Let’s start off with an explanation of what digital and traditional marketing are:
Digital Marketing – digital marketing is any marketing that is conducted digitally/online. For example, social media ads, ppc advertising and email marketing, digital marketing is arguably the most valuable type of marketing and is widely used by the majority of companies today.
Traditional Marketing – traditional marketing is any type of marketing that isn’t online such as billboard ads, television ads, newspaper and radio ads. This type of marketing is known for being the best to reach a local audience.
Deciding which marketing technique to use is largely down to the business themselves and the audience they are trying to reach. When trying to decide on which best suits your business, it is common to choose elements of both to help reach your target audience. For instance, a business may find that their audience is very active on Facebook and YouTube and can best be targeted through those platforms but are also avid radio listeners and will find it beneficial to also reach their audience through radio, taking elements from both forms of marketing can ensure you reach your audience holistically.
When people think of traditional marketing, they tend to think of it only being used for the older generations, for people that are yet to utilise social media and other online platforms, but traditional marketing is still a very important tool for businesses to take advantage of, especially if your goal is to reach a very local audience. Ads can have a longer lifespan when conducted traditionally rather than digitally and the audience can be much easier to reach, for instance from billboards than an ad seen from scrolling social media.
Digital marketing is seen as the most popular form of marketing in recent years, due to the increase in online users and usage. As the world is becoming more digital it is inevitable that digital marketing will become a choice for many businesses as it can be a much more cost effective method of marketing than traditional, not to mention the benefits of being able to report and see exact returns on your investment along with the exact audience that is seeing and engaging with your ad, all very valuable information for a business to have.
Which leads to one of the biggest disadvantages of traditional marketing is the lack of reporting and visible correlation between the return on your investments and the increase in revenue/new clients, whatever your key metrics and goals are. Another big drawback for traditional marketing is the lack of interaction with your consumers. There are very few ways a business can hear the thoughts of its consumers on its marketing efforts and their impact on the intended audience. This is where digital marketing excels! Digital marketing allows businesses to see their target audience’s thoughts and perceptions of their marketing efforts along with being able to interact and create a relationship with potential customers and their larger target audience.
Another advantage of digital marketing is your ability to edit and change ads after they have gone live, contrary to traditional marketing where, once you click print or sign off on your ads, they are out there for your audience to see, no edits can be made without going through the whole process of printing/recording the ads again. With digital marketing you can easily go in and edit your ads, whenever you like.
It can also be argued that one of digital marketings drawbacks is the fact that it relies on technology and if technology acts up or shuts down for a period of time, your ad isn’t reaching your audience at all, that is why a lot of businesses will take advantage of elements of both traditional and digital marketing at once.
A lot of businesses may switch to digital marketing, not only for its cost-effectiveness and reporting benefits but is also a great way to market if you are looking to market to a more global audience compared to traditional marketing’s benefits of a local audience.
Overall, it will completely depend on your business, your target audience, your budget and your goals. They can work hand in hand or separately depending on the audience you’re trying to reach and the objectives your business sets out with.