Digital vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

Digital vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

Regardless of whether your business is pursuing digital or traditional marketing, it’s important to monitor your insights, track your results, and record your return-on-investment (ROI). Not only do you want to get the most for your money, but you want to make sure that your marketing budget is being invested wisely into the right mediums. Some companies go completely digital, a few may only embrace traditional methods, and many others incorporate elements of both – so, what’s the right choice? Let’s look at our options.

Traditional Marketing

Some agencies may roll their eyes at the suggestion traditional marketing still has a prominent seat at the table. Of course, there are plenty of businesses who have abandoned their traditional marketing roots, but that doesn’t mean that it is the one and only way to go. Even in the digital age traditional marketing can still be highly effective.

Print, out-of-home, radio, and every other medium you can fathom has the ability to engage customers, specifically local audiences. Traditional marketing offers businesses a direct line to consumers in the area where their business is operating, giving them the opportunity to showcase their products and services to the people who are most likely to buy. How many pieces of direct mail did you receive this week? Which radio advertisements did you hear on the way to work? What about those billboards throughout town? Now, think about how many were national; how many advertisers were marketing a business that you could not access nearby. (Don’t worry, none of ours were either.)

Some traditional marketing efforts, such as direct mail, have the added benefit of being tangible; giving something physical to consumers to hold onto. This means they can review it numerous times. A recent study also notes that paper-based content is easier to understand and more memorable. Have you ever received a piece of promotional content, perhaps a discount card or sale reminder, and stuck it on the fridge as a reminder? We have. And that’s something you cannot do with a digital ad.

Digital Marketing

While there may be hesitations about traditional strategies, it’s much harder to questions digital efforts. Digital marketing is the future and cannot be ignored. Social media advertising, Google Adwords, banner ads, and other methods all offer unique opportunities to marketers.

While traditional marketing gives you a lot of access to local audiences, digital marketing gives you access to both local and global audiences. Businesses can use a range of demographic data to customize their campaigns to make sure they’re reaching the right people, regardless of where they may be in the world. This type of reach also offers something else that is unique to digital marketing, in giving you the ability to interact and engage with consumers on that same global scale, especially through platforms such as social media.

Digital marketing is also highly cost-efficient and effective. Not only will your organic efforts see a boost, but when paying for online advertising the price is substantially less than traditional means. Additionally, results can be gauged in real-time, delivering insights and data almost immediately so you can see if changes need to be made. If something isn’t working with a digital campaign, it can be adapted quickly for the best possible results.

And of course, digital campaigns work with your other online efforts, such as improving visibility for search engines. Your online entities will all work together to further your brand awareness, improve SEO, and more.

Which is better?

That depends.

You may be able to look at your traditional marketing efforts and calculate that they are paying off. Customers may tell you that your radio ad or billboard brought them in. You may notice an increase in revenue following a traditional marketing campaign, which includes off-setting spend and showing a noticeable profit. If that’s the case, then traditional marketing is working for your business and you have no reason to cut it from your budget. However, that doesn’t mean it should be your only type of marketing.

For digital marketing, things are a little different; it’s more of a necessity than an option. Compared the traditional marketing, the ROI is higher and more easily monitored, allowing you to build a stronger brand, a more connected audience, and increase sales. In the long run, the best approach for many businesses, especially small ones, is to use a combination of traditional and digital marketing resulting in an even bigger return-on-investment, as well as a multi-channel marketing plan that will allow you to leverage the best of both worlds.


Not sure where to get started with your marketing efforts? Don’t sweat it, let us help! Business House is a full-service advertising and marketing agency that builds custom packages for our clients. We specialize in traditional marketing, digital marketing, branding, and consulting services. We’d love to meet you and learn more about how we can help your business.

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