How do you choose between traditional marketing vs digital marketing? What’s the difference between the two, and which one should you use?
Some brands struggle with choosing which type of marketing promotion to do because their budget will only allow them to do one or the other, not both. This is especially true during these surreal times [thanks to COVID-19] when some businesses cut their marketing budgets or even cease their marketing efforts to survive in the short term. Business owners face challenging decisions: Which marketing method will give me the biggest bang for my buck? How can I evaluate the success of my marketing? Will it reach my target audience?
Digital marketing continues to be a subject of debate since it has been around since the early days of the internet. When choosing between conventional and digital marketing, it comes down to which one fits your brand best for its consumers. Let’s examine both.
Throughout this article, I’ll dissect the pros and cons, the cost and scope of traditional marketing and digital marketing that you need to be aware of to choose which one is best for your brand, consumers and how to succeed using both.
Traditional marketing and digital marketing play complementary roles in your customer acquisition, nurturing and retaining process.
Watch the video below.
They do this while building and affirming your brand’s authority in your niche.
Definitions of Traditional Marketing and Digital Marketing
To better understand, let us start by defining these two roles. However, let me briefly paraphrase these not to stress you out.
What is Traditional Marketing?
Traditional marketing refers to any promotion, advertising or campaign that companies have used for years and has a proven success rate. Traditional marketing methods can include print advertisements, billboards, flyers or pamphlets, TV, newspaper, radio, and much more.
Traditional marketing refers to the conventional marketing methods used for decades, such as newspapers, magazine ads, television, radio ads, flyer, direct mail /snail mail and much more. These have all been ideal mediums for business owners to market their products or services to the masses.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Traditional Marketing
Now let’s look at some pros and cons of traditional marketing.
Advantages of Traditional Marketing
Traditional media is still relevant in some circumstances. For instance, I’m sure you always have your business cards, brochures, or other marketing materials that people can hold in their hands.
With traditional media, the ability to touch, feel, see and physically use a piece of merchandise will always engage more senses than a virtual element can. It, therefore, makes the whole branding process a lot more effective. If the experience is good, to begin with, traditional media will help to enhance it.
Depending on your industry and buyer persona, these traditional media are still relevant. By creating brand credibility with your target audience, traditional media such as TV, outdoor and print media are far more effective than digital.
According to this article, billboards are still one of the top ways to advertise in specific markets, reaching over 90% of the population.
However, the internet has allowed business owners to reach a broader audience more fascinating than traditional media.
Traditional marketing has its merits, but it is not a fad in the global digital marketing age.
Disadvantages of Traditional Marketing
Some disadvantages of the traditional method of marketing.
In traditional marketing, we use static text for advertisement. So there’s no way for you to edit it on the fly.
Lack of time to update message
Time is money, so in traditional marketing, you will not get time to respond to the changes you wish to make in the advertisement compared to the new modern online marketing.
Traditional marketing companies will charge you for each delivery of fliers and mailers, whereas your ad is open to the entire World Wide Web in online marketing.
Customised Marketing not possible
You cannot target a specific customer; you can only target a particular market.
Conversion of traditional media to online marketing
Many traditional marketing methods such as newspapers and magazines are now going online in recent times. So people can read the news wherever they are as nowadays the internet is also available to most of the population.
Print can be challenging to measure – a considerable handicap if your marketing team pushes you to quantify your marketing investment return.
The AARP reports that in 2017, the “Wireless only” rate for “Those ages 18 to 24 was 64.2%; for those 35 to 44, it was 63.9%; for those 45 to 64 it was 47.1%, and for those 65 and older it was 23.9%.”
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing promotes goods and services via PCs, smartphones, mobile phones (both SMS and MMS), smartphone apps, email, social media, display advertising, search engine marketing, video games, etc.
These days, you need a digital marketing strategy for your business to thrive. Only the companies and entrepreneurs adaptable to change in their marketing strategies will succeed in this digital economy.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Digital Marketing
Now let’s turn our attention to the advantages and disadvantages of digital marketing.
Advantages of Digital Marketing
Digital marketing allows you to target your ideal audience and personalise your marketing message to your perfect buyer. When you consider that a significant percentage of mobile searches are related to a specific location, then knowing how to boost your local and global marketing efforts is vital.
