With all these acronyms used in digital marketing today, it’s no wonder people can’t keep them straight. Luckily, we are here to help! We live and breathe digital marketing, but we know so these terms aren’t used by everyone every day, so I wanted to explain the differences.


Before I dive in I want to first explain the difference between directive and awareness marketing and the shift away from traditional media and traditional marketing.


Directive Marketing VS Awareness Marketing


Directive marketing takes place at the end of the consumer buying journey, trying to direct consumers to a solution when they know they have the problem – wouldn’t that be nice, have your consumers calling you when they need you!


On the other hand, awareness marketing involves raising awareness of the brand, the problem or your solution known to your target audience hoping they will remember your name when they have the same problem.


Shift from Traditional to Digital Marketing


Traditional marketing involves most types of advertising and focuses on the awareness side of marketing campaigns that aim to increase awareness of a brand, product, or problem in hopes that the ad will be memorable enough that when you have that problem you will remember the company you saw on the billboard.


Let me use an example to illustrate why this is a risky strategy, especially if you have a limited marketing budget. Let’s say Sam is a home-owner and in the middle of the night, a pipe bursts in the basement. Sam quickly realizes he has a problem and is now looking for the quickest solution to this problem.


This is when the smartphone comes out as Sam searches frantically for the “best plumber in [insert town]” and “best restoration in [insert town]”.


You can see why digital marketing and SEO have become so important. That moment of truth where the buyer is literally saying I have a problem, Google find me a solution, and take my money.


I have heard skeptics who say, “with enough awareness marketing our company will become a household name like Nike or Apple, so my customers will know to come to my website for this.


Well, they aren’t wrong, but last time I checked Nike’s marketing budget, it was a touch larger than most local businesses. Plus, I don’t know about you – but the last time a pipe burst in my basement I was not sitting there trying to remember the phone number or name of the company I saw on a billboard even if II drive by that billboard every single day.

Search Engines



Search engine optimization (SEO)  is important to ensure you are maximizing your ranking potential in order to drive traffic to your website from search engines.


At Cansoft, we think of SEO like the engine of a car. You wouldn’t buy a car without an engine, and you shouldn’t have a website without SEO! Your customers need that engine to get them from Point A(search engines) to Point B (your website).


Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a great way to boost your business’ awareness short term – unless you have an unlimited budget. Search engine marketing involves pay-per-click campaigns and keyword bidding. It is great for brand awareness – this is where it differs from SEO.




SMS – just kidding, if you don’t know SMS is GOOGLE it!


Thanks for reading!


-Megan Gilewich, Marketing Consultant
Cansoft Technologies