Traditional Marketing vs. Digital Marketing

June 28, 2018
Versa Creative

With the creation of the internet, there has been intense controversy over whether technology is improving or destroying society. Some may say they can’t understand information if they aren’t holding it in their hands, others refuse to even own a pen and pad of paper anymore. When looking at traditional marketing vs. digital marketing, there is one important similarity to keep in mind: both types of marketing are the key to connecting businesses to their customers. From there, however, the similarities fade due to the differences in mediums, marketing methods, and types of advertisements. To put into perspective the role of marketing in your daily life, the average person in America encounters approximately 4,000-10,000 advertisements daily according to digital media experts who reported to Forbes. This staggering number may have you shaking your head in disbelief. Upon further examination of the creation and dispersion process for those ads, that number may not be surprising at all. So how do these different marketing efforts result in your exposure to thousands of advertisements a day? By integrating traditional and digital marketing, companies are able to reach you in a variety of different ways, no matter what you’re doing. Let’s take a look at traditional and digital marketing, then discuss how their integration can help you share your message more effectively with your target audience.

What are Traditional and Digital Marketing?

Before the rise of personal computers and smartphones, there was only traditional marketing. Its roots can essentially be traced back to the creation of paper, being the first form of communication beyond verbal communications between buyers and sellers.

This form of marketing encompasses print advertising, outdoor advertising, and media buying.

It is utilized by a majority of companies, even those who are solely web-based. Companies haven’t completely converted to digital marketing yet because of traditional advertising’s almost ancient yet successful track record, its forms being easily understood and familiar to all clients, and most importantly, the sealing of a connection by placing a part of the company into the client’s hands.

Benefits of Traditional Marketing

  • Caters to Everyone: People don’t have to be online to find your business. There’s also a great potential to reach demographics you weren’t specifically targeting through billboards or print materials.
  • More Personalized: In some cases, traditional marketing materials are tangible which can create a deeper connection with potential customers.
  • Proven Track Record: Traditional marketing has been around for a long time and its success is tried and true.

The downfall of traditional practices lays in the cost and difficulty of obtaining ROI data for individual advertisements. It can become costly to continuously run advertisements in the paper, on the radio, or on the TV, especially if ROI data isn’t available to prove the profitability of such advertisements. Luckily, digital marketing becomes helpful in deepening company-customer connections and aids in back-and-forth communication between the two.

Disadvantages of Traditional Marketing

  • Cost: Purchasing media spots and printing advertisements on paper can get expensive.
  • Difficult to Track ROI: It’s difficult to figure out how successful individual advertisements are.
  • Missed Messages: Many people end up changing the radio station or fast-forwarding through commercials.

Digital marketing, having only a fraction of the years behind its name than traditional marketing, is the newest form of communication between buyers and sellers. It encompasses online marketing efforts including social media, web development, search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, and email marketing.

Digital marketing is so new that a high percentage of four-year universities do not offer any intro courses on the subject. Due to this marketing method’s infancy, some older companies are having to play catch up with other, more modern businesses. Despite the newness, online advertising is fairly easy to understand.

Companies start by building their online presence through websites and expanding that presence through social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube. The more active on social media a business is, the more organic traffic and consumer engagement are attracted. Digital marketing is attractive to businesses because of the exponential amount of people they can reach with just the click of a button. The new “word-of-mouth” is content going viral on the internet, which is capable of reaching countless audiences. Not only can a company choose who and where they send their advertisements, they can track real-time results of how well each one of their campaigns are doing through Google Analytics and various data analysis tools on media platforms.

Benefits of Digital Marketing

  • Viral Potential: Online, there’s a potential for successful content to reach hundreds of thousands or even millions of people.
  • Highly Targeted: For various digital marketing campaigns, you can target an exact demographic with regard to age, geographic location, and search history.
  • Easy to Track ROI: With digital marketing, it’s easy to track the success of individual advertisements and make judgments about their profitability.

Since digital marketing is so young, there is no perfect way to online market. The biggest hindrance for companies can be having little to no experience with technology and marketing online, which is why hiring an advertising agency (like us) can be extremely beneficial. It’s understandable that some people simply don’t have the time to acquaint themselves with all the new processes. Another setback is keeping an audience engaged and maintaining a steady flow of content. Keeping up with your content on multiple media platforms can be challenging and overwhelming as well. As the internet progresses, digital marketing does so too, so merely staying up to date is a challenge in itself. Luckily, industry experts have the experience and tools needed to maintain industry best practices and integrate your marketing efforts.

Disadvantages of Digital Marketing ?

  • Less Data About Strategies: Since it’s newer, there is less information out there about what strategies to use with regard to digital marketing.
  • Difficult to Keep Up With: The number of platforms and 24-hour cycles can be exhausting for one person to try to manage.
  • Limited Audience: The audience for digital marketing is limited to only those people with digital devices.

A large number of ads surrounding you are sourced from both traditional and digital marketing. There is no perfect way to advertise and it isn’t about which is the best kind of marketing, it’s about what works best for your company. Traditional marketing shouldn’t be abandoned; instead, integrate your marketing efforts. Maintain your connection with your customers through one marketing avenue and support those efforts through the other type of marketing. The most useful strategy for the majority of companies involves utilizing traditional marketing to reach a customer’s scope, then directing them to your online presence by adding your website and social media names into the traditional forms. This helps to deepen the connection between your company and potential customers. The more two-way communication that occurs, the more success buyers and sellers can reach together. So instead of just considering traditional marketing vs. digital marketing, try considering how you can best use both types of marketing to forge meaningful relationships with potential and existing customers.

Integrate Your Marketing Efforts

If you’d like to learn more about how our traditional and digital experts can integrate your marketing efforts, reach out to a Versa Creative representative today. Here at Versa Creative, we find the best aspects of traditional marketing and digital marketing, tailoring those parts to our clients and their needs to create the most effective balance and a combination of marketing efforts and strategies. No matter your marketing needs, we’re here to tell your brand story in the best manner possible. Start the conversation today!

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