Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing

Digital marketing vs traditional marketing: what is the difference?

Digital marketing is an umbrella term for all the activities involved in promoting products or services using digital channels such as social media, email, online advertising, search engine optimisation (SEO), display advertising and mobile advertising. Digital marketing has grown significantly over the years with more people using digital channels to interact with brands.

Traditional Marketing is involved with using media channels such as radio, tradeshows, print advertising (magazines, newspaper, billboards), and television. It can also involve any form of direct marketing methods for example, cold calls, and face-to-face communications.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that traditional marketing methods should be abandoned. Traditional marketing still plays an important role today.

Let’s take for example television. Consumers are 11 times more likely to search for a product if they have seen it in a TV ad rather than online. In fact, TV advertisement is responsible for 72% of all brand awareness.

The same can be said about radio ads. What is the last ad that you heard on the radio vs the last ad you saw online, that you can remember? People are more likely to remember radio and TV ads. 

If you are searching on Google for luxury holiday resorts in Cape Town or Mozambique, you are likely to be bombarded with ads from luxury holiday resorts on social media.

This is known as retargeting ads. This is another example as to why digital marketing is so important and effective. Using the internet for several hours per day is a normal part in most people’s day to day life.

What type of marketing is best suited for you?

This greatly depends on your budget available for marketing activities, your location, your audience and your product / service. The key is to find the right balance between digital marketing and traditional marketing activities. They both play an important role in a marketing strategy and can be powerful when used in unison.

For example, marketing for an app may focus more on social media advertising whereas marketing for an energy drink may focus more on TV ads.

Traditional marketing: pros and cons

Traditional marketing strategies are typically devalued by marketers due to the rise of digital marketing. Traditional marketing, on the other hand, continues to play an important role in the lives of consumers. Your money could be well spent if you have the budget to advertise your campaigns in magazines and on prime time television.

Traditional marketing channels include:

  • Direct sales
  • Tradeshows
  • Print advertising (newspaper, magazine etc.)
  • Outdoor advertising (billboards, bus/truck wraps, posters etc.)
  • Broadcasting (radio, television etc.)
  • Telemarketing
  • Window display and signs

Traditional marketing pros:

Easy to understand
A visually attractive billboard or a compelling television commercial is a common occurrence in most people’s daily life. They’re simple to understand and frequently entertaining.

It connects you to your local audience
Traditional marketing plays a vital role in approaching the local audience when it comes to connecting with customers on a personal level. In today’s consumerist environment, building a relationship with customers is more important than ever. That is why customers prefer businesses that show a genuine interest in their well-being.

Traditional promotional strategies used by businesses to communicate with the local community include billboards, local TV commercials, and newspapers. Traditional methods of approaching customers are less corporate and more organic.

More memorable
Seeing something in person rather than on your phone increases the likelihood of remembering it. A stunning and outstanding window display is more likely to stick with you than an Instagram ad that you’ll probably scroll through in seconds.

Traditional marketing builds credibility
Customers are more likely to believe a firm when they see something tactile than if they only see an internet campaign. Although digital media allows you to reach a larger number of people in a shorter amount of time, they do not trust the company as well-established and trustworthy.

Print media and printed information are regarded as more trustworthy than internet digital advertisements. One of the key reasons for this is that traditional advertising campaigns receive a considerably higher budget from businesses. When you see a firm’s advertisements on the radio, TV, publications, or other commercial platforms, it means the corporation has a lot of money. It gives the impression that the business is stable, expanding, and profitable.

Printed advertisement is more permanent
If you place an advertisement in The Huisegenoot, it will remain in the magazine until it is recycled. Which is fantastic if the customer is a serious collector.

Traditional marketing cons:

More expensive
Running a TV advertisement or a print advertisement can be considerably expensive and may have a limited audience as compared to publishing an advertisement on the internet and becomes available to the entire world.

Customization is not possible
The downside of traditional marketing is that you can’t target a specific audience based on certain demographics and psychographics. For example, running an advertisement about a new type of makeup for females. By using traditional marketing for this type of advertisement, all genders will see this ad.

Less informative
With traditional marketing you are unable to offer complicated pricing options of the product to the consumers. TV and radio advertisement only allows a limited time and space to include information about the product.

More difficult to measure campaigns
You can use brand trackers to measure traditional marketing activities but it is nowhere near as in depth than social media analytic tools or website analytic tools.

Digital marketing pros and cons:

Today people spend almost as much as 7 hours per day online on social media and Google and that is a lot of time to do something creative and promote your products / services. The world is converting to a digital world with the majority of the world’s population having access to the internet.

Digital marketing channels include:

  • Social media
  • Websites
  • Email marketing
  • Search engine marketing
  • Inbound marketing
  • Pay per click
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Content marketing

Digital marketing pros:

Lower costs
Digital marketing is a lot less expensive as compared to traditional methods. You can reach a majority of your audience at a fraction of a cost than that of a TV advertisement, if you plan your campaign strategically. 

Global reach
A website can allow you to reach new markets and trade globally with low investment.

More measurable
With social media and google analytic tools you can measure the results of your campaign in depth, giving you the power to understand your audience better.

Makes specific targeting possible
If you want to target females between the ages of 19 – 24 with an interest in beauty for your new makeup product, you can easily do this.

Improved conversion rate
If you have a website, your customers are only a few clicks away from making a purchase, saving them time, convenience and money.

Digital marketing cons:

Skills and training
You will need to understand how analytic tools can be used and how to measure the results in order to optimise your advertisement. You would also need to analyse changes in trends, consumer behavior etc.

Time consuming
To run an online advertisement can be time consuming to perfect your understanding of your audience and measuring the results of a campaign.

Online ads can be annoying
Online ads can often times annoy consumers when they are watching a video on Youtube or on Facebook and can cause them to dislike your brand.

High competition
There are so many online advertisements and it is most likely that your competitors are running several advertisements. With this said you will need to strategically plan your online campaign.

Constantly evolves
With new social media algorithm and Google updates, it is important to be aware of these as this can greatly impact your advertising. When engaging with online advertisement it is best to engage with a professional agency for the best results.