Internet Marketing vs. Traditional Advertising: What Are the Benefits of Each?
In an ideal situation, you shouldn’t have to choose between traditional advertising and internet marketing, because both come with their own unique set of benefits. However, most small or even medium-sized businesses’ budgets are not big enough to include all aspects of both, which means they often have to make a choice. But, in order to do that, they need to know their target audience and their preferences, and they need to know what each type of marketing brings to the table. That way, you will be able to decide which type of marketing will work best for your business.
We all know that digital marketing is all the rage nowadays and has been for quite some time now, but traditional marketing is still going strong because you cannot really reach your audience through digital means alone. Before we proceed to lists the benefits of each type of marketing, let’s take a look at which marketing methods and channels are considered traditional advertising, and which ones belong to the digital age.
Internet Marketing vs Traditional Advertising
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What Is Considered Traditional Advertising
According to research, total media ad spending in the US for traditional marketing is projected to hover around the $100 billion mark between 2018 and 2023, while the expenses for digital marketing are set to grow steadily. That is still a pretty big number, which shows that traditional marketing isn’t going away any time soon. What do we mean by traditional marketing and advertising? Let’s take a look:
- Print – this is probably the first thing you think of and it includes ads placed in newspapers, magazines, newsletters, brochures, leaflets and pretty much anything printed which can be distributed to a large number of people.
- Broadcast – although television is the predominant medium for this type of traditional marketing, we cannot forget about radio. Also, a small percentage belongs to on-screen ads which are shown in theaters before movie screenings.
- Direct mail – brochures, catalogs, letters, postcards, and other materials that arrive to your mailbox. Unlike print and broadcast ads, these are more targeted since they are based on the consumer demographic data, as well as their shopping habits.
- Telemarketing – arguably, the most annoying form of traditional marketing. It involves making cold calls to targeted consumers, as well as sending out SMS messages (unsolicited).
- Outdoor – billboards, fliers, and other materials that are displayed and distributed on the streets.
The Benefits of Traditional Advertising
While digital marketing is definitely faster when it comes to reaching people, traditional advertising still has plenty of things going for it:
- Larger Exposure
Even though you might think that most of your target audience, whether for assignment help or clothing, is online, that is probably not true, especially if you are addressing an older generation of potential customers who don’t go online or aren’t really tech-savvy. In that case, relying on some of the traditional methods of marketing can help you expand your brand’s exposure, and reach those people who don’t have internet access.
- Reaching Local Customers More Easily
If you are trying to reach a local audience, placing an ad on your local radio might produce some great results. It’s easy to produce and it can reach people in no time. The same goes for your local TV stations, if any, as well as newspapers. Of course, handing out fliers or putting up a billboard also works like a charm in smaller communities.
- Materials Can Be Reused
If your promotional materials, such as pamphlets, posters, or fliers aren’t tied to any particular limited offer, you can save them and reuse them at a later time. For example, if your sporting goods store has a 20% sale on everything, you can reuse the same poster from the last time you held a 20% sale. You can pretty much do the same with all the fliers you haven’t distributed the first time around.
- Audiences Are Familiar with it
Unlike digital marketing, which can take on countless different shapes, traditional advertising methods are something that all people are familiar with. They understand that, if they are given a pamphlet or a brochure, it’s about promoting a particular service or product. Again, traditional marketing is equally accessible for both younger and older generations.
- Hard Copy Is Easier to Recall
According to research, printed materials are easier for our brains to process, as well as to recall. Also, there is something to be said about the tactile experience, which is missing in the case of digital marketing. In other words, participants have stated that they were more inclined to remember printed ads as opposed to the same ads in digital form. That’s good news for all companies which still rely on traditional forms of marketing.
What Is Considered Internet Marketing
Internet marketing, just like its name says, is any kind of advertising that takes place online. Some of the most popular types of internet marketing are:
- Content marketing – blog posts, videos, podcasts, case studies, white papers, infographics, ebooks.
- SEO – relevant keywords, on-page optimization, title tags, meta descriptions, loading speed, quality backlinks.
- PPC Advertising – paid ads.
- Affiliate marketing – placing a link to another business, and receiving a commission for the traffic generated.
- Email marketing – simply put, it is using email to promote your products or services.
- Influencer marketing – collaborating with influencers in order to provide social proof.
Internet marketing also includes methods such as SEM, SMM, and online radio, among others.
The Benefits of Internet Marketing
Reaching the right customers at the right time is the very essence of marketing, and digital marketing is perfect for that. Some of the most apparent benefits of internet marketing include:
- It’s Cheap
Although businesses shouldn’t have to choose between digital and traditional marketing, small web-based businesses, such as writing services, often have to. Digital marketing enables businesses, as well as individuals, to reach a large audience with fairly limited funds. For example, it is pretty easy to create content for your blog or to find freelance writers to do that for you at an affordable rate. The same goes for design, SEO, and email marketing. Also, you can easily scale your marketing campaign and speed up some of the processes using marketing automation tools.
- It’s Measurable
When it comes to traditional advertising, it is pretty much impossible to determine right away which approach has worked, even if you have experienced a significant uptick in sales. With digital marketing, however, it is possible to measure just about every single activity, as well as an entire campaign, and to see the results almost immediately. This is possible thanks to a variety of analytics tools that are available, such as Google Analytics, which can measure any kind of KPI, such as traffic, bounce rate, as well as the performance of your ads on Google search. In addition to that, there are also heat maps, which enable you to determine how your followers are interacting with your blog or website, and email marketing software that tracks how many of your emails have been delivered and read.
- Better Targeting
This is arguably one of the biggest differences between traditional and digital marketing. Whereas traditional marketing relies on reaching as many people as possible, digital marketing, thanks to the wealth of data, allows businesses to gauge user preferences and reach those which have the highest chance of converting. For example, if you have an eCommerce store, you can easily reach out to potential or existing customers based on the contents of their cart. If they have abandoned it, you can send an abandonment email, or let them know when one of those particular items is on sale. Also, you can use the contents of the cart in order to show them ads for complementary products.
- It’s Global
The internet has made the world a lot smaller, and that goes double when it comes to digital marketing. Your target audience or customers may reside anywhere in the world because you are no longer limited to your local community. Using traditional marketing, it would be almost impossible to advertise your products in the US when your business is located somewhere in Asia. That limitation does not exist online, as long as your campaign is well thought-out.
- It’s Easier to Share
One of the biggest advantages of digital marketing is the ease with which you can share your marketing materials, such as articles, social media posts, videos, emails, and newsletters. It takes the same amount of effort and resources to share your campaign with millions of people as it does to share it with only a handful of people, especially on social media platforms and YouTube.
As you can see, both digital and traditional marketing has a ton of pros and cons. For smaller businesses, digital marketing represents the perfect opportunity to build their brand and increase their exposure online, while not burning through their marketing budget. Once you are able to spend more money on marketing, you should also look into traditional marketing, because it is still as relevant as it ever was, plus it allows you to reach an older audience.