Digital Marketing or Traditional Marketing - is there a clear winner

 

November 01, 2020 11:30 AM

Digital Marketing or Traditional Marketing - is there a clear winner

Digital Marketing versus Traditional Marketing - what’s the difference between them and which is best suited for your business?

Before we attempt to answer that question, let us look at what each of these marketing approaches are, their individual pros and cons, and how they differ from each other.

Let’s begin by understanding the very basics of marketing itself:

The marketing techniques that are still in use today, irrespective of the medium, still heavily rely on the four P’s of marketing: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.

Product: All marketing begins with a thorough understanding of your own product or service.

Price: The price of a product or service is a major determining factor to analyze aspects like supply, demand, profit margin, and more.

Promotion: The method you choose to make your audience aware about your product or service is called promotion. Whether it’s through a billboard or an ad campaign on social media.

Place: Though more relevant in traditional marketing, placement of an advertisement is also important in the digital space. For example, choosing the right platform to advertise based on your target audience.

The Basics

Traditional Marketing

The most common traditional marketing channels include, but are not limited to -

  • Outdoor (Billboards, medians, posters, etc)
  • Broadcasting (TV, Radio, etc)
  • Print (Magazines, newspapers, etc)
  • Direct Mail (catalogues, flyers, etc)
  • Telemarketing
  • Window display and signs

The few compelling advantages of traditional marketing, which are fast being made obsolete, are that it is impactful, permanent and memorable. But as the very definition of what is “impactful” when it comes to advertising is evolving, that advantage is also diminishing. And when the high cost of traditional advertising is weighed against the benefits of it being permanent and memorable, they come under question as well.

This brings us to the disadvantages of traditional marketing -

  • Reaches only a limited & local audience
  • It is very difficult, and sometimes impossible, to measure
  • Much more expensive than digital marketing
  • It is a one-way and a static mode of communication
  • No control over timing
  • Limited customization options
  • Expensive and difficult to update

Digital Marketing

The most common, yet constantly evolving, channels of digital marketing include -

  • Social media
  • Websites
  • Content marketing
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Inbound marketing
  • Email marketing
  • SEM (Search engine marketing)
  • WhatsApp marketing
  • Website marketing
  • SMS marketing

The many advantages that digital marketing brings to the table are -

  • Results are easier to measure
  • Digital marketing campaigns can reach a much wider audience
  • Each campaign can be tailored as per the audience
  • Much higher level of engagement with the audience
  • There is a direct contact between the business and its audience
  • Two-way communication

Now let us compare the two approaches in context of various parameters:

Target audience - With traditional marketing, it’s easy to reach out to a specified local audience. Digital marketing gives you the flexibility to reach targeted audiences globally from all over the world, and also allows you to constantly modify your targeting based on real-time inputs.

Marketing approach - While traditional marketing was considered to provide a more personal approach in the past, the fast evolving formats and possibilities of digital marketing make it a more compelling way to connect with the audience.

Consumer interaction - With traditional marketing, there is zero to minimal interaction between the business and the consumer. Digital marketing, on the other hand, offers a number of different ways for the business to engage with their customers in real-time.

Marketing cost - Traditional marketing is far more expensive than digital marketing, where you can easily customize and monitor your spends based on dynamic marketing requirements.

Marketing analysis - With traditional marketing, it is extremely complex, and most often impossible, to achieve an accurate marketing analysis. But with digital marketing, real-time data and facts are recorded and stored online, making it easy to accurately analyze the marketing results.

Real-time data - Where with traditional marketing methods, you need to wait for weeks or months to get the results of your marketing efforts, digital marketing gives quick, real-time results, making it easy to make agile business decisions.

Strategy refinement - Due to the lack of real-time results, as mentioned above, traditional marketing is far more rigid in nature, and refining it is a time-consuming and costly endeavour. Strategy refinement comes easy with digital marketing, thanks to continuous inputs.

In conclusion, it is safe to say digital marketing is quickly overtaking traditional marketing as the preferred mode of advertising because it brings to the table a greater number of advantages and facilities that can be offered to the consumers.

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