There’s something really evocative about TV advertising. Think about some of the great adverts we’ve seen over the years. They send a powerful message and stay with you. However, eMarketing forecasts that digital marketing is set to eclipse traditional marketing for the first time this year. So, is there still a place for TV advertising? Or, is it just like when video killed the radio star? Let’s take a look at digital marketing vs traditional marketing.

TV or Not TV?

Guinness Surfer
Levi’s Spaceman
Playstation’s Alien

We all have favourite adverts. And while there’s still a lingering sense of nostalgia with TV advertising, can you actually remember the last time you noticed a print advert?

We’ve become attuned to ignoring the bombardment of marketing. We fast forward TV ads. Junk mail hits our recycling bins quicker than the pizza they’re advertising arrives. Why? Because it’s not targeted to you. The only factor that connects all the people receiving junk mail, print ads, or TV campaigns is that they’re human.

Digital marketing is a different beast. We can analyse data that tells us the basics: age range, gender, location. But we can also dig deeper and build up a picture of who you are, not just your statistics.

And, don’t we all want to feel like more than just a number?

Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing

Before we can consider answers to the question, “who will win in digital marketing vs traditional marketing?” we need to compare the two methods. It’s fair to say, we no longer completely rely on traditional marketing methods to learn about products. We just need to ask Alexa, Cortana, or Google. They’ll happily deliver results instantly.

This ease of access has led to an evolution in our behaviour. Say, for instance, we’re looking for a specific item or service. We’re more likely to research reviews online, ask our social media friends, and look at ratings, rather than instantly trust marketing materials. We’re not just doing it at home either. 82% of people will research on their smartphone before making a purchase in-store. The simple fact is, your customers are online. And if you’re not, they’re going to move on to the next business and forget you.

Consumers have more power than ever. They can now control, not only what information they receive, but also how they receive it.

Demand and Demand

With our preference for on-demand TV, online streaming platforms, and adblockers, traditional marketing just can’t keep up with demand. Digital content is more suitable for accessing on-the-go. It also satisfies the need for snackable, informative, and entertaining content much more successfully. Content marketing has had a huge impact. It has shifted the focus to what we can give, rather than take from the consumer.

The crucial strength of digital marketing vs traditional marketing is feedback. While it is possible to gauge the response to print and TV adverts, it’s a lengthy process. With digital marketing, it’s easy to access a wealth of information, via analytics, almost instantaneously. One click of a button builds an in-depth profile of how, where, and when your marketing material is viewed. More importantly, you can breakdown exactly who has accessed your content.

It’s a changing landscape. Personal data is now the most valuable resource in the world, overtaking oil in 2017. More importantly, Gen Z are on the rise, desiring more human, authentic interactions with brands. So, it’s vital to adapt and fit these new demands.

Does This Spell the End for Traditional Marketing?

It may sound like traditional marketing is dying in the fight of digital marketing vs traditional marketing. But the simple fact is, it’s evolving.

As a global population, we’re moving towards a digital future. With on-demand TV and online streaming on the rise, do TV adverts make sense anymore? And with print media in heavy decline, do their generic ads hold power anymore?

So, will digital come out on top in the digital marketing vs traditional marketing fight? We believe the future is a hybrid. The evocative power of traditional advertising will intersect with the access, authenticity, and analytics of digital marketing.

Most vitally, we need to stop imagining that the emergence of one method has to mean the death of another. Marketing has always been about adaptation and staying nimble. This evolution is just finding new methods to deliver educational and entertaining media to the largest audience.

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