Apr 19, 2022 BrandGen Team

Digital vs. Traditional Marketing: Not Either/Or, But Both


Marketing is an important part of every business, but what type of marketing garners the best result? While it always depends on the business, utilizing traditional and digital marketing together can create great results. However, these results vary with each approach.


What Is Traditional Marketing?

Traditional Marketing is essentially any type of marketing that is not under the umbrella of digital marketing. Some examples include prints, billboards, radio, broadcast, direct mail, phone, and newspapers. 

This type of marketing has been the most researched and used for longer (because it came first), which is why you can’t go wrong by taking this path. Furthermore, the majority of people consume some amount of traditional marketing in their daily lives. Using this type of marketing allows for great success in targeting local audiences with specific advertisements.

Traditional marketing offers ads that last longer and are less temporary than digital marketing ads, but they are also less flexible. Your target market might receive an ad in the mail and have it sit on their dining room table for a few hours or days, whereas digital ads may only occupy a few minutes on their screen. 

What Is Digital Marketing?

On the other hand, digital marketing is any type of marketing that is done online. Email marketing, PPC advertising, paid social media ads, and websites are just a few of the many forms of digital marketing. 

Ever since the creation of social media platforms, the daily use of technology has sky-rocketed in the consumer market. More and more people are searching for items they would like to purchase every day. They are inevitably exposed to online ads that may sway their decisions in their potential purchases. Using digital marketing can help you narrow in on specific markets. By doing this, you can create a larger advertisement penetration, rather than just a large reach.

While traditional marketing can be an effective way to reach local audiences, digital marketing is great for targeting global audiences at scale. Digital marketing campaigns are typically much less expensive than traditional marketing strategies. Rather than renting a space for a billboard for a hefty, fixed amount, you can reach large, focused audiences through digital ads for the same price – and be able to measure metrics and results to tweak your future campaigns. 


How Can You Use Traditional and Digital Marketing Together?

We’ve established the definitions and differences between traditional and digital marketing, but how can we use them in conjunction? There are many ways that you can get great results by using them in tandem.

First, you can obtain a greater reach by communicating to different target markets. For example, you can reach a specific geographic location by using billboards, and you can reach beyond that specific location by using digital advertising. The same goes for age groups. While traditional marketing may be successful in older demographics, digital marketing may be more successful with younger demographics.

It’s important to think about how to reach your ideal audiences through a multi-channel approach because the more you can remind them from every angle how you have an excellent solution to meet their needs, the more likely they are to purchase from you.


How can this benefit your business?

Sure! The two can work together, but is it worth it? In a word, yes. Here is a shortlist of the benefits of using both digital and traditional marketing: 

  • Reach a wider range of your audience. 
  • Gain and retain customer attention.
  • Deliver personalized experiences to your customer
  • Create a mix of passive and interactive advertising can be appealing to different customers. 

There are many different practical ways to implement both digital and traditional marketing. The best strategy will always vary for each business and target market. Here are three examples of digital and traditional combinations.

1. Television and Video Ads

Commercials have always been a useful marketing tool. Commercials can be great investments because they are great marketing on their own, but the content can be reused for digital platforms. The content created for the commercials can be repurposed for digital marketing on social media, digital streaming, or your website.

2. Magazines and Digital Content

Magazine advertisements are a great tool because they usually penetrate a niche audience. This makes it a great way to reach specific target markets and build trust with consumers. Digital ads can work in conjunction with print ads by still utilizing the magazine’s existing audience. You can look for options within that magazine’s brand, such as their social media, website, or digital editions.

3. Billboards and Geotargeting

Billboards are typically successful in reaching localized populations. Billboard advertising can reach more than 90% of the population of a given area. You can pair this high visibility with geo-targeted ads to reach potential consumers two times. The geotargeted ads also allow the consumer to interact with the ad, which they may be more inclined to do after seeing the billboard.

Sometimes you need more than just an explanation. To put some of these tactics into action, check out our interactive guide to building effective B2B campaigns.

Download the ebook: Guide to B2B Marketing Strategy: A Framework You Can Implement

Published by BrandGen Team April 19, 2022