Digital marketing v/s Traditional marketing

A good marketing strategy is important for any business to promote their products and services to their target audience. Large companies spend millions of dollars to convert their audience into paying customers. But, this is not possible for a small or medium-sized company. The two most common marketing choices companies have are – digital and traditional marketing.

While the budget is not a big issue for larger firms, and they spend in both traditional and digital marketing channels, a small business has a limited budget and has to invest in the right strategy. For making the right decision, any company should have clarity on the digital marketing vs traditional marketing debate.

Digital marketing refers to all the marketing strategies that are executed online on various electronic devices. It is currently the most popular marketing strategy adopted by large, small and medium-sized companies across the globe.

As the internet is perhaps the most common form of technology used by people, digital marketing can be used to connect to millions of potential customers worldwide. According to IBM, more than 55% of customers research on social media platforms before buying anything online. Learn more about digital marketing tutorials.

The major types of digital marketing are as follows-

Search engine optimization

Social media marketing

Content marketing such as blogs and videos

PPC(Pay Per Click Advertisement)

  • Email marketing
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Influencer marketing
  • Viral marketing

Advantages of digital marketing

  • The interaction with your customers is high. If you launch an ad campaign on a social media platform, you can see what everyone thinks about your brand through their comments, shares, likes, etc.
  • You can easily measure the effectiveness of your campaigns through tools like Google Analytics. This will help you see what is working for you and what is not, all in real-time
  • Although you have to pay for some online ads, it is still way cheaper than print ads and TV commercials

Customer engagement

In traditional marketing, you release an ad in the local newspaper or a highway billboard, hoping your target audience will look at it. While some may take a look, some might not pay heed to it at all. You cannot directly stay connected to your customers. 

But in digital marketing, once you launch an ad on social media or in a YouTube video, you can assure yourself that at least some people will at least look at it, even if they ignore or skip/scroll it. You can interact with them using online surveys, webinars, and also read their comments on social media. This way, you can also solve customer issues quickly.

Reaching customers 

Large companies may create ads in magazines or launch TV commercials that are viewed by people around the world. But, this may not be possible for a small company, due to the cost of these expensive ads. As a result, smaller companies cannot reach customers beyond local boundaries.

But, using digital marketing techniques such as mobile marketing, email marketing and social media marketing techniques, you can reach customers in any corner of the globe with a small budget. Within seconds, you can reach millions of customers worldwide and start selling your products right away.

Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing: Which one to choose?

Choosing between digital or traditional marketing boils down to your requirements and objectives. If you are looking to fetch some local customers fast, who do not use the internet, traditional marketing using flyers will work well. Or, if you want to target the older generation, TV or radio commercials are effective as they are more inclined towards the television or radio than the youngsters.

But to target the Millennials or the youngsters, or a set of customers outside your local boundaries, you have to go digital. If you are a small startup looking to make it big, digital marketing is the best. It will allow you to invest your funds wisely and reach a lot of customers in no time. 

What is Traditional Marketing?

Traditional marketing is a conventional marketing strategy that uses various offline promotional and advertising methods to reach customers. It is the oldest form of marketing and is tried & tested by many companies. Until the emergence of the internet in the 1990s, this was the only marketing strategy in use.

We come across different forms of traditional marketing every day, such as newspaper ads and billboards. Thus, this is a fantastic way to reach local audiences who don’t use the web. The major categories of traditional marketing are –

  • Print ads in newspapers, magazines, books, leaflets, pamphlets, brochures, etc.
  • Outdoor ads such as billboards and flyers
  • Broadcast ads in TV and radio
  • Direct mail – catalogs and postcards
  • Telemarketing –  SMS marketing, calling customers from an existing database and even cold calling
  • Face to face marketing via sales personnel

Advantages of traditional marketing

  • An engaging TV commercial or a colorful billboard ad is easy to understand and remain in the customer’s mind for a long time
  • Putting ads in local newspapers, FM radio stations and flyers or pamphlets are very effective for attracting local customers
  • The hard copy of the ad – such as a magazine or a flyer- will stay with the customer until recycled

Disadvantages of traditional marketing

  • No direct customer interaction with the masses. You won’t be sure as to how the customer will react to your ads or campaigns
  • Posting ads on TV, newspapers, billboards and magazines are often expensive
  • Unlike digital marketing, there are no ways to analyze the success of your marketing campaigns

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