Traditional vs Digital Marketing

An in depth look at the pros and cons of traditional and digital marketing and how it can help your business. 

I just asked the office to think of the word advertising and then asked them where the adverts are. I got two different answers, which is brilliant because it shows that marketing has merits in both digital and traditional senses. One person might absorb advertising and marketing through their smart phone on their commute to work, whilst the other prefers to read the paper and is exposed to printed promotions.

At iNarrator we wanted to explore the different options that Online and Traditional marketing could give us and which has the most benefits, because we’re really nice we thought we’d share with you what we found out. On Hold Marketing is a diamond in the rough and falls under both online and traditional marketing, crossing the boundaries of both methods. Just think of the benefits it could add to your current methods of advertising, because the truth is you need to use both traditional and online marketing! 

What is traditional marketing?

Often described as a longstanding campaign with proven success, it’s time-tested and uses signifiers to evoke a certain brand, which makes it instantly recognisable. The term traditional marketing does cover a broad range of outlets but is more associated with platforms which have been around for a long period of time, for example newspapers, which have been around since the 17th Century in Europe.

Traditional marketing also covers television and radio advertising, which fall under the umbrella of broadcast media. Direct mail such as sending out post cards, brochures or leaflets are all part of traditional marketing as is telemarketing.

What are the benefits?

Traditional marketing is used because it’s proven to work, which is why it’s used by pretty much every company in some aspect of their advertising campaign. It’s easy to choose certain aspects which will work better for your business and audience and most companies choose to combine several methods of traditional marketing.

This type of marketing benefits companies by being an accessible type of publicising. You don’t need to be online to see a billboard or know how to use a computer to receive a leaflet in the post. They’re methods of receiving advertising that consumers can be exposed to without ‘stumbling’ across or physically searching for your company, television or radio adverts reach huge audiences who aren’t able to control the adverts they’re hearing or seeing. Which is also one of the benefits of On Hold Marketing too, think of yourself as the company DJ, marketing away to your on hold listeners.

There are often metrics in place to measure the success of marketing in these ways, so you can see what’s working and what’s not and your customers are likely to be familiar with your longstanding brand already.

What are the downsides?

To reach an audience using traditional methods is not always cost effective. If you’ve got 2000 customers and you wanted to send them each a promotional flyer you’ve got to factor in the costs of getting the leaflet designed, printed and posted. Not only does this use valuable time and man power but the price of traditional marketing soars in comparison to using online. Postal or broadcast marketing is limited in who it can reach and it’s not as accessible, you need to be specific about the demographics it’s going to or focus on. Is it a certain location, age group, gender or industry which might need your company’s services? I definitely spend an unhealthy amount of time on my mobile being exposed to tons of adverts a day, all online based where it’s easier to reach more people at once.

Below we’ve included the average costs of reaching 2000 contacts or customers using various methods of traditional marketing. Digital marketing is still cheaper than the most low cost option in traditional marketing.





What is Digital Marketing?

Digital or online marketing focuses on advertising or reaching your audience via the internet. It’s got huge potential as it doesn’t limit the potential number of people you can reach. Using several methods of product promotion and advertising rooted online you can reach vast audiences, online marketing is less limiting than traditional avenues where your audience needs to be more targeted.

Digital marketing is very broad but generally covers websites, social media, mailing campaigns, Google Ads or banner adverts. It also includes video marketing such as adverts on YouTube or actual company content on the video platform. 

Using these types of methods combines sales and advertising with customer service, just as On Hold marketing does. It’s a way of connecting your company with a huge number of potential customers, more than you would be able to reach with traditional marketing methods.

What are the benefits?

Reaching your potential customers using online marketing is virtually unlimited. A tweet or a video can be shared publically and reach anywhere in the world and anyone in the world with an internet connection. Which is pretty good when compared to your localised leaflet drop. It’s much easier to reach audiences online because of how easy it is to share content or have your content visible in a number of places at the same time. Have you noticed when visiting an online retailer that afterwards the adverts you’ll see online tend to be for that website? Digital advertising is clever, it knows what customers are looking at and subtly draws them back to your site.

Relationships with your customers are often easier to build and maintain online too, purely because of how instantaneous they are. When you call a company we know you don’t want to be waiting on hold, so why would you want to wait online either? You’re able to nurture leads or target specific groups of your customers with your mail campaigns. Online customer service and help desk chats might not seem like marketing to you but as we’ve mentioned online marketing and customer service go hand in hand.

Despite traditional marketing having metrics so you’re able to track how well your marketing is doing, there is more control when using online methods and more ability for you to check analytics, open rates and click throughs and update content as you go. Once you’ve posted out a printed leaflet you can’t exactly update it. On Hold Marketing gives you the ability to update your messages as little or often as you like, meaning that you can easily test out what works for you and what doesn’t.

