Digital and Traditional Marketing

What is Marketing?

Marketing refers to the process of preparing your product for the marketplace. It involves understanding who your potential customers are and what they want to get from your product or service. Colors, logo and other design elements help to align the image of your product with the interests of your target audience. It is marketing that defines your brand and attracts the market share you want.

To market your product or service, you must first study your target audience. Identify their values and needs. If you face a conservative, quality conscious demographic, develop a campaign that showcases your brand as being high end, tried and true. If, on the other hand, you are reaching out to the dynamic risk takers, use an edgier, more forward-thinking approach to develop the image of your product. Compose an easy-to-remember slogan or mission statement that communicates your brand message, and create promotional materials that reflect the tone and personality of that message.

What’s the Difference Between Digital and Traditional Marketing?

Digital marketing is an umbrella term for the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, mainly on the Internet, but also including mobile phones, display advertising, and any other digital medium.

There are a number of ways brands can use digital marketing to benefit their marketing efforts. The use of digital marketing in the digital era not only allows for brands to market their products and services but also allows for online customer support through 24/7 services to make customer feel supported and valued. The use of social media interaction allows brands to receive both positive and negative feedback from their customers as well as determining what media platforms work well for them and has become an increased advantage for brands and businesses. It is now common for consumers to post feedback online through social media sources, blogs and websites feedback on their experience with a product or brand.[18] It has become increasingly popular for businesses to utilize and encourage these conversations through their social media channels to have direct contact with the customers and manage the feedback they receive appropriately.

Word of mouth communications and peer-to-peer dialogue often have a greater effect on customers, since they are not sent directly from the company and are therefore not planned. Customers are more likely to trust other customers’ experiences.[15] It is increasingly advantageous for companies to utilize social media platforms to connect with their customers and create these dialogues and discussions. The potential reach of social media is indicated by the fact that in 2015, each month the Facebook app had more than 126 million average unique users and YouTube had over 97 million average unique users.

Ease of access

A key objective is engaging digital marketing customers and allowing them to interact with the brand through servicing and delivery of digital media. Information is easy to access at a fast rate through the use of digital communications. Users with access to the Internet can use many digital mediums, such as Facebook, YouTube, Forums, and Email etc. Through Digital communications it creates a Multi-communication channel where information can be quickly exchanged around the world by anyone without any regard to whom they are.[20] Social segregation plays no part through social mediums due to lack of face to face communication and information being wide spread instead to a selective audience. This interactive nature allows consumers create conversation in which the targeted audience is able to ask questions about the brand and get familiar with it which traditional forms of Marketing may not offer.[21]

Competitive advantage

By using Internet platforms, businesses can create competitive advantage through various means. To reach the maximum potential of digital marketing, firms use social media as its main tool to create a channel of information. Through this a business can create a system in which they are able to pinpoint behavioral patterns of clients and feedback on their needs.[22] This means of content has shown to have a larger impingement on those who have a long-standing relationship with the firm and with consumers who are relatively active social media users. Relative to this, creating a social media page will further increase relation quality between new consumers and existing consumers as well as consistent brand reinforcement therefore improving brand awareness resulting in a possible rise for consumers up the Brand Awareness Pyramid.[23] Although there may be inconstancy with product images;[24] maintaining a successful social media presence requires a business to be consistent in interactions through creating a two way feed of information; firms consider their content based on the feedback received through this channel, this is a result of the environment being dynamic due to the global nature of the internet.[21] Effective use of digital marketing can result in relatively lowered costs in relation to traditional means of marketing; Lowered external service costs, advertising costs, promotion costs, processing costs, interface design costs and control costs.[24]


Brand awareness has been proven to work with more effectiveness in countries that are high in uncertainty avoidance, also these countries that have uncertainty avoidance; social media marketing works effectively. Yet brands must be careful not to be excessive on the use of this type of marketing, as well as solely relying on it as it may have implications that could negatively harness their image. Brands that represent themselves in an anthropomorphized manner are more likely to succeed in situations where a brand is marketing to this demographic. “Since social media use can enhance the knowledge of the brand and thus decrease the uncertainty, it is possible that people with high uncertainty avoidance, such as the French, will particularly appreciate the high social media interaction with an anthropomorphized brand.” Moreover digital platform provides an ease to the brand and its customers to interact directly and exchange their motives virtually.

