With the ever evolving migration of focus, business, and interactions to the online world, it can be difficult to select the right marketing avenues as you scale your advertising budget up. News and business sites are increasingly focused on the overnight success stories that certain organizations or influencers are able to accomplish, seemingly overnight, thanks to organic engagement and connections in the digital space. 

Yet, more traditional, non-digital marketing can generate consistent levels of revenue, depending on the industry in question. So, which strategy, digital or traditional (or maybe a combination of the two), will help your business maximize its revenue potential? Let’s dive right in and compare the two to see which type of marketing strategy will work best for you in 2022: 

What is Digital Marketing?   

Digital marketing can take many forms, but the commonality among them is that this type of marketing is accomplished through the internet or other electronic communication networks - whether it takes the form of direct communications to an existing contact list or non-direct advertisements. 

Digital marketing includes the following:

  • Email Marketing
  • Online Content Marketing
  • Website Marketing
  • SMS Marketing 
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 
  • Social Media Marketing 
  • Social Media Ads 
  • Display Advertising

Direct communications are things like email, text message, or social media interactions, and non-direct interactions can be things like website marketing, search engine optimization, certain forms of social media marketing, and display advertising. Non-direct digital marketing can reach audiences by paid placement through social media advertising channels or well-known sites such as Google Ads where the ads are presented to people based on their consistent activity. 

Certain forms of digital advertising, such as social media marketing and online content marketing can rely specifically on creating organic content such as written blogs, advice videos, and/or social media posts to drive interactions for your business. This can be seen as one of the strengths associated with digital marketing, as you’re able to create the content yourself without incurring additional costs. Fluctuations in popularity and the establishment of new competing social media networks are factors to keep in mind when considering a social media marketing strategy. Learn more about social media projections here.  

Other forms of online marketing require a more traditional marketing approach like creating advertising assets and copy (written content) to pique interest in specific services or products that you offer. Paid placement is usually necessary to distribute these assets and it may be necessary to iterate on/update your content until you begin to observe the level of engagement you are striving for. 

What is Traditional Marketing? 

Contrasting with digital marketing is traditional marketing - traditional marketing takes the form of physical print advertisements, such as ads in magazines, newspapers, buses, billboards, direct mailers, cold calling/telemarketing, and in person networking. Traditional marketing has existed since the conception of business and there have been many evolutions corresponding with technological advancements. 

Traditional marketing was long seen as a cornerstone of business growth and new business acquisition - with the advent of digital marketing, this is no longer necessarily the case. However, traditional marketing can still have a lasting impact and tangible effect on business operations, and there are certain demographics that can only be accessed through traditional marketing. 

Like with all business processes, traditional marketing and the avenues which net the best results will likely depend on your specific business and value proposition when marketing. Take the real estate industry, for example, where there are many different opportunities for a real estate agent to grow their book of business through traditional advertising means. This video featuring Southern California real estate agent Heron Suarez shares more information on the process professionals in that industry can observe to best identify the traditional marketing techniques that should be pursued. 

Digital vs. Traditional Marketing

When comparing the viability of a digital, traditional, or hybrid marketing strategy, your value proposition, client base, and existing client acquisition methods are all factors that you should take into consideration. To simplify your selection process for advertising campaigns, it may be helpful to review the ways that existing clients (especially your ideal clients) became your clients in the first place. 

Establishing a preferred client profile and understanding the pros and cons of the different marketing channels available to you will provide you with actionable insights. Attempting multiple different pilot campaigns for your advertising can also help you identify viable strategies - though you must take into account that some strategies may not produce results right away. Overall, digital marketing can be seen as less costly and more oriented toward direct interactions with your consumer base, whereas traditional marketing has been long established, more difficult to track, and can allow you to target a more general subset of the population. Interested in learning more about getting ahead in advertising in 2022? The SetAds blog is perfect to help you gain additional insights.  


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