A busy street is packed with billboards

Traditional vs. digital marketing: To do IRL or create a URL?

Marketing is a moveable feast at its best. But digital transformation has thrown our original methods of gaining brand exposure, reach and engagement completely out of the window.

Quite frankly, it’s for the best. Today we have endless opportunities to reach a global audience at our disposal. Does that mean we should turn our backs on traditional marketing? Well, not quite.

Defining the terms

And Marketing in print

Traditional marketing is anything in the real world. So, think print, phone, and any outdoor advertising. This is the oldest form of marketing, but also a tried-and-true method of gaining exposure – especially to a local audience.

On the flipside, digital marketing is completely online. Unlike the in-person alternative, this looks more like social media, email, and influencer marketing. As a result of the ongoing digitalisation of our daily lives, online marketing has changed the game completely and given brands the opportunity to guarantee a connection with their target audience.

Context is everything

In the past, marketers have had to be very clever about traditional marketing. It can often feel like guesswork to know if your placement has hit the right spot. For example, just because you want to reach commuters, and you advertise in a train station – is your audience really receptive when they’re running late? Maybe not.

With digital marketing, the story is very different. Scrolling is a favourite pastime of ours, and we’re sure a lot of you will be the same. Just check your weekly screentime for evidence. What you do on your device says a lot about you and, as marketers, we can build a better picture to bring context-rich content to your virtual doorstep. Maybe you’ve just been looking at flights to Ibiza? Well, this cute straw bag (conveniently placed on a sun lounger) at the top of your Instagram feed is bound to pique your interest.

Investment that tracks

As marketers we’re always struggling to get the budget we so rightfully deserve. Well, digital marketing gives those decision-makers complete transparency into their investment and ROI. By using real-time analytics, marketers gain insight that would simply not be possible with traditional marketing, meaning we can maximise investment with confidence.

In addition to being far more cost effective, digital marketing enables you to track a customer’s complete lifecycle, from click to cart. This means no more head-to-heads with sales to prove that your latest marketing campaign is the reason for a 50% in sales, and not just because they were extra charming that month.

But does digital marketing mean death to creativity?

Admittedly, it can all look a bit number-heavy in the digital world. Decisions are often led by data, which means that creativity is in the wings, merely a complement to a killer digital strategy. Well, that’s how some marketers see it – could never be me! At And Marketing, we believe that cleverness and creativity go hand-in-hand. In fact, one can’t live while the other survives… From website design, to written content, right down to the buttons. Everything is not only thoroughly planned but is also engaging and fun to look at. We’re all human, after all.

Love it or hate it, the internet isn’t going anywhere…

It’s clear to see what any marketer worth their salt is hedging their bets on the digital world. Unless you’re marketing to people completely off the grid (and, if you are, we would love to know more!), then you simply can’t resist the results that online marketing will bring. What’s more, digital marketing enables you to scale your budget according to needs, so you can go without spending thousands of pounds on a billboard ad, right before a global pandemic.

But this doesn’t mean that traditional marketing is completely out of the picture, surely? Well, you might be half right. As more and more businesses make the switch to online, there’s something to be said for standing out. Think about it – we get thousands of emails a day, but when was the last time you got a letter in the post? Not just a speeding ticket, or a restaurant menu…

So, are you unsure where to begin in your digital marketing journey, or don’t think you’re maximising your budget well enough? We can help with that. At And Marketing, we have years of expertise in uniting strategy and creative together to drive results for B2B and B2C businesses across both digital and traditional media marketing. Take a look at our full scope of services, or simply get in touch to find out how we can help you.