Why Traditional Marketing Is Dead

Dive into the debate of digital marketing vs traditional marketing and discover which approach is right for your business!

Marketing is the keystone for the success of any business. Without the ability to reach out to people who may later become clients or customers, and without general visibility in the marketplace that your brand operates in, you’re destined to fail.

For that reason, marketing strategies vary greatly, helping businesses with all kinds of target audiences find the most effective way to reach people who may be interested in purchasing their services.

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Digital marketing is more relevant and important than ever, with more people at home on their computers owing to COVID lockdowns and to the fact that the Internet powers more businesses than ever before.

Let’s find out

What Is Traditional Marketing?

All marketing techniques before digital marketing are considered traditional marketing. Traditional marketing is any form of marketing that reaches an audience through offline media. Advertisements in newspapers and other print media are examples of traditional marketing, as are billboards, mail advertisements, and radio and television ads.

Is Traditional Marketing Dead?

At the end of the day, traditional marketing and media are not dead. These mediums continue to play an integral role in a comprehensive marketing plan. While the process of media buying continues to evolve with emerging technologies, leveraging all forms of both digital and traditional media channels will set you up for the best chances of success.

So, is traditional marketing still effective then?

The answer, in simple terms, is yes. No matter the fantastic results promised by social media, viral marketing, or stealth advertising, there is still a vital role traditional media and marketing can play in many business strategies. Traditional media can often be used in tandem with more modern, streamlined digital marketing campaigns. There are key benefits of digital marketing, but let’s take a look at the differences between the two approaches.

What Are the Most Important Differences between Traditional and Digital Marketing?

Traditional marketing strategies are any kind of advertising method that doesn’t involve the internet or digital media. The primary difference between digital and traditional marketing is that digital methods reach people through their smartphones, computers, tablets, or various other screens.

On the flip side, traditional marketing reaches customers through printed means, whether that’s an advertisement in a magazine or a newspaper, or even a large billboard. These are tried and tested ways of advertising your products and brand to as many people as possible and still form a big part of many small and large companies’ brand strategies. Go to any city and take note of just how many billboards and free newspapers you come across during that day.

That doesn’t mean, however, that your business can rely solely on traditional advertising. As more people use their smartphones and computers to work from home or even just buy products that they may have previously purchased from stores and supermarkets, digital marketing is proving more important than ever for large brands as well as small and medium-sized enterprises.

Data-driven digital marketing is, in many ways, similar to traditional marketing. Where it varies the most, however, is its ability to immediately connect and interact with people viewing the advertising content. For instance, with a traditional billboard or newspaper marketing campaign, businesses require viewers to be so intrigued by what they have seen to take an additional step to begin interacting with their brand.

If a billboard or newspaper ad is promoting an event, a person needs to stop, take note of the date and details on their phone or commit the information to memory, and then remember to attend at a later date. If a new product has been released, individuals viewing the ad must remember that they like the product and purchase it later.

Digital marketing makes taking that next step much easier for businesses. If somebody experiences an ad on their phone, all it takes is a click to find out more or even make a purchase. Tickets can be purchased within seconds of an event being advertised online, products can be pre-ordered within seconds, and information can be saved for a later date — all on one device.

Traditional marketing advertises products in largely the same way as digital, save the ability to display video. But the biggest difference is a greater ability to connect with audiences either directly or indirectly.

Still have questions? Get expert Guidance from Comrade Digital Marketing Agency! Schedule a free consultation.

Can Digital Marketing Replace Traditional Marketing?

Digital marketing is simply the next generation of traditional marketing, whereas traditional channels have been digitized. For instance, instead of utilizing physical posters on a bus stop, we now have digital displays on bus stops or banners on websites and social media platforms. Instead of paying for commercial airtime during a television program, we now pay for ads on websites and platforms like YouTube.

Comparing Marketing Tools

Still not sure? Let’s take a look at some of the most common traditional marketing and digital marketing agency tools.