As well as being flexible and convenient, reaching audiences online costs so little. Particularly when you use social media which is free! Advertising online allows you to have more control of where your adverts will show, what audience they’ll be targeted to and you can cap your spending too. You can also split test options on your website or adverts to figure out what your customers respond to the most.

What are the downsides?    

A survey from Lithium Technologies found that more than half the customers they asked expected a response (on Twitter) within an hour from a company they’ve contacted. This escalated from 53% to 72% if the customer’s query was a complaint. So unless you’ve got a dedicated 24/7 team ready to be at your customer’s every beck and call then you might find yourself hounded.  

It’s not the only way to reach your customers. The phone is still as popular a method of communication as it’s always been, with two in three people preferring to speak to a customer service advisor over the phone, rather than online.

Is it well targeted? Well, you might have to separate the wheat from the chaff when using online marketing. Your online ads might reach hundreds of people but if they’re not going to reach those who will convert into leads or customers then you could say they’re quite generalised.

It’s not as human! Traditional or on hold marketing has that human element, it’s personal and empathetic whereas when receiving an email from a company, you know that it’s not been written just for you. I’m not saying that iNarrator personally writes a newsletter for each of our clients (we’re sorry!) but there is something nostalgic and personal about receiving post.

Why should we combine the two?

Online and traditional marketing now work hand in hand. Using John Lewis as an example and their famous Christmas adverts, their campaign doesn’t only focus on one outlet. Their advert is on television, they have billboards, the advert will be on YouTube, shared onto social media channels and whichever song accompanies the advert will be played on the radio, not to mention all the merchandise and posters around that particular campaign once you’re in the store. It’s nearly impossible to avoid being exposed to it.

Using what works for your business is the best option. For example, if you already have flyers regularly delivered in your local area then why not include something about this in your on hold marketing, drawing attention to the locality makes the company more accessible and personal to the caller. Using traditional marketing methods to compliment your online campaigns can be very beneficial.

At iNarrator, we like to dabble in both ends of the marketing pool, we might deal in phones and have amazing on hold marketing but we also pop you emails and send out our printed newsletter. The reason being that our audience, just like yours, is varied. Think back to the question I asked the office before writing this, how you consume a company’s marketing depends on what methods you’re more susceptible to or prefer. If you don’t have a computer (then firstly you won’t be reading this…) then online marketing wouldn’t benefit you. If you prefer to sit reading the paper than gluing your eyes to your mobile then print or traditional media is more up your alley.

What has this got to do with On Hold Marketing?

On Hold Marketing is the best of both worlds. It’s an effective option to see how both traditional and online marketing can combine and work for your business. On Hold Marketing allows you to reach your customers with tailored messages but in a way that you’re also able to measure. Despite having the benefits of both digital and traditional, it’s still a cost effective route. In a traditional sense you’re broadcasting your services, offers and accolades on your own personal company ‘radio station’. You are in complete control of what is said, who delivers the message and the music your customer hears. There’s no slip ups, no irritating adverts to put up with and your customers are able to wait on hold knowing they’ll speak to a person. If you read this blog post then you’ll already know how important it is to have On Hold Marketing as opposed to silence but think of it as a marketing tool where you can control and target those who are already contacting you and want to speak to you.

That’s the main difference of On Hold Marketing when compared to say social media or an email, the customer wants contact you rather than the other way around and they've got a specific reason to do so. Which is why it’s useful that you can track the performance of your On Hold Marketing, for example if you have a specific offer that’s only available or mentioned to phoning customers and they are responding to that offer. Or if your customer asks for more information on a product or service that was mentioned in your messages, then it’s clearly working! Yes it might not be a % or a number on a report that’s easy to see at first glance but we bet it’ll be reflected in your sales figures!

Striking the right balance is important, if you know you already use some of each type of marketing then why not branch out to On Hold Marketing and see how it can alter your customer relationships, sales and prevent lost calls. Mixing things up will mean your company is more visible and easily accessible to your customers. If you use social media for example, do you ever include a link back to your website in your posts? Or if you send out an email campaign, did you mention the flyer that you just sent out in the post with a discount code so that your customer knows to expect it?

Overlapping your On Hold and your other marketing strategies creates synchronicity and familiarity of your brand as a whole. You wouldn't choose a different branding theme for each of the platforms or ways you communicate with your customers, so why would you make each method of your marketing completely different? Can you imagine if we sent you something and it wasn't’ purple? The horror.

If you’re ready to take the plunge into the world of better marketing then call us or pop us an email or if you’re feeling fancy write us a letter.