The Advantages of Online over Traditional Marketing

Companies that use traditional advertising media like radio and TV still need online advertising. Why? Because more and more individuals, especially those ranging from the ages of 18 to 35, use the Internet to obtain their news, financial, and business services. According to Bazaarvoice, an online marketing research firm, almost half (49%) of shoppers in the UK intended to do their holiday shopping online versus in-store for the year 2011. Another 67% of UK consumers researched products online before buying them in-store.In a study conducted by MSN, 4 out of 5 Americans use email regularly, and over 80% of American households are now connected to the Internet with almost the same number report having performed a Web search and having visited a Web site (according to statistics provided by Tech Blorge).

The Internet has become an amazing resource, with many people doing product research and purchasing online. People prefer the hassle-free approach to shopping and buying that the Internet offers, as well as doing price comparisons without traveling from store to store. A company that does not use some form of Internet advertising is therefore likely to overlook this important demographic.

One of the biggest advantages of Internet advertising is that you can use different marketing methods like Pay Per Click, Pay For Calls, blogs, social networking, and search engine optimization (SEO), to measure the impact of each of these methods on your return on investment (ROI). Based on consumer response to each individual method, you can adjust ad parameters, key phrases, and Web page infrastructure accordingly. Because all the adjustment is performed online, it is much more cost-effective than revising a “hard-copy” marketing campaign. Likewise, starting new and test campaigns is much cheaper than commencing paper-based ones.

What ROI can be expected for a good SEO campaign? Intraspin, a strategic Web solutions firm, estimates that 40% of companies that use good SEO campaigns see their ROI in excess of 500%. This is not surprising, given that search engine use is increasing at a dramatic rate. As an example, from the years 2002 to 2005, search engine use went from 33% to 59%. For every day in 2005, 60 million individuals used a search engine.

Can a reasonable ROI result from a company blog? E-commerce Guide provides a good example, using General Motors’ Fastlane blog as a case study. GM invested $290,000 to create the GM Fastlane blog site. When the company tallied the benefits of this blog, including customer insight, blog visibility, press, and word-of-mouth buzz, the final amount was about $578,000. This yielded an ROI of 99%.

Generating a good SEO campaign, blog site, and so on, takes Web expertise, hard work, and extensive testing. If you have doubts on how to effectively market your business online, consider outsourcing your e-commerce needs to a competent third party firm. By outsourcing, you lower your own marketing budget. You also ensure that your business will be handled by online marketing experts, rather than an internal marketing department (or a Webmaster) that is not trained to handle e-commerce setup and issues.

In conclusion, online marketing can be a very effective and frugal method of reaching target demographic groups, in addition to the traditional methods of marketing via radio, newspaper, and TV. Your ROI, and your overall bottom line, will reap the benefit of this wise investment.