Even the most successful equipment dealers only have so much money to dedicate to their marketing efforts. That means you’ll inevitably have to make tough decisions between traditional marketing methods, digital marketing methods, and where to allocate the bulk of your budget.
So how do you choose within the everchanging marketing landscape? On the one hand, you’ve witnessed the success of print, radio, television, and billboard ads for decades, and you don’t want to give up on what you know is a good thing. On the other hand, you know people are only spending more time on their cell phones. You don’t even have cable. And so, digital advertising is making more and more sense.
The good news? Both are right. Traditional marketing methods are essential for selling heavy equipment. But so are digital marketing strategies. Before we explain how to best combine your digital marketing and traditional marketing strategies, let’s look at some of the basics.
What is Traditional Marketing?
Traditional marketing methods are probably more varied than you even realize. In addition to television commercials, radio spots, print advertisements, and billboards, traditional marketing also includes presenting at the right conferences, telemarketing, and direct mail catalogues. Basically, any offline marketing constitutes traditional marketing.
Benefits of Traditional Marketing
Traditional marketing has an impressive success rate, especially when it comes to brand awareness. Because it’s been around so long, customers are already familiar with these traditional methods of promotion and inherently understand how to process the information. Traditional marketing also allows you to cast a wider net. Traditional marketing remains popular in the equipment space, with 91% of dealers spending 50% or more of their budget on non-digital initiatives. Although not everyone that traditional marketing touches will be ready to buy, it plants a seed of brand awareness and increases your chances of converting in the future. Traditional methods might also be the only way to reach certain types of customers who don’t use the internet or social media.
Challenges of Traditional Marketing
While each traditional marketing method has different challenges, there are three that pop up across the board. Those challenges are reaching the right customers at the right time, cost, and tracking results. While some traditional methods allow you to target people at different stages of the sales funnel, equipment dealers usually spend money advertising to people who don’t even know what a skid steer is. Radio, TV, print spots, and billboards can also be incredibly expensive. Even if someone was swayed by one of these methods, it’s nearly impossible to associate an individual customer with a specific campaign. Attribution remains difficult: 50% of equipment dealers report that their greatest marketing challenge is measuring return on investment. Even if you ask, customers might not realize they’ve been swayed by a specific advertisement.
What is Digital Marketing?
Also known as internet marketing, digital marketing is the process of promoting your product or service online through website development, search engine optimization, website banner ads, social media advertising, paid search campaigns, display advertising, keyword targeting, and more.
Benefits of Digital Marketing
One of the biggest benefits of digital marketing is the ability to target the people most likely to be interested in your products. Digital marketing is also effective at inspiring engagement: 60% of consumers click on mobile ads at least weekly. While traditional marketing casts a wide net, the role of digital marketing is to directly target people with the interests and behaviors that identify them as more qualified leads. Remarketing, for example, directly displays to people who have already been to your website with specialized messaging to initiate conversions. Essentially, digital marketing delivers the right message to the right person at the right time, making conversions inevitable.
Challenges of Digital Marketing
Because digital marketing efforts take place exclusively online, they’re functionally incapable of reaching people who don’t frequent the internet. According to the Pew Research Center, only 11% of U.S. adults don’t use the internet. However, if you consider the population of the U.S., that means almost 28 million American adults can’t be reached through digital advertising.
A strategic mix of traditional marketing and digital marketing is key. Not only does the combination allow you to capitalize on the strengths of each tactic, but it also works to cancel out their weaknesses. Together, these marketing strategies are more than the sum of their parts. Using them in tandem only amplifies their power.
How Do You Successfully Combine Traditional and Digital Marketing Strategies?
Even if you understand that pairing digital and traditional marketing is the best way to get successful results, you might not know which strategies best support each other for your equipment dealership.
As an equipment industry expert, we are happy to discuss how to best integrate digital marketing with your existing traditional marketing efforts. To get started, contact us or request a digital marketing analysis to get tailored recommendations for your marketing efforts.