February 2, 2022

Traditional Marketing Vs. Digital Marketing: Should You Use Both?


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  • Traditional marketing techniques are widely used and those include TV ads or events.
  • Digital marketing gives you a way to interact with customers online.
  • A great way to market to customers is to use them together.

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The marketing landscape is constantly changing. In order to keep up, you need to be aware of the latest trends and changes in the industry. One of the biggest changes in recent years has been the rise of digital marketing. But traditional marketing is still alive and well.

So which one should you use? As the leading Sending Platform, we will dive into the key differences between traditional and digital marketing, as well as their pros and cons. We will also look at how you can get the best of both worlds by using a combination of traditional and digital marketing tactics.

Table of Contents

What is Traditional Marketing?

  • 3 Pros: Build better connections that last
  • 3 Cons: Overcome declining viewership, costs, and lack of interaction

What is Digital Marketing?

  • 3 Pros: Enjoy interactive, cost-effective, measurable, and targeted strategies
  • 3 Cons: Efforts can be easily dismissed and reshuffled

How To Balance Traditional Marketing and Digital Marketing

What is Traditional Marketing?

It’s no secret that traditional marketing and digital marketing are two very different beasts. While they share some similarities, there are key differences that set them apart. In order to make the most effective decisions for your business, it’s important to understand these differences.

By definition, traditional marketing is any marketing strategy that doesn’t involve the internet. This includes tactics like:

  • TV ads
  • Print ads
  • Radio
  • Billboards
  • Events
  • Hard copies of flyers
  • Direct mail

Online marketing may receive a great deal of attention these days, but that does not mean that traditional marketing is old news or ineffective by any means.

In fact, traditional methods can still be a powerful tool when used correctly. There is just something compelling about the tactile experience of flipping through a vibrant ad spread in a magazine or feeling dwarfed by a larger-than-life billboard ad campaign. These can be extremely memorable and consumers form an emotional attachment to brands or products through these experiences without even realizing it!

Pros of Traditional Marketing

1. Build Connection

During the pandemic, there’s been an increased desire for connection and a chance to step away from our screens. As a result, there’s been an increased interest in traditional mail.

In fact, The United States Postal Service (USPS) reports that 67% of consumers have experienced feelings of isolation and about 42% now rely on mail more due to social distancing guidelines. That means direct mail is making a big comeback!

Direct mail is still the best method to reach out and target real people, with content specifically for them. If you’re curious on finding a direct mail partner, check out our roundup of the 10 best direct mail companies.

Here are a few other traditional marketing techniques that help build connections:

  • Corporate gifting
  • Face-to-face meetings
  • Media appointments
  • Event sponsorships
  • Tradeshow participation

2. Easy Messaging

A visually stunning billboard or a catchy TV commercial is a normal occurrence in the lives of most people. They’re quick to consume and frequently engaged in this form of ad content. For these reasons, traditional marketing has the benefit of being both highly impactful and easy to understand for a wide target audience.

3. Make a Lasting Impression

It’s been said that traditional marketing is more memorable than digital marketing. Why? Because it’s more personal. Digital media can be overwhelming with all the information available. When people are bombarded with too much information, they tend to remember less of it. Traditional media, on the other hand, allows for a one-on-one connection.


  • An eye-popping Anthropologie window display
  • Google’s tear-jerking “Loretta” SuperBowl commercial
  • A full-page “Real Beauty” magazine spread by Dove

Cons of Traditional Marketing

1. Declining Viewership

For one, traditional media (TV, radio, print) is becoming less and less effective. The number of people watching traditional TV has been dropping for years, and the readership of newspapers and magazines continues to decline.

2. It’s Expensive

Producing traditional marketing materials like TV ads or billboards are costly for small businesses to create compared to digital marketing tools like social media posts or website banners. Here’s a snapshot:

  • Traditional billboards cost anywhere between $750 and $14,000 per month.
  • The average TV ad costs $115,000 for a 30-second commercial on a national network.

3. No Opportunity to Interact with Consumers

Another disadvantage of traditional marketing is that it doesn’t allow for two-way communication with consumers.

