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  • Sarah Hovenkamp

Traditional Marketing vs. Digital Marketing




To all entrepreneurs building a new business, or growing an existing business, there is one undeniable truth: success lies in your ability to connect with the people who need your products or services most, and prove to them that you provide the best source of this offering in every aspect.


Fortunately, we live in an era with more options for marketing than ever before, all found under two major categories, traditional marketing, and digital marketing. Both of these avenues of marketing have the potential to expand your reach exponentially, utilizing different channels to aid in meeting your business goals.


Deciding whether traditional or digital marketing is the right strategy for your business is as simple as learning what each has to offer. Here, we break down the information with all the details needed to make an informed decision.


Digital and traditional marketing both have their own set of unique benefits and cater to specific business needs. Knowing the ins and outs of each type will help identify which marketing superpower will best serve your business niche.




What Is Traditional Marketing?


Traditional marketing includes every type of marketing that excludes the Internet, through channels such as:


  • Television

  • Radio

  • Magazines and newspapers

  • Billboards

  • Flyers

  • Trade shows and industry events

  • Telephone and SMS marketing

  • Direct Mail

  • Referral

  • And more


The strategies used to implement traditional marketing include broadcasting, door-to-door sales, in-person meetings, print advertising, and networking. By connecting with consumers on a personal level, traditional marketing taps into the power of relationships that people are now drawn to more than ever.


The Benefits Of Traditional Marketing

In certain business situations, traditional marketing is the optimal route to their specific audience. These are the qualities that highlight traditional marketing:


-Most effective for businesses looking to build a local audience: For a company seeking to connect with their community, strategies like billboards, flyers, radio commercials, and sponsoring local events help to increase the brand's visibility to the local audience and put them at the heart of the community.


-Ideal for connecting with an older demographic: Traditional marketing strategies such as print ads, newspapers, and door-to-door remain the most effective method of marketing to people 50 years and older, who AARP reports, "are responsible for 51% of all consumer spending, and represent 45% of all adults."


-The promotional material is more sustainable: TV commercials, brochures, and flyers have more longevity than, say, a social media post or YouTube video and tend to keep customers' attention for longer.


-More accessible and recognizable: Traditional marketing methods can be accessed by anyone, not just the tech-savvy or those with Internet access. Since people have been exposed to traditional marketing for longer, there is less of a learning curve, making conventional ads more likely to be recognized and understood.


-Trust and credibility: The tried and true methods of traditional marketing, bolstered by their long-time history, are a reliable way for businesses to acquire new customers by creating increased brand awareness and projecting an image of growth, trustworthiness, and stability.


The Future Of Traditional Marketing


During the last decade, traditional marketing has taken a backseat to digital marketing due to the allure of the increased engagement and direct interaction that new digital channels made available. However, things are beginning to shift - the Harvard Business Review reported, "In contrast to the historical trend, in August 2021 and February 2022, marketers predicted that traditional advertising spending would increase by 1.4% and 2.9%, respectively."


Despite traditional marketing being a century-old practice – virtually unchanged and old-fashioned – it remains a highly effective marketing strategy that has stuck around for a reason.


For a business with a healthy marketing budget looking to get exposure, boost credibility, and build rapport with a local audience, traditional marketing may very well be the best choice.


Digital Marketing Explained:


Digital marketing is any marketing that exists online in a digital medium, including:


  • - Online PR

  • - Social Media Marketing

  • - Content Marketing

  • - SEO

  • - Affiliate Marketing

  • - Email Marketing


Within a few years of the birth of the Internet, digital marketing skyrocketed as the most lucrative form of marketing and the start of endless opportunities for the flow of information, advertising, and marketing strategies. According to a Hubspot report, over half of both US and global advertising spending goes towards digital media - a whopping 521 million US dollars spent in 2021!


The Benefits Of Digital Marketing:

Digital marketing has opened doors for millions of entrepreneurs to share their products and services with a global audience, creating a new paradigm that has allowed for greater work flexibility and autonomy, redefining what it means to be a business owner. Here are just a few of the ways digital marketing gives businesses an advantage:


-Measurable Results: Web analytics and other online metrics gather detailed information about how consumers respond to your ads, giving you valuable insight into the effectiveness of your advertising campaign.


-Global Reach: Aside from expanding boundaries set by geography, time zones, and languages, the vast reach of digital marketing can also help scale businesses of all sizes far beyond their projected levels of growth.


-The ability to target ideal customers: Determining your target audience and learning how to best serve them is made easy with the help of digital marketing. Social media, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and Pay-Per-Click, are just a few of the ever-growing options for targeting your customer base.


-Higher Return On Investments (ROI): The ability to analyze real-time data about specific digital marketing campaigns means that you can quickly see what is working in your favor. This knowledge allows for rapid pivoting and the chance to target where the online traffic is heaviest, leading to a higher conversion rate.


-Cost-effective: Measuring the returns on your campaigns gives you valuable feedback on what is engaging your audience and what isn't, allowing your company to know which online marketing strategies to continue investing in.


-Two-way engagement: Advertising through digital marketing allows your audience to connect with you through comments, messages, reviews, and social media posts. This level of engagement gives your customers a chance to ask questions, open up about their experiences, and even share their excitement about your product or service with their friends and family.



The Future Of Digital Marketing:


The beauty of the online platform of digital marketing is that - thanks to research, data analytics, and AI - digital advertising is forever evolving and improving. As our virtual world expands, so do the capabilities of digital marketing. Improved user experience, enhanced audience engagement, and increased online ad productivity are some of the changes we have already witnessed and expect to see more of in the future. As we speak, a new world of possibility is opening up in the Metaverse.


The new technology of Virtual Reality, gaming, Web3, and NFT's offer a whole new playing field for exciting developments within the digital marketing industry. It is safe to say that there are no limits in regards to where digital marketing will go, and it is in the best interest of businesses seeking a global audience, optimized ROI, and the highest level of customer engagement to get on board!


Digital Or Traditional Marketing: How To Choose?

While there are many differences between digital and traditional marketing, the most significant are the methods in which the audience is targeted and the channel of connection. Either mode of marketing has the potential to be the foundation of a potent marketing plan, but it is essential to get clarity on the bigger picture before taking the next steps.


These questions need to be answered before making a decision in regards to a marketing strategy:


-What is your brand's objective?

-What are you looking to achieve with a marketing campaign?

-What is your budget?


Getting clarity on these three questions will provide the clarity necessary to select which type of marketing will support your business needs.


How To Take Your Business To The Next Level


To grow your brand, gain credibility, boost sales, engage with your customers and stay relevant in the rapidly changing world of business – a robust and custom-designed marketing plan is a must.


If your next step is investing in marketing for your unique service or product - to shine light on your brand and your message - ensure you are hiring only the highest level of vetted professionals to get your name and story known worldwide.





Mindful Media PR firm's team of experienced publicists has the vital insight, experience, and resources to design a custom marketing journey suited to your company's specific goals. Connect with Mindful Media's Senior Publicist, Kerryn Amyes, to discover how to elevate your brand, boost your credibility, and expand your reach globally.




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