Marketing Automation vs. Traditional Marketing

  • Mar 26
Marketing Automation vs. Traditional Marketing

When you consider marketing automation, it’s easy to think about how marketing has evolved over the last half century. We could even go back 1,000 years if we wanted. But we’ll focus on the last 100 years, since it encompasses the advent of radios, television, computers and AI/Machine Learning.

Marketing Automation

Now let me preface by saying I am by no means an expert in marketing. However, I have become intimately involved with the marketing process for the last couple of years. The things I have learned, and continue to learn, have made this area of business a new passion of mine.

Let’s take a trip back in time and really think about how marketing has evolved. One could argue the earliest form of marketing, aside from word of  mouth, would have been the store front sign. This provided local prospective customers a way to find your place of business. Later, this concept also applied to the modern day billboard, which effectively expanded a business’ reach to clientele outside their local proximity.

That’s enough with the somewhat dry static means of reaching an audience. As we grow and learn, so does our taste in content. Seeing the same thing on a regular basis, even if effective from a persistence perspective, can get boring. We need to see content change. That’s why characters in TV advertisements become a staple of a brand, such as Flo from Progressive Insurance. Today, commercials are almost mini TV shows with the common theme of entertaining while promoting their product line.

Television Advertising

Let’s talk about TV advertising, which has changed today due to streaming services and DVR. TV was once the capstone of marketing efforts, because you could reach a somewhat defined audience based on the programming. This is why you are more likely to see beer commercials than tampon commercials during sporting events. Because demographically, more men tend to watch sports, and beer appeals to men more than tampons. Pretty simple logic isn’t it? The best marketing strategy is identifying your target demographic, then finding a medium that blasts directly to those prospects. Therefore, you are not wasting ad dollars on people that will never buy your product. Case in point: men don’t buy tampons for themselves.

But herein lies the problem with TV advertising, there are plenty of women that watch sports too. So, how does a company justify spending money on a medium where their ads may only appeal to 5% of the viewers? You could ask the same question about putting a billboard up that might only appeal to less than 1% of people passing by.

A person holding animated email icons as they float toward a computer screen as marketing automation

Reaching Target Audiences

Wouldn’t it be great if you could pay for an advertisement that went directly to people in need of your product? Thanks to the advent of the internet, social media and machine learning, a.k.a. artificial intelligence, that is now a reality. People unknowingly volunteer information about themselves as soon as they launch a browser and start surfing the web. Ever wonder why that product you looked at once on Amazon continues to follow you in banner ads? It’s called ‘Cookies,’ or rather small amounts of data the website you visited generates and saves to your browser. This information is then handed off to the new website you navigated to so it can customize your web experience, predominantly through advertising.

Big social media platforms have even taken this one step farther via machine learning where they ‘learn’ your audiences which allows them to more effectively broadcast your message to those it will resonate most with based on their digital signatures. This allows you to optimize your ad dollars, so they do not end up falling on deaf ears.

It is wild to think about how far we have come using marketing automation. I frequently find myself wondering about what is on the horizon for the next generation of marketers. What do you think will be the next big marketing medium?

Are you enjoying this tech talk? If so, consider reading our blog on business automation.

Article written by Vaughn Pourchot

Last updated March 14, 2023