  • They can’t easily respond to a TV ad or ask a question of the company behind a billboard.
  • This makes it difficult to gauge how your audience is reacting to your marketing campaign.
  • Brand trackers used to assess conventional marketing activities aren’t anywhere near as comprehensive or sophisticated as digital platforms.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is any form of marketing that uses electronic devices to deliver content. This includes methods like SEO, social media marketing, email marketing, and paid search advertising.

Digital channels include:

  • Social media ads (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc)
  • Website
  • Content marketing
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Inbound marketing
  • Email marketing
  • PPC (pay per click
  • SEM (Search engine marketing)

Pros of Digital Marketing

1. Two-Way Communication

This type of marketing approach is all about interaction. Your website and social media channels provide a space for customers to comment on your products and services, and you can respond directly to their queries.

This two-way communication allows you to build better relationships with your potential customers and understand what they want from your business.

2. Cost-Effective and Targeted

Digital marketing efforts are one of the most cost-effective ways to reach your target market. Marketers can tailor campaigns to meet a specific budget and target customers with laser precision.

Customize content to specific customers based on their interests, demographics, and even past behavior. This level of personalization ensures that your ads are relevant and interesting to each individual customer.

3. Measurable

Digital marketing tracking is quite thorough. As a result, your data findings are extremely clear and immediately actionable for the next round of marketing campaigns.

In traditional marketing, customers are segmented into groups with like buying patterns, but in digital marketing strategies, no two customers are alike and target market segmentation has never been easier. You can slice and dice your data in any number of ways to get the most relevant insights for your business.

Cons of Digital Marketing

1. Easily Dismissed

Digital ads have a bad rap for being downright annoying. You’re just trying to wish your friend happy birthday on Facebook when an ad pops up for a product you just googled earlier that morning. Sound familiar?

It’s easy for a local audience to dismiss digital ads as irrelevant and intrusive. They swipe or scroll right on by and your ad is lost in the noise.

2. Learning Curve

The digital world is constantly evolving. With new platforms emerging all the time, it can be difficult to keep pace. To keep up, business owners need:

  • A strong understanding of the latest digital marketing trends.
  • Knowledge of how to use them effectively in your campaigns.
  • Experts for each channel, from search engine optimization to social media.

3. Less Permanent

A banner ad or promo email does not have the same tangible quality as traditional marketing methods. As soon as a potential customer scrolls or clicks to a new screen, it’s gone in the blink of an eye!

How to Balance Traditional Marketing and Digital Marketing

So how can you make the most of traditional and digital marketing? The best way is to use them together. Here is one example:

Samsara, a San Francisco-based Industrial to IoT (Internet of Things) company, needed to find a way to revive hundreds of accounts that had previously gone cold. Partnering with Sendoso, Samsara was able to capture prospect attention with unique, personalized gifts and a direct mail campaign that has the ability to scale.

The “Let’s meat” campaign centered around a low-cost send—a bag of beef jerky—presented in high-end, eye-catching Samsara-branded packaging with a message that reads, “Open for a treat inside.”

The packages were followed up the same day with email marketing, and a note by an ADR (account development representative) to confirm the package was received and start a conversation.

Recipients who accepted a meeting were sent a $50 gift card as a thank you with the message, “I would have loved to take you out to dinner, but ‘let’s meat’ instead.” The catchy pun and fun, physical gift were the perfect door-openers.

The “Let’s Meat” campaign has influenced multiple closed-won deals and helped drive a 250% increase in pipeline sourced from direct mail!

This explosion of sales growth would not have been possible without teaming up with the right sending platform. By curating the perfect sending strategy that can seamlessly integrate with your existing marketing and sales tools, connecting with clients through direct mail has never been easier or more effective.

Sendoso is scalable, offering worldwide fulfillment on limitless sending possibilities. Our sending platform uses intelligent analytics to deliver real results in real-time, so you can track your growth just like Samsara.

Ready to combine your digital and traditional marketing approach to maximize your sales potential? Request a demo today and see how a sending platform can help increase your bottom line!

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