Which marketing tactics work best for your business? The Pros and Cons of Traditional vs. Digital Advertising
Advertising is an absolute must for businesses of any size and in any industry, but how do you choose between traditional and digital advertising? Or do you have to choose one over the other? In this post, we'll explore the pros and cons of each option to help you decide which one is best for your business.
What is Traditional Advertising?
Traditional advertising is marketing that utilizes traditional media, such as print or broadcast media. It can be used to reach local, regional, national and even global audiences. Common examples of traditional advertising include billboards, television, radio and print advertising (mail outs, newspapers, industry publications and magazines). It is typically less targeted than digital advertising and often has a longer-term impact due to the intentionally broad reach it often has. It focuses more on branding than lead generation depending on the content of the ads.
What is Digital Advertising?
Digital advertising is any form of advertising that appears on digital outlets or the internet, such as websites, search engines, social media platforms and mobile apps. This type of online advertising typically utilizes data-driven technologies to target customers in specific markets, geographies, or with specific interests. Digital advertising has the ability to be more targeted, trackable and measurable than traditional methods. Additionally, it allows for greater optimization during the creative process as well as during delivery.
Pros and Cons of Traditional Advertising
Traditional advertising, or out of home (OOH) media, is still one of the most widely used and accepted forms of marketing. It is much more effective for brand building than it is for lead generation. Traditional forms like TV commercials, print ads, radio and billboards can effectively reach a large audience in a short period of time. Additionally, traditional advertising often comes with an alluring sense of familiarity which some customers respond to positively. It is a great brand building tool and the reason why we know Nike, Apple, McDonalds and several other brands so well! However, traditional advertising has its drawbacks too. It is more expensive than digital advertising, in general doesn’t hit as many people as digital advertising, is limited with geography usually, less measurable and trackable and harder to customize towards specific demographics.
Pros and Cons of Digital Advertising
Digital advertising is quickly becoming the preferred method for marketing these days due to its cost efficiency, scalability, and ease of customization. Advertisers can more accurately target and measure customer engagement with digital campaigns. Additionally, digital marketing offers real-time insights and data that allow businesses to continuously track and optimize their campaigns. This makes it easier to quickly reach the right people at the right time. However, digital advertising also has its own drawbacks. Many consumers have become immune to online ads due to their over-saturation, and companies need to find creative ways to differentiate themselves in an increasingly crowded marketplace. Another drawback of digital marketing is that if you don’t know your target audience, the tools you are using to set up your ads and create a great offer, you can waste a lot of money and time. Continuously optimizing your ads and using professionals who are experts in digital marketing is key.
Finding the Right Balance: Do I have to choose?
To find the right balance between traditional and digital advertising, take a look at your target audience and current marketing goals. Traditional methods are best suited for industries with localized needs, like healthcare and hospitality, or when reaching older audiences. Digital advertising is great for businesses that have more limited budgets, can target a wide range of consumers easily and quickly, and need to constantly track the performance of their campaigns. Ultimately, the key is to find which combination works best for your business, leverage past successes and adjust as needed. B2B marketers tend to use digital marketing more so than traditional marketing. When you are targeting businesses instead of the end consumer it is easier to do that with digital marketing. Although industry magazines and associations are excellent places for B2B marketers who are interested in traditional advertising.