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Should I be deploying traditional or digital marketing tactics, or both? This has been a question on many marketing professionals’ minds for the last decade. Technologies continue to evolve, and customers have gradually become more and more engaged with online contents. However, this does not mean traditional media lose its importance.

The ways that traditional and digital media work differ, and each serves its own distinctive purpose. We will lead you the advantages and drawbacks of using traditional or digital media, thereby you can choose the best tactics to employ to your marketing strategy.

Traditional Media vs Digital Media Marketing

Traditional Media are often regarded as any forms of media that is not … online – that is, more “traditional”. Media means of marketing has existed long before the age of digitalization, such as print publications, newspaper and magazines, flyers, brochures, direct mail, and billboards. Television and SMS are a little bit more controversial as it is technically digital media, however, due to its early emergence, it is generally considered under traditional media marketing spectrum.

In contrast, digital marketing is conducted using online platforms. This encompasses websites, social media, email, search engine, and PPC advertising. Digital marketing is powerful in many ways. It allows marketers to target specific audiences, create personalized experience, and most importantly, to gains insights from measurable statistics. Another distinctive advantage of digital media is the search function, in which customers are actively seeking and engaging with marketing contents, leading to higher likelihood of acquiring and consuming products and services.

Why use digital media marketing?

Digital marketing is essential for businesses today. Especially in this age of booming e-commerce, it has become routine for customers to conduct research and purchase online.

  1. Lower Cost.

Besides production and operating costs, marketing expenses must be one of the biggest financial burdens that businesses must bear. While large corporations have sufficient capital to draws up multiple marketing tactics, small enterprises or start-ups are likely to have limited ads spending. PR & marketing via digital platforms offers a more affordable alternative to traditional mediums.

Lower cost also means estimated higher return-on-investment (ROI). An effective TV advertisement generates around 300 – 500 percent ROI. However, it is very difficult to obtain such ROI and often only attainable if you invest heavily for its contents. On the contrary, it has been recorded that email marketing can result up to 4200 percent ROI, and blogging can result in 1300 percent ROI.

  1. Segmentation and Targeting

While traditional media reach mass base of audience, websites and social media allow marketers to target specific segments and curate contents accordingly to their locations, consumption habits and personal preferences.

As your marketing contents are positioned to reach a niche audience, specific targeting reduces marketing costs and increase the likelihood of sales. On the other hand, customers also find it easier and more convenient to find relevant products and services that can satisfy their specific needs.

  1. Measurements

The effectiveness of a digital campaign can be easily measured, almost in real-time. In terms of traditional media such as prints or billboards, marketers must wait until the end of the campaign to evaluate its performance.

Digital platforms allow you to track website traffic, click-through rate (CTR), bounce rate, average minutes spend, average page views, and so on. With continuous monitoring, marketers can see how their initial strategy works, evaluate, and make additional adjustment during the roll-out of the campaign.

  1. Brand Connection and Interaction

As consumers spend more portions of their time online, it is an opportunity for brands to utilize this time to establish deeper connection with their audiences. Brands can deliver meaningful stories through various channels, such as sharing helpful information on websites and social media, discussing relevant trends, and sharing user-generated contents.

It is unlikely for customers to contact brands when they read magazines, and it is even more questionable if they would call you after seeing the billboards. In contrast, with website chat-box, email, and social media, it has never been easier for customers to get in touch with brands.

  1. Reach

The essence of the Internet is that information is available and accessible regardless of geographical barriers. This means that your brands can discover new markets through audience from other regions of the world. The moment your website is activated, it can be said that you have gone global. Even if your business has yet enough capacities to sell your products or services to other areas, the massive reach of digital media can help your company raise greater brand awareness.

Why use traditional media marketing?

After reading through the advantages above, you might be wondering, why would I consider traditional means of marketing at all? It is generally more expensive, difficult to track, and would not facilitate deep brand engagement. Acknowledging that new technologies will continue to evolve and be more powerful, it does not mean that traditional media loses its importance. Here are a few reasons why you should continue to consider investing in traditional media:

  1. Locality

Yes! You could build a meaningful connection with your local customers if you curated your marketing contents specifically to their preferences. In some cases, it is even more accurate and effective to disseminates local and regional campaigns. While digital contents can be targeted, it is also visible to all audiences, which constrain some degree of uniqueness and diversity in the advertisements. Newspaper ads, local TV commercials or billboards put your company in the heart of your community, in which costumers would be perceived and valued as more organic and less corporate.

  1. Sustainability

Traditional methods of marketing are more sustainable and leave a longer impression with your audience. Because the online environment is hyper-saturated with competitors from all over the globe, you would need to provide an ongoing stream of promotional material to keep your viewer’s attention. Additionally, because consumers are overflood with new, online information daily, it is probable for them to forget about your messages or to ignore them completely if it is not relevant enough. Billboards, flyers, business cards, and brochures will last longer, therefore you don’t have to produce fresh material regularly.

  1. Credibility

This is a heavy norm when it comes to traditional media. Television and newspaper are regarded as significantly more trust-worthy than digital media. While it is more expensive, it also signifies that your brand is credible and well-established. A company can only place an ad in a magazine or a commercial on television if it has the financial means to do so. Therefore, it enhances the perception that your company is successful and stable.

Why not both?

The optimal media marketing strategy for your business is heavily dependent on your marketing goals, financial resources, and business model. Each medium would have its own pros and cons, and your strength is to uncover which medium to select so that they can balance each other and serves your customers best. While digital marketing would be something you might consider first, it is advised that you would also tackle traditional mass media when you have the financial means to do so.

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