilities to adapt, mobile availability, measurability of results and efficiency. The investment in classic marketing is a risk because businesses can’t determine concrete numbers. Sure, not every method provides good measurability but a holistic digital marketing strategy does.

However, there are also two disadvantages in offline marketing. On the one hand it’s complicated to start the right way. Those who have never occupied themselves with digital marketing 101 might need a consultant or many hours of research to find the best strategies for their own business. Another disadvantage are the high expectations - especially small businesses expect too many new customers once they created their own website or started with social media. The rising competition makes that a tough challenge because the good places in google and social media channels are limited. 

However, search engines and social media aren’t the only ways to use digital marketing. In the end, a good strategy combines the strengths of many different areas. In case a company has always been successful with events it of course can still be part of a holistic strategy.

 

Conclusion: A lasting trend that requires innovation

The comfort zone is a dangerous place especially in marketing. If there is one disadvantage in digital marketing it’s to ignore current trends. However, a turnaround is not accomplished from one day to the next and businesses have time to adapt.

Digital advertising is superior to offline marketing, no matter if we talk about flexibility, costs or mobility. The only disadvantage is the amount of given possibilities and that companies choose the wrong ones. However, the ones who are prepared will not fail.

-> Article: Cloud based solutions B2B: Digital signage and more 

 

FAQ

Following we will answer the most frequently asked questions about digital advertising.

 

How much does digital advertising cost?

It depends on how much money you spend and what you want to achieve. You can start with just a few euros but if you want a positive return on investment you will have to invest a few thousand euros each month to succeed. 

 

Which of the following is an example of digital advertising?

Digital advertising includes all media which can be used to market products or services, so facebook ads, google ads, social media, newsletter marketing, content or videos.

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