Traditional vs. Digital Marketing: Which Is Best for Your Business?

Peter A. Liefer II | Posted: June 25th, 2018 | Updated: September 16th, 2022

Marketing is barely recognizable from what it was a few decades ago. Business owners and marketers are often faced with the question of which is more effective in driving success: traditional marketing or digital marketing? Of course, you want your small business to attract more customers and make more sales, all while using the least number of resources.

Several business owners make the crucial mistake of focusing their energy on products and services, not recognizing that the key to success is not just from what the business offers. Reaching success is also present in your ability to reach customers and how you can persuade them to invest. In a nutshell, marketing is the essential element to any business’ success.

Before the Internet took the world by storm, marketing, especially to the masses, was challenging and expensive. Although the Internet and its accessibility have changed drastically in the last decade, it does not mean there is no place for traditional marketing strategies alongside Internet marketing.

Allow us to weigh the advantages of these two marketing methods:

Understanding Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing (now referred to as offline marketing) is a broad category involving the promotional strategies used before the Internet. Today, it is still the most recognizable marketing method, which encompasses advertisements we see and hear every day. The majority of traditional marketing strategies fall under one of four categories, including print, broadcast (radio and television), direct mail, and telephone.

Benefits of Traditional Marketing

Even in the digital age, there are great reasons to incorporate old-school marketing strategies, including:

  • Reach hard-to-get customers. Believe it or not, 11% of U.S. adults do not use the internet, according to a survey conducted by Pew Research Center. Seniors are the primary age group unlikely to go online, and traditional methods may be the only means to reach this particular group of consumers.

  • Woo your clients in person. Internet marketing is convenient in a sense that you rarely have to travel to communicate with a client in person. However, you should not underestimate the effectiveness of traditional face-to-face marketing. Meeting in person allows you to do impressive demonstrations and later read their body language to see if they are genuinely interested in working with you. Furthermore, many customers prefer doing business with people they have met personally.

  • Billboards are not a thing of the past. Each week, the average American drivers spend 20 hours traveling over 200 miles. Furthermore, 71% of Americans consciously look at billboard messages while driving, and those who learn about an event or restaurant via traditional ads later pay to visit.

  • Hard copy material provides tangible information. Search engine optimization and paid media do great jobs of attracting leads and prospects, but there is still something unique and compelling about a meeting sealed with a business card exchange (which they can refer to at their leisure). This type of traditional marketing makes it incredibly easy to provide information on the go.

Understanding Digital Marketing

Digital marketing, also known as internet marketing, e-marketing, or web marketing, is an all-inclusive term for promoting products and services online.

While the more obvious purpose of internet marketing is to sell goods, services, or advertise your brand over the Internet, your business can build itself by conduct competitor analyses and by learning from your online customers’ feedback and preferences. Online marketing is a very effective way to identify your target market or discover a marketing segment’s wants and needs.

Today, every brick and mortar business can (and should) use the widely available Internet to their advantage and leverage it for marketing purposes.

At PrimeView, we offer a broad selection of digital marketing services, including web design and development, search engine optimization (SEO), social media management, content marketing, pay-per-click advertising, video optimization, email marketing, and reputation management.

Benefits of Digital Marketing

Marketing via the Internet allows your business to reach target audiences more efficiently. Other pros include:

  • Measure your marketing success (and failures). Tools like Google Analytics can help you see which methods are bringing prospects, leads, and conversions to your business, including which ones are not. This way, you can alter your marketing practices and focus your efforts on what works.

  • Engage and network anytime, anywhere. Social media is a powerful tool that not only allows you to communicate directly with your market, but also share relevant news and information for absolutely free. It is by far the fastest and easiest way to build direct relationships with your clients and prospects. Further, it is an excellent platform for receiving quick feedback on what your target market likes and dislikes.

  • Spend less money. Traditional marketing billboards can cost anywhere between $300 to $30,000 per four-week period, which equates to $3,600 to $360,000 per year. Although digital marketing strategy prices may vary depending on which services you integrate into your business, many online marketing tools and methods are free.

Which Type of Marketing Is Best for Your Small Business?

A company can leverage both traditional and digital marketing methods to achieve their goals. It does not have to be one or the other because while one approach might be more effective at drawing leads and analyzing results, it does not mean the other is any less effective. For instance, a television ad might pull in many prospects, but so can the same ad on YouTube for far less money.

The real question should not be what type of marketing is best, but instead, which method offers the best way to reach your audience and convert them into customers. Fact is, there are strategies in both traditional and Internet marketing that will work to your advantage.

Speak with a Professional Marketing Strategist Today

Are you having a hard time figuring out which method – traditional or online – works best for your business? PrimeView, a pioneering digital marketing agency in Phoenix, AZ can help determine which option is the best for your audience. Dial 480-970-4688 to speak with our strategist about improving or rebuilding your company’s marketing strategy. You may also complete our online form to receive a free quote. We look forward to hearing from you.