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Last updated on November 23rd, 2022 at 07:48 pm

According to Statista, CMOs have been increasing budgets for digital marketing while decreasing traditional marketing budgets year over year. From Feb ’22 to Sept ’22, digital marketing spending increased by 15%, while traditional marketing spending decreased by .7%.

While COVID-19 had a large impact on digital marketing spending, the decrease in traditional marketing spending is nothing new. So, can digital marketing replace traditional marketing? First, let’s define the different forms of marketing, then discuss the pros and cons to fully know if digital will replace traditional marketing.

What Is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is promoting and selling products or services via technology, such as digital messaging and the internet. With the invention of cell phones and personal computers, people are spending more of their time online. So, with digital marketing, companies seek to show their company’s presence on online mediums. This could be through optimizing their website, paying for ads, or joining social media.

Let’s check out the different forms of digital marketing.

Forms of Digital Marketing

Here are some of the most common forms of digital marketing.

Some CRMs or marketing automation software can help integrate all forms of digital marketing.

What Is Traditional Marketing?

On the other hand, traditional marketing uses nondigital means to market to consumers. This includes physical mediums and could be through billboards, print media, word of mouth, mail, or even broadcasting.

Forms of Traditional Marketing

Here are some of the most common forms of traditional marketing.

  • Cold Calling – calling prospects
  • Print Media Advertising – newspapers, magazines
  • Billboards – near roads, shops, and airports
  • Radio Advertising – broadcasting over popular radio stations
  • Direct Mail – sending mail directly to consumers
  • TV Advertising – showing an ad on a certain channel

Digital Marketing Vs Traditional Marketing

Now that we understand digital and traditional marketing, let’s talk about the pros and cons of each.

Pros of Digital Marketing

Tends to be Less Expensive

This is because digital marketing can be highly targeted so your ads reach the right people at the right time.

Traditional marketing tends to be more expensive since your ads are usually targeting people at mass. Moreover, ad space is limited to radio shows, billboards, and newspapers. Therefore, pricing can easily increase as companies compete for space.

Easily Accessible

Any marketing person can easily start digital marketing easily. Additionally, major advertisers like Google and Facebook (parent company Meta) help marketers learn and use their platforms.

Traditional media on the other hand is not easily accessible and understandable. Marketers have to find networks, radio stations, and billboard companies to advertise with.

Easily Measurable

Digital marketing can also be easily measurable. Most advertising platforms allow you to use links to track traffic or call tracking numbers. Moreover, platforms like Google Analytics make understanding your website traffic easy to report and understand. At WolfPack, we even have a Lead Center to see all leads, categorize lead sources automatically, and track total return on investment.

Traditional media can be really difficult to track since most forms do not easily allow consumers to click or call. Instead, consumers have to recall the ad.

Fast Customer Feedback

With digital marketing, you can quickly tell if a form of advertising or marketing is getting good consumer feedback or not. Compared with traditional media, which can take time to understand if your consumer is resonating with your ads or marketing.

Constantly Improving and Changing

Due to the newfound relevance of the digital world, this space is constantly changing and improving, allowing for larger audiences to be reached. These changes also allow for new companies to push out their more seasoned competitors in the space who are not innovating their marketing strategies to keep up with the times.

Targeting a Younger Demographic

Digital marketing strategies can allow you to get your product or service in front of the next generation of buyers who consume the majority of their content online. These mediums are more relevant and relatable to these consumers who will continue to make purchases for years to come.

Pros of Traditional Marketing

Individuals Lacking an Online Presence are Not Excluded

There is still a group of people that are not online or do not trust online advertisements. Instead, this group is used to reading the newspaper, viewing mail, or seeing advertisements outdoors. This is important to keep in mind depending on the age of your target audience.

Targeting Local Cities/Areas Is Easy

Communities and cities can be easily targeted with traditional marketing through newspapers, radio, and billboards. People are continuing to spend a lot of time in their cars, driving to and from different places. Therefore, traditional marketing makes sense to reach local consumers who are in vehicles.

Companies Are Viewed As More Trustworthy

Traditional marketing is more associated with larger budgets and bigger companies. Therefore, these ads are often seen as more trustworthy since digital marketing is so easily accessible. This can help increase conversions, word of mouth, and reputation.

Traditional Marketing Is Harder To Ignore

In the digital space, consumers can mark an email as spam, block callers, use ad blockers while surfing the web, or skip advertisements. In comparison, traditional cannot be ignored since consumers have to get their mail, are listening to the radio and will see billboards while driving on roadways.

Can Digital Marketing Replace Traditional Marketing?

So, can digital marketing replace traditional marketing? While CMOs are spending more money on digital vs traditional media, the answer isn’t as simple.

Traditional marketing still has its place in today’s world with all of its pros. In fact, just having another form of marketing and reach to a consumer is seen as a positive to many marketing professionals since reaching the same consumer through different mediums helps brand recognition.

Traditional marketing is trusted by a lot of individuals, is hard to ignore, easily targets locals, and targets people when they are not on their devices.

Companies should focus a lot of their attention on digital marketing, however, traditional marketing should be used alongside digital means for overall marketing strategy effectiveness.