Digital vs. Traditional Advertising: Which One Is Better for Your Business?

Digital vs. Traditional Advertising: Which One Is Better for Your Business?

Written by Dan Radak

Advertising is a crucial step for the development and subsequent growth of any successful business. Accomplishing this goal is often difficult, as companies not only have to maintain but also work on increasing their client base on a regular basis, which means they have to rely on every available marketing tool and promotional channel in order to find and reach as many potential customers while staying in touch with their existing clients. Some companies prefer traditional advertising methods due to their successful use in the past, but others argue that new, digital methods are far superior in reaching more people for the fraction of the time or the cost associated with the traditional. But which method has the upper hand over the other?

Image source: Pixabay

Benefits of digital marketing

Considering that more than half of the world today currently has an active internet connection, it would be a particularly bad business move for marketers to miss out on the opportunity to use modern techniques and magnify their reach in ways previously thought impossible, or simply too expensive. Customer information such as their age, sex, location, shopping preferences, browsing patterns and habits can all be easily collected and used to design personalized campaigns and special promotions that can be presented both locally and internationally.

Digital advertising helps marketers to easily identify and target their audience while allowing the audience to choose through which marketing channel they would like to receive the content. The results can be measured error-free and in real time, while digital channels allow marketers to communicate with, engage and receive feedback from their audience and use that information to improve their marketing efforts. Brand development is the cornerstone of digital advertising but this is something you should never attempt on your own and if you’re a Victorian, then finding an experienced branding agency in Melbourne should not be that difficult.

Downsides of digital marketing

One of the major disadvantages of digital advertising is competition. With so many companies from around the world competing for a piece of the market, you’re not only up against the local but also against international competition, which means that more resources need to be invested into developing and increasing your brand awareness. An effective digital advertising campaign requires knowledge and first-hand experience to properly set up and it will take some time before measurable success can be realized.

Image source: Pixabay

Benefits of traditional marketing

The main benefit of traditional marketing is that it’s universally accepted, especially when you require a more personal touch in order to engage your customers. Some people simply prefer talking to a real person instead of having to deal with automated responses generated by chatbots and genuinely appreciate the experience because they feel like someone’s actually listening to their concerns. Not everyone uses the computer, has an active internet connection or a social media profile and traditional advertising methods such as billboards, flyers, paper brochures and commercials on TV and radio are the best way to reach them. Additionally, traditional marketing methods have been proven successful over the last couple of decades and some of them have remained successful to this day.

Downsides of traditional marketing

Traditional marketing channels such as magazine, TV and radio ads can be very expensive, especially during primetime, paper ads need to be designed, printed and distributed, only adding to the already enormous cost. This is particularly true for small businesses whose budgets are stretched thin, to begin with. Traditional advertising is far from flexible in regards to audience targeting when compared to digital.

Digital advertising allows for hyper-precise targeting of a specific group of consumers, which allows marketers to serve their ads only to those who are most likely to be influenced into making a purchase. Traditional channels are designed to cover as many different people as possible in hopes that a high-enough number of them will notice the ad. The main problem with this type of advertising is that there’s no way to measure the results with precision or inreal time unless we’re talking about a coupon or a discount containing a special code a potential customer could use during their purchase.

A smart choice

Both digital and traditional means of advertising have their own respective strengths and weaknesses. While digital continues to be the go-to choice for the up-and-coming companies and small businesses, due to its low cost and an abundance of marketing channels and mediums to carry the advertisement, there are traditional methods that have stood the test of time and proved that, even today, they can be used by business owners and marketers to grow their client bases. The truth is, this is not a competition and a multi-channel strategy, where you cover the weaknesses of both channels is far more efficient than using only a single channel.

Dan Radak is a marketing professional with eleven years of experience. He is a coauthor on several websites and regular contributor to BizzMark Blog. Currently, he is working with a number of companies in the field of digital marketing, closely collaborating with a couple of e-commerce companies.