A budget is one of the most important things to prepare for to drive your business to success, yet it’s equally essential to know where to source the funds to get the most out of your efforts. And today, most marketers have a difficult choice to make each time they want to launch a marketing campaign: traditional marketing or digital marketing. The difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing is a delicate subject that can be discussed to long lengths. However, when it comes to selecting between the two, it all tracks back to the foundation of the business. For a business to come up with a sound decision, it is important to gain clarity on the aspects related to digital and traditional marketing. This will help the business come up with an ideal choice that will help obtain desirable results.
Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing
The fundamental difference between these two approaches to marketing is the type of medium used to reach out to the audience. Traditional marketing utilises media communication channels such as magazines and newspapers, while digital marketing uses more modern communication methods like social media and websites. Although digital marketing is more focused on modern techniques, this doesn’t mean traditional marketing is outdated. Traditional marketing still plays an important role in the growth of a lot of modern businesses.
TV commercials, as well as local newspaper copies, are still as effective as they were 2 decades ago. The only difference now is that the audience is split into age groups that have different preferences. To reach an older generation, a traditional marketing technique becomes ideal as the majority of the population is still attached to traditional channels such as television, radio, magazines, and newspapers. The traditional marketing technique is mostly preferred by many for their long-lasting impression on the audience’s memory. Subconsciously, the audience gets attached to the advertised brand, keeping it on top of their mind.
On the other side, there is digital marketing, which is as important, if not more important than traditional marketing. Digital marketing is more into online life, using almost everything that can reach the audience on the internet. Although most of the marketing procedures are done the traditional way, digital marketing is momentarily gaining an edge. There is a significant share of the population that doesn’t use the internet to conduct their business.
What Is Traditional Marketing?
This is a marketing approach that is relevant to any type of business. Even though a business might choose to go with a digital marketing strategy, in one way or the other, they will find themselves applying traditional marketing techniques. Traditional marketing includes the use of flyers, prints, broadcast, postcards, telemarketing, billboards, catalogs, SMS, and etc. Over the last decades, traditional marketing has significantly evolved despite its fundamental aspects remaining unchanged. The modern selling techniques used heavily rely on 4Ps; Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.
What Is Digital Marketing?
This marketing strategy refers to an online-focused promotion of goods or services using various internet techniques. If your business is based online, then there should be a debate on which marketing strategy to use. However, digital marketing stretches to businesses that are not based online. Therefore, any business has a chance of taking advantage of digital marketing to connect with prospects as well as transform them into loyal customers. Digital marketing umbrellas any internet form of advertising a brand, product, or services using several options, which include search engines, social media platforms, and websites, to mention a few.
Digital marketing has become more vital to businesses due to the on-growing use of the internet over the years. Today, masses spend three-quarters of their day online between working, completing chores, and relaxing, making the internet a better spot to chill and connect with prospects. Apart from being a news update channel, the number of people who carry their daily activities online continues to increase. These activities include shopping for goods and buying services. Today, when most businesses close to their daily operations, the last thing to switch off is the computer. The same applies to individuals, the last thing to disconnect before going to sleep is either a PC or smartphone connected to the internet. As you can see, the internet has not only become part but a necessity such that without it, it feels like a pandemic is in place.
Which Form of Marketing Should You Choose?
Striking a balance between traditional and digital marketing can help your business grow in many ways than you can expect. But you need to understand that placing these two forms of marketing under the same campaign without properly marking borderlines of each may lead to disaster. Why so? Every business has its turf where it prospers the most; online or offline. With that said, you need to determine which area your business prospers the most before drawing a marketing budget and deciding which form of marketing will be applied. If your business is an online full time, then going all-in on digital marketing is ideal. However, for businesses such as supermarkets that mainly rely on walk-in customers, traditional marketing techniques are perhaps the best.
For instance, Guinness held a strong position in traditional marketing due to its sturdy cinematography TV commercials. Fast forward to 20 years later, the campaign is still in people’s memories. However, for a young audience that didn’t witness the hype surrounding such TV commercials, it’s hard for them to relate. Therefore, despite having a traditional legendary status, Guinness had to adapt and engage in digital marketing so they don’t miss out on some of the huge marketing opportunities. To engage with the young generation, Guinness had to initiate digital marketing techniques utilising social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Instead of simply converting the existing TV commercial videos, Guinness initiated a fresh advertisement shoot, delivering naturally social media-oriented content.
Pros and Cons of Traditional Marketing and Digital Marketing
Most modern marketers undervalue the importance of traditional marketing. They do not know that this marketing approach still has a fundamental value to the consumer’s lifestyle. Although the budget can be a bit high to carry out an effective traditional campaign that will showcase your products and services on reputable TV channels and magazines, the results can be rewarding.
The advantages related to traditional marketing include:
- Impactful and less complicated – TV commercials and stunning billboards don’t need the genius to understand the concept of what’s being advertised. So, it is easy for the targeted consumer to digest as well as relate to the advert.
- Last longer – the printed content means it will last forever until the catalog, magazine, or newspaper such as The New York Times is torn, thrown away, or burnt.
- Easier to remember – It’s easy to remember something you saw in real life than on your gadgets. Windows displays and billboards present a more realistic version of the service or product, making it possible for the consumer to visualise.
The disadvantages related to traditional marketing include:
- Can’t be precisely measured – traditional marketing lacks tools to keep track of the campaigns. Although there are various techniques like brand trackers, they are not close to giving accurate input compared to digital marketing.
- Expensive – as briefly stated earlier, traditional marketing is expensive. Getting a billboard advertisement that can reach a significant number of your target audience will cost you a fortune.
- Can’t obtain consumer feedback – this is one of the major setbacks when it comes to traditional marketing. It doesn’t provide direct communication with the customers, hence keeping you in the dark concerning the reaction of your audience in regards to the marketing campaign.
Regardless of what marketing strategy you choose, we can’t ignore the fact that we live in the internet age, with internet users adding up to 57% of the world’s population. With this mind-boggling fact, it comes as no surprise that most businesses are jumping ships. To remind you, here are the advantages of digital marketing:
- Direct engagement with consumers – using social media channels, you can see reactions and manage your campaign, making it easy to determine if your campaign is doing well or not.
- It is possible to measure campaigns – tracking of digital marketing is in-depth compared to traditional marketing, thanks to various technological tools that make the whole task easy and fast.
- Easy to target a specific market – implementing various software marketing tools, you can target a specific market group based on age, ethnicity, gender, region, etc.
- Can be easily incorporated into an enterprise resource planning application for best market analysis and manipulation of data.
Just like traditional marketing, digital marketing comes with its set of drawbacks which include:
- Ads can be annoying to consumers when distributed aggressively.
- Digital marketing efforts don’t last long, in addition to being intangible.
Weigh the advantages of digital marketing against the cons. Even when you plan to take on either of these marketing strategies, do a quality check such that the entire organisational structure fits perfectly. Your nominated method of advertising should value customers’ opinion, give business insight as well as promote perpetual growth.