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Traditional vs. Digital Advertising: What’s Right for Your Brand

Traditional or digital advertising; that seems to be the question on every company's mind.

Traditional vs. Digital Advertising: What’s Right for Your Brand

Posted Thursday July 21st, 2016 by in Analysis + Strategy.

Our CSO, Peter Kozodoy, is often asked about the differences between traditional marketing and digital advertising, so we wanted to take time to clarify these spheres. Usually the question is simple, asking which route is more profitable, however, the answer is never so clear cut. In order to understand why that is, with the help of Gary Doyens, Director of Media Planning, let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages.

Traditional

  • Reach
    • For decades, traditional advertising, such as print, television, radio, and direct mail, has successfully reached audiences around the globe. It’s greatest strength lies in its ability to reach a mass audience. For example, according to Nielsen and multiple marketing analysis sites, television remains one of the top leisure activities, which means that companies are able to bring their products and services to potential customers essentially in their own living rooms. Additionally, the benefits of traditional advertising include tangible products (in most cases) and the ability to tailor media spots based on market research and past experience.
  • Interaction/Customer Engagement
    • While a traditional ad is one-way communication, it can be a topic of conversation. It doesn’t have to be on the scale of a Super Bowl commercial to be discussed or shared with friends and family. Brands can also interact with their customers through coupons.
  • Measurement
    • Measuring the rate of return with traditional marketing can be accomplished by tracking new and existing customers through a database. In addition, market research using coupon codes, surveys and interviews, including asking how customers know about your company, are other effective ways of gauging your results.
  • Cost
    • Traditional advertising costs include media buys (which vary based on factors such as time and location), printing, and mailing costs.
  • Flexibility
    • Once an ad goes out, it’s out. You can pull it, but there are additional costs if you choose to redo it.

Digital

  • Reach
    • The huge benefit of digital advertising is the ability to target a very specific audience based on their digital profile. Digital media also caters to and reaches mobile customers, which is essential as over 80% of internet users have smartphones.
  • Interaction/Customer Engagement
    • Digital campaigns interact with customers on an immediate bases, encouraging two-way engagement, retaining the call to action, and reinforcing the customer’s need for instant gratification. Viewers can also easily share digital messages.
  • Measurement
    • There are numerous programs, such as Google Analytics, that allow you to gauge the effectiveness of your digital media campaign. These analytics can tell you anything from who is seeing your posts, whether they are first-time or return visitors, what sites led them to you, how long they stayed, and whether they became a customer.
  • Cost
    • Gary explains, “Digital buys are made on a CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions) basis, which is more cost effective than any other form of media.”
  • Flexibility
    • With digital advertising, you can start, end or change campaigns, creative and otherwise.This flexibility comes at little cost if any.

When it comes to choosing an advertising strategy, this is no “one size fits all” option. A successful plan comes from understanding your potential customers and how to reach them. For some products and services, traditional advertising may be best, while for others, digital is the way to go. Still there are many brands that benefit from both, and this combined path seems to be growing in popularity. To see an excellent example of a hybrid campaign, see our work with CT Sinus Center.

When you are ready to launch a brilliant advertising campaign, and want to partner with an award-winning marketing team, reach out to us at GEM, sit back and enjoy the results.


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