Digital marketing has grown in popularity in the past decade, to such an extent that startups need to have an efficient digital marketing strategy in place to succeed online. But despite how influential digital advertising has been, traditional marketing still holds much influence. It isn’t going anywhere soon.

Digital vs. Traditional Marketing: Which Method Makes the Most Sense?

Both types of marketing have their strengths, and you need to decide which would best fit into your campaign for maximum impact. So which one should you choose: online digital or offline traditional marketing?

Traditional Marketing: A Memorable Way to Reach Local Audiences

example traditional marketing channels

Traditional marketing helps brands reach targeted audiences through offline marketing and advertising methods. These include magazines, newspapers, TV, radio, catalogs, SMS marketing, billboards, fliers, and the like. Traditional marketing, as the name implies, dates back to ancient times. Egyptians created sales messages and wall posters on papyrus. Today, traditional marketing comes in the form of billboards found on busy roads or commercials flashed on television.

Traditional marketing comes with several benefits, which include:

Local Audience Reach

Traditional marketing can be a great option for targeting local audiences. One of the most efficient ways of reaching thousands of people is by broadcasting on TV or playing an ad on the radio. A more cost-effective way is by printing and distributing flyers to potential customers.


Digital ads require a stable internet connection. Traditional ads like flyers or posters, on the other hand, can be kept and brought anywhere, anytime.

Easily Understandable

Traditional ads are simple and straight to the point, making the message easier to understand for some consumers. All a person needs to do is view a poster and read the details to understand the message. Digital ads like videos, for instance, may take some extra time for some people to process.

Better Recall

Studies show that traditional forms of marketing are easier for a customer to process and recall because of their tangible, high-impact way of getting a message across. The digital world is, after all, already saturated with too much content. That makes it harder for online ads to make an impression.

Digital Marketing: Targeting Global Customers in Real-Time

Digital marketing involves marketing products or services through the internet. And it comes in different forms, including content marketing, social media, SEO, link building and so on.

example digital marketing channel

It’s come a long way since it first hit the scene. In 1993, for instance, the first clickable banner went live. A year later, Yahoo! was born: one of the first search engines where people looked for information. Since then, digital marketing has evolved to include online advertising such as banner ads and video marketing. The digital marketing landscape continues to grow broader each day to address the needs of tech-savvy audiences.

It’s easy to see why a lot of companies treat digital marketing as an integral part of their branding efforts. The benefits include:

Immediate Results

Almost everything that happens on the internet takes place in real-time. When you start an ad campaign online, for example, you can immediately see who interacted with the ad. Traditional marketing methods, on the other hand, take time to truly measure performance.

Measurable Ad Performance

Most digital platforms use tools like Google Analytics to measure how effective an ad is. This is important for marketers who want to make the most of their campaign. Knowing what works and what doesn’t can help you decide how to tweak your campaign for better results.

Trackable Customer Behavior

More than 80% of shoppers conduct research online before pushing through with a purchase. As a result, you can align your marketing strategy with customer behavior to build a more engaged community.

Let Your Company Goals Be the Decision Maker

The choice to use traditional or digital marketing depends on your company goals and the kind of business that you find yourself in. Know your target audience. Certain people will respond better to digital marketing, while others will be more receptive to traditional marketing.

A general rule of thumb for small businesses is to start with a digital marketing campaign first since it is more cost-effective and practical. Once your budget grows and your digital marketing campaign gets favorable results, you can expand your branding efforts and get into traditional marketing. But before you launch any sort of omni-channel campaign, make sure you do the proper research.

Hazel-Ann-Westco200Hazel Ann Westco is a start-up freelance writer. She is interested in writing blogs and articles related to digital marketing and other business stuff. Whenever she has free time, she rides her bicycle or motorcycle for a road trip. Follow her on Twitter @AnnWestco.

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