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Digital Marketing Trumps Traditional Advertising

There’s no denying that we live in a digital age. We are constantly connected to the internet whether it’s via our smartphones, on a computer, or while watching Netflix on our television. So, of course, marketers have taken advantage of our obsession and turned online marketing into a billion dollar a year industry. Digital marketing has become so ingrained into our lives that we hardly noticed when we are being marketed to. Digital marketing has become so big, in fact, that it has become the face of marketing. Traditional marketing is out and digital marketing is the new normal. 

In this blog, we have outlined 5 reasons why traditional advertising is old news and why digital marketing is a better place to put your marketing dollars. But first, here are some examples of each type of marketing:

Digital Marketing: websites, content marketing, social media, blogging, pay-per-click advertising, search engine optimization, email. 

Traditional Marketing: billboards, newspaper, Yellow Pages, magazines, television, direct mail, radio. 

Why is digital marketing better? 

Digital marketing is more cost effective. As you probably know, print advertisements, radio spots, and television spots are extremely expensive. To make it effective, you will easily spend thousands of dollars for any one of these forms of advertising. As you can see from the chart below (from Nuanced Media), digital marketing costs substantially less than traditional marketing to reach 1000 viewers. With digital, you also have the ability to tweak your ad mid-campaign in order to make it more effective and engaging. With traditional, once it’s in the magazine or on the billboard, you can’t change it. 

Here’s another fact: content marketing generates 3 times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing but it costs 62% less, according to Demand Metric.

Digital marketing is targeted. Digital marketing is like a sniper rifle while traditional advertising is like casting a drag net into the get some fish but you also get some time-wasting, resource-sucking junk. If you create a television advertisement on the local news channel, everyone who is watching that channel sees the ad: young, old, male, female, parents, teenagers, etc. Every demographic will see the ad but not every demographic is your target you end up wasting a lot of money. 

Imagine you are a general contractor who wants to target homeowners. Well, that’s a very specific demographic. You want adults that live in your area who own a home and who are probably in a certain income bracket. You might be able to do this with some forms of traditional marketing (such as direct mail or magazines) but with television, radio, billboards, and newspaper, this is made much more difficult. With digital marketing, however, advanced technology allows you to specifically target certain demographics. If you want to get as specific as women who live in Amarillo, Texas, age 20-30, who are getting married and who have a college education, you can. 

Digital marketing is measurable. With billboards, yellow page ads, television, and other forms of traditional advertising, the only way to know if they are effective is to ask every single customer how they heard about you. Other than that, there is no data and there are no tools to understand an ad's effectiveness. Digital marketers, however, have countless tools available. They can track conversions, clicks, impressions, engagement, and most importantly - the exact return on the investment. This can all be done automatically. 

Digital marketing reaches further. If you own a business that serves both customers near and far, you have no choice but to utilize digital marketing. For example, if you are a boutique hotel located in a tourist town, you will want prospective customers that are traveling to that city to find you. The best place for them to do that (and to book with you before they arrive in town) is to have a website and have it strongly optimized for search engines so that when they type “hotel in Steamboat Springs CO” you come up first in Google. A billboard won’t help you, a local television ad won’t do any good, and a newspaper ad won’t go far. 

Digital marketing is what consumers want. According to, 70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company through articles instead of ads. Most of the world is connected to the internet and much of the time, they are connected via a mobile device. If you don’t have an online presence (website, social media, blog) that can be accessed easily on mobile, you are slipping right through the hands of potential customers. It’s not just millennials anymore that are searching, finding, and buying online. It’s everyone. 

To get started creating your online presence or to revitalize your current digital marketing efforts, please fill out the form to the right of this blog.

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