Traditional Marketing vs. Digital Marketing

by | Mar 10, 2021

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When you’re planning a campaign for a product or service, you may think that you’ll have to choose a side in the traditional marketing vs. digital marketing argument. But there’s just one problem:
You don’t – because it’s a false choice.

People buy for four reasons:

  • Price
  • Service
  • Exclusivity
  • Quality

How you communicate to customers and prospects will vary depending on your target audience, budget, time, and other factors. In some cases, either traditional or digital may work best at producing that all-important return on investment (ROI) that you desire.

On the other hand, some campaigns may work best when they incorporate both.

So how do you know which one to use?

To help figure it all out, a good place to start is understanding the difference between traditional marketing vs. digital marketing.

What is Traditional Marketing?

Traditional marketing is an activity that promotes goods and services using a channel originating long before the rise of online communications in the late 20th century.

It’s a broad term that includes many tactics, such as:

  • Direct Mail
  • Print
  • Signs
  • Broadcast Radio & TV
  • Phone
  • Face-to-Face Meetings & Events

Traditional marketing works well today based on hundreds of years of experience.

Use traditional marketing for:

  • Reaching large broad audiences quickly is ideal for brand awareness
  • Appealing to senses (sight, sound, touch, smell) with a wide variety of tangible materials and experiences
  • Some segmentation and personalization of marketing efforts
  • Personal interaction with customers and prospects
  • Longer & more memorable message recall with tactile engagement
  • Less message clutter and more differentiation compared to digital

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is any effort that markets products or services on a connected electronic device. It didn’t exist until 35 to 40 years ago. And many of its channels date only from the last 15 years.

Digital marketing includes many online channels, such as:

  • Email
  • Text/SMS
  • VideoWebsites
  • Popups
  • Pay-Per-Click Ads
  • SEO
  • Apps
  • Podcasts
  • Social Media

The nature of the channel you use (and the device it’s designed for) determines the quality of your message, and more importantly, how well you can target very specific types of people to achieve your marketing goals.

Use digital marketing for:

  • Lower costs for scaling campaigns
  • Ease of measuring results based on dataReal-time results and customer tracking allows precise targeting
  • Simple, near-instant changes to strategy, pricing, and other elements
  • Highly specific targeting of audiences
  • Faster two-way interaction with audiences and individuals to build loyalty

Wrapping it up

So which is better – traditional marketing or direct marketing?

The truth is a little complicated. It all depends on what is best for reaching your audience, turning them into customers, and continually delighting them. That’s made easier when you provide unique, important, and meaningful help and value.

There’s a lot you can do to make the most of traditional marketing while not being stuck in the past. For example, in direct mail, these methods mirror concepts from the digital world:

The benefits of traditional marketing methods like direct mail – as noted above – are many and well-understood. It’s one of many reasons mailing.com has grown and thrived for over 50 years.

We know the difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing. Looking for a direct mail marketing partner that can help you build a unified customer experience? Contact our team today!

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