You’re thinking of hiring an internet marketing consultant, but do you know why?
If you’re like many small business owners, you’ve heard the term internet marketing, and you’re starting to think that it’s important because more and more of your colleagues are hiring an internet marketing consultant. But maybe you’re skeptical. After all, you’ve been pretty successful without internet marketing in the past, and you’ve seen traditional marketing work just fine. Internet marketing seems a bit like you’re just shooting in the dark. In fact, you don’t really even know what it is. To help you on your quest to do what’s best for your small business, we’ll help you understand the difference between internet marketing and traditional marketing.
Out with the Old, In with the New: Outbound and Inbound Marketing
Outbound Marketing is the fancy term to describe traditional marketing – the marketing that’s been around for years. Some people might even say it’s “old school.” The easiest way to think of outbound marketing is that it’s marketing done offline or not on the internet. For example:
- TV Commercials
- Radio Commercial
- Print Ads
- Direct Mail
Inbound Marketing is just another term for internet marketing, which is marketing that is done online. It’s the new frontier for marketing, and its here to stay. Some of the services an internet marketing consultant would provide to you are:
- Website Creation
- Search Engine Optimization
- Social Media
- Email Marketing
- Online Press Releases
Both outbound and inbound marketing have their purposes, and there’s always a gray area, but let’s talk about how each type of marketing affects the people that really matter – your customers.
The Perspective of Marketing
The American Marketing Association defines marketing as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” Marketing is a form of persuasion. We like to define persuasion as “changing someone’s perspective.” So, essentially, marketing is changing people’s perspective – it’s how it does it that is the difference between traditional and internet marketing.
Traditional Marketing is interruption marketing, meaning it interrupts your everyday life in certain ways. It’s not meant to be negative, although it’s often perceived that way. Think about it. TV commercials interrupt the show you’re watching. Radio commercials interrupt the songs you’re listening to. Billboards interrupt your focus while driving. Newspaper and print ads interrupt what you’re reading. You may not even realize traditional marketing components squeezing their way into your everyday life, but they do. Traditional marketing speaks to three types of people: people who are ready to hear about the product or service, people who aren’t and everyone in between. This is where internet marketing can help.
Internet Marketing is permission marketing, because it allows YOU as the user, to decide what you do and don’t want to influence you while you’re online. Internet marketing answers people’s questions to what they’re actually searching for.
In fact, did you know that 86% of consumers look up the companies they buy from on the internet first?
Through the different pieces and parts of internet marketing, you can speak to people who are ready or nearly ready to become your customer. The key to a good internet marketing strategy is to use a holistic approach by integrating each piece.
For example, your company has a website, but no one seems to be visiting it. It’s a nice looking and functional website, so you wonder, what’s the problem? By adding a little internet marketing magic – also known as keywords, blogs, free offers, and online press releases to name a few pieces – an internet marketing consultant can help get people to your website and turn them into customers.
So now that you have some knowledge of the difference between traditional marketing and internet marketing, we hope the information will help you as you decide if it’s valuable for your small business to hire an internet marketing consultant. To continue to learn more about internet marketing, subscribe to our blog, or be sure to check back each week for internet marketing tips Tuesday.
What are your thoughts about traditional vs. internet marketing? Leave us a comment and let us know!