Digital marketing is not just another channel for advertisements. It comprises many marketing opportunities such as websites, blogging, vlogging, mobile, social media, email marketing, search engine marketing, content marketing, search engine optimization, and more!
Another benefit of digital marketing is it is more cost-effective than traditional marketing. You can run affordable campaigns on Google or Facebook at a fraction of the cost of a billboard or TV campaign. Knowing what you spend on websites, social media ads, etc., to reach potential customers and what you get is the key benefit of digital marketing versus traditional advertising.
Digital marketing is the best suited for our digital age. According to this, in our increasingly digital world, you can count on a growing number of customers to be tech-savvy.
According to these statistics, traditional marketing had fallen nearly 160% over the last year or so, while expenses for digital marketing increased by over 14% in the same time frame.
Also, this article notes that over one-third of CMOs believe digital will account for 75% of marketing spending in the next five years. So understanding what makes digital so vital is the first step in gearing up your business to make a mark on the internet.
Another benefit of digital marketing is that it provides the means to track, measure, and optimise your marketing campaigns. These things are challenging to achieve with print ads and other traditional marketing channels.
According to a recent study, consumer engagement is through likeability (86%), trust (83%) and price (81%), with convenience only ranking in importance for 55% of consumers. Also, the article notes that customers you retarget online are 70% more likely to convert to paying customers.
As you’ve seen from all the above, digital marketing helps to increase your ROI. It is easier to calculate the ROI of digital marketing in your business than traditional marketing. It’s safe to say that it is the clear winner over traditional marketing.
However, you need to combine digital and traditional marketing for an integrated marketing campaign for you to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Disadvantages of Digital Marketing
Dependability on technology
There are some areas where internet connectivity is unavailable in this Technical World, or the internet connection is abysmal. So, in those remote areas, digital marketing has no use and Function. That’s why without the internet, digital marketing is nothing. Another problem is that some users have less trust and are less interested in the internet. They avoid Internet advertisements. Even they distrust advertising on the internet. Such people prefer print ads, etc.
Security, privacy issues
There are some legal considerations around collecting and using customer data for digital marketing. Take care to comply with the rules regarding privacy and data protection.
Maintenance costs due to a constantly evolving environment
Therefore, Paid Marketing like Search Engine AdWords, Search Engine Ads, and Social Media Marketing is quite costly, especially for small business owners.
Higher transparency of pricing and increased price competition
One drawback of Digital Marketing is piracy. It hardly takes minutes to copy your information from your digital marketing campaigns. Many hackers can track and copy your valuable Digital marketing strategies. So it would be best if you remained active and aware of your strategy when marketing online and be sure that your practical efforts should remain protected and not be used by your haters or competitors.
Worldwide competition through globalisation
While you can reach a global audience with digital marketing, you are also up against the international competition. It can be a challenge to stand out against competitors and grab attention among the many messages aimed at consumers online.
Which is better digital or traditional marketing?
As with most things in marketing, the short answer: it depends. Let me explain.
If you want to reach an older or a local audience, traditional marketing methods may be more productive and stand out better than digital marketing methods. Whereas, if you want to reach a younger or broader audience, digital marketing is your best bet.
But if your target audience cuts across young and old alike, then your best bet is to consider a combination of both, otherwise known as integrated marketing.
A few years ago, during my master’s program in marketing, my professor predicted that soon there would be no distinction between traditional and digital marketing. They will integrate into one marketing. This type of inbound marketing is what most companies are focusing on now.
Therefore, at a live Q&A session titled “Welcome to the End of Digital Marketing”, they encouraged the audience to have a mindset shift from “digital marketing” to “marketing”. Then, I asked who in an organisation (the CEO or the marketer) should champion this mindset shift, and the answer was very enlightening. Watch it.
Do you want your business to enjoy the best of both worlds through an integrated marketing campaign? Would you like to stay ahead of your competitors? Then schedule a consultation with me today to discuss your traditional marketing and digital marketing strategy. You have nothing to lose but everything to gain.
What results have you had using traditional marketing vs digital marketing? Tweet me @ademolaabimbola or @mauconline to let me know.
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