Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing – The Most Effective Approach

“The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.” - Tom Fishburne

All too often we are referred to small mom and dad businesses that want to step up their marketing but are hesitant on taking the leap to digital promotion. These companies believe that the best form of marketing is t.v. advertisements, word of mouth and the good old trusted handout brochures.

While these are great supplementary approaches to gaining ‘presence’ in the market, it should not be the main foundation of any small business marketing strategy. This article will show how digital marketing adds more value and is more effective dollar for dollar than traditional forms.

The marketing climate has changed dramatically over the past 5 years. People are searching for products and services online more than ever before. Online advertisements are the biggest purchase influencer - especially for the millennials. In fact, in a recent survey, 80% of Pinterest users in this group said that the platform helps them decide what to buy (Coschedule).

Statistically, it is clear that digital marketing trumps traditional methods in the key aspects of:

  • Cost
  • Reach
  • Measurability


Traditional approaches to marketing are more costly than digital marketing to obtain the same exposure. For example, physical mail outs cost an average of $900 to reach an audience of 2000 people. Digital Marketing (social media/website) costs only $75 to reach the same amount of people.

In terms of video advertisements, a recent Nielson report proved that Youtube Videos reaches more American adults than any existing cable networks (Blue Corona). Youtube ads can also be targeted more rigorously to your selected market than any TV ads. With the rise of Netflix and catchup TV. less and less people are watching TV ads which is a dying marketing trend. It is still a wonder how the cost of Youtube ads is cheaper than TV ads.


The exposure of your business to the wider market is more extensive than traditional methods. Firstly, everyone has a phone and more than 50% of users will open their phone as soon as they wake up (Express Pigeon).

Furthermore, the ability to target a segmented group that are more likely to use your product is easier and more extensive than any form of traditional marketing. In under 10 minutes you can send a facebook ad to thousands of users that match ultra specific criteria.

Lastly, reach is also unlimited in the digital space. While you can only print off X number of flyers to reach an X number of people. digital marketing ads have the ability to go viral and bring in more views than expected. Adding to this, the ability to interact with posts (like, share etc)  means that a chain effect can snowball more views to your products.


40% of traditional marketers say proving the return on investment of their marketing activities is their top marketing challenge (HubSpot, State of Inbound 2017). With the advent of analytical tools through marketing campaigns like facebook ads, Google adwords and Mail chimp every view, click and purchase is tracked electronically. These statistics are valuable to understand which methods are the most effective to guide marketing strategy.


It is clear that digital marketing should form a large part of any small business wanting to gain more exposure. Which online forms should you utilise? Based on experience and statistics, a strong website platform is the best way to accomplish this.

A clean website adds a professional, trusted feel for potential new customers, it also is the first thing that people see when they search for your product/service in Google. 18% of all local searches lead to a sale within one day. Furthermore 82% of searchers use websites to determine whether or not to purchase a product they are interested in (Omnicore).

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