The debate continues as to whether digital marketing is overpowering and surpassing traditional marketing or not. Many think that for the most part, digital marketing has taken over and traditional marking barely exists, if at all. Recent occurrences such as the magazine giant, Newsweek switching to totally digital publications cause ripples throughout the marketing arena. Over the last year or so traditional marketing had fallen nearly 160% while in the same time frame expenses for digital marketing increased over 14%. Are there any real advantages to using digital marketing over traditional means? And what is the big difference between these two anyway?
Defining Traditional Marketing
There are many facets of traditional marketing and examples might include tangible items such as business cards, print ads in newspapers or magazines. It can also include posters, commercials on TV and radio, billboards and brochures. Traditional marketing is anything except digital means to brand your product or logo. Another overlooked means of traditional marketing is when people find a particular business through a referral or a network and eventually you build a rapport with them.
Defining Digital Marketing
The world of digital marketing continues to evolve and as long as technology continues to advance, digital marketing will as well. Examples of digital marketing include things like websites, social media mentions, YouTube videos, and banner ads. Specifically, digital marketing is similar to traditional advertising, but using digital devices. However, digital marketing is considered a form of inbound marketing and its goal is for people to find you. Businesses put content (or ads) out for individuals to find. People may conduct an organic online search, a paid search, find your business on a social network or by reading content that has been published online such as a blog or an article. The more they see you or your content, the more familiar they will become with your brand and they will eventually develop a trust and a rapport with you through this online presence.
Traditional Marketing’s Advantages and Disadvantages
Because of its longevity, people are accustomed to traditional marketing. Finding ads in magazines and newspapers, or reading billboards are still familiar activities and people still do them all the time. Most of the time, traditional marketing is reaching only a local audience even though it is not limited to one. One of the primary disadvantages of traditional marketing is that the results are not easily measured, and in many cases cannot be measured at all. In most cases, traditional marketing is also more costly than digital marketing. And perhaps the biggest disadvantage today is that traditional marketing is static which means there is no way to interact with the audience. It’s more like you are throwing information in front of people and hoping that they decide to take action.
Digital Marketing’s Advantages and Disadvantages
One benefit to using digital marketing is that the results are much easier to measure; and another is that a digital campaign can reach an infinite audience. It is also possible to tailor a digital campaign to reach a local audience but it can also be used on the web and reach the entire globe when appropriate. Digital marketing is also a very interactive means of reaching an audience since it makes use of social outlets. There can be plenty of direct contact between the audience and the business which means that the business can get some very valuable consumer feedback. One of the disadvantages to using digital media marketing strategies is that it can take some time to realize measurable success.
Is there a realistic balance between the two?
The world has transitioned into a very digital environment. Not only are magazines going digital, we perform many of our daily tasks such as banking online and much of our reading is done on e-readers. Because of the rise of the digital age, it just seems like common sense to invest in a digital campaign. Even though traditional marketing still has a place, it is diminishing in our digitally based world. For today’s businesses, it is imperative to have a website and use the web as a means to interact with their consumer base. There are some successful traditional marketing strategies, particularly if you are reaching a largely local audience, but it is important to take advantage of digital marketing so as to keep up in today’s world.