Which One Is Better?

There are many ways to capture the audience's attention. Marketing is one of the most fundamental things in a business, as it helps obtain people's attention. There are two methods of marketing. One is traditional marketing, a classical type of marketing, and the other is digital marketing, a modern type of marketing. Traditional marketing has been evolving for ages, while digital just got in a few years ago. Both are good in their way, as they both have pros and cons. Therefore, choosing between both is entirely dependent on the people and the businesses that want to use it. 

Traditional and digital marketing are very different from one another. Although they both have few similarities, they both are unique in their ways. 

Comparison basis

Traditional marketing

Digital marketing

Definition

It is one type of marketing that utilizes media, TV, or magazine to advertise any business's services and products.

It is one type of marketing that uses the internet and social media for advertising businesses.

Engagement

Low

Relatively high

Conversion

Slow

Extremely fast

Nature

Static

Dynamic

Investment returns

Not easy to measure

Simple to measure

Effectiveness 

More expensive

Less effective

Less expensive

More effective

Targeting

Standardized 

Customized

Tracking 

Not possible 

Possible 

Reach 

Local 

Global 

Tweaking 

Not possible once the advertisement is placed

One can change or edit anytime

Results

Slow results

Quick and live results

Communication 

It is mostly one-way communication

It is a two-way communication

Interruptions 

It is not easy to skip the advertisements, as they are bound to the users.

One can easily skip between advertisements if it does not interest them.

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What is Traditional Marketing?

Traditional marketing encompasses the marketing methods that can be used without the internet. These are the methods that have been around for decades and are typically used less often now. However, they’re not without their strengths.

Common traditional market methods include:

  • Directly mailed postcards, coupons, and informational packets
  • Television or radio commercials
  • Newspaper or magazine ads
  • Billboards and fliers
  • Telephone calls and text notifications

We see and hear many of these ads every day just by listening to the radio on the way to work or even looking out the window at the billboards as we go by. They’ve become a part of daily life.

Why Traditional Marketing?

Traditional marketing vs. digital marketing is always one of the most spoken topics. Traditional marketing is defined as marketing that does not need the internet for advertisement purposes. This method has been evolving for a very long time, for decades. However, due to technological advancements, its usage is very limited.

We hear and see many ads daily on the television, in the newspaper, or on the radio while casually starting our daily routine. When we go out, we can see such marketing ads on flyers all over the street. We could also notice huge banners of film ads on every street. Those film ads are also one type of marketing. It helps the movie production company to capture the attention of the people that walk across the street. Therefore, there are ads and banners everywhere in all the nations.

The languages may differ depending on the country or the region. For example, if we take Mumbai, the ads might be in both English and Hindi. So, that is how traditional marketing works. Its main objective is to attract humans in every possible way without using the internet.

For many businesses, traditional marketing strategies work better depending on the type of company they own. Their target audience would prefer the traditional one when it comes to traditional marketing vs. digital marketing. 

  • Traditional marketing is a very effective type of marketing if one wants to reach the older population. Many reports and surveys prove that people over 50s watch TV and read newspapers twice the time compared to the people in their 20s and 30s.
  • It is a very useful type of marketing if one wants to establish or develop a business or a firm with the assistance of a larger local audience. Small businesses grow better using flyers and billboards all across the street. It is because it can attain the attention of a local audience who reside in the city.
  • One huge advantage of traditional advertisements is that they get played repeatedly. But in digital marketing, people can skip them easily.

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What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing strategies evolve quickly because of trends and new technology. These strategies include those that require the use of the internet or smartphones. They haven’t been around as long as traditional methods, but they certainly pack a punch.

Common digital marketing methods include:

  • Website content
  • Email campaigns
  • Content marketing
  • Social media posts
  • Clickable ads
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)

These strategies are very popular today because of consumers’ frequent usage of the internet and mobile devices. According to DataReportal, there are 4.95 billion active internet users in the world and 4.62 billion active social media users. With numbers that high, marketing online and through social media makes a lot of sense.

Why Digital Marketing?

