rsz pexels photo 541525 - Traditional vs Digital Marketing
September 5, 2017

Traditional vs Digital Marketing

Written By Nikki McCaig

With 2017 pushing us further into the digital age, where millennials are more immersed in their phones than their textbooks, and print journalism continues its inexorable decline, it seems like the debate between traditional and digital marketing has already established a winner. Digital marketing is one of the fastest growing industries in the UK, cities like London, Manchester and Nottingham are home to hundreds of digital marketing agencies.

Traditional, physical marketing is societally seen as ‘on the way out’, with online journalism replacing broadsheets and tabloids and the change looks permanent. Leaflets have been replaced by pop ups, posters are swapped for promoted Tweets and Facebook ads, and keyword research is becoming one of the most crucial skills for up-and-coming marketers breaking into the industry.

But is there still space for traditional marketing?

Why do we prefer digital marketing?

Some of the obvious benefits of digital marketing are based on the social media routines we perform every day. Frequent posting, hashtags, trends, memorising the optimum times for uploading for maximum engagement… This, of course, makes for a relatable form of marketing, one that can be easily tailored to consumer profiles, and fits in with your audience’s daily routine.

Using more targeted methods, like email databases, localised content, and personalised posts, allow marketers to pinpoint their potential customers and broadcast to them directly, this means less money is wasted advertising to a disinterested audience..

Unrestricted by the need for localised supply chains, digital marketing is also a freer form of advertising; whole campaigns can be distributed from a laptop or phone. This makes it apopular choice for brands, as it can be lower in expense to fund one small office space, than an entire printing press.

Campaign performance is also far more manageable and trackable, with analytics services being freely available for public use. Results can be monitored and evaluated over time, cross referenced with seasonal changes, product launches, platform use, helping marketers to focus on their most profitable areas. By testing conversion rates and audience engagement, campaigns can be optimised at the click of a mouse.

In many ways, digital marketing seems like the obvious choice.

What are the benefits of traditional marketing?

Though it may be natural to assume otherwise, tried and true marketing practices still hold sway. When marketing to older and less tech-savvy consumers, print and television ads remain the most reliable form of advertising. For many, a printed advert in their morning newspaper is going to have a much bigger impact that an SEO-heavy sponsored Pin on a company-driven ‘Local Events’ board.

In terms of televised ads, over 1.57 billion households worldwide regularly watch television, the audience remains both large and targetable. Similarly, print media is still an active source of advertising as well. The UK magazine industry is worth £8 billion annually; heavy hitting genres like fashion, beauty, business, and cooking help drive revenues even higher, a large portion of it coming from ad revenue.

What are the statistics?

  • The reach of television advertising in the US: 283,302,000
  • The reach of online advertising in the US: 211,633,000
  • 49% of people will trust televised news over internet news
  • 70% of the world’s youth are online
  • 44% of direct mail is never opened
  • 86% of people don’t watch television ads
  • In the UK, 57% of people believe television is the second most impactful form of advertising
  • Print advertising generates nearly $30bn in ad revenue every year

So which is better?

Though traditional marketing is putting up a good fight, and is still proving itself a worthy form of advertising, the future is set to be dictated by digital. More and more companies and brands are outreaching digital marketing, SEO and copywriting services to boost their numbers, with many forms of print media falling into decline.

We might not be quite ready to say goodbye to the traditional methods of marketing just yet, but it’s undeniable that the digital world is preparing us for it already.