An Overview of Direct Marketing Versus Digital Marketing in 2018

Marketing and Digital marketing, colorful graphs and chartsAs a small or local business owner, you may be researching your options for acquiring new customers in 2018. Chances are, you will find a lot of information about direct marketing and digital marketing. In particular, you may find that consultants and agencies are in one camp or the other about which one is more effective. The truth is, both can be effective at driving new business. In this post, we'll give you quick overview of direct marketing and digital marketing in 2018.

What is Direct Marketing?

Direct marketing is any form of marketing and advertising where the message is delivered directly to the customer. Most people think of direct marketing in the form of flyers and postcards in the mail, it also encompasses targeted email, text messaging, telemarketing, and infomercial tactics to reach customers.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is any form of marketing and advertising where the message is delivered to the customer via digital platforms and technologies. The primary focus of most digital marketing strategies is to reach customers through their internet browser, smartphone, tablet, or other screen. Businesses that take advantage of digital marketing make it easier for their customers to find them in search engines, social media networks, and other online channels.

What is the difference?

As a whole, direct marketing is about pushing a business's message out to a target group of potential customers. Digital marketing, on the other hand, is about putting a business's message out for potential customers to find when they are seeking a particular solution. If you were walking through a mall, direct marketing would be a salesperson stepping out of their store to ask you to try a sample of their product. Digital marketing would be walking through a mall, hopping on Google, searching for a product, and finding that a store in the mall carries the product in search results.
While there are distinct differences in strategies between direct and digital marketing, there are some overlaps, such as the use of email in both.. But the way direct marketers and digital marketers use email varies. Direct marketers utilize email marketing by harvesting potential customers' email addresses from websites, social media channels, discussion forums, purchased customer databases, or purchased email lists. From there, they email potential customers personalized messaging with the goal of making a sale.
Digital marketers, on the other hand, consider email marketing more of an opt-in strategy. Instead of directly seeking customer email addresses, digital marketers create content that attracts the target customer to a page that will ask the customer for their email address. Once submitted, the customer will be added to an email list to receive regular newsletters and email marketing messages from the business.

How Incentives Can Help

Whether you choose to rely on direct marketing, digital marketing, or a mixture of both, incentives can ultimately help you boost your results. In direct marketing, automotive dealerships can mail out promotions to customers in their neighborhood offering a test drive incentive. In digital marketing, a mobile app developer could send out a survey asking people to test out their app and offer some feedback in exchange for an incentive. In both cases, the use of an incentive will greatly increase the results in terms of getting more test drives for your cars and more feedback for your app.

Ready to implement incentive marketing into your direct and digital marketing? Get started with Teakah for free!