Key Differences Between Traditional and Digital Marketing

Traditional and Digital Marketing

Do you understand the differences between traditional and digital marketing and how they impact the growth of your business?

Marketing, regardless of the kind of business you have, is important. It is the way you promote yourself, your product or your service and make people aware that you are there, ready to provide what they are looking for.

But marketing can also happen in many different ways, and people have spent decades trying to come up with the most effective strategies possible.

Today, the marketing landscape has been radically altered by the addition of computers and the Internet, creating an entirely new form. And that raises a lot of questions. Today, you now have a choice between traditional and digital marketing, but what’s the difference between the two?

How Many People Will Your Marketing Reach?

One of the biggest differences between traditional and digital marketing is how far it can potentially go. With traditional marketing, most people will be limited in the audience they reach because of the medium they choose to use, whether that is print, television, radio, or some combination of the three.

Television advertising will normally be confined to a city, or, in the case of national campaigns, a country, but it will rarely go beyond that. The same holds true for both print and radio advertising, although in most cases, these two types are highly localized to a specific city.

Digital marketing is, thanks to the Internet, automatically global in reach. Anyone anywhere on the planet can potentially see your marketing. Of course, that comes with the caveat that they can see it if they can find it, or even have the desire to find it with all the other billions of distractions available on the Internet. A person standing at a bus stop is a captive audience to an ad on that stop. A person browsing the web has an infinite number of options and destinations.

How Will Potential Customers Interact With Your Marketing?

Digital marketing is usually a one way street in that the e-mail, video, or other form of digital marketing you use, is either sent to an individual, or put on a website—much like traditional advertising—where it is simply consumed. There’s no feedback, there’s no way for you to talk to the people that are being marketed to.

Interestingly, while this is also true of most forms of traditional marketing such as print, TV and radio, it’s not true of ALL traditional marketing. The demonstration or “free sample” method of marketing, for example, calls for an expert representative to be present and actually engaging with potential customers, answering questions, letting them try—or taste—the product and acting as a very human face for the market or service.

There’s still something to be said for the human touch, and this is something that digital marketing is not as good at yet.

How Will You Collect Data To Understand Your Audience?

This is one area where digital marketing has a clear advantage. It’s much easier to track the results—and thus gauge the actual effectiveness—of digital marketing versus traditional. If you sell a product through a TV commercial, you will never know how many people bought your product because of that TV commercial.

However, if you sell a product through an offer on e-mail, or through a website PPC banner, the moment a customer clicks on that e-mail link or website banner, that information is collated, so you can see where the customer are coming from.

Both types of marketing are still useful for businesses, but it’s always a good idea to decide exactly what kind of audience you want, and how to reach them. A small business with local customers has no need for a global digital marketing campaign, and a valuable global service shouldn’t be spending money to advertise in just one city. Know your marketing goal, and plan accordingly.


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