Comparing Marketing Tools

Traditional Marketing Tools

For some people, it’s easy to remember the days before the Internet. But for many young adults, the internet and digital media were a key part of their childhood and education. It just goes to show how embedded digital media and technology are in our lives.

Before smartphones and 3G connectivity, which enabled people to view digital media easily on the go, traditional marketing dominated.

The most popular traditional methods include:

  • Newspaper advertisements.
  • Magazine advertisements.
  • Paper or digital billboards.
  • TV advertisement spots.
  • Radio advertisements.

Any form of advertising you saw that didn’t require internet connectivity, a phone, or a laptop, constitutes traditional marketing. And, while some of these things have changed slightly (TV is now online for many people!), the methods still stand strong.

Traditional advertising isn’t disappearing any time soon, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t improved.

What Are the Advantages of Traditional Marketing?

  • A more tangible, permanent feel with which your prospects can connect.
  • Builds rapport with customers or clients.
  • Bolsters brand recognition and loyalty.
  • Appeals to every demographic, including those not reached by digital channels.

Digital Marketing Tools

Digital marketing tools vary quite substantially, and unlike the traditional methods you already know about, they require a little context for many people to understand. We’ll list some popular digital marketing tools below and describe briefly how they work.

Content Marketing and SEO

Content marketing focuses on the distribution of content, whether that’s an article, a video, imagery, or otherwise. It’s a way of reaching people through popular content that they find interesting.

With text content, SEO comes into play. That means “Search Engine Optimization,” and it involves the clever use of keywords (and other things!) to ensure search engines like Google and Bing can direct people to your site when they do relevant searches.

Pay-per-Click Advertising (PPC)

Pay-per-click advertising charges a marketer every time a person clicks on the ad. It means you only pay for online ads that result in a person viewing your website.

Social Media

Social media marketing is similar to content marketing in that it uses social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, to help distribute your content or products. Clothes brands will share photos of models wearing their latest range on social media, whereas tech companies might publish video reviews of their products. It can also include paid advertisements that target specific audiences on those social media platforms.

Email Marketing

As digital campaigns go, email marketing is one of the earliest forms and still one of the most popular. Email marketing campaigns involve the legal collection of customer data and then using that data (including email addresses) to send personalized or targeted content that encourages them to engage with your brand.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing involves letting other people market our product to their audience, and means they get a cut of each sale. It’s a great way of passing off (some!) of the hard work to other people who believe they can sell your product.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, and each one of these forms of digital marketing can be adapted for different audiences. They allow you to finetune your approach, reaching people who are most likely to be interested in your brand, products, or services. These methods can take advantage of various kinds of digital media, including photo, video, and audio, and can work together when implemented by a team of digital marketing experts.

When you’re supported by a team of digital marketing experts who know what they’re doing, your digital marketing campaign will be multi-faceted, efficient, and super effective.

What Is the Difference Between Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing?

Digital marketing leverages both online and offline digital channels to reach your target audience, whereas social media marketing is limited to social media channels including TikTok, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.

Digital Marketing Tools vs Traditional Tools: What Is Better?

While traditional and digital marketing both have their strengths, simply looking at the benefits and disadvantages of each kind of advertising campaign shows exactly why businesses are investing more time and money into digital marketing than ever.

Traditional and Digital Marketing Pros Cons

Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing: What Is Better?

If you are faced with the challenge — either due to budget, time, or industry — to choose only one channel for marketing, then we recommend relying on digital marketing as the overall best option for most businesses.

However, there is still a place for traditional marketing, depending on your target market and industry. If you wish to reach a more mature or local audience, traditional marketing methods may, in fact, be more productive for your unique business.

Digital marketing has some key benefits over traditional marketing, and we’ll explore why it’s probably the most important thing your business can invest in right now. First, though, it’s important your business invests in the right people to help you implement a digital campaign that works. Digital marketing is proven to reach more people and increase interaction with potential new customers, but if implemented incorrectly, it costs more than it should and doesn’t deliver the results your business needs.

