June 6, 2018 | By: Tony Mastri

Traditional Marketing Vs. Digital Marketing – Differences and Benefits

If you’re a business-savvy entrepreneur, you should know that marketing is the lifeblood of any business endeavor. A successful marketing campaign can ensure the enduring success of a business, but it can also drain your accounts and leave you hanging high and dry if you don’t know what you’re doing.

There are two primary types of marketing in the world today — traditional marketing and digital marketing. Traditional marketing services have reigned supreme for hundreds of years, but with the digital age upon us, it’s no surprise that digital marketing is driving consistent results. With that being said, just because something is shiny and innovative doesn’t necessarily mean it’s automatically the best choice for your business.

Let’s delve into the differences between traditional and digital marketing and analyze their various benefits.

Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing

If you’ve ever driven down a highway and seen a billboard, watched a commercial on TV, received a discount in the mail, or read an ad in the newspaper, then you should be familiar with traditional marketing. It’s one of the oldest forms of marketing and is still used to this day.

digital marketing vs. traditional marketing

Digital marketing is the new kid on the block. Email marketing, Facebook ads, paid pop-ups, search engine optimization, and PPC campaigns fall into this category. The popularity of digital marketing grows more and more every year. Many businesses have made the switch from traditional marketing to digital marketing, and the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

Overall, it’s much cheaper and easier to scale a marketing campaign using digital marketing vs. traditional marketing. However, traditional marketing still has its strengths.

What Are the Benefits of Traditional Marketing?

Though there are several disparities between online marketing vs. traditional marketing methods, the latter still has distinct advantages.

– Physical Copies

One distinct advantage traditional marketing has over digital marketing is that you can keep physical copies of promotional materials. This may not sound like a big deal to younger generations who store practically everything on their phones, but to those who appreciate physically holding a flyer or brochure in their hands, this is an invaluable benefit.

– Exposure to both Broad and Local Audiences

Putting up flyers outside of popular establishments or sending direct mail to addresses in a specific neighborhood makes it easy to target a local audience. Furthermore, advertisements over the radio, TV commercials, and billboards have the potential to be seen by thousands of people.

– The Material Is Simple to Understand

When you’re dealing with traditional marketing, your non-tech-savvy audiences don’t have to worry about navigating to various websites or hunting through their email to take advantage of a promotion.  Tech savviness comes intuitively to younger generations, but for older folks who aren’t glued to their electronics, a billboard or flyer is very easy to view and understand.

Disadvantages of Traditional Marketing

If your small business still invests in traditional marketing campaigns, look out for these disadvantages.

– Lack of Analytics

Frankly, there is no real in-depth way to track how successfully a traditional marketing campaign is doing. For example, it’s impossible to know how many people a billboard has reached on a busy stretch of highway. There’s also no way of knowing how many thousands of people listened to a radio ad. You can try sending out surveys to ascertain how your customers heard about your business, but that method is nowhere near as detailed as digital analytics.

– Print, Television, and Radio Ads Are Very Expensive

When you’re running a campaign that involves printed materials such as flyers or posters, you’ll find that expenses can rack up very quickly. You must pay for paper, ink, and distribution of your advertisement depending on the channel. Your marketing budget will take an even bigger hit if you decide to go with television or radio ads. Overall, traditional marketing can be a costly endeavor.

online marketing vs. traditional marketing

What Are the Advantages of Digital Marketing?

Online marketing mediums have gained popularity due to their specificity. The following advantages highlight how tailored ads are highly effective for small businesses.

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– Hyper-focused Ads

The beauty of digital marketing is that you can create ads to target your ideal customer. Facebook ads are the shining example of hyper-focused ads that allow you to target customers by demographics, location, income, interests, online behaviors, and much more. Digital marketing gurus have made millions from Facebook ads due to hyper-focusing on their target market.

Targeted ads are critical to the success of a B2B digital marketing strategy. Your marketing efforts need to impact decision-makers within an organization, and a blanketed approach isn’t cost-effective. By targeting based on industry, job position, and other dimensions that only digital marketing can provide, you eliminate unnecessary spend.

For example, B2B manufacturing marketing would need to target decision-makers in a particular industry to truly be effective. Once you identify and target the right audience, make sure you’re sending them back to your appealing manufacturing web design, otherwise, you still run the risk of losing your investment.

– Cost-effective

One of the benefits of digital marketing over traditional marketing is the price of running campaigns. PPC ads can be as cheap as a penny per click (or even cheaper believe it or not). A $5 digital marketing budget can expose your brand to a hundred or more people if you know what you’re doing. $5 in a traditional marketing campaign wouldn’t even buy you printer paper for a flyer distribution campaign. Digital marketing significantly reduces the cost of getting leads for your business, and minimizes the cost of customer acquisition.

As you can see, a big difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing is the amount of money you’ll ultimately end up spending during a campaign. Overall, digital marketing holds an advantage when it comes to cost comparison.

– Audience Interaction

With the use of social media and email, you can interact instantly with your audience. Thus, one of the advantages of internet marketing over traditional marketing is audience interaction.

With improved customer interaction, you can suggest that your prospects take action in real-time. If you engage in business blogging, you can encourage your audience to read a blog post or point them toward a promotion or press release on your website.

You can also publicly address concerns through mediums like social media, email, and your website. Real-time interaction on social media platforms is a major advantage of social marketing vs. traditional marketing. This is a significant benefit because it allows the rest of your customers to see how transparently you run your business, which builds trust.

– Everyone Is on an Even Playing Field

When it comes to internet advertising vs. traditional advertising there is a significant disparity in the respective “playing fields.” In traditional marketing, the bigger the advertising budget, the more likely you’ll dominate your niche. Therefore, smaller players are often dwarfed by major corporations with multi-million dollar advertising budgets.

Though the same is somewhat true for digital marketing, just about any business with an effective digital marketing plan in place can compete with even the largest companies. As long as you create an engaging campaign that targets the right audience, you’re a contender.

– Real-time Analytics

Yet another one of the advantages of online advertising over traditional advertising is the use of real-time analytics. You can track website traffic volume, the amount you’re spending per ad, which ads are performing, which are underperforming, and what times of the day your followers are the most active on social media.

With access to real-time analytics, you can tweak your advertising campaigns little by little until you find a formula that helps you meet your marketing goals and objectives.

Internet Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which Is Better?

Very clearly digital marketing reigns supreme regarding reach, cost, scalability, and analytics. However, traditional marketing still has its uses. There’s nothing quite like holding a business card or brochure in your hands. Creating a strategy that incorporates both digital and traditional marketing will give you the most reach when targeting your customer base.

MARION is a full-service marketing agency in Houston that not only specializes in digital marketing but also in traditional marketing. We recognize the immense benefits of effective integrated marketing campaigns, but we also understand that traditional marketing can reach thousands of potential customers.

If you’re in need of a professional marketing team that can get you results contact MARION today.

About Tony Mastri

Tony Mastri, Digital Marketing Manager at MARION, is an experienced agency and in-house digital marketer. With a proven background in content strategy, relationship-based link building, and technical SEO, he makes data-informed decisions that drive client growth.

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