Digital ad vs. traditional advertising.

Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing: Finding Your Audience

For your marketing strategy to reach peak success, it has to reach your target audience. Understanding the differences between digital marketing vs. traditional marketing strategies can make or break your ad campaign’s chance of success.

Table of Contents

  1. Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing: Finding Your Audience
  2. What’s the Difference?
  3. A Rundown on Traditional Marketing
    1. Traditional Marketing Methods
      1. Common Traditional Marketing Strategies
    2. Advantages of Traditional Marketing
    3. Cons of Traditional Marketing
  4. A Rundown on Digital Marketing
    1. Digital Marketing Methods
      1. Digital Marketing Techniques
    2. Advantages of Digital Marketing
    3. Cons of Digital Marketing
  5. Picking Your Type of Marketing
  6. Lift Makes Your Digital Marketing Limitless

What’s the Difference?

Some key differences between traditional marketing and digital marketing are the length of time each has been around and the mediums they use to deliver content.

Traditional marketing’s history stretches all the way back to 3,000 B.C.E. Thanks to its longevity, traditional marketing has developed a wide range of marketing channels – think television ads, billboards, and even neighborhood fliers – that have become staples of our everyday lives.

Digital marketing refers to online marketing strategies directed toward smartphone and internet users. While digital marketing is relatively new to the game, it has evolved quite a number of unique marketing tools thanks to rapid technological advancement.

There are pros, cons, and different audiences that come along with each strategy. Running a comparison between these two forms of marketing before developing your marketing plan is the best way to set yourself up for success.

A Rundown on Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing methods can still be an effective strategy to guide potential customers to your door — as long as it’s done right. As technology advances and digital advertising becomes more prevalent, traditional marketing campaigns are still part of the marketing mix.

Traditional Marketing Methods

Examples of traditional marketing methods are all around. Look out the window during your morning commute; you see them lining the road. Turn on the radio; you hear them sandwiched between your favorite songs. Grab a coffee at a local cafe; you spot dozens of them pinned to the corkboard on the wall.

Common Traditional Marketing Strategies

    • Billboards
    • TV commercials and radio ads
    • Print ads in magazines and newspapers
    • Flyers
    • Direct mail (brochures and postcards)
    • Telemarketing campaigns
    • Branded materials like stickers, clothes, and apparel

Advantages of Traditional Marketing

While digital is king, there are still benefits to traditional marketing (some of which are especially effective depending on what demographics you’re aiming for). If your target audience skews older, traditional marketing strategies can be more effective in reaching them (unless you’re targeting ultra-hip grandparents that can’t get enough Instagram). In addition, traditional marketing materials such as billboards or geographically targeted commercials can help build brand awareness and loyalty with a local audience.

Traditional media is more permanent than digital media (which can be both a good thing and a bad thing). Potential customers drive by the same billboard day after day for instant recognition. Your branded coffee mug might last for years and years, keeping your business fresh in the customer’s mind.

But that permanency can also cost you. If you have to change a social media ad or banner ad, you can do that with no problem. If you need to change something in your print advertisements, you’re either throwing money away or sending out the wrong print ad. The choice is yours.

Cons of Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing does have a few drawbacks, especially if you don’t have a lot of cash to spare for your marketing budget. As a whole, traditional marketing tools tend to be on the expensive side in comparison to creating content on digital platforms. If you discover that your ad campaign needs tweaking, edits can be difficult and costly – if they’re possible at all.

Not only that, but your return on investment is harder to measure and typically yields a slower conversion rate than digital marketing. And engagement is slim to none for most methods. You can send out a print ad to hundreds of people, but you don’t know who looked at them, who threw them out immediately, or if the person you’re trying to contact still lives there. With digital advertising, you can target specific audiences and demographics so you don’t waste your ad spend.

A Rundown on Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is relatively new and continuously changing, which means it comes with its own marketing missteps and techniques to be aware of. However, in an increasingly digital market, mastering digital marketing tactics can be a cost-effective way to reach and engage more potential customers than traditional advertising can. At the end of the day, you’re not trying to throw money at audiences who want nothing to do with your company.

Digital Marketing Methods

Digital marketing tools and channels are vast – there are arguably as many as there are digital platforms. Due to the quickly evolving nature of technology, digital marketing strategies are always evolving.

Digital Marketing Techniques

Advantages of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is the big dog in the advertising scene — and for good reason. One reason is the potential reach of traditional marketing vs. digital marketing campaigns (hint: digital marketing is the victor). You can reach potential customers across the street, across the state, across the nation, across the seas. This type of marketing has no borders.

Digital ads also have a higher level of engagement than traditional media, which can help build brand awareness and loyalty. You can’t talk to a billboard (at least not without causing a scene), but with social media platforms, you can receive real-time responses to your content from your customers, and give them responses right back.

Need to fix something up? Unlike traditional marketing, digital marketing is more flexible than traditional media. You can easily correct mistakes (although you’d never need to do that, right?), advertise different campaigns, redact coupon codes, or do anything your heart desires.

It’s also a lot easier to determine your return on investment. Digital marketing can provide real-time data on how many potential customers have seen and engaged with your content and what demographics it has been most successful with. There’s nothing more satisfying than knowing how your marketing efforts have paid off (not to mention who, when, and where), and digital marketing strategies can provide you with just that in a way newspaper ads just can’t.

Cons of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing can provide you with the quickest way to grab potential customers’ attention, but due to the nature of social media and the deep well of information and content on the internet, that attention can be just as quickly lost. Social media ads (and digital ads in general) have to grab the attention of potential customers — and keep it.

It can also be hard to climb to the top of the list when there are so many other businesses trying to do just that. SEO marketing can help bring people to your site, but knowing what the magic keywords are and how to strategically use them can feel overwhelming if tech isn’t your thing.

That’s why you should call in the experts. Digital marketing agencies keep up with the (ever-changing) trends in online marketing, SEO, automation, social media, and all those things you can’t possibly have time for.

Picking Your Type of Marketing

The truth is, you don’t have to pick either digital marketing or traditional marketing and stick solely to that strategy – it’s not like you’re picking sides between mortal enemies. Some of the best marketing plans use a mix of both. However, digital marketing is becoming increasingly important for the success of big and small businesses alike, so if you aren’t using it yet, you’re missing out on finding your customers, and your customers missing out on finding you.

Lift Makes Your Digital Marketing Limitless

If you’ve been hesitating to jump into the digital marketing world because social media and SEO seem too much, or the tech moves too fast, there’s no need to worry. You can take care of what matters most to you – your business and your product – and Lift Marketing can take care of all your digital marketing needs. Just give us a shout!