The Traditional vs Digital Marketing Smackdown: What Works Better?

The Traditional vs Digital Marketing Smackdown: What Works Better?

Two marketers walk into a bar.

 

 

 

They both share a cold one over warm chats about the projects their agencies are currently creating.

 

One marketer works for a traditional advertising agency. Their work centers around TV ads, roadside billboards and ad placement in high traffic areas. She’s all about making brands seem larger than life on seemingly larger than life platforms. The other works in digital, she covers everything from social to PPC. She’s heavy on data driven results and knows Google analytics like the back of her hand. They both seem to be getting along just fine, after all, marketing is marketing, right?? That is, until they start talking about calculating results and other minutiae. Then, things start to get UGLY.

 

 

 

Traditional Marketing

The traditional marketer’s main focus is very much like that of the digital marketer. They’re concerned with educating the public on the benefits that their products/services provide and implore them to make a move in their favor. This “move” is usually a sale, but depending on the campaign objectives, this could be to simply create awareness of a brand.

The new age of traditional marketing has seen some amazing achievements. The popular redux of the traditional poster would be the hand-painted mural. Professional mural painting agencies are being engaged with on a massive scale, being asked to paint product-based wall art in public spaces.

 

The Jägermeister stag in all its glory…but is it making sales?

 

These works of art are stunning pieces that are becoming extremely popular amongst millennials, all of whom are keen to snap their next Instagram posts next to these bespoke behemoths. But how can we know that a giant mural of a product is translating to product sales? Herein lies one of the biggest issues in traditional marketing. Something less inherent in digital marketing.

 

Digital Marketing

As mentioned, calculating the ROI of product murals can be tricky, but so is brand awareness in general. However, though it may not be easily quantifiable, you should have a brand awareness strategy in place. It’s kind of like having insurance, but the odds sit even more in your favor.

However, this is why the digital marketer is absolutely bewildered by the practices of the traditional marketer. While the traditional marketer will undoubtedly experience success for their efforts, they won’t be able to accurately quantify their output in order to determine what’s really working and then next steps to take. To the digital marketer, traditional marketing may feel more like a shot in the dark.

Digital marketing however allows for a comprehensive and identifiable trail of customer behavior, perfect for studying the performance of ads and their success rate. Analytics allows digital marketers to identify the journey of their customers leading to a sale, allowing them to tweak optimization in lieu of newly discovered data. Every move is taken according to real results and data, making digital a lot more “grounded in reality”. Traditional marketing is extremely powerful but it’s much harder to determine if you’re really getting a solid ROI for your efforts.

 

When it comes to statistics, “reach” and “cost” are your buddies

Reach

Shall we take a look at some digital marketing vs traditional marketing statistics?

We’ve seen that both marketing avenues can be powerful when properly implemented, but unlike traditional marketing that relies on viewers to be physically present at the scene of the “ad” so to speak, digital boasts a larger reach compared to its counterpart. After all, mobile users are expected to pass the 5 billion mark this year, while 79% of people online use Facebook and similar apps on a regular basis. (Pew Research Center, 2016) That’s a very large audience businesses can tap into.

Digital has the power to bring your “online billboards” to your target audience, rather than vying for the costly spots the public physically travel to.Not only that, but online ads are much more flexible. You can optimize your reach and get your ads to your target audience, improving your chances of overall success as you’ll be reaching people who’d be most interested in your offer.

Keen to promote your ecommerce fashion label to millennials? As of January 2018, the age group with the most Instagram users worldwide is 18-24, followed by 25-34-year-olds. (Statista, 2018).Promote in all the right places for your audience. Doing one channel well is better than doing lots of channels badly.

 

 

Wanting to showcase your B2B services to corporate head honchos? LinkedIn stats show 40% of members visit the professional social network each day. (Omnicore Agency, 2018). This kind of targeting is a powerful tool that doesn’t really exist with traditional marketing. Digital allows for more control over where your ads go and who sees them, narrowing your field of attack and improving your chances of success.

 

Cost

With that in mind, the costs between the two methods can be a deal breaker depending on your marketing ambitions. Product mural art can be an absolute game changer in getting brand awareness online. The medium is after all created in mind for people who would be keen to snap a pic and post it. Hopefully this generic piece will be shared and engaged as many people who like it enough to capture it. After all, this is fun and dynamic.

Digital, however, costs significantly less and allows for better reach. While the return on ad spend (ROAS) will vary according to the platform you use and the audience your target, proper targeting with a specialist’s hand and a refined strategy will generally cost you less and provide a better ROI than a large traditional billboard that may been seen by lots of people but not correlate to a sale.

 

 

Of course, different factors will need to be considered according to each circumstance but generally, advertising online is cheaper than traditional marketing IF DONE WELL.

 

Overcoming roadblocks in digital

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that research shows that 91% consumers feel digital marketing has become a lot more aggressive in past years. An ad blocker like “Adblocker Plus” has achieved 300 million downloads worldwide, the sentiment being that people feel ads are intrusive and rather irritating (HubSpot 2016).

However, not all hope is lost! 77% of said they’d prefer to have an ad filter in place, rather than completely block an ad (HubSpot 2016). You’ll need to keep this in mind if you’re leaning towards a digital campaign. Having a carefully thought out and engaging strategy is more important than ever…

 

World’s Collide

In the wise words of the quintessentially English proto-bubble-gum-pop group from the turn of the 20th century, amazing things can happen…

 

 

Here’s where we believe the future lies. While digital ads are becoming the norm due to the permeation of “the internet of all things”. There is a sense of lethargy coming from the public who are feeling a little jaded from being constantly bombarded and ‘sold to’ via ads.

Here’s where companies like Spotify and Australian mattress company Koala are changing the game to fight this fatigue. Not only are they pushing their digital ads but they’re mixing their strategy up with a serving of traditional ads that supplement their online presence. Spotify achieved a similar result. While their content is largely online, being a streaming service, they paired their data with traditional marketing, showcasing a series of humorous billboard ads that satirized customer listening habits. Here were our favorites.

 

Spotify ads gently taking the p*** out of their customers’ favorite playlists.

 

With this case study, we can see how dynamic campaigns are being created both online and offline to mix things up for consumers, and it’s working!

(For more crossovers and content killers, check out our sister agency’s blog here)

 

Shall we fine-tune your digital strategy?

While both traditional and digital marketing techniques can be wielded as powerful weapons from your advertising arsenal, the key to success is developing a strategy that’ll suit your goals. There is no “one size fits all” technique that’ll reap results. You’ll need to curate something special based on real data. Both avenues can and should be considered, but as a whole, your digital campaigns will need a little more fine-tuning and can still thrive without traditional ads.

Get in touch with our team of specialists for a free audit of your existing work. We’ll help you identify room for growth and help you develop a strategy that’ll help your marketing go through the ROOF!