Traditional Marketing vs. Digital Marketing | Which One is Better?

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Remember the days that websites looked like this?

This wasn’t too long ago, and a lot of people can definitely still remember these, but the online landscape has drastically changed in these past two decades. For businesses that have been along for the ride, it has been a crazy roller coaster in terms of marketing. The times of reserving newspaper ads for the Sunday paper have transformed into calling and faxes, which has since turned into building a digital presence. There are still those that doubt the importance of digital marketing versus the traditional marketing strategies they have used in the past: we wrote this blog for the people who are not convinced of the advantages of digital marketing as well as those who want to make sure that investing in digital marketing is the right choice.

Traditional or outbound marketing strategies include print media, broadcast media, direct mail and telemarketing. Digital marketing or inbound marketing strategies include websites, social media marketing, content marketing, internet ads and video marketing. In order to evaluate the two marketing methods, we will specifically look into the costs of each marketing type, the accessibility, and the targeting strategies. After examining both types on the same basis, we will be able to reach a conclusion on which marketing type a business would most benefit from investing in.


Businesses will argue that both types of marketing generate leads, which is true. Traditional marketing was making the cut for all the years leading up to this online revolution we are currently in. Now digital marketing offers tools that many businesses never dreamt would exist, but how much will it cost your business?

Is digital marketing or traditional marketing better for my business? West Palm Beach

In order to compare, let’s pretend we have an audience of 2,000 people we would like to reach. First let’s discuss the average costs of traditional marketing methods. For a broadcast to reach our specified audience a business would need to invest $150. The average cost of a newspaper ad for your business to reach 2,000 people is $250. A magazine would cost your business $500 and direct mail costs an average of $900 per 2,000 people. Keep in mind, other than the direct mail strategy, the other traditional marketing methods do not allow the businesses to chose a specific number of people they want to target. Instead, the businesses are given a “reach” and are charged for that reach, which is basically how many people buy the piece of traditional marketing. The goal in these strategies is get in front of as many people as possible and hopefully one of those people that see your ad and will remember you when it comes time that they need your product or service.

Now let’s look at digital marketing. Most businesses will invest in search engine optimization (SEO) and social media/internet ads. The cost to reach the same audience for SEO would be $50 and the cost for the ads would be $75. Internet marketing is half the cost of traditional marketing, but it is important to make sure that you are getting your return on investment. Good news is, digital marketing generated three times as many leads as traditional marketing, but on average cost 62% less.


Which type of marketing is better for my business? Traditional or digital marketing?

This is how many people can access your ads. Examining this factor brings to light a newer digital marketing outlet: mobile devices. 75% of Americans admit to bringing their phones with them to the bathroom and 4 out of 5 consumers use smart phones to shop. Not to mention that 1.75 billion people worldwide own a smartphone, so when we are talking about accessibility we are talking about how many people have the ability to see your marketing. With the introduction and explosion in popularity of smart phones and other mobile devices, the number of people you can access with digital marketing, especially mobile optimized digital marketing, has simultaneously exploded. Traditional marketing is accessible to consumers as well, people do listen to the radio and there are those that buy magazines, the popularity of digital devices versus these traditional outlets is not even arguable.


As mentioned earlier, the goal of an outbound strategy is to get in front of as many people as possible and hope that your perfect consumer would stumble upon your advertisement at the perfect time at which they will need your product or service. When you go to purchase a newspaper ad, they don’t ask you who your perfect consumer would be. But that is an incredibly important part of marketing. You need to know who you are marketing to in order to reach them. Maybe you’re selling jewelry and your store is in Boca Raton, FL. Who is your ideal customer? How much money are they spending? Where are they coming from?

When you go to buy that newspaper advertisement, the questions that should matter, aren’t asked, because the newspaper has no way of guaranteeing that your perfect customer will pick up that newspaper, flip to that exact page that your quarter ad is in, and need a piece of jewelry at that exact second. However, when you are doing, let’s say a Facebook Ad, the questions that should be asked, are asked and actually required! The targeting capabilities of digital marketing are the most advanced techniques available to businesses today! The goal is not to get in front of as many people as possible; it is actually to get in front of as many of your perfect customers as possible. You can tell your internet marketer exactly who your ideal customer is and they can plug in that criteria and your ad will be presented only to them!

The goal of marketing is to reach your audience and communicate a message. A lot of people forget that in order for the communication to be officially complete, there needs to be feedback that ensures that your message made it across successfully and hopefully the action being advertised was performed; whether it’s a sale, spreading awareness, etc. Businesses have found that adopting an inbound strategy saves companies an average of $20,000 and generates 54% more leads than traditional marketing. When it comes to the question of which type of marketing is better, it can be easily determined, after our analysis, that if you are a business that wants to directly target your audience and use your money in the most effective way possible, you will undoubtedly prefer digital marketing over traditional outbound marketing.

Changing your marketing strategy can be daunting, but with the right company guiding you through the process and developing strategies specific to your business, you can grow and reach your revenue goals year after year! Give us a call at 561-429-2585 or visit our internet marketing agency online for more information about the services we offer to help your business achieve new levels of growth!

With a business degree from Florida Atlantic University, Julie has years of experience advertising and marketing for several businesses including real estate brokerages and photography companies. She brings her background in writing, graphic design and communications, as well as her experience in the field, when assisting clients with their internet marketing needs. She treats every client with the upmost level of professionalism and care, ensuring everyone who works with Digital Resource has a smile throughout the process!

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