Traditional Marketing vs. Digital Marketing

Traditional Marketing vs. Digital Marketing
Traditional Marketing vs. Digital Marketing
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A marketing strategy is essential for your business to grow

Regardless of the industry, having a marketing strategy is essential for your business to grow. When done right, not only does it help create brand awareness, it will also help you generate leads and convert viewers to customers. It is becoming even more crucial nowadays, as competition is high and you want to stand out from the crowd.

One major decision that companies need to make is whether they want to go the traditional route (print, broadcast, telephone, billboards, etc.) or the digital route (emails, social media, online ads, blogs, YouTube videos, etc.). To help you with your decision, below are some pros and cons of both methods:



Easily reach a local audience: Broadcasting over FM radio and printing in local newspapers helps you easily target potential customers within the city. Flyers and mail can target specific suburban areas.

Easy to understand: traditional prints and ads are more familiar to most people — especially for the older generation. Ads and campaigns printed and broadcasted are able to reach those who are less tech-savvy and prefer learning about new products this way.


Limited reach: while you can strategically target local residents, the reach is limited to one area. A larger coverage would not be possible (depends on distribution area of local media) or it would be very expensive

Can’t determine ROI: Once your campaign launches, it is hard to see if it was successful as data cannot be collected. The only indication of how well it did would be reliant on revenues. However, this does not give any insight to help improve on the next campaign.

More costly: compared to its digital counterpart, traditional advertising costs a lot more and can be hard for smaller companies to compete as they would have less budget for these ads compared to multi-million dollar companies.



Ability to target specific market: with social media platforms, you have the ability to target a specific market and set the parameters as tight or as loose as you want — it depends on whether you want to cast a wide net or speak to a very specific group. You’ll also be able to customize the online ads to suit the groups’ preferences and more easily catch their attention.

Easily measure ROI: Statistics are important, as they let you know how well your online campaign is doing. With Google Analytics, you can capture a lot of useful data relating to your viewers (browser used, platform, demographics, etc.) and their behavior (click-through rate, time on your website, etc.). This information will help you determine what is working and what isn’t, and measure your ROI.

More cost-effective: Compared to traditional methods, launching an online campaign is much more cost-effective, even with paid ads and hiring an agency. This gives you more flexibility with your budget in case of any emergencies or contingency plans.

Everything is instant and available: As long as you’ve set your target audience, you don’t have to worry too much about the timing — it can be launched instantaneously when it is ready. Once your campaign is live, it’ll be accessible to the public at all times and they will be able to view it at their convenience.


Oversaturation of online ads and spam: Ads, newsletters, and more ads. The regular online user is constantly bombarded with an excessive amount of spam. It can be hard to get their attention if your campaign doesn’t pique their interest and they’ll automatically scroll past your efforts without a second thought. You may want to find an expert who can provide digital marketing solutions from your local San Francisco agencies to ensure the success of your campaign.

Negative feedback: if any of your customers have a negative experience with your company and its products or services, you can almost guarantee to see their negative reviews online. Unfortunately, depending on the platform the feedback is posted to, it can have severe detrimental effects on your brand image. All companies should be prepared to have an action plan to deal with these situations to mitigate the negative effects.

Search engine regulations: With the ever-changing regulations and search engine algorithms, it can be difficult for companies to gain visibility — especially startups. Companies must figure out the best way for them to improve their search rankings, such as using backlinking strategies and acquiring press coverage from relevant publications.

Field expertise: In order for your digital marketing campaign to be as effective as it can be, you’ll need the expertise to maximize its potential. Otherwise, even a great idea can go to waste if it’s not launched properly. If you don’t have the expertise, it is recommended to hire a local digital marketing company in San Francisco to help.

As you can see, both forms of marketing have their pros and cons, so which method is the best? It all depends on the habits of your target market and which method gives your business the best leverage to attract them. For example, if your target is mainly those who stay offline and prefer reading printed mediums, you’d want to use traditional methods to reach them. If your audience spends most of their time online, you’ll want to focus your efforts on digital campaigns. You may even want to try using both methods at once to see how it works for your business!



The news and editorial staff of the Bay Area News Group had no role in this post’s preparation.