Internet Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing: How to Decide Which One to Use

Outdoor Advertising
  • Internet marketing offers a personalized and targeted type of marketing approach, allowing you to reach your audience easily and then measure your results at any time.
  • Traditional marketing can be more difficult to use because many established brands take up most of the available space; but go engage your audience directly and you can find success.
  • Which should you choose? That all depends on what kind of business you run and your marketing goals. You'll likely need to use a mix of the two.

​​ Internet marketing

Internet marketing in all its various forms, from email marketing to social media engagement, is definitely all the rage these days. However, traditional marketing in all its forms, from TV and radio advertising to mass mailings, is far from being on its last legs. The problem for business owners, especially those that run small businesses, is deciding which methods are likely to provide the most bang for their advertising and marketing bucks.

Internet Marketing: Up Close and Personalized

The appeal of Internet marketing is that it's highly personalized and often targeted to a certain geographic location and equally specific demographics. The main advantage of Internet marketing is the fact that you're available to customers 24/7. You also have the ability to respond to negative press quickly and interact with consumers on the go with marketing messages that are conveniently accessible from mobile devices.

Targeting Your Audience

With Internet marketing, it's very easy to reach interested consumers who may not be aware that you even exist. Conversely, you can also become extremely localized and target customers within a very specific geographic area, ideal if your small business happens to be something like a painting service or a doctor's office that depends on local customers or patients.

Measuring Results

Services like Google Analytics make it easy to track results in real-time and make changes quickly, making it easier to allocate resources. If for example, you're getting more traffic from Facebook and very few conversions through Twitter, you can easily shift your efforts to Facebook and rethink your approach to using Twitter to make your posts more appealing.

Building Relationships

Internet marketing is all about building relationships. When a customer purchases something from you online, your relationship begins with occasional emails about upcoming sales or special deals and requesting that they leave feedback if they haven't done so already. Consequently, that feedback could entice someone else to visit your site and make a purchase, marking the start of another relationship.

Traditional Marketing: Getting the Most Out of Proven Methods

Traditional marketing can still be a valuable and cost-effective way to get your message out to the masses. Even radio and television ads can be targeted to specific channels and times of the day when target customers are most likely to be watching or listening.

Experiencing the Product

If you're a small business, it's going to be hard to compete with established brands. One way to level the playing field is by offering promotional products and executing creative promotional efforts such as driving a hot dog shaped car around town or handing out free samples at local supermarkets.

Approaching Customers Directly

With traditional marketing, you're not dealing with an instant onslaught of competitors selling the same products and services. With some traditional marketing methods like direct marketing or promotional marketing, you're bringing your product or service directly to customers.

So, Which One Should You Choose?

Before you make a decision, remember that it doesn't have to be all or nothing. You could, for example, place your website address at the bottom of your print ads or encourage people viewing your television ad to visit your business on Facebook and Twitter. Consider the fact that if for instance, you have a very successful promotional marketing campaign, many of those customers are likely to spread the word via their social media sites, possibly getting the attention of other potential customers in the process.

Expect to go through a trial and error period where you incorporate Internet marketing techniques like using carefully selected keywords and phrases within your website content to attract the attention of leading search engines with proven methods like sending out mailings to previously satisfied customers. The answer to which one should you choose really comes down to what's working best for you based on factors such as the type of business you have, how customers typically find you, and your overall marketing goals.

Which type of marketing do you use more often, and how do you use it? We'd love to hear from you, and share this article on social media!

Source: - 3 Ways to Reach Your Target Audience Through Online Marketing
Element Digital 7 - How to Survive the Waves of Digital Disruption 
Inc - How to Prospect for New Customers 

Chris Pentago

Marketing Consultant

Chris is father, husband and all-round computer geek who had privilege to watch technology rising from its bare beginnings and powering life as we know it today. Worked as a software architect and developer for some of the biggest brands. He often write papers on BigData and emerging enterprise mobility technologies.