Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing: Which Should You Use for Business?

Digital MarketingIf you’re in business—then digital marketing most probably occupies your mind most of the time. After all, marketing will play a major role in how effective your business grows or shrinks. And the more tested and efficient your methods are—the more profitable (and successful) things are bound to be.

In this post we are going to discuss the 2 main marketing methods that have caught the attention of many business people in todays new world. The first is the traditional mode of marketing, while the second is digital marketing.

Now, the million-dollar question (or tens of millions depending on your size) is: which among these two is better and could bring even more benefits to your business?

To find out, let’s discuss some important aspects of digital and traditional marketing that you might want to know:

Marketing Platforms

Traditional Marketing – simply put, this mode of marketing is the one which businesses have been using before the Internet came about (meaning: before the world became a whole lot smaller).

In this method, the main platforms used are: billboards, TV and radio advertisements, newspaper and magazine ads, direct mail, celebrity endorsements and other similar platforms.

Digital Marketing – as its name implies, this mode makes use of the ever-changing World Wide Web.

In here, the usual virtual platforms used are search engine optimization, content strategies such as blogs, online press releases, social media marketing channels, paid online advertising,  video sharing sites and many other related platforms.

It is also worth noting that among the most important aspects of digital marketing is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Almost all virtual businesses make use of SEO to make their marketing message known—as it allows a particular business website to gain that much needed quality traffic, and ultimately, greater profitability. Accordingly, this is something that you should seriously consider for your online marketing strategy as well.

Market Reach

Traditional Marketing – in this mode, market reach will depend on the type of platform you are using.

For example: if you are using local TV, paper or radio ads—then your market reach will be limited on a local level as well. If you want to expand your market reach, then you will most probably need to make use of other methods that offer wider reach (however, this will mean having to shell out more money as well).

Digital Marketing – as you may already know, the Internet’s reach is global. Being so, you can use this platform to reach out to your target audience—in whatever part of the globe they may belong to, just by using online platforms such as Facebook, YouTube or other sites (note: these platforms won’t cost as much as traditional ones..more on that below). However targeting can be more precise down to the local level on many platforms.

Note: Facebook alone has more than 1 billion users from all over the world. Hence, imagine if you are able to reach and cater to even just 1% of that number. To make this possible, however, you will need to make sure that you are utilizing the proper online marketing strategies.

Cost of Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing

Cost Traditional Marketing

Let’s face the facts here. Going “old-school” on your marketing efforts can be quite expensive. TV and radio ads can be quite hard on the budget—and their market reach can be limited. In some instances, you will have to hire some professional help, and probably endorsers just to entice people to hear what you have to say.

But the greatest cost to this type of marketing is the broad targeting approach. If we are to consider radio as an example, there needs to be a lot of hope/luck involved to have a successful campaign. Beginning with, your message being able to stand out of the crowd driving for attention, you need to hope that your ideal client is listening when you advertisement aires. You need to hope that the message catches their attention and they have a method of acting and recalling the message when appropriate to drive conversion.

That being said, there is a great deal of comfort in traditional marketing that is hard to ignore. Let me know in the comments if you suffer from this comfort blanket.

Cost of Digital Marketing

Using the Internet to reach your intended audience need not be that expensive. However, again, the key here is to make sure that you are using the proper online strategies (such as SEO and PPC). This will help increase your web visibility, which in turn, can result to more people seeing what you have to offer (and hopefully, making purchases from you).

One of the greatest advantages to digital marketing costs vs. traditional marketing costs is the elimination of one factor of hope. When you properly target your digital marketing, it can eliminate to “exposure” cost and limit your expense to those that act on your advertising. This can be a major financial advantage if used properly.

The Hard Facts of Digital Marketing vs. Traditional

With all of these in mind, let’s now answer the question: which among these marketing methods are actually better than the other? The answer is “it depends”. You just had to know I was going to say this. But truly I believe there is a place for both marketing strategies used properly to support each other and drive the greatest return for your business.

We certainly cannot discount the fact that traditional marketing methods have been in use for quite some time already—and  have been delivering results although potentially declining. Why would you turn off the tap, when it is still delivering water?

However, the world we are currently living in has become “digitalized”. To ignore that your audience is now spending the majority of their time, both working and free time, online, would me a marketing and business growth catastrophe. Not only will this hurt your business, but the long term outlook will be greatly hampered.

In the end, one thing is clear: there are various advantages and benefits to using these 2 marketing methods. As with all marketing strategies, measurement is key to identifying what’s working, and what is not performing a peak levels.  By doing so, you can reallocate budgets and maximize your results.

So, what do you think? Which among these two marketing modes do you believe will bring the most benefits? Do you have any other marketing strategies to add? If so, please do share them with us and comment below…

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About the Author

George Gill is the founder of GILL Solutions. He lives in Peterborough Canada, and is an avid learner, passionate trainer and speaker. For over 20+ years, he's helped businesses implement growth strategies and systems to consistently out perform their expectations. Measurement is always key!

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