Traditional Marketing Vs Digital Marketing : What’s The Difference?

15 October 2022

Which is better – Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing? With so many advantages to digital and social media marketing for business, why would any marketer still invest in traditional methods? Let’s take a closer look at the advantages and drawbacks so you can truly measure the ROI of each. There was a time when the word ‘digital’ was used to describe a high-definition TV broadcast. Marketing advertising relied on traditional media and that form of marketing which today we call ‘digital’ had no meaning whatsoever to marketers. Now, fast-forward 20 years. Discussions about digital marketing performance take up 80% of every marketing meeting, everywhere. The search engines play a core role in the placement of digital ads, and social media marketing latest business statistics provide clear evidence of the power of online marketing. However, despite its growth and ubiquity, there are still many companies with an established, ‘old-school’ leadership. They can’t quite wrap their minds around digital. They continue to rely on traditional marketing strategies. After all, traditional marketing is what you grew up with and know inside and out. It has worked for you so far, it’s measurable, and it’s familiar. Why would you abandon it? We’re not here to tell you that traditional marketing is obsolete, because it’s not. But, if you’re unfamiliar with digital marketing, you’re left with a lot of question marks and gaps in your sales and marketing activities. Questions like: What essential email marketing tips can benefit my business today? How can digital marketing strategy strengthen our product launch success? The answer to that last question might very well be: digital marketing. SMBs that include digital marketing in their overall marketing mix grow faster than those who don’t. Our advice? Get proficient at it and beat your competition at their own game.

What is digital marketing? Put simply, digital marketing is using digital channels such as websites and social media as tools for marketing communication. If you’re using social media, you will be well versed in the adverts that pop up in your stream—that’s digital marketing. Traditional marketing on the other hand involves traditional channels, like billboards and printed media. Think Don Draper in Mad Men brainstorming TV commercial ideas and copy for Coca-Cola. Up until the development of the internet in the 1990’s, traditional marketing was pretty much the only type of marketing. The main difference between digital and traditional marketing is the medium through which an audience encounters a marketing message. Of course, traditional marketing doesn’t mean it’s old fashioned. Traditional marketing still plays an important role in people’s lives with the ever growing need to step out of the digital world. The immersive experience of an impactful TV commercial and the tactile nature of a copy of Nirma ad are as important today as they were 20 years ago because of their lasting effects on your memory. Subconsciously you attach yourself to their brand emotionally, meaning they will stay at the top of your mind. In the same token, digital marketing is just as important as traditional if not even more so. Digital marketing uses every touch point of your daily use of the internet to reach you. If you are google searching holiday ideas for your next weekend getaway, the chances are that soon after you will see a tailored sponsored ad from Yatra.com. Using the internet for several hours each day is a normal part of most people’s day to day life. Digital marketing just uses this to its advantage by cleverly weaving in marketing communications into every digital channel.

Which type of marketing should you use? The key to a great marketing campaign is to find the right balance between traditional and digital. In 2021, digital marketing is the yin to traditional marketing’s yang. Both play an important role in a marketing strategy, but they are each elevated when used in unison. Take Nirma for example. Their TV commercials are infamous because of their unique and powerful jingle. Over 20 years later, Nirma’s Rekha, Jaya Aur Sushma sabki pasand Nirma campaign is still one of the best TV commercials of all time. However, even with this legendary status, Nirma still has to move with the times and incorporate digital marketing into their strategy so that they don’t miss out on some huge marketing opportunities. With the rise of social media, traditional marketing is often undervalued by marketers. However, traditional marketing still very much has a place in a consumer’s day to day life.

Pros of traditional marketing: Impactful and easy to understand- A visually bold billboard or a striking TV commercial is a normal part of most people’s day to day lives. They’re easy to digest and often entertaining. Printed marketing materials are more permanent- If you have an advert in an issue of The Hindustan Times it will be there until the magazine is recycled. Which is great if the consumer is an avid collector. More memorable- Seeing something in real life rather than on your phone is more likely to be remembered. The anticipation of the new Super-Bowl ads or a beautiful and impressive window display is more likely to stay in your mind than an Instagram ad you’ll probably scroll past in seconds.

