Traditional and Digital Advertising: A Brief Comparison

There are many forms of advertising. From digital advertising seen on social media and websites to more traditional ads such as billboards and radio spots, there are many ways to bring awareness to your business and its products. More conventional methods tend to be more expensive as digital means are often free (‘share with your friends on Facebook!’). Still, there are advantages to both.

Traditional marketing methods include newspaper, magazine, and radio advertisements. They are often more costly than digital advertising efforts. They also include meetings, word-of-mouth, and large signs or billboards. Many of these methods are strictly local, and that is one disadvantage of more traditional methods. However, there are magazines and some newspapers that circulate nationwide.

Traditional methods of advertising can also boast of having a more personal touch because these audiences tend to be local and have a person-to-person relationship with each target group. This group is also able to retain a copy of an advertisement, so the information is not easily forgotten once a page is turned.


With billboards and large signs that utilize a banner hanging system or sit at a storefront, it is limited to the local population. However, like the newspaper and radio advertisement, they are more personalized to the area. It is not always necessary to reach as broad an audience like the one that can be achieved online.

Digital marketing efforts are much easier to conduct. These methods include email marketing, social media outlets such as Facebook or Twitter, banner advertisements on websites and more. These advertisements often reach a wider (worldwide) audience, and ‘go viral’ quickly. It is shared soon as well, and companies can easily engage with commenters and those who visit their website.

Digital advertising is also more cost-efficient than traditional media. Using social media outlets is free of charge, although some companies invest in paid advertising online. However, you advertise online; it will end up being cheaper than the use of traditional methods. It can also check for efficiency and whether you are reaching your target audience.

Remember; however you choose to advertise, know your audience. You have likely done extensive market research and know where to find those customers most likely to buy your product or service. Cater to this information and cater to your audience. Traditional and digital advertising exist together because each works for a separate audience and there are pros and cons of each.



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