Digital marketing over traditional marketing header image

B2B Digital Marketing Over Traditional Marketing: The Benefits in 2024

06 December 2023

If you’re reading this, it means digital marketing’s working.

But does this also mean that traditional marketing isn’t? If so, should we abandon it altogether?

Depending on your current marketing strategy, you might already be a huge proponent of digital marketing. Leadfeeder obviously is. Indeed, we fully understand the benefits of B2B digital marketing over traditional marketing.

Before we discuss what digital marketing has that traditional one doesn’t, allow me to remind you of the basics.

Quick rundown: What is the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing?

Digital marketing is a way of communicating promotional messages through electronic devices. For example, it can be a computer, phone, tablet, or even a smartwatch (but not TV or radio — spolierrr).

Thanks to this variety, digital marketing comes in many forms and marketing channels: social media marketing, content marketing, videos, photos, targeted advertising, email marketing, search engine marketing, and so many more.

In contrast, traditional marketing is limited to ads delivered through billboards, newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV ads.

Now, back to the question: “Why is TV advertising considered traditional marketing if TV is an electronic device?” Well, it boils down to the two major differences between digital and traditional marketing.

First, traditional marketing lives within a difficult-to-carry medium, such as a billboard or radio. So, you can see ads at a sports bar, but you won't carry a TV in your pocket. That means the chances of accidentally stumbling across traditional advertising are much lower. Especially considering that people are glued to their smartphone screens for about 4.8 hours a day — and that’s in their free time.

But more importantly, tracking the exact conversion rates with TV or other traditional ads takes a lot of work. You can’t check how many people were watching TV when your ad showed up, how they reacted to it, and if it influenced their decision. 

Digital marketing methods have the upper hand here: you can usually track activities to exact numbers. And that is why digital marketing wins over traditional marketing. 

That’s in a nutshell. But if you want to go deeper into the digital vs. traditional marketing debate, let’s go.

Benefits of digital marketing over traditional marketing

B2B digital marketing is different from traditional marketing in many ways. Here are some of them.

Measurability to better understand your target audience

Let's start by exploring the topic of measurability deeper.

In digital marketing, you can find out how many people interacted with your ad, how they reacted to it, or even when they linger while reviewing your content (say hello to social media data collection policies 😅).

On top of that, you can see the country, company, and time of a person's interaction with your content. So, you have enormous possibilities for improving and personalizing your marketing campaigns. And according to an Adobe study, personalization brings 68 percent of marketers from $2 to $10 return per dollar spent. Another 22 percent receive an even higher return. 

Traditional marketing doesn't give you these opportunities.

Lower costs

Digital marketing is more cost-effective than traditional marketing when it comes to reaching the same audience. Even if you take rough numbers, you can see the difference.

In 2018-2019, according to Forbes’ research, the average CPM on cable TV was $17.50 at the Upfronts and $32 on a national broadcast. During the same period, CPM on the Google display network was $2.80.

You can also save thousands of dollars by avoiding other traditional types of marketing. For instance, you don't need to print banners, flyers, or leaflets and pay for their delivery and distribution.

On top of that, you can stop a digital marketing campaign with a single click if it doesn't work, improve it, and restart. In traditional marketing, though, you don't have that luxury — even if you want to stop the ad campaign, no one will return the money you paid for broadcasting or printed ads.

Easy access

When you need traditional ads, you have to look for contacts of people who can place them on billboards/TV/radio/magazines and arrange a meeting with them. Then, you discuss what you want to advertise, where, when, and negotiate the best price. If you're lucky, you can jump on a Zoom call with this person, but you'll most likely need to have an offline meeting (or several).

With digital marketing, you just need to open Google or Facebook Ads, set everything up, and launch your campaign. You don't even have to get out of your chair, and the whole process takes a couple of minutes.

No need for personal communication to influence clients' decisions 

In traditional marketing, like cold calling, you must convince a customer to buy something directly. In other words, you generate demand for your product by contacting potential customers. You should describe how it solves their problems, its benefits, and so on. 

In B2B sales, this might take several rounds of negotiations with multiple managers and decision-makers.

But in digital marketing, you can do everything much more effectively using different lead-generation tactics. For example, first, you describe your arguments in a blog post, landing page, and social media posts. Then, you set up targeted advertising or PPC. 

So, when decision-makers use the internet as a research tool, they read your resources. Ultimately, you help customers see their need for your product and influence their decision.

The best part is that digital marketing helps you influence hundreds of potential buyers who are reading your resources at once. You don't need to waste days on a single customer.

More time for growth

Using all these benefits gives you the crown jewel — time to invest in more marketing efforts. Using this time gives you an opportunity to reach a large audience of potential customers with the right growth marketing tools.