Cons of traditional marketing: More difficult to measure campaigns- There are ways to measure traditional marketing campaigns such as brand trackers but they are nowhere near as in depth or intelligent as the tools available for digital marketing. Often expensive- If you’re a brand in its infancy chances are you don’t have the funds for a 4-page spread in Vogue. Many forms of traditional marketing will set you back a considerable amount. No direct interaction with the consumer- Unlike social media marketing, you’re more or less in the dark about your audience’s reaction to your marketing efforts.

However impactful traditional marketing is, we can’t forget that we are well and truly living in the internet age. According to Click, “Internet users now make up 57% of the global population. On average, people spend 6 hours and 42 minutes online each day. By 2021, a projected 73% of all ecommerce sales will come from mobile. “That’s a mind-bogglingly huge amount of time and opportunity to do some clever digital marketing. Digital marketing channels include: social media (Facebook, Instagram etc.), Website, Content marketing, Affiliate marketing, Inbound marketing, Email marketing, Performance marketing.

Pros of digital marketing: Digital Is the Only Sure way to Reach Generation Z- Born with a smartphone already clenched in their tiny hands, Gen Z is the only generation that’s never known life without the Internet. For them, the radio is an antiquity, the TV set is something that their grandparents watch ‘programs’ on. They pay little attention to printed papers and think about billboards as scenery. If you wish to develop this age demographic as customers, then you need to be online so they can find you. By 2022, they will become the largest generation of consumers. Even as youths, they are making an impact – 93% of parents say that most of their purchasing decisions are influenced by what their kids have to say. Budgets Are Easier to Redistribute with digital marketing- budgets are mostly placeholders. You can plan to spend Rs10000 on Facebook ads every month, running branding campaigns, only to figure out one week later that those campaigns are underperforming. So, seeing this, you immediately pause the campaign. Spending stops. At the same time, your content marketing team had been allocated a budget per month. There’s nothing stopping you from diverting money from those Facebook branding campaigns to where it can make a difference today. An Abundance of Data to Pinpoint Your Ideal Customer- Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other platforms and service providers earn money by knowing everything there is about their users. When running digital campaigns, you get access to this analytics data and learn a lot about your ideal customers. By looking into Facebook or Google analytic tools, you will be able to generate several buyer personas to describe each segment of your customer base. We use the concept of persona to clearly define to whom we are speaking, in order to be hyper-focused in our content creation. The goal is to understand the problem that your product or service solves by walking a mile in their shoes. The persona that you’ve written up will serve as a powerful tool for writing laser-focused copy and content that will speak directly to each customer segment that you’re targeting.

Cons of digital marketing: Digital ads can be deemed as annoying- Think about the moment you’re scrolling through your Facebook homepage and all you want to do is see what your old school friends are up to these days. Then you get the dreaded sponsored ad for something related to an embarrassing ailment you googled the night before. It’s sure to make you actively dislike the very brand doing the clever targeting. Less permanent- Digital marketing efforts like Google ads, banners, promo emails or social media ads can have a fleeting, temporary character. They’re intangible and can easily be ignored. If your target audience keeps scrolling or clicks to the next page your ad will be gone from their screen. Constantly evolves- To get the most out of your digital marketing efforts there is a lot to learn. Each channel usually requires its own specialist, from search engine marketing to social media, each channel requires a pro to get the best bang for your buck. However, a grass-roots social media marketing strategy is a great place to start. Have a look at our digital marketing strategy guide for some inspiration.

Traditional marketing often imposes the limitation of locality, small or big. These days, however, there are no such limitations. Goods travel the world at a fraction of the cost that they used to. Also, if you’re selling services, they can be offered anywhere in the world. E-books, online courses, coaching, video materials can all be downloaded without incurring the shipping costs. Digital marketing lets you reach people that live thousands of miles away. Logistically, much of traditional marketing is best suited to a clientele which is in geographic proximity to your offices. With digital marketing, all you have to do is set up your website and online advertising the right way, and you’re on your way to doing business. Traditional marketing definitely has a place in your marketing mix. However, for best results, it’s time you paired it with select high-yield digital campaigns. This brings us to a multi-channel marketing approach, something that we believe every SMB should consider in order to be successful in today’s markets. It’s a way to diversify your marketing investment and avoid placing all your eggs in one basket, thus becoming dependent upon a single source of leads that might vanish when you wake up tomorrow. At Eggfirst advertising and digital agency we give our clients a team of dedicated specialists who work together to curate and manage successful marketing campaigns. Contact us today to see how we can help your business reach its full potential.