Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing and How They Can Work for You

The World of Modern Marketing

The marketing world has never changed as much as it has due to the internet. If companies aim to grow and thrive in the modern market, learning to use the internet to your advantage is one of the most important steps. Learning to use both traditional and digital marketing is the best way to ensure you’re reaching as many people within your target audience as possible and growing your business to the best of your ability. We wanted to walk through some definitions and tips for navigating the modern marketing landscape.

Traditional Marketing Vs. Digital Marketing, What's the Difference?

What is Traditional Marketing?

When we refer to traditional marketing, we’re talking about the forms of marketing that existed before the Internet. Examples of this form of marketing you see in day-to-day life are billboards, advertisements in newspapers and magazines, posters, flyers, and even radio and TV ads. Traditional marketing has tactics that every business should use, such as prospecting and referrals, but other areas of traditional marketing may be cost prohibitive.

The specific tactics that a business should use depend on the business, target markets, budget, etc. For many small businesses, their focus should be on maximizing low-lying fruit, building a foundation, and growing additional marketing from there.

List of Traditional Marketing Buckets –

This is not a complete list. Just highlighting some of the more common marketing tactics.

• Mailers

Mail XXX amount of mailers monthly, Keep in mind that mailers mailed consistently over a 12-month period, in our experience, will increase response rate from 1% to 20% (when looking at close rates at 42 weeks or more – follow-up pays off).

• Billboards

Lease a billboard for a set period of time

• TV Ads

Run Ads on Television Programming (today, most also combine TV ads with online advertising) that are targeted to hosts or shows that align with the target market’s interests

• In store Signage, Promotional items, and Branding

Signage and placement within a physical location can help you sell.

• Print Ads

Newspaper Ad or Coupon Mailers – run an ad or include a coupon in a newspaper or community publication

• Radio Ads

Run ads on local radio stations that are targeted to hosts or shows that align with the business’ target market(s)

• Event Marketing and Sponsorships

Businesses participate in or sponsor local events that align with their target market’s interests

• Door Hangers and Yard Signs

Businesses can place yard signs in public spaces or near neighborhoods to help spread awareness of their business. You can also get permission from past customers to leave a yard sign or door hanger on or near their property as an advertisement for work you have done while also strengthening customer relations.

• Referrals

Referrals can mean someone in your centers of influence recommended you or your customer referred a friend or family member. These types of leads have the highest close rate – so any business needs a solid referral process in their small business.

• Prospecting

Calling or visiting potential prospects to make introductions and build connections

• Networking

Attending business networking groups to build centers of influence

What is Digital Marketing

If traditional marketing is everything before the Internet, then digital marketing is everything that comes with the existence of the Internet. Digital marketing can be divided into two subcategories organic and paid.

Organic marketing involves working on things like raising search engine reach, email marketing, and natural social media growth.

Paid marketing involves things like paying for social media ads, paid sponsorships, and pay-per-click (PPC).

Digital marketing allows businesses to do something that traditional marketing can’t do: to allow for very targeted advertisements. In today’s society, “73% of B2B marketers and 70% of B2C marketers use content marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy. This means that online marketing is integral to modern marketing.

Makes sense because it provides insight into much more data and statistics to help businesses grow. Before the internet, most data businesses used to determine if their promotions and ads were working were from third parties. The rise of the internet puts that information in the palm of their hands through things like Google Analytics.

According to Marketing Evolution, 32% of marketers identified marketing analytics are the most important factor in determining marketing tactics, but only 52.7% of marketers use their analytics. This means that almost half of marketers are missing out on vital information that could greatly impact their online traffic and search results.

List of Digital Marketing Tactics

• Facebook Business Page

Can use Facebook reels, exclusive offers, events, and Facebook groups to help promote your business, connect with customers, and advertise your business to your target audience using the power of their algorithm.

• Twitter Business Profile

Can create and use a business profile on Twitter to interact with your target audience, brand announcements, post behind-the-scenes information, and capitalize on different trends and hashtags to help expand your outreach.

• Instagram Business Profile

Being owned by Meta, the same parent company as Facebook, you can use Instagram and the same algorithm tools to help reach your target audience, follow and interact with your audience and similar accounts, and post to gain organic brand awareness.

• YouTube Business Channel

On YouTube, You can post videos talking about behind-the-scenes processes, announcements for your business, or special events.

