Digital Marketing Vs Traditional Marketing: Which one is better?
What’s the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing, and why does it matter? The real answers may surprise you.
Many small businesses struggle with deciding which kind of marketing to do because their budget will only bounce to one or the other. The decisions that must be made are not easy: which method of marketing will give me the most bang for my buck? How do I know if my marketing is working? Who should I trust with my marketing? Should I do it myself? The answers may surprise you.
The use of print ads on newspapers and magazines is simple example of traditional marketing. Other examples include flyers that are put in mailboxes, commercials both on Tv, radio and billboards. On the other hand, when a business invests in building a site, advertising the brand name through different social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, this kind strategy is sent for digital marketing.
Benefits of Traditional marketing
You can easily reach your target local audience. For example, a radio ad might play in one location: your city or region. Or mailbox flyers will go to households in a select number of suburbs.
The materials can be kept. The audience can have a hard copy of materials of which they can read or browse through over and over again.
It’s easy to understand. It can be easily understood by most people because they are already exposed to this kind of strategy.
Direct mail was easier to process mentally and tested better for brand recall. According to the report,
Direct mail requires 21% less cognitive effort to process than digital media (5.15 vs. 6.37), suggesting that it is both easier to understand and more memorable. Post-exposure memory tests validated what the cognitive load test revealed about direct mail’s memory encoding capabilities. When asked to cite the brand (company name) of an advertisement they had just seen, recall was 70% higher among participants who were exposed to a direct mail piece (75%) than a digital ad (44%).
The Downside to Traditional Marketing
There is very little interaction between the medium used and the customers. It is more of providing information to the public that the brand exists with the hope of these people patronizing the brand.
Print or radio advertisements can be very costly. Printing materials can be expensive and you need to hire people to distribute these.
Results on this marketing strategy cannot easily be measured. Was the campaign successful?
Benefits of Digital Marketing
Global reach – a website allows you to find new markets and trade globally for only a small investment.
Trackable, measurable results – measuring your online marketing with web analytics and other online metric tools makes it easier to establish how effective your campaign has been. You can obtain detailed information about how customers use your website or respond to your advertising. Web analytics can be set up to show you exactly how much money you make from each digital tactic.
Personalisation – if your customer database is linked to your website, then whenever someone visits the site, you can greet them with targeted offers. The more they buy from you, the more you can refine your customer profile and market effectively to them.
Openness – by getting involved with social media and managing it carefully, you can build customer loyalty and create a reputation for being easy to engage with.
Social currency – digital marketing lets you create engaging campaigns using different types of rich media content. On the internet these campaigns can gain social currency – being passed from user to user and becoming viral.
Improved conversion rates – if you have a website, then your customers are only ever a few clicks away from completing a purchase. Unlike other media which require people to get up and make a phone call, or go to a shop, digital marketing can be seamless and immediate.
Brand Development: A well maintained website with quality content targeting the needs and adding value to your target audience can provide significant value and lead generation opportunities. The same can be said for utilising social media channels and personalised email marketing.
So What kind of marketing is better?
Well, we would recommend both. Obviously, we are passionate about digital marketing, because we know that it works. But we do use traditional marketing materials, too.
A 2009 study conducted by Bangor University and branding agency Millward Brown also used fMRI to study the different effects of paper and digital media.
Some of their key conclusions were:
- Physical material is more “real” to the brain.It has a meaning, and a place. It is better connected to memory because it engages with its spatial memory networks.
- Physical material involves more emotional processing, which is important for memory and brand associations.
- Physical materials produced more brain responses connected with internal feelings, suggesting greater “internalization” of the ads.
How We Use Both Digital & Traditional Marketing
Our traditional marketing methods support our digital marketing efforts. The two do not operate in exclusion from each other. But we only use hard copy marketing materials to further strengthen a relationship with a contact, referral partner or client. We don’t invest in television or radio ads, for example, but we will give brochures to someone who is interested in our services.
Rather than taking an all or nothing approach, it appears that a multi-channel approach that leverages the unique benefits of paper with the convenience and accessibility of digital will perform best.