Jun 9, 2019

What is the difference between traditional and digital marketing?

Traditional vs Digital marketing

Sometimes, the toughest thing to figure out in the marketing world is which strategy will provide you with the perfect reach and most quantifiable profit for the budget you have. Traditional vs. digital marketing is still one of the biggest advertising discussions to be had.

There are many who believe traditional marketing barely exists anymore, if at all. So what is the big difference between the two strategies? And what are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

Our team of marketing experts is here to answer these questions and help you decide which of them should you be putting your budget towards.

Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing includes many things such as business cards, notices, announcements, handouts, business promotions on TV and radio, print advertisements in daily newspapers and magazines to publicize an occasion or products.

Basically, this term refers to any kind of marketing execution except digital means to brand your product or logo.

Advantages of Traditional Marketing

1. Hard copies – the majority of traditional marketing pieces can actually be kept which allows your audience to keep hard copies that they can read or browse through over and over again.
2. Simple – since the majority of the population have already been exposed to traditional marketing strategies, they can easily understand and absorb the materials and messages.
3. Local audience reach – using a radio ad or sending direct mailers to specific neighbourhoods make it easy for your business to reach your local target audience.

Disadvantages of Traditional Marketing

1. Little interaction – since traditional marketing is static, there’s no way for your brand to really interact with your audience.
2. Costly – both print and radio advertisements can cost big bucks and that doesn’t even include the price of hiring someone to distribute the materials.
3. Unmeasurable – the results of traditional marketing efforts cannot be easily measured, and in many cases, cannot be measured at all. It’s more like you’re putting information out there in front of people and hoping that they decide to take action.

Digital Marketing

In simple terms, digital marketing is traditional marketing, but using digital devices.

It includes websites, social media pages, YouTube videos, banner ads, blogs, and much more.  As technology evolves, the universe of digital marketing continues to propel forward with it.

Advantages of Digital Marketing

1. Larger audience – with digital marketing you can reach not only your local target audience but your international target audience as well. You can even tailor a campaign towards a specific audience making it that much more effective.
2. High interaction – not only is interaction possible with digital marketing, it’s encouraged. You can actually create call-to-actions that lead your audience to your website, rate your services, call your business, etc.
3. Cost efficient – although there are some online ads that you can pay for, the overall cost of digital marketing is much cheaper compared to traditional marketing costs.
4. Measurable results – unlike traditional methods, you can see in real time what is or is not working for your business online and adapt very quickly to improve your results.
5. Digital Word of Mouth – A great business knows that word of mouth travels and is a motivator of purchase behaviour. With the presence of social media discussions and search engine reviews, there are many ways for customers to share their experience with their friends.
6. Two-Way Communication – Social media and e-mail marketing are examples of how digital marketing offers two-way communication, allowing for feedback and relationship building. Traditional marketing is solely one-way communication, showcasing a product, event or service and leaving it at that.

When you are able to connect with your audience and offer solutions to their wants and needs, they practically do your marketing for you.

Disadvantages of Digital Marketing

1. Timely – with digital marketing campaigns, it can take some time before you see measurable success. It’s important to not give up and let the campaign run its full course.

Providing Value vs. Advertising

Another key difference between digital marketing and traditional advertising is that many digital marketers look to provide value to their audience by using content marketing and other solutions. Traditional advertisers are typically just looking to increase sales with their ad spots, not to provide value.

So, what does providing value look like? One-third of the world uses social media regularly making it an excellent channel to connect with a target audience. The great thing about social media marketing is you’re able to research what your audience is interested in.

You can mold your brand and messaging to actually offer solutions, information or even entertainment to your audience; providing value, building trust and ultimately turning them into repeat customers. Building a real, valuable business-to-consumer relationship is something a print or radio ad simply cannot do.

Marketing in a Data-Driven World

With traditional advertising, you’re in the dark when it comes to understanding your return on investment (ROI). Digital marketing not only tracks your ROI, but its analytic capabilities give you the opportunity to enhance it.

When purchasing an ad spot on radio or TV, you aren’t given much more information than the number of listeners in that market (maybe a profile of the average listener if you’re lucky).

With digital marketing, targeting features for campaigns are unmatched by traditional advertising. In a social media campaign, you can create a custom audience of people to reach, or create an audience solely of people that have already visited your website.

When marketing on search engines like Google, you can target people searching for exactly what your business is offering! Digital marketing takes out the guesswork by providing in-depth analytics and metrics about your audience and your marketing efforts.

Now that you know about the differences between the two strategies, which one should you use? Well, we would recommend using both, but finding the right balance between the two is key.

Knowing what you spend and what you get in return is the key benefit of digital marketing versus traditional advertising, but it’s important to really focus on what the goal of your campaign is before you choose which marketing route to take.

Luckily, here at Design Thinking, we can help you create a strategic marketing plan that incorporates both approaches. Furthermore, we can create all of the materials and execute that strategy for you. Contact us today for all of your traditional and digital marketing needs in Brantford and the surrounding areas.