Tube TVs, Laserdiscs, pay phones – certain pieces of tech that were swept away in the digital revolution probably aren’t coming back. That doesn’t mean that everything that’s worked in the past is obsolete, though. And that’s especially true when it comes to marketing, where digital and traditional media can do a lot more than coexist. They can complement each other well!
What’s the difference between traditional and digital marketing, and how can they work together in the 21st century? Let’s take a look!
Traditional vs. Digital: What’s the Difference?
First, let’s understand our categories: traditional and digital marketing. Generally, the internet is what separates the two. All online media generally fall under digital marketing, even if they use technologies like TVs. The reverse is also true. Digital technologies like custom flash drives given out at a trade show are considered traditional marketing since they’re physical objects.
Here’s a general (and non-exhaustive) list of which media fall into which categories:
- Traditional Marketing Channels
- Broadcast and cable TV
- AM and FM radio
- Print newspapers and magazines
- Promotional gifts
- Direct mail
- Billboards and signs
- Digital Marketing Channels
- Email marketing
- Paid search
- Social media
- Streaming video
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
Joining Forces: Combining Traditional and Digital Marketing
Traditional and digital marketing can be a better combo than you might imagine! These are some of the ways that businesses are exploring the intersection of digital and traditional:
- Using traditional delivery methods for digital materials, such as USB business cards for distributing marketing materials at a conference.
- Leveraging the wide reach of traditional media to direct consumers to more data-rich digital channels by (for example) adding QR codes to print ads.
- Using digital channels, such as social media accounts, to promote in person events like a trade show appearance or product launch party.
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