Which One is Better Networking (Network Marketing) or Digital Marketing?


Gone are the days when companies would fight for prime slots on the radio channel or the first page of magazines or newspapers. Today, we live in an era where consumers are no longer influenced by mass advertisements or generalized marketing statements. We are the consumers who belong to customization.

Companies today rely on digital technologies and digital platforms for their marketing needs, or they rely on people who have the ability to influence their near and dear ones to purchase the company’s product or service. Consumers today are active in the online world, and hence companies have to go online to sell their products to the digitally active consumer set. Companies can also target their consumers through network marketing.

Today's article will explain the concept of networking and digital marketing, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of each, and which one the company should prefer.

The Concept of Digital Marketing

Any marketing initiative taken by the company on digital platforms or the internet to promote or advertise its product, service, or brand name is known as digital marketing or online marketing. Companies today are leveraging the fact that consumers have access to high-speed internet and smartphones. All four pillars of the marketing mix have shifted online, and promotion has become digital marketing. The various wings of digital marketing are −

  • Content Marketing

  • Email Marketing

  • Social Media Marketing

  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

  • Affiliate Marketing

The Concept of Networking or Network Marketing

Network marketing, in simple terms, means influencing people around you (in your network) to purchase the goods or services of a well-established brand. The network marketers here get a commission for each product sold by them, themselves, or people working under them. So if you are a network marketer, you will have a team of people working under you, or you can solely sell the products or services of the XYZ brand. Now, this brand will give you a special link or code to track the order that is coming from your end, and you will get a commission (in cash or kind) for every product being sold in your network. Various companies that are working exceptionally well through network marketing or networking channels include −

  • Amway

  • Oriflame

  • Enova and others

Oriflame, a brand known for selling skincare and cosmetics, operates in more than 60 countries across the globe and has more than 3 million brand partners (network marketers). It provides the network marketers with offers like if you purchase goods worth Rs. X, you can have the following things at a reduced price and others.

Network marketing can be done both offline and online. When done in online mode, it could be very similar to affiliate marketing. The terms and conditions can only change by the margins because an affiliate marketer also influences the people in their network to purchase the goods or services of a particular brand.

Benefits of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing initiatives can offer the following benefits to a consumer −

  • It is a more holistic approach to marketing − Network marketing only focuses on selling the products in the network marketers’ network, but there is still a chunk of potential customers subconsciously or consciously awaiting the arrival of the product. With digital marketing, companies can ensure that they have a holistic approach to marketing and can reach a wider target audience.

  • Provides the company with a wider target audience − companies can now easily target consumers across the globe. There are no geographical or other boundaries to stop them from trading, and consumers can also take advantage of having quality products at a reasonable cost.

  • Helps companies perform data-driven marketing techniques − Companies can now fuel their marketing initiatives with data and technology. Today, it is possible to show two different kinds of ads on two different handsets that are in the same household at the same time and watching the same show. Everything is based on data and algorithms today, and digital marketing can make use of them.

  • Helps in building stronger customer relationships − In network marketing, the consumers are not the customers of the brand but of the network marketers. They are easily influenced by the network marketers and will switch to the competitor’s product as soon as the network marketers do. With digital marketing, companies will not only ensure sales but also build working customer relationships.

Benefits of Network Marketing

Networking offers the company the following benefits

  • Companies do not have to worry about marketing techniques − With network marketing, companies do not have to worry about what kind of marketing strategy to apply for the different segments of consumers. Companies can just rely on their network marketers. Moreover, since companies are paying the network marketers only when there is a sale, there is no need for them to worry about the digital ROI, conversion ratio, engagement ratio, and others. Companies with network marketing can later customize ads for particular geographical areas and demographics at a minimal cost.

  • Companies do not have to bear the cost of hiring and keeping an employee −network marketers are the family members. It is the duty of other network marketers to ensure that more marketers join them and work for the company. Companies do not have to worry about hiring the employee, making sure that the employee is occupied throughout their tenure, retaining the employee, or keeping them motivated. Money and working flexibility are what the companies are offering to the members of the family, and they are doing their best to get the best results for themselves.

  • Companies can have a dedicated workforce − With network marketing, since the employees are getting paid for every sale they make and have working flexibility, they are motivated enough to give their best. Companies with great offers and initiatives can ensure a dedicated and happy workforce.

  • Elimination of middlemen − This method of marketing ensures that companies can eliminate the middlemen and sell to consumers at the best possible rate. Moreover, the company does not have to heavily advertise its product or service and this can also ensure that it can sell its products to the consumer at competitive prices.

The Ultimate Choice

After going through all the data and theories mentioned above, you must have understood that digital marketing and network marketing are not two different things. Network marketing done on online platforms is just another wing of digital marketing, but one cannot ignore the fact that there are companies doing extremely well in offline network marketing or networking as well. The ultimate marketing choice of a company totally depends upon the type of product that the company is selling, the type of consumers that the company has (B2B, B2C, or D2C), and the ultimate goal of the company while doing business. Read through the above benefits and concepts to make a choice that suits your business. Network marketing can provide you with a high digital marketing ROI, whereas digital marketing can provide you with customers, brand awareness, and a larger target audience. 

It is time to accelerate our business through relevant and impactful marketing methods. Companies should always keep in mind that sales are the only thing that brings in money for the business, and the only thing that customers buy is what is visible to them. We are deep in the red ocean, and we have to have certain parameters of distinction that will help us sail through.

Updated on: 30-Mar-2023

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