Marketers in sales-driven businesses are about to miss the boat.

The failure of industry laggards to understand digital marketing and how it unleashes sales performance is paving the way for late adopters to snatch market share – because let’s face it, digital marketing is far from new.

Many decision-makers in traditional, organisations like enterprise tech, pharmaceuticals and biotech believe that digital marketing is an impersonal, new age fad. They think it’s better to pick up the phone or stand in a trade show stall to build 1-1 relationships.

Traditional marketing vs digital marketing

They continue to invest in traditional marketing because “that’s how we’ve always done it”. But it’s not a question of marketing vs digital marketing.

All marketing involves a layered, strategic approach to communicating value – literally, figuratively, and emotionally across different mediums. It requires cross-dimensional skills and diverse experience to be effective.

Digital marketing simply refers to digital mediums which relate to the distribution of communication and collection of sales. They can be neither effective nor ineffective.

Insisting that digital marketing doesn’t work is like saying that retail stores don’t work. If a store fails to make sales, no one would assume that the very concept of a store was at fault.

How to harness digital marketing

The practice of distributing goods or services through physical outlets is clearly not the issue.

Rather they would examine the location, store layout, product/service demand, customer service standards, branding, and buying preferences of their target audience.

Digital marketing is no different – if it’s not working then it’s not the medium that’s the problem – it’s the strategy and its execution.

Digital marketing shouldn’t be thought of as some new-fangled thing for millennials and younger generations. It’s not a fad or a new way of doing marketing, it’s simply the adaptation of the mediums used in marketing based on consumer preferences and online behaviour.

Don’t get me wrong, digital marketing is not a silver bullet – no single marketing activity has the power to change an entire business overnight.

Incorporating digital into a comprehensive marketing strategy will be sure to revolutionise a business, like those operating in traditional, sales-driven industries where the bar is still low.