Every business owner knows great marketing helps find and keep customers. In general, most recognize that there are many ways to market their products or services.  Now more than ever, people spend more time online than they spend reading books or magazines, or even watching TV? For this reason, digital marketing continues to grow and provides a way for companies to market to their consumers where consumers are spending their time! Here are some basics about traditional marketing vs digital marketing.

Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing has been around forever.  Common examples include TV, magazine, newspaper, radio, business cards, flyers, and trade shows. Traditional marketing methods are very familiar and generally easy to understand.  For that reason, many companies continue to include traditional marketing as part of their budgets.  It’s why some companies are willing to spend millions on advertising during the Super Bowl.  While traditional marketing can have its value, traditional marketing vs digital marketing can feel slow paced and limit a company’s ability to efficiently grow as quickly as it could by using more digital tactics.

Digital Marketing

As the internet continues to play a larger part of our lives, the potential for digital marketing will continue to grow.  With digital marketing, companies can reach those consumers most relevant to their products and services.  And compared to traditional marketing, digital marketing often produces a higher return on their marketing investment.  Digital marketing can reach and convert new customers efficiently.  It can target new consumers on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.  Through email marketing and blogging, it can help companies retarget and engage with their consumers on a regular basis.  And with SEO, paid search, and online video, digital marketing helps your customers find you rather than the other way around.

Having a Choice

While awesome, there are a few things to consider with digital marketing. Many people grew up using social media and the internet. This does not mean digital marketing is easy. Successful marketing strategies need training and experience.

Also, be aware of your target customer. If you are hoping to reach older generations, Twitter may not be your best bet. You might consider Facebook or more traditional marketing methods for this audience.

Ensure your business has a great website and one that keeps customers interested beyond just the initial sale. A website is a crucial part in your marketing strategy. Your website is a place to capture email subscribers, generate leads, and host a blog. A professionally done website can position you and your business as industry experts.  It’s also improves your credibility in the eyes of your customers.

Measuring Results – Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing

Traditional marketing typical requires more manual processes, more time, and more money. Digital marketing, on the other hand, is highly automated and efficient. Technology and software take data and pull it into a user-friendly database.  By doing so, digital marketing provides real time tracking of what works and what does not work so that you can optimize your efforts.

Trying out a new ad idea? Going the digital route allows you to immediately gauge its success. If it is not performing, you can change it without wasting money. Traditional marketing usually requires a longer period of time to test. Because you have to wait to test your strategy, you may end up spending money on unsuccessful materials.


Traditional marketing methods like television and magazine ads are costly, especially for small businesses.  By adopting an online marketing strategy, marketing costs are typically much less and dollar for dollar, they produce great results!  The lower costs of digital marketing allow for a more level playing field, allowing smaller businesses to compete with larger ones.

Targeting – Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing

Digital marketing has a huge advantage over traditional advertising when it comes to targeting.  Digital marketing allows for campaigns to be hyper-targeted on gender, age, interests, location, and even past purchasing behavior.  This allows companies to get their message in front of the right consumers.  Consider platforms like Google and Facebook AdWords.  They can show ads for a company’s products and services that align almost perfectly with what those customers are searching for. Selling shoes? Google and Facebook ads can target people looking for shoes just like the ones you offer.

Interaction and Engagement

Digital marketing offers a great opportunity for interaction with your customers. Typically when it comes to traditional marketing, you will have basic demographic information – things like age, race, gender… and that’s it. For example, if you are running a newspaper ad, they may only provide general demographic information on their subscribers.

What if you want to know how people are finding you? What they think of your ad or what they do after seeing it? This is where digital marketing has great power. You can receive immediate feedback on your ads, products, and business in general.

While differences exist with traditional marketing vs digital marketing, smart businesses use both! Don’t limit yourself and your business to one medium, be sure to experiment and find which one works best for you.

Still have questions about traditional marketing vs digital marketing? Contact us today!

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