Marketing is such a key investment for any business today and it can feel like there’s a lot of pressure to get it right. Choosing between traditional and digital marketing is often viewed as one of the key decisions – which one is going to benefit your business more and which is likely to offer the best return on investment? To help you make that decision here are the most important differences between traditional and digital marketing.

Basic definitions

  • Traditional marketing is channels that are historically associated with marketing, such as ads, billboards and print media.
  • Digital marketing is the use of digital channels to achieve, receive and grow an audience, whether that is social media, websites or email.

What’s the difference?

The most obvious difference is simply the channels that you’re using for each type of marketing. If you’re using traditional marketing then the medium through which your audience is going to encounter your message is going to be different to digital marketing. It’s going to be the cover of a magazine or a TV commercial, rather than through a device like a smartphone. It’s important to note that traditional marketing doesn’t mean out of date or old fashioned marketing. There are lots of ways in which traditional marketing is creating many innovative, immersive experiences today.

Why does digital marketing have an advantage?

Because we spend a lot of time online today – and a lot of time on our devices. And digital marketing allows your brand to use every touch point of daily internet use to provide an opportunity for people to interact with your business. For example, if you sold airfares, targeting anyone searching for cheap flights online could mean they then start seeing ads for your business each time they search.

What type of marketing is the best option?

There is no straightforward answer to this. It might be that the right approach to marketing for your business is one that incorporates both traditional and digital marketing. For example, there are many TV ads that have a lot of longevity and are still regarded as some of the best pieces of advertising of their time. However, in order to reach a younger audience, most brands have no option today but to go online and invest in digital marketing. The benefits of using traditional marketing are that it can make a big impact and is easy to understand – plus, if you’re using printed materials then these tend to be more permanent and can often be more measurable. But, having said that, it’s difficult to measure the impact of a print campaign and this can be an expensive option. The benefits of digital marketing include options for targeting, as well as the ease of measuring the success of a campaign and the broad range of options that exist for engagement.

There are clear differences between traditional and digital marketing but neither is the best option – for most brands it will be a case of a balance between the two. To find out more about Iconic Digital’s award-winning digital marketing services get in contact today on 020 7100 0726.