In this fast-moving world, a lot of new technologies have evolved. Digital marketing strategies are one among them. Nowadays, people can do marketing using the internet and smartphones from the comfort of their homes. These strategies are not physical, so they cut out the transportation, inventory, and other related expenses. 

Due to the frequent usage of social media and the internet in general, these strategies are growing worldwide. According to DataReportal, it has been proven that 4.62 billion people use social media and 4.95 billion people utilize the internet in general. 

Therefore, it makes so much sense to advertise over the internet rather than on any television or magazine.

Due to the current technological developments, digital marketing methods and strategies will always continue to evolve no matter what. There are enormous ways to do this marketing. Since they are modern, it is essential to have maximum knowledge regarding current technologies and advancements. They use the latest tactics.

There are a plethora of benefits one can attain using digital marketing. Given below are some of them:

  • It is simple to track audience involvement and collect their data for future use. It will enhance the algorithm of the company's website. You can easily obtain the information when someone uses your site, follows you on social media, or messages you regarding queries.
  • Businesses can advertise their services for free on many platforms. It is possible to send and receive emails without involving any cost. But in traditional strategies, it will involve a lot of money to print and send individual postcards.
  • Because digital marketing has a wider scope, it will help businesses acquire a global audience's attention.

Forms of Digital Marketing

  • Social media marketing: Social media marketing is getting widely popular among the youths. Many businesses and startups advertise their work in the form of posts, videos, and stories on all social media platforms.
  • Email marketing: It is one type of digital market where businesses send electronic mail to the target audience.
  • Content marketing: It helps advertise in the form of storytelling to the users.
  • PPC - Pay-per-Click: These are paid advertisements. They only stay on the web for a shorter period. Once you stop paying, it will be gone.
  • Mobile marketing: Provides advertisements on smartphones, laptops, and tablets for the target audience.
  • SEO - Search Engine Optimization: SEO is the most common type of digital marketing used in many organizations. Its main objective is to show the business on the top while searching it on the web. However, it also needs customers' support to get high ranks.
  • Affiliate marketing: Includes advertising a product or a service with the help of a well-known influencer or a celebrity. The major reason companies do it is to improve their brand name.

Forms of Traditional Marketing

The following are some of the traditional marketing methods:

  • Television commercials: One method of traditional marketing is broadcasting advertisements using TV commercials. There are millions of ads that benefit due to this form of marketing.
  • Radio commercials: Radios played a vital role in the late 20th century. People who could not afford television opted for radios and CD cassettes those days. There are many different varieties of advertisements that could be broadcasted with the assistance of radios.
  • Flyers: Many companies and businesses are still printing flyers to promote their services. Flyers are also called handouts.
  • Billboards: Billboards contain pictures of the advertisement. They are usually found on the highways. Mostly, billboards are placed by top companies and businesses to promote their services.
  • Magazine and newspaper ads: Newspaper magazines acted as one of the finest sources of obtaining information regarding anything. There are tons and tons of ads posted every day.
  • Telephone and SMS marketing: These mostly include phone calls and text messages of advertisements for various businesses and their services.
  • Referral: Referral is when the organization asks its employers and customers to recommend their products and services to their friends and family or neighbors.
  • Direct mail: Many businesses mail their ads in postcards or notices to the people in the company's target area or city.

Pros and Cons of Traditional Marketing

When comparing traditional marketing vs. digital marketing, traditional methods are often viewed as outdated or irrelevant. However, many of these tactics are still useful and effective today. 

Depending on the business and target audience, traditional marketing methods may be the better choice. To help discern if traditional marketing is right for your business, here are some pros and cons.

Pros

  • If you want to reach an older demographic, traditional marketing can be very effective. It has been reported that audiences ages 50+ spend almost twice as much time reading the newspaper and watching TV as compared to those ages 21-34. 
  • This type of marketing strategy usually works best for businesses looking to build a larger local audience. A small business would be better off competing for attention through billboards, flyers, and events rather than trying to compete for digital space against larger businesses.
  • TV or radio commercials will play multiple times and remind the audience of the business, whereas digital marketing items may be skipped through or blocked (e.g., clicking “I don’t want to see this” on social media ads, or skipping through ads before YouTube videos).