For this reason, our team at Comrade Digital Marketing Agency works with brands from all over the country, implementing highly customized and targeted digital marketing campaigns that work. We’re competitively priced, too, helping ensure your business can afford to implement a web marketing strategy that works for you.

We think that’s important not just because digital marketing has already proved to be more effective than traditional campaigns but because of how the digital landscape has changed from the beginning of 2020.

Following COVID lockdowns, average smartphone usage increased by roughly one hour per day in the United States, according to a report by Ericsson Mobility. The report said that smartphone subscriptions are expected to rise from 5.5 billion to 7.5 billion in 2025 and that 5G connectivity will represent 74% of mobile subscriptions in America. That’s a lot of people using their phones.

App usage increased, too. App intelligence company App Annie recorded that the amount of time spent using smartphone apps increased by 40% during the lockdown.

That’s huge. More people than ever are interacting with their smartphones in ways they never have before. Social media usage has increased, along with the consumption of popular media. That presents a huge opportunity for your business to reach new people and even target those searching for products and services online that they may have traditionally accessed through retail stores and other traditional means.

If you want to take advantage of this new online economy, our team at Comrade is ready to help you right away. Give us a call on (312) 265-0580 or get in touch online today and we’ll walk you through your options and come up with a customized plan that will grow your sales, reach, and brand awareness.

Should I Choose Traditional or Digital Marketing Tools?

That’s the big question, right? Choosing between traditional or digital marketing tools when setting up a new advertising campaign might seem tough, but if you frame it the right way, then the choice is simple.

Ask yourself… does your audience use the internet?

If your audience consists solely of people who do not use smartphones, do not use computers, tablets, or social media, or don’t interact with digital media at all in their everyday life, then perhaps traditional media is the best option for you.

However, if your audience is much like the average American, digital marketing campaigns offer so many new possibilities for your business. Through targeted campaigns on social media and websites, through effective Google search ranking and SEO efforts, and by implementing a content strategy that pulls people in, you can generate new customers globally.

If you want to reach more people than ever, expand your business, and spend less money on campaigns that do more, then we think digital media is perfect for you.

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Let’s Get Digital!

Ready to take the plunge and go digital? The first step is understanding the marketing options available to you, how they work, and what’s right for your business. It might seem daunting, but with a team of experts on your side, everything is possible.

At Comrade Digital Marketing, we have specialists who operate in every space of the digital marketing landscape. Whether you need a new website and online store to expand your reach, or you’re looking for a social media marketing whizz, we’re here to help.

For a consultation and full, complimentary marketing audit, or just to get some questions answered, don’t hesitate to give us a call on (312) 265-0580 or get in touch online today.

We can’t wait to hear from you and help you build your brand!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is digital marketing better than traditional marketing?

Like everything, both digital and traditional marketing have their pros and cons. Traditional marketing practices don't allow you to engage directly with your customers. In contrast, digital marketing opens a wide door for communication via a range of tools, which is of great importance for building brand awareness and long-lasting relationships with customers.

Can digital marketing replace traditional marketing?

While building your brand awareness happens to be one of the key business priorities and can be most effectively done through digital marketing efforts, traditional marketing is still in the game. Digital marketing has taken a large portion of the market, but it will not replace traditional marketing entirely.

What are the advantages of digital marketing over traditional marketing?

The key advantage of digital marketing over traditional marketing is that it allows you to reach out to your target audience in a cost-effective and measurable way. Digital marketing also gives you the opportunity to increase your brand loyalty and drive online sales.

In what cities do you operate?

"Comrade originates in Chicago, but we worked all around the United States. We can help your business grow and increase revenue whenever you are. We have offices across most major cities in the US. For example, we can offer digital marketing services in Milwaukee or Dallas. You can even find our internet marketing experts in San Diego! If you want to know more about our Columbus digital marketing agency or find out how exactly we can help you, contact us via the phone or email. "

About the Author
Ivan Vislavskiy is Comrade Digital Marketing’s co-founder and fearless leader, spearheading the agency’s production department.
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Ivan Vislavskiy

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