Traditional Vs. Digital Marketing…Which one is better for your business?

Well there can be a long debate over the topic of Traditional Vs. Digital Marketing and still it can end up without any proper conclusion. According to me the answer is ‘it depends’ and there are many factors which will determine which strategy or medium of marketing is right for your business. The factors like Customer Preferences, Size and Scale of Business, Measurable KPIs, Business Model, Competition, Resource availability, Time to reach etc. are the important ones to arrive at a decision. Let us try to analyse these factors and understand how they will influence your marketing strategy.

Customer Preferences:

Is your customer looking for your product or services on online platform? Find out its answer. If yes, then definitely you need to be with them big time.  In such scenarios your digital marketing efforts and spends definitely should take priority over traditional marketing.

Even, if customers are still not evolved on digital platforms, you need to be ready with your digital strategy and try to bring them up on this medium to interact with you. This will allow you to know your customers better and understand their preferences which will be difficult through traditional marketing efforts. Though the marketing spend on traditional mode will be higher in such cases but you should proportion some budget for digital as well.

Size and Scale of Business:

Not all businesses have the capacity to spend money on TV and Newspaper Ads, Promotion on Radio, POS branding etc. For such businesses, marketing on digital medium can be good strategy to get better returns on their spend. This holds true for any small brand competing with a big one or any new entrant in the market. Getting a good visibility, better returns on investment, faster results, customer feedback etc. are some of the benefits of Digital Marketing which can help such companies to be more competitive in the market.


                                 Conventional Vs. Digital Marketing                         


 Business Model:

Suppose you are a company in B2B space and selling your products to identified key accounts which makes up to 80% of your revenue. In such case digital marketing may not be a very attractive strategy against traditional marketing as you are already very close to your customers. You would rather do exhibitions, events, or send out customised promotional materials as part of traditional marketing. But even in such scenario, it can be a good idea to work out E-mail marketing strategy to update your customer with new products and offering and an updated website to help others know about your company. That is why nature of your industry, business operations, customer location etc. plays very important role to work out the direction of your Marketing efforts.


Imagine a scenario where someone searches for the main keyword related to your business and Google doesn’t show up your firms name on its first page. Whereas your competition shows up in every keyword searched related to the business.  70% of users will not even know that your company (unless it’s on top of the mind) operates in that particular business. This will naturally lead to more authority of your competitor on the digital platform making it a step ahead of you. Here you need to act fast and start taking digital marketing seriously, divert spend from traditional to digital and form a digital strategy in place.

Resource Availability:

Digital Marketing is a specialised domain though the concepts of Marketing remain same. You can hire an agency for this but to coordinate and guide them; you need to have people in your team who understands digital marketing. The other aspect is your content management which I prefer is better if handled internally. As a company, nobody understands your customers and industry better other than you and only you can bring this in your content. If you are a large company, then having a proper team with defined roles is always a good idea to execute digital marketing. This allows you to have better control and results are fast.

Time to reach:

If you want to target customers outside your geographic territory then achieving the same via traditional marketing will be a cumbersome and costly affair. Digital Marketing gives you the flexibility to segment and target customers of any geography, demographics, interests etc. sitting at one place. This not only increases your reach but also saves you money.

Measurable KPIs:

One of the biggest advantages with Digital Marketing is that it is measurable. It gives you lots of data and analytics that help you to know how your campaign is performing and sales conversion rate. This data is very important for any marketer to judge the performance and plan out next action plan. Now, the same thing becomes very difficult and hazy in case of traditional marketing where there is no data readily available to determine the success or failure of a promotional campaign. So, if the business environment favour to shift to Digital Marketing then it becomes very easy to determine the success criteria’s and measure the same with analytics.

There can be more factors besides mentioned above that can be considered to decide which one of Traditional vs. Digital Marketing is better for your business. I personally feel that it should always be the blend of both but the proportion can vary.

(The views mentioned here are author’s own personal view. Your comments and feedback are most most welcome 🙂 )

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