#ThrowbackThursday: Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing

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Photo Credit: iStock.com/Artist's xdez

Marketing involves reaching a goal – the goal of attracting new and old customers to buy into your products and services. Marketing is also the means by which companies can build brand awareness in the market. Having said that, the way marketing has been done (i.e. traditional marketing) is under threat, thanks to the technological advancements brought about by the internet. We have some examples like Newsweek, a print publication that halted its operations but continued to live on as an online-only publication. That’s how much the allure of digital marketing is these days, with many entities going online-only when it comes to their operations.

The question is, is digital marketing that big of a threat to traditional marketing? Or are there instances when either of the marketing method is suited on a case-by-case basis? Questions like these are continuously pondered over by people in business, especially when you consider that traditional marketing has fallen by 160% in the recent years. During this same period, digital marketing has multiplied by 14%.

Let’s define the two types of marketing first.

Traditional Marketing – The old ways

This type of marketing deals with tangible everyday physical objects and promotional materials such as direct mail marketing, print ads, business cards, posters , TV or radio commercials, billboards, etc. Real life objects with mass, all of them. Things that contribute to branding such as your logo or product in a packaging that people can feel as an object.

Traditional Marketing - The old ways

Digital Marketing – Brave New World

Digital marketing in contrast is the use of marketing and promotional collateral online. This can be either in the form of a website, a social media brand page, banner ads, YouTube videos and many other ways that only exist in a digital format. Digital marketing agencies such as WebsiteFix Digital help conduct digital campaigns to build awareness and traction for the brand. In addition to all this, digital marketing also doubles as a form of inbound marketing. People conduct a search query on a search engine, or on a social network and that in turn leads them to you. The more they are exposed to your brand, the more familiar they become.

Digital Marketing - Brave New World

Traditional Marketing – Strength and Weaknesses

Traditional marketing is widely perceived to be a long-term commitment. People generally read magazines and newspapers still. Billboards are also familiar and ubiquitous for consuming ads.

Statistic: Leading movie commercials by weekly television advertising spending in the United States as of June 3, 2015 (in million U.S. dollars) | Statista

However, traditional marketing does not give you the means to measure the response of people affected by the ads. And its costly too, making them a no-no for small firms. And it is a non-interactive form of marketing.

Digital Marketing – Pros and Cons

Digital marketing has a far wider reach amongst the online and global internet populace. It’s instant and much easier to measure for brand managers, SEO companies, improve organic seo and marketers. They can track how the ads perform, and in case of non-performance they can even make tweaks and changes to it without losing time or money. It can be used to reach local and global audiences as required. Getting access to customer feedback is also faster when opting for digital marketing campaigns over internet social media. Plus its interactive, driving up engagement and successful consumer conversion rates. Its custom-tailored for the smartphone generation as well.

Statistic: Mobile advertising spending worldwide from 2010 to 2017 (in billion U.S. dollars)  | Statista

The only disadvantage of using digital marketing is that it can only convert specific sections of society since access to technology is constrained in developing countries. And also, marketers using digital channels might need to wait a little more in order to realize the fruits of their success.

Both traditional marketing and digital marketing channels have their uses. As the world continues to shift towards a digital age, we can easily surmise that digital marketing will be king for the foreseeable future.

Vectors graphics designed by Freepik

About The Author

Kelvin Stiles is a tech enthusiast and works as a marketing consultant at SurveyCrest – FREE online survey software and publishing tools for academic and business use. He is also an avid blogger and a comic book fanatic.