Online Marketing and Traditional marketing
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Unlike traditional agency platforms, online agencies offers potential customers a plethora
of information on anything they want to understand about the product they intend to purchase.
However, there is insufficient literature to guide marketing agents on behavioral characteristics
of online users relative to those attracted to traditional agencies. This behavioral difference, if
well established, can be the key determinant of the design and marketing strategies that can be
used by online agents and traditional agencies. According to Andrews and Currim (2004),
knowing the difference in preference and marketing variables such as price and promotion on
choices are critical components in a firm’s adaptation to internet commerce. This research paper
examined unique consumer characteristics that influence their decisions to use online agencies or
use traditional platforms. The findings revealed that even if there are no clearly defined
differences between the behavioral characteristic of online and traditional consumers, online
agencies have well been received due to their compelling features such as low cost, high speed,
accessibility, reach and interactivity.
As internet advanced, online commercial activities also developed and presented a broad
range of uses by both small and big business. The advancement in the digital world has resulted
in rapid changes in the business world, as more firms are finding numerous of benefits from
online agencies. Most of the venues previously reserved for traditional mediums are being
replaced with digital means. Whereas traditional agency is linear and the consumers are
passively involved in the communication process, online users are actively involved in encoding
and decoding of messages. Online agencies make use of new technology to assist clients to reach
customers through new channels. The primary targets are internet users, whether from traditional
websites or in mobile applications. Digital agencies monitor and analyses users behavior though
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various functionalities such as analytics and use this information to improve their sales and
conversions. They further create and modify online advertisement campaigns that target specific
regions and demographic groups. These ads usually pop up in websites and across various
platforms that offer content relevant to the messages of the client.Bezjian, Calder, and Iacobucci
(1999) note that with traditional agencies, consumers have no control over the flow of
information they receive, ads are presented one after the other in a linear flow.
In any interactive format, the audience has more control over traversal order and the
subset of information being transmitted. For this reason, it has always been hypothesized that any
other interactive information traversal is superior to the linear flow type. There are two primary
elements to be considered to help settle on the idea that online agency, which is largely traversal,
is superior to traditional means. The first is psychographic personality characteristic of the
audience, which relates to how the consumers visualize the information. This is a complex
comprehension factor that renders interactive messages poorly suited for visual users. The other
factor is the nature of the message itself. Given that visual communication is more appealing
than verbal ones, it is more likely that such information would be best delivered using traditional
Arguably, consumers have more alternatives purchasing online products when compared
to traditional formats. They can quickly screen for alternatives from a wide range of goods and
services so that they can focus only on those options that meet their preferences. Online agents
are in better position to collect information about their consumer characteristics and preferences
and therefore present products that go beyond customer expectations. Interactive home shopping
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allows instantaneous screening and sufficient presentation of information before making the
purchase decision (Andrews, 2004). For loyal customers, marketers have devised ways to ensure
convenient online shopping and easy accessibility of goods and services which result in customer
satisfaction and greater brand. Online agencies have the chance to shift consumer’s attention
from price to non-price elements like brand name, leading to increased usage of brand name for
screening purposes. Additionally, consumers with high-income levels may be less price
sensitive, but their choices for a particular product will be influenced by non-prices attributes
As the market for goods and service is increasingly becoming crowded with both national
and local dealers, remaining competitive and at par with current issues is the key to securing a
strong market base. A website is an important tools that allow leveraging personal relationships
with established clients. A regular site with engaging content is essential to showing potential
customers what the firm has to offer. Unlike traditional marketing agencies,, a website is easy to
update and allows timely delivery of new information to customers.
Consumer price sensitivity
For consumers to make purchase decisions, they need to change their behavior. However,
changing consumer’s behavior is a complicated process that requires incentives like convenience.
For example, a consumer who chooses to buy online instead of using traditional agencies will
have to perceive the benefit of convenience without which they would not buy. It is also argued
that majority of internet users are well-educated people with good income, suggesting higher
opportunity cost for the time spent going to the traditional stores and supermarkets. This implies
that they will use online platforms as it will be more convenient and time saving without being
sensitive to the price. According to Bellman, Lohse, and Johnson (1999), online buyers have a
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lifestyle wired to heavy use of the internet for entertainment, email and reading news, they are
time sensitive and always looking for faster and convenient ways of making purchases.
Online agencies have a higher market reach as the platform comes with operational
efficiency of small and medium enterprises. Dholakia and Kshetri believe that the internet
creates a democratized platform where market has been established in a way that even small
firms have an opportunity to promote and brand their products (2004). It can be stressed that
through the internet, there are numerous opportunities for small businesses to engage in national
and international activities which could have been impossible with the traditional agency means.
This is because traditional platforms require huge resources to start and maintain. Conceivably,
the main advantage of online agency is based on the fact that internet levels competition between
well-established large firms and the smaller ones, given that size, human resources and resources
are not the key factors for successful market penetration. A small company that has mastered the
art of internet retail can significantly influence potential customers and achieve increased sales.
Despite the rise of the web, a lot of firms continue to use traditional agency. This is partly
because these means have a wide market reach, are regular and appeal to firms seeking to pass
information to a specific local audience. Traditional agencies handle everything ranging from
branding to media placement. The ad placement is done via medium such as publications,
billboards and radio.
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The benefits of using online agencies outweigh those of using traditional marketing
means. However, these two platforms are not competitors but rather compliments that companies
can use to deliver their services. While online agencies offer appropriate solutions, is less costly,
convenient and has a higher reach, it remains inferior when it comes to local audience
penetration. Internet users are mainly the youth and educated people who have access to the
internet. However, many people have no internet connections and still rely on newspapers, radio,
television, and face to face communication to make a purchase decision. The findings from this
paper suggest that a strategic marketing solution should embrace the two means; a digital
platform to reach the educated, good earning customers’ sensitive to timely and convenient
services, and traditional agency to take care of price-sensitive audience who has no internet
access. This is particularly the case because consumers use more than communication medium to
get awareness about goods and services. Organizations must make use of latest technology since
the internet is ever changing.
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Andrews, R, and Currie, I., 2004. Behavioral differences of customers attracted to shopping
online versus traditional supermarkets: implications for enterprise design and marketing
strategy. International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising, 1(1), pp.38-61.
Bellman, S., Lohse, and Johnson, E.. (1999) ‘Predictors of online buying behavior,’
Communications of the ACM, Vol. 42, No. 12, December, pp.32–38.
Bezjian-Avery, A., Calder, B., and Iacobucci, D., 1998. New media interactive advertising vs.
traditional advertising. Journal of advertising research, 38, pp.23-32.
Dholakia, R.R., and Kshetri, N., 2004. Factors impacting the adoption of the Internet among
SMEs. Small Business Economics, 23(4), pp.311-322.