Cons

  • Printing postcards to send out even to just a local audience can be expensive, and there is no guarantee that the recipient is interested in your business or the product/service you offer.
  • Traditional marketing methods can take weeks or months to yield results and data. You can’t tell when someone has read your newspaper ad unless they decide to follow-up. Even then, without a survey, you won’t know if the ad was the reason for the follow-up.

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Pros and Cons of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing strategies are always evolving with new technology and trends like voice search and social media usage. These strategies include the most modern and latest tactics. But, as with traditional marketing, there are some areas where digital marketing thrives and others where it doesn’t.

Pros

  • Data and audience involvement can be tracked instantly. When someone clicks on a link to your site, reads an email, or follows you on social media, you have that information immediately. You can draw numerous insights from this data, including which type of content works best for a specific audience, which mediums are the most effective, and even what time of day receives the best engagement.
  • Digital marketing strategies incur a much lower cost. Sending out an email campaign can save a lot of money compared to printing individual postcards and paying for postage on each.
  • It works well for more global or scattered audiences because of the broad scope of digital marketing.

Cons

  • Some internet users have ad blockers, so they’ll never see pop-ups or banner ads. Other times, ads can be skipped or removed if a user pays for premium services (e.g., Spotify, Hulu, Twitch).
  • Because new technology and trends emerge so frequently, digital marketing tactics need to be evaluated and reevaluated for effectiveness continually what works well one day may be irrelevant the next. However, this can be combatted with a strong foundation in digital marketing basics.

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Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to marketing, there are two main types: digital marketing and traditional marketing. But what’s the difference? Digital marketing refers to any form of marketing that takes place through digital channels, such as the internet, email, or mobile devices. It’s become increasingly popular in recent years due to the proliferation of digital devices and the rise of online networking. Traditional marketing, on the other hand, refers to any form of marketing that takes place offline, such as print advertisements, television commercials, or radio ads. It’s still a popular method of marketing, especially for larger businesses with more resources.

Which One is Better?

So, which strategy wins when comparing traditional marketing vs. digital marketing?

The short answer: it depends.

The long answer:

Digital marketing is probably the best option for most. If you want to reach a particular group of people, wherever they may be, while keeping costs low, go with digital marketing. Doing so will also allow you to collect valuable information on your audience immediately so that you can create even more effective marketing campaigns.

However, there is still a place for traditional marketing. If you want to reach an older audience or a local audience, traditional marketing methods may be more productive and stand out better than digital marketing methods. Though these methods may seem “old,” the reality is that they’ve stuck around for a reason. They work!

When considering which marketing strategy is best for your business, consider your audience, where they get their information from, and use that to make your decision. When deciding between traditional marketing vs. digital marketing, it’s not necessarily true that one is simply better than the other as they serve different purposes. The bottom line is that you need to fully understand your business and your audience to pick the strategy that’s better for you.

Which Type of Marketing Should You Use?

Digital marketing is generally more cost-effective and can be more targeted, while traditional marketing can be more effective at reaching a larger audience. It’s important to consider your budget and target market when deciding which type of marketing to use.

Ultimately, the best type of marketing is the type that best suits your business and your goals.

FAQs

1. What are a few types of modern marketing techniques?

Digital marketing occurs via various platforms. Some of them are:

  • SEO - Search Engine Optimization
  • PPC - Pay-per-Click
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Marketing analytics
  • Mobile marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing, etc.

2. How effective is traditional marketing?

It is proven that traditional advertising is more efficient than digital marketing while creating brand awareness and consideration. It also helps acquire new customers with the help of traditional marketing techniques.

Want to Get into the Exciting Field of Digital Marketing?

While traditional marketing still has a place, let’s be clear, digital marketing is the future. Younger generations like Gen Z have not known a time without smartphones, and they are starting to enter the workforce—backed another generation that will be even more digital. The fact is that every company and brand needs a digital marketing strategy to survive in today’s world, so there are plenty of career opportunities. If you are interested in joining this exciting field, check out Simplilearn’s Post Graduate in Digital Marketing Program, in partnership with Purdue University, which provides comprehensive training on everything you need to know to thrive.

About the Author

SimplilearnSimplilearn

Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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