Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing: The Constant Battle

Geoffrey Anderson, Editor Digital Marketing, E-mail Marketing, Healthcare Marketing

Healthcare marketing has come a long way from the days of direct mail, print ads and other traditional channels. While these efforts are still being used to varying degrees of success, more and more healthcare organizations are turning toward digital marketing.

That shift shouldn’t come as much of a surprise: in 2014, DMN3 Institute’s survey of Medicare marketers found that 90 percent of respondents felt online advertising would gain traction over the next two years, and 80 percent felt responsive design for mobile and other digital channels would also grow in importance.

Two years later, here we are: according to a recent ad forecast by eMarketer, digital ad spending is poised to overtake television ad spending in 2017. That’s unprecedented.

But why is digital overtaking traditional marketing? Here are three reasons:

1) Cost: Sending an email to your subscriber list is much cheaper than sending the same content via snail mail. The cost of an email? $0. The cost of a direct mail flyer? A lot more. You have to factor in printing, postage and other variables. And then you have no idea whether someone actually received your communications. Which brings us to our next point …

2) Convenience: Whether you’re dealing with email marketing, search engine ads or mobile video, there’s one big advantage all of them have over traditional media: better tracking. Real-time analytics like click-through rates, bounce rates and the like are available instantaneously. With traditional media, it’s much more difficult and time-consuming to track return on investment.

3) Engagement: Digital communications allow for a two-way conversation between brands and customers as opposed to just a one-way transmission. This interactivity can result in escalated actions from customers that can increase your exposure: social media shares, word of mouth, etc. The chances of someone sharing a flyer they received in their mailbox are slim to none.

With that said, traditional marketing isn’t going away anytime soon. This is especially true when targeting seniors; while more seniors are using the Internet, they’re also still very much in tune with what’s going on offline.

So when you’re working on your next campaign, don’t discount the importance of traditional media. It still has a place in the healthcare marketing landscape.

Wax Custom Communications takes a 360-degree approach to your marketing needs, using an intensive discovery process to find the best mix of digital and traditional channels. Call us at 305-350-5700 or visit waxcom.com today for more information.

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