Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing: Pros & Cons

We live in an increasingly digital world, but that doesn’t make traditional marketing obsolete. Digital marketing and its traditional counterpart have their own strengths that savvy marketers combine in their marketing strategies. But where does each type of marketing solution excel? Let’s take a look:

Digital Marketing — More Efficient, But Not Always More Effective

Digital marketing includes website building, social media and other ways to use tech for marketing. Marketers have a bonafide Swiss army knife of digital tools at their disposal to make their vision a reality. But does digital marketing work as well if you don’t know how to use those tools?

As you can imagine, not everyone uses digital marketing to its fullest potential. Since technology develops so quickly, digital marketing does, too. And using it properly isn’t always as intuitive as you think.

No matter how well you implement your digital marketing strategy, you still can’t cover some of the bases that traditional marketing can. Research shows that digital marketing materials might not have as much impact as traditional media. In theory, the physical presence of traditional media provides more engagement and emotion.

Traditional Marketing — More Impactful, But Less Flexible

Traditional marketing includes print advertisements, commercials and other long-established marketing solutions. Digital marketing has rapidly grown in use. But we still have situations where we can’t completely replace traditional marketing.

As mentioned earlier, we have an emotional attachment to traditional media that digital media can’t fulfill. Paper marketing materials have shown to promote better understanding, engagement and persuasion. Not to mention that when you don’t have access to the Internet, you can still view most traditional marketing materials.

But traditional marketing is much less versatile than digital marketing. It doesn’t have the reach, affordability, accessibility or measurability of its counterpart. Once you understand how to use the latest tech, you can do so many more things with digital media.

Combining Both Approaches

Since each method has weaknesses the other can account for, many marketers use both in their strategies. For example, if you partially market to an elderly population, many of your audience members may not know how to access the Internet. So, you could take a dual approach where you create an accessible online presence while providing plenty of paper materials. Think about the gaps in coverage your strategy has and which method could fill them.

The Verdict? Not as Simple as You Think

Marketing effectively takes a lot of critical thinking and hard work, no matter the medium you use. So instead of thinking of one method as better than the other, think about them as tools to use to your advantage. Our industry has more resources than ever — so why not use them?