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What are the Main Differences between Web Marketing and Traditional Marketing?


In the early days of the Internet, cyberspace was always seen as an opportunity for marketing, but traditional marketing norms still had tremendous influence. The concept of web marketing was still in its infancy, and had to rely on old business procedures and customs. This has all changed in the last 10 years, especially since Google decided to invest time and technology in marketing. Nothing less than a paradigm shift has occurred since social media platforms began to become prominent. These websites have hundreds of millions and in the case of Facebook, billions of followers. The difference between web marketing and traditional marketing is substantial; it is almost night and day.

The Old vs. the New

Traditional marketing is the old-school way of getting a message. It makes use of the print media, radio and television. They can provide a fair amount of coverage but it does come at a price. In fact, the cost of traditional marketing makes it difficult for a startup business or small enterprise to optimize their marketing. There is also a little bit of formal distance between the company and the audience. Much of the effort is general in nature with some demographic targeting put into the mix. Web marketing opens things up dramatically.

At a significantly lower cost an entrepreneur can reach a vast audience. The population of customers can be literally worldwide and at a price that is comparable to ad space in a community newspaper. Traditional marketing will work on a concept intended to “hook” potential customers. Even though web marketing is going to be focused on content and the message just like traditional marketing, there are some major technical differences. Web marketing is focused on search engine optimization, also known as SEO. It is understood that consumers will use search engines to find various products. Web marketing concentrates on using just the right keywords in order to encourage prospective customers to come to the web space. Some other techniques that are different are PPC (Pay-Per-Click) marketing and the use of AdWords. These are part of the domain of web marketing which focuses on customers browsing through websites, and perhaps clicking on an advertisement of interest.

There have Been Some Changes

There is most definitely a new language with web marketing that is dominated with phrases generated by Google. Social marketing networks such as Facebook are being used to generate leads, and rapid-fire ad messages are found all over Twitter. Web marketing is like traditional marketing in the use of images. Pinterest and Instagram are examples of sites where pictures are used to promote a product. Web marketing relies considerably on the analytics generated by visitors to the various sites. What makes the web stand out from traditional marketing is that figures can be generated almost immediately. Analysis of considerable amounts of data is quite possible on a 24 hour basis. Traditional marketing requires a little bit more of a wait. There is more interaction with customers on the web. It is almost expected that responses to inquiries will be emailed as quickly as possible. Two-way conversations between customer and vendor is always on the web. Reputation management is essential to prevent negative marketing.

This is not to say there is no place for traditional marketing tactics. Some of the traditional marketing concepts have been tested and proven successful over practice of time. Traditional marketing logic will always be part of the process, but the scope of decisions has grown and the terminology is different. It is a situation where traditional marketing is adapted to better fit web marketing and not vice versa. Marketing strategies may have a touch of traditional marketing more within them, but the overall language and process comes straight out of the Internet

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