Is Personal Marketing More Effective Than Digital Marketing?

The only thing that sells is what is visible to customers. Marketing is a very essential part of the business because today's consumers are spoiled with choices. All the markets have turned into the red ocean, and hence the company has to aggressively market its product to ensure sales. Marketing can be broadly divided into two types −

  • The traditional form of marketing − Here, the company uses ads in newspapers, radio slots, television ads, articles in magazines, personal selling, and others.

  • Digital Marketing − Here the company uses digital media to ensure sales. The various forms of digital marketing could be content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, website marketing, search engine marketing, search engine optimization, affiliate marketing, and others.

Which is a better form of marketing totally depending upon the consumer segment and the product type.

In today’s article, we will be diving deep into the concepts of both digital marketing and personal selling to determine which is the better mode of communication and in which cases.

The Concept of Personal Selling

It is a crucial part of traditional marketing channels. It is a form of marketing in which the company appoints salespeople so that they can reach out to the consumer and convince them into buying the product or the company’s product. The salesperson is going to provide the consumers with information on why they should purchase this product and also do the competitor’s analysis for the consumers to prove that their product is better than the competitor’s product. It is also known as the "aggressive selling method." The most beneficial part of this marketing is that it can be extremely personalized and changed according to the mood of the room, and the salesperson can hit the right nerve while interacting. This form of marketing was extensively used when the market came up with water purifiers. Consumers were not ready to believe in the utility of the machine, and the company started door-to-door selling.

The Concept of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is the buzzword of the business world today. Any form of marketing that is done by the company using digital platforms and the internet is known as "digital marketing." It helps the company reach a wider target audience with a personalized message in a very cost-effective manner. For example, if a consumer searches for shoes on a browsing website today, he will start seeing ads for shoes on their social media platforms as well as on other sites. It is also a push form of marketing, but it is very effective today because it uses algorithms and data sharing to assist the consumer in making a purchase decision.

Personal Marketing vs. Digital Marketing

It is hard to pick a favorite as both of these methods of marketing are effective. In some cases, we will find digital marketing more effective, while in other cases, personalized marketing will win out. We'll go over some scenarios to clear the air, and then you can decide which marketing technique to use based on your company's needs and structure.

  • When the product is low-priced or a fast-moving consumer good − fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) are that category of goods whose selling price is less and is consumed frequently. Examples of FMCG goods could be hair oil, biscuits, juices, and others. Here, the company’s target is to reach as many consumers as possible. The target of FMCG producers is to reach volume sales because the net profit on each product is almost negligible. Hence, we find digital marketing to be the more suitable form of communication for the company. With personal selling, no matter how hard the salesperson tries, they cannot reach more than 20 consumers. More importantly, most consumers will not be interested in detailed information about the product and would find a salesperson to be a hassle.

  • When the product is technical in nature − When the product that is being sold is highly technical and will save the consumer a lot of time by automating processes, the consumer would prefer personal selling as a mode of communication by the company. These high-end technical products are also going to cost a lot, so the consumers need some human interaction and convincing before signing up. Digital marketing can attract consumers, but they would need personal selling to close the deal. This is applicable in both B2B and B2C segments.

  • When the company is into B2B selling − B2B sales are typically enormous in terms of cost. In B2C, the consumer would purchase a laptop for their personal use, and when it becomes B2B, the company purchases 1500 laptops for its employees. Companies cannot rely on digital marketing as a source of communication. Again, the cost involved is huge, and more importantly, both parties have to sign agreements to close the deal, which is generally a repetitive thing. The company has to ensure that they maintain good client relationships, so personal selling is a better option for them. The company will not be able to reach thousands of people but will be content if it can close even 50 deals.

  • When the company is into unsought product sales − unsought products are those that the consumer would not want to purchase willingly. These products generally make the consumer realize their limited time on this earth, and we have a habit of thinking of ourselves as immortal. Some examples of unsought products could be insurance policies, funeral plots, and others. Here, the company cannot rely on digital marketing as a form of marketing because the consumer will turn a blind eye. The company has to resort to personal selling. In personally selling, the salesperson can change their speed according to the mood of the conversation and strike the right nerves. There are important terms and conditions to take care of in the case of insurance policies, so the consumer would seek as much information as possible. Hence, we can conclude that personal selling is a better mode of communication in the case of unsought products.

  • When the company wants to reach a wider audience − digital marketing is the form of communication that the company should use. In the case of personal selling, the number of customers an employee can reach is very limited, and it is also an expensive mode of communication when compared to digital marketing. With digital marketing, companies can select their target audience and cross all regional boundaries in seconds.

A company should always take one channel as its primary channel of marketing and keep the other channels as secondary channels of communication. A marketing mix depends on the type of product that you have, the customers that you serve, and the vision of the company. Solely relying on one channel is not advisable. For example, a B2B company can use email marketing and LinkedIn marketing to reach potential customers and then use personal selling techniques to close the deal. A company should never put all its eggs in one basket.