Digital Marketing vs Traditional Advertising
Updated: Oct 27
So, you've got this product or service and now you need to create some awareness around it to drive sales, right? Unless you were a marketing major in college or have some professional experience working for an agency or in the corporate world, you may not know where to start.
Heck, you may not know just how absolutely critical it is in today's age to include digital efforts into your marketing strategy or even what returns you can expect. Let's start simple and distinguish between the two types of marketing you can choose from, to create awareness and promote your business: Traditional and Digital Marketing.
Digital forms of marketing include any efforts utilizing online platforms like: website design, search engine marketing and optimization, online content writing and email and social media campaigns. Whereas, traditional marketing efforts are exactly how they sound- those more traditional advertising mediums like: print ads, television and radio commercials, billboards or other forms of out-of-home advertising.
Discerning between traditional and digital forms may seem easy enough, but why would you want to promote on some Facebook page over having your brand on a massive billboard? That would be awe-some, right!? Maybe. Let's talk pros and cons of both forms of media.
Billboards and many other forms of traditional marketing efforts are great if you are a larger, national brand and have a large budget to go with it. Smaller, less recognized brands may use them too, like the theater featured in the above billboard. Why do you think this 'out-of-home' (OOH) type of traditional marketing is effective for this local theater? Well, location is key here.
First, the billboard advertisement is relatively close-to or nearby the point of interest- in this case, the theater. Why is that important? Well, because you already have potential customers in the area, if they are passing by that billboard. If they are already nearby and have an interest in theater or the show being promoted, than this can be a very effective marketing medium.
Let's talk about some of the limitations of traditional versus the vast benefits of digital marketing. In our billboard example, the location in proximity to the theater in which it is promoting works in it's favor, but remember you are only creating awareness to individuals in a small radius around it. Also, OOH marketing is expensive. Billboards can cost, on average, between $1,500-$4,000 a month in mid-size cities, less in rural areas and up to 15,000/month in larger, dense-populated cities like New York.
So, there are two of the five limitations: You are limited to a local audience and these more traditional efforts are way more expensive. Next, you are limited to only one-way communication to your audience. Meaning, you are not receiving any qualitative insights or feedback from your prospects.
These qualitative insights are key to the holistic customer experience you are providing. Finally, more traditional marketing efforts are not flexible and hard to measure. Once you've created that radio commercial or billboard design, you most likely don't have the resources or budget to pull it and re-do it, if you change your mind or think of something better.
Similarly, it's much harder to measure these types of campaigns effectiveness. How many cars passed that billboard? How many passengers were in that car, that actually saw it? Of those people reached, how many picked up the phone and booked a show? Is the theater tracking which bookings come from that roadside billboard to measure their return on investment? These are the quantitative insights you have to measure in order to know if your efforts and spend have been successful.
Conversely, all of the above limitations of the more traditional forms of marketing, translate into extremely advantageous freedom for your business, when it comes to digital marketing benefits.
Below is a nice, comprehensive, side-by-side of traditional versus digital overall benefits and limitations that we have created to help you get started.
Remember, not one type of marketing is better than the other and different marketing efforts within your overall strategy, should most-always be executed in tandem, to be successful.
©2020 by InTandem Digital Consulting, LLC
About the Author
Julia Maldonado is the Lead Designer & Founder for InTandem Digital Consulting. She has over 20 years of experience in Marketing, Advertising and Customer Experience spanning across different industries. 10+ years in website design, content writing and social media influencing.
To learn more about Julia, visit her on LinkedIn.
InTandem Digital Consulting provides various digital solutions to small and mid-size businesses. Our portfolio includes: Website Design, Social Media Management and Customer Experience Strategy. Our CX workshops are offered both in-person and virtually.
To learn more about how InTandem Digital Consulting can help you and your business, click HERE