Traditional marketing has been around for decades, and more recently, the emergence of digital marketing is thriving in today’s technology-led society. Over the years, marketing has become one of the world’s largest industries, especially with the introduction of radio, TVs, the internet and phones. You’ll rarely go a day without running into an ad in this day and age, whether you’re walking, driving or scrolling through your phone.
Many brands often ask which method is better for their marketing strategy; traditional or digital? But really, both work well in their own rights; it depends on your budget and who your audience is to determine which strategy is right for you and your brand.
Let’s explore the pros and cons of each strategy.
Traditional marketing has become a part of daily life. Whether you’re driving, walking or watching TV, you’re likely to see an ad on a billboard, hear a radio ad, watch a TV ad or walk by a newsagent.
Traditional marketing channels include billboards, direct mail, handouts and leaflets, print ads, broadcasting, and cold-calling.
A huge benefit of traditional marketing is that it exists outside of a device, allowing you to reach potential customers almost anywhere. Traditional marketing adverts are often replayed throughout the day on TV and radio. This use of multimedia advertising helps you to reach as many people as possible, increasing your chances of making sales and gaining profit.
A great example of this is the cereal brand, Surreal’s (now deleted) campaign, where they used billboards to advertise famous names reviewing their cereal. However, the people were normal people with famous names who were paid to say nice things about the cereal, allowing the brand to create a more budget-friendly influencer marketing campaign.
While digital marketing can be a great option to reach younger audiences, traditional marketing is much more likely to reach an older audience or those who spend less time on a computer or phone. Older generations may feel alienated in a world surrounded by technology and so will continue to find comfort in the more traditional marketing methods.
For brands who aren’t familiar with the ins and outs of digital marketing, traditional marketing can be a safer and more simple option. Though your team may be dedicated to learning how to master digital marketing, there is a lot to understand, and it may take some time to see results.
Having a physical flyer, brochure, or newspaper gives your customers something tangible that they can hold onto, which can make a lasting impression.
Traditional marketing can be quite expensive, especially if you pay for an advertising spot during prime-time TV or on a billboard in a highly populated area.
Due to the one-way communication of traditional marketing, brands can also find that their marketing efforts have low engagement rates and that the results can be difficult to track and measure. For example, you can’t track how many people saw your TV, billboard, or poster advert, heard your radio broadcast or received and read your leaflet. Though you may be able to get data on how many people viewed a program, some views may be discounted for falling asleep with the TV on or leaving the TV on while doing chores around the house or for their dog while they are at work.
The time for traditional marketing to be approved is also lengthy, and you can’t easily make tweaks or adjustments once published or aired.
Digital marketing is a relatively new strategy that involves the internet or a smartphone. There are 4.95 billion active internet users worldwide and 4.62 billion active social media users, according to DataReportal. With technology and the internet only expected to grow and evolve even more, it makes complete sense to incorporate digital marketing into your business strategy.
Digital marketing methods include email campaigns, digital PR campaigns, social media posts, clickable ads, search engine optimisation (SEO) and website content.
Digital marketing results are instant and easy to track. As a result, you can see what works well and what doesn’t work so well and make adjustments accordingly.
Social media marketing and SEO are affordable marketing strategies that can help your brand to reach a vast, even global audience. It doesn’t cost anything to send an email, making email marketing an effective way to reach your audience.
Digital marketing allows you to refine your targeting capabilities to reach your specific audience. Therefore, no marketing efforts are going to waste as the business can ensure its content reaches the right people to drive sales.
Any time you post something to your brand or business’s social media, send an email or post an ad, you can see and track who is liking, commenting, sharing, replying and clicking through.
Digital marketing channels can be oversaturated with ads, making it difficult for you to stand out from your competitors.
Lack of Tangibility:
Digital marketing methods give nothing for customers to hold on to, and users can click, scroll past or skip any ads they do not want to see or have no interest in, meaning they are unlikely to leave a lasting impression.
Understanding how to get the most out of your digital marketing methods can be complex and time-consuming. Finding out what works best for your brand to see high-quality results may require a lot of trial and error.
In conclusion, both traditional and digital marketing have their benefits and downfalls. Traditional marketing methods have been around for many years and have proven effective, but they can be costly and lack advanced targeting capabilities. Digital marketing is cost-effective and offers advanced targeting capabilities and analytics, but it requires technical knowledge and can be oversaturated with ads.
Combining the two strategies can diversify your marketing efforts and give you the best chance of reaching audiences of all ages. Ultimately, the best marketing strategy will depend on your business’s specific goals, target audience, and budget.