Before we answer this important question let’s first define our 2 terms digital marketing and traditional marketing. 

What Is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is referring to marketing campaigns that utilize only digital platforms e.g. search engine optimization (SEO) also known as search marketing, pay per click (PPC) which is referring to google ads and other search engines like bing and yahoo, social media marketing (SMM) this can be done on all social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn, and email marketing. 

What Is Traditional Marketing?

Traditional marketing is referring to marketing campaigns that can be physical and digital e.g. TV commercials, radio commercials, billboards, newspaper, phone books, and direct mail. 

Current Stats

In the year 2018, we noticed that $129 billion was spent on digital marketing while only $109 billion was spent on traditional methods. That is a $20 billion dollar increase! 

The behavior of the Historic Consumer

In the past, people would primarily rely on word of mouth to get referrals and as time went on people began utilizing newspapers to advertise their services which would require consumers to keep sections of the newspaper that they found interest in so later they could call when the time was right. The next phase society went through was phone books so when you needed service you didn’t call your neighbor, you instead would search through that giant phone book and find some businesses and make your calls till you found the right one. Consumers would keep business cards or a Rolodex or even keep refrigerator magnets so they could easily access a business’s phone number when they needed it.

The behavior of the Modern Consumer

In this modern age, your customer is busy and has access to technology to make their lives more convenient and efficient. When your customer needs a service they want their research to be fast so they will either reach for their phone or jump on the computer. Then they will choose a search engine such as Google, Siri, Yelp, Bing, etc. By being ranked in the top results of this search rather than the bottom it will increase your chances of receiving this prime lead.

Traditional Marketing In The Past Vs The Modern Age

  • Newspaper: In the past, people relied on newspapers as their primary source for news and updates and when they read an ad that was intriguing they would clip it and save it. However in the modern age even newspapers have gone to be digitalized while hardcopy newspapers still exist, very few people still read them and the few who do when they come across an ad they find intriguing they just make a mental note to research online when they are ready.
  • Radio: Radio has mostly stayed the same throughout the years however the consumers haven’t. Radio has changed in the fact of ad volume while in the past ads on the radio were few and now they are predominantly all you hear. In the past when consumers heard an ad on the radio they would be challenged to memorize the call to action such as the phone number or address to be able to act upon the offer. However, in the modern age, people strive very hard to not have to listen to ads either by switching the stations or by subscribing to a premium ad-free music streaming platform. Nevertheless, when they do hear an ad in this modern age they now just like newspapers just make a mental note to research online when the time is right.
  • Phonebook: Phonebooks were revolutionary when first introduced because now all of those chicken scratched notes and magnets and clutter now became clean and organized. Again in the modern age, the consumers adapted to online directories and no longer wanted to store a 10 lb book in their home. They also became tired of spending so much extra time flipping between 1,000s of pages and having to read such small print.
  • Direct Mail: Direct mail is debatably the most effective form of traditional marketing. In the past mailing was the only long-distance communication people had and every letter received was of great importance. As time went on few businesses started using mail as an advertising method and received decent results. Once again in the modern age, that too became digitalized and people were now able to communicate through email. Consumers are also flooded with junk mail that’s gets tossed without ever being opened and to make direct mail effective in the modern age you must include items in the package other than just paper to catch their attention to open it. This has made direct mailing extremely expensive in order to remain effective.
  • TV Commercials: TV is debatably the most expensive and is only effective for certain industries with specific demographics and psychographics. When a consumer watches a commercial they will mostly make another mental note to follow up with the offer online. The TV is not right for every business and the few businesses that it is right for must spend the big bucks to run a campaign.
  • Billboard: Billboards make it very hard to be effective because consumers have very little time to even notice the billboard and to read and interpret it. Billboards while being very expensive and the industry being very shady are hardly effective for most businesses. The type of businesses that benefits mostly are the local ones utilizing the billboards to direct a consumer to its location.

Digital Marketing In The Modern Age

  • Business Directories: These became the online versions of the phonebooks and each offered a way to somehow provide a prequalifying element for the businesses listed. Mostly verified reviews or some variation of qualifying business licenses or insurance. Still, many people check these sources to determine the credibility of a business.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): As the internet became more popular people started utilizing search engines like Google, MSN and Yahoo to search the internet and now in this modern age search engines have evolved to provide very specific and accurate results for consumers searches. The process to be ranked high on these search engines has become more complex than ever before while also becoming more rewarding than ever before. The modern day consumer utilizes search engines to find the answer to all of their problems and needs. They even search on google about medical problems to be able to diagnose themselves based on their online research… you know you’re guilty.
  • Pay Per Click (PPC): This is a great way to generate more leads and acts a great supplement to SEO. It tends to be a larger investment than SEO however it can provide results immediately. PPC also always you to target your consumer at a greater level.
  • Social Media Marketing (SMM): If you want to create an audience of customers then Social Media is the answer. Social media allows you to target very specific demographics and psychographics it’s kinda creepy. This is debatably the best push marketing method out there!
  • Email Marketing: Email Marketing is not dead however it has evolved. Email marketing is still used by all of the big companies and it isn’t going to go away for the next foreseeable future. 

Summary

Consumers are slowly adapting to new lifestyles and the way we market to them needs to adapt as well. Digital marketing is the new wave of marketing and it is not going anywhere for a very long time. The cost per acquisition for traditional marketing is often 5x the cost for digital marketing and it takes longer to generate. If you are resistant to digital marketing because it is new and you feel that it is complex to understand then you will be left behind by not jumping into it. If you don’t understand it enough to maximize it fully then you desperately need to partner with a professional agency like BlackStorm Design + Marketing. BlackStorm Design + Marketing can design your brand and aggressively market that brand at a fraction of the cost you would spend with traditional marketing while experiencing greater results. Submit your business info and schedule your free consultation if you are interested in growing your business.

So is digital marketing better than traditional marketing? YES!

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