What is Traditional Marketing?

Traditional marketing is a rather broad category that incorporates many forms of advertising and marketing. It’s the most recognizable types of marketing, encompassing the advertisements that we see and hear every day. Most traditional marketing strategies fall under one of four categories: print, broadcast, direct mail, and telephone.

Print marketing is the oldest form of traditional marketing. Loosely defined as advertising in paper form, this strategy has been in use since ancient times, when Egyptians created sales messages and wall posters on papyrus. Today, print marketing usually refers to advertising space in newspapers, magazines, newsletters, and other printed materials intended for distribution.

  • Print: Includes advertisements in newspapers, newsletters, magazines, brochures, and other printed material for distribution
  • Broadcast: Includes radio and television commercials, as well as specialized forms like on-screen movie theater advertising
  • Direct mail: Includes fliers, postcards, brochures, letters, catalogs, and other material that is printed and mailed directly to consumers
  • Telemarketing: Includes requested calling and cold calling of consumers over the phone

Broadcast marketing includes television and radio advertisements. Radio broadcasts have been around since the 1900s, and the first commercial broadcast—a radio program supported by on-air advertisements—aired on November 2, 1920. Television, the next step in entertainment technology, was quicker to adopt advertising, with less than ten years between its inception and the first television commercial in 1941.

Direct mail marketing uses printed material like postcards, brochures, letters, catalogs, and fliers sent through postal mail to attract consumers. One of the earliest and most well-known examples of direct mail is the Sears Catalog, which was first mailed to consumers in 1888.

Finally, telephone marketing, or telemarketing, is the practice of delivering sales messages over the phone to convince consumers to buy a product or service. This form of marketing has become somewhat controversial in the modern age, with many telemarketers using aggressive sales tactics. The U.S. federal government has passed strict laws governing the use of telemarketing to combat some of these techniques.

Because it encompasses so many different strategies, nearly every company selling a product or service uses one or more types of traditional marketing as part of an overall advertising strategy. For the most part, this form of advertising depends on the company’s available marketing budget.

Mid-sized companies and large corporations are most likely to use TV commercials. Advertising on television is usually the most expensive form of marketing, with prices depending on the time slots and programming content. For example, a 30-second commercial during Super Bowl 2012 was around $3.5 million, more than $100,000 per second—and that figure doesn’t include production costs.

Bigger companies also use direct mail more often, as the design, printing, and mailing expenses can add up to substantial amounts. Mid-sized and large businesses often use all forms of traditional marketing in one way or another.

Entrepreneurs and small businesses, who may have limited marketing budgets, most often use print marketing in newspapers or newsletters to advertise to local customers. Many also place local radio advertisements. Some use direct mail, and a few may employ limited telemarketing.

While network television commercials are usually out of the budget range for smaller companies, local cable programming has made television advertising more accessible for these types of businesses, with costs running as low as $15 for a 30-second spot, plus production expenses.

How is Traditional Marketing Developed?

The strategies for developing a traditional marketing plan vary widely, according to the form of advertising used and the type of business. In some companies, particularly small businesses, the entire staff will contribute to planning and execution. Larger companies often have marketing departments dedicated to creating advertising campaigns that use traditional marketing.

The first step in developing a plan is to choose print, broadcasting, direct mail, or telemarketing. This choice depends on the budget and the marketing message conveyed. For example, a store that’s announcing a sale will use more immediate impact strategies like broadcasting or print, while a business launching a general awareness campaign might choose direct mail, which stays in consumers’ hands for a longer period of time.

For print and broadcast marketing, the business must arrange to purchase advertising space. The timing of this step depends on the lead time, or how far in advance the advertising space must be purchased. Some print media, such as wide-circulation magazines, have lead times of several weeks. For example, an advertisement in Sports Illustrated magazine must be reserved at least five weeks in advance and longer for premium placement. Other markets have shorter times, with some newspapers allowing next-day ad placement.

The development of marketing materials also varies depending on the form. Direct mail and print campaigns require graphic design and copy-writing. For telemarketing, the advertisers write a script for the sales representatives (or outsourced telemarketing company) to follow. Radio ads may be either produced and pre-recorded, or scripted and read by on-air personalities. Finally, television commercials can either be written by the marketing department and produced in-house, or contracted out to production companies.

About The Author

Travis Yates


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