• LinkedIn Company Page and Individual Profile

Can use LinkedIn to help network, recruit team members, share information, and promote events within your business.

• TikTok Business Profile

Can use TikTok live to help promote your business, and post engaging content that your audience can interact with – this is what the algorithm favors –and use the TikTok shop tool to increase sales.

• Email Marketing

Can set up emails to be sent to customers who sign up to alert them of products or services, special deals, or other business announcements to help increase customer relations and share advertisements.

• CRM with SMS and workflow automation

Have customers connect with your business through SMS to automate messages for deals, sale reminders, new products, personal messages (birthday deals, holiday deals, etc.), and business announcements and contact to maintain consistent lead-follow-up.

• Google Ads

Participate in advertising bids to promote your business throughout the web in search, affiliate sites, YouTube, and more. Ads are charged based on clicks and use a daily budget.

• Facebook and Instagram Ads

Purchase ads from Meta to promote your business on Facebook and Instagram using a daily budget. Ads can focus on awareness, lead generation, links clicks, and other objectives. You can create a static ad or ads with dynamic content (that changes based on user preferences.

• Website and SEO

Improving your SEO (Search engine optimization to optimize search results, click-ability, and help reach your target audience.

• Press Releases

Acting as a type of summary of an event, product, or celebration for your business. You could send these to newspapers back in the day – now can use tools to distribute those across the web or social messages to journalists to help promote accompaniments and such for your business.

• Podcasts

Creating your own podcast can benefit your small business the way a blog can giving you an outlet to share your business expertise and connect with those within the industry and consumers, You can also pay podcasts to have a sponsored segment in their podcast to advertise your business to their audience as well.

Both traditional and digital forms of marketing could be beneficial to your business but may also have their downsides.
Let's look at the pros and cons of each to help you figure out what balance of both would be best for you.

Pros of Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing is a great bucket for marketing depending on your budget and maximization of low-lying fruit. All businesses should have a process for referrals and networking, but other buckets in the digital area may be more cost-effective for a small business.

In other words, if your marketing budget is $1,000 a month, utilize a referral and networking process, but other traditional marketing buckets may not be the best use of your marketing budget. If you are maximizing market buckets – traditional advertising is a great addition however, if you have limited funds, buying a billboard is probably not the best use of your marketing dollars.

With any type of marketing ROI matters (return on investment). Traditional marketing also allows for person-to-person marketing, which can allow for more personal interactions, demonstrations, and allows potential customers to feel a somewhat personal connection to your business, making them more likely to do business with you.

Cons of Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing can be seen as a pay-to-play world for many. Running TV ads, for example, on nationwide broadcasting averages at just under $105,000. This price varies depending on the time-slot you want to run the ad during, length of your commercial, and broadcast area.

If you wanted to broadcast a commercial during Sunday night football, you’re looking at spending an average of $828,500 for 30 seconds of ad time.

And that’s not including the costs of production for the ad, which can range from $1,200-$100,000. For many small businesses or businesses who just don’t have a large budget for advertising, some aspects of traditional marketing can just be too expensive.

Pros of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing has opened the door for many small or medium-sized businesses to get in on some great marketing avenues. Businesses can focus on cultivating an online presence at no cost to them.

Something else that many companies are taking advantage of with digital marketing is paying for sponsored posts by influencers.

These can range from video segments on platforms like YouTube and TikTok to sponsored photo posts on Instagram. Unlike the $100,000s businesses would pay on average for TV ads, they could pay a fraction of the cost to an online influencer to make a post on their social media pages.

The average prices of paid sponsorships vary depending on the following the influencer has, but the industry standard is $100 per 10,000 followers.

Cons of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing, just like traditional marketing, has its setbacks. With so many businesses finally getting a chance to break into the market, it adds competition for businesses, meaning they will have to work much harder to make their business stand out. Not only that, but the ability to afford more ads can lead to ad saturation making consumers feel like they have an information overload.

When this happens, they may ignore every ad they see or even download adblockers which will completely block ads from showing up online for them. This can be a major deterrent for businesses and push them towards more traditional marketing tactics.

We hope you learned the value of traditional and digital marketing and how to use both to your advantage for your business. If you need help figuring out what suits your marketing needs best to help optimize your efforts, contact Comprehensive Consulting Solutions for Small Businesses, and we’d be more than happy to help!