Traditional Marketing vs. Digital Marketing: Which One Is Better

The birth of the internet shook up the way we do a lot of things.

From sending letters (hello, email!) to sharing jokes (which are now pronounced “memes”), we’ve seen some massive changes—and there are new ones coming all the time.

But one of the biggest changes in the business world has to do with marketing. Now that you can go the traditional or the digital route, how do you decide which one’s best? And which option covers the most ground? If this is a question that’s challenged you, let’s start with the basics: what are these kinds of marketing, and when should you use them?

What Is Traditional Marketing?

The easy definition of traditional marketing is this: it’s any marketing that happens offline! This type of marketing includes “traditional” sources like direct mail, phone campaigns, radio and TV ads, billboards, newspapers, and more. 

Though these marketing efforts may seem old-fashioned, the truth is that traditional marketing can still reach huge numbers of people. (Think about it: you’ve probably seen at least one billboard recently, or gotten a flyer in the mail.) In fact, that leads us to another key advantage of traditional marketing: it’s long-lasting. Pay for a physical sign or ad, and you can keep it as long as it’s relevant and looks good.

What Is Digital Marketing?

As the name suggests, digital marketing happens online. This can include a huge range of services like email marketing, PPC advertising, video ads, search engine marketing, paid social media ads, and more. With shifting trends, it also extends to a pretty big spectrum of other tactics, too: letting influencers market products on your behalf or trying to create viral videos, for example. 

Because more people are online than ever, digital marketing can be a good way to get your brand in front of an increasingly online crowd. Because people are searching for goods and services online nowadays, getting your brand known in that space can be the key to getting ahead.

When Should You Use Traditional vs. Digital Marketing?

In today’s world, digital marketing is often the best way to go. 

Unlike traditional marketing, digital marketing offers measurable results that you can access at any time. It also allows you to engage your followers on a whim, and it also lets you segment your audience, reaching a wide or narrow range of people with little investment. 

At the end of the day, a great strategy can adopt both types of marketing, but digital is the one to focus on in our increasingly online world. It does, however, take a great deal of knowledge and expertise to stay on top of digital campaigns—so it pays to know what you’re doing. Do you feel like your brand is digitally ready? If not, let me know! 

Lara Schmoisman, CEO & Founder of The Darl and Marketing Simplificado

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