Speaking of time, digital marketing has another huge advantage: it's ubiquitous. It doesn't matter what decision-makers are doing; they’ll ultimately see the result of digital marketing. I mean, they can search for a business solution, scroll social media before going to bed, or watch YouTube while having lunch, and they’ll see your ads.

With all that said, it looks like digital marketing is the future. And what will the future look like in the future? Here’s a hint.

5 digital marketing trends you need to know for 2024 and beyond

No, I don't have a magic crystal ball, but I do know what digital marketing trends have the biggest potential in B2B marketing. Here are the five of them.

Use social media influencers or become one

You may think that influencer marketing is only for B2C companies. But you’re forgetting that all the decision-making in B2B companies is made by individuals, not some mysterious corporate minds. And they will listen to influencers.

When the CEO of a successful digital marketing company posts their opinion on useful marketing software tools or a renowned e-commerce industry player starts a podcast, many business owners will want to take note. After all, 39 percent of medium and small business owners, and 70-72 percent of company owners with more than 100 employees, listen to podcasts.

So, you have two options: become an influencer on behalf of the company or find influencers who recommend your product. The first option is more complicated but effective. Companies with branded podcasts have 57 percent higher customer brand awareness and 14 percent higher purchase intent. Still, if you're a startup that needs more time, resources, and recognition to become a B2B influencer, working with one is also a good tactic for 2024.

Be present on every social media platform

Social media presence is more than just LinkedIn or YouTube, where you can push business topics. It won't harm to be a little goofy sometimes and let your customers forget about the business problems for a moment. Or even better — show them that you share their pain even if you don't offer a solution.

Say you're a B2B company with employees in-office every day — creating a company BeReal profile could be hilarious. Even though you're not going to close a deal on BeReal, it could function like a funny company TikTok account for showing behind-the-scenes bloopers or promoting the company culture.

You know, like The Office but in 2024's reality.

And the next time your subscriber or follower contemplates a solution to their problem, they'll say: "Hey, do you remember those funny guys on Instagram? Have we tried reaching out to them?" And they'll check your blog, site, or social media accounts where you post business-related details to buy your product.

So, having an appropriate presence on each platform is still crucial. And with new digital media launching constantly, there's always an opportunity to be creative.

Give rise to user-generated content on social media

Your online presence also makes it easy to trend with user-generated content. Why do you need it? Because people trust people. In fact, 93 percent of marketers say that user-generated content performs better than branded content because of higher trust.

So, if you start a challenge for companies and their employees, for example, you’ll get more eyes on your company and product. For example, ask other companies to show you how they prepare for Halloween and offer a 3-months free subscription to your service as a prize.

Or offer a contest on the funny video "What our support agents do while [name of your product] chatbots handle common customer requests." If this challenge gets trending, your new customers will see the actual value of your product,

The best thing is that you don't need to do anything except come up with great ideas!

Build strong relations between UX and SEO

The new Google algorithm wants us to write people-first content. This means that some old search engine optimization tricks will only work if you balance your SEO-focused content with people-first content.

So, my advice is to focus on helpful content in 2024: publish case studies, expert interviews, and other content that brings value. But don't think you can abandon all SEO practices at once. Instead, use more advanced approaches and tools like artificial intelligence-based SEO software. It generates keywords, helping to create search-engine-optimized texts that sound natural.

Personalize customer experience

Personalized user experience rules the marketing world. This might be a slogan for next year because personalization reaches new peaks time after time. How can you rock it? Two words: automation tools. These bad boys help you gather, store, and find data on customers in a few clicks.

B2B companies can play the personalization game just as well as B2C's. If we’re talking about website personalization, they would need to meticulously explore buyer personas and create several interfaces to match their customers' needs. These may include different languages and features depending on the prospect’s size, location, and the package they chose.

Time-tested practices like personalized emails and customer support will also be relevant. And with Leadfeeder, you can bring them to perfection — we provide all data about your website visitors, so you can create personalized recommendations and improve the customer journey.

Why we’re pro-digital marketing

B2B digital marketing beats traditional marketing approaches, hands down. Whether you use digital marketing agencies or build your strategy in-house, using online marketing tools is cheaper, faster, and more effective than traditional tactics. 

Specifically, if you apply marketing software that automates and optimizes your marketing efforts. Take Leadfeeder, for instance. With the help of Leadfeeder software, you can gather data on the incognito visitors in real-time to your websites and use it for personalized messages.

But don’t miss out on other digital marketing trends in 2024: launch user-generated content campaigns, sign up to various digital platforms, create people-first content, and finally become the influencer your industry is waiting for.

Romana Hoekstra
By Romana Hoekstra

Content Marketing Expert

Romana helps B2B tech companies and startups to craft high-performing content marketing strategies with a focus on organic growth, SEO, high-quality content production & distribution.

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