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There has been some debate over the last few years as to whether or not traditional marketing is being eclipsed by digital marketing; and if so, to what extent. For most, digital marketing has become the norm and traditional marketing has been left in the shadows. The most recent occurrence is that of the news giant, Newsweek magazine making the switch to an all digital version of their publication. Digital marketing spending increased by more than 14 percent in the last year while traditional marketing fell nearly 160 percent in the same time frame. What advantages, if any, does digital marketing have over traditional marketing and what are the main differences between the two?

What is traditional marketing?

Traditional marketing includes all the advertising methods that have been used in the recent past. This may include business cards, print ads in magazines or newspapers, posters, radio, television commercials, brochures and billboards. Traditional marketing is using anything that is not digital to “brand” your product or company logo into the minds of people. Sometimes people may find you or your business through a network or referrals and they will eventually learn to trust you and your work.

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is still evolving and will as long as technology continues to make advancements. Digital marketing may include things such as a website, banner ads, social media mentions, or YouTube videos just to name a few.  The goal of digital marketing is for people to find you. They may find you or your site through an organic search, paid search, social networking or by reading some content that you have published online be it an ad or an article. Once they become familiar with your brand through your online presence, a trust will develop.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing has time on its side as it has been around for a very long time and people have become accustomed to it. They look for ads in magazines and still read billboards because it is familiar to them. Most traditional marketing is aimed at a local audience although it is not limited to such. Disadvantages of traditional marketing strategies include not being able to measure results. There is significantly more cost to most traditional marketing plans than there is with a digital marketing plan. And traditional marketing is static, meaning there is no interaction with the audience, it’s just putting information in front of them and hoping they take action.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Digital Marketing

The results of digital marketing campaigns are much easier to measure and it can reach an unlimited audience. A web marketing campaign can be tailor made to meet the need reaching a local audience or the World Wide Web. Because of the Web 2.0 and the social media outlets it contains, digital marketing can be a very interactive method of reaching an audience. It allows for direct contact between the business and the audience which allows for valuable feedback. One of the drawbacks to a digital marketing campaign is that it does take some time to see it become successful.

Can a Balance Be Achieved?

Almost everything we do has become digital. Magazines are going all digital, we bank online and even most of our reading is done using e-readers now; it just makes sense to go digital with our marketing strategies to reach the masses. Traditional marketing may still have a space to fill but it is narrowing as the world is becoming more digitally based. It is essential for any business who desires to succeed that they have a website and understand how to interact with their clientele through social media outlets. While there still may be a place for some traditional outlets, if you do not take advantage of digital marketing you will likely be left behind.

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