home Technology Traditional vs internet: the modern marketing wars

Traditional vs internet: the modern marketing wars

Ask any marketer what one of the big dilemmas of their industry is in the modern age, and they’re likely to come back and tell you that they’re in a quandary about whether to go wholeheartedly down the online marketing route or whether to keep their faith in what they know and stick to traditional, real-world techniques. Most marketers are probably somewhere in the middle, making the most of channels on both sides of the divide while tentatively carving out a strategy. But which is better – if either? This blog post will explore this key question.

Traditional marketing

There’s no doubt about it: traditional marketing still has its benefits, even in an age when screens are ubiquitous. There will always, for example, be some contexts in which physical advertising spaces are high converters, especially in the realm of transport. Train stations, roadside billboards and more are all key places for brand messages. To a marketer, that critical mass of people driving down roads or standing at bus stops has value – and likely always will.

Marketers still also have a number of “stunt”-type tools in their arsenals that are not possible online, such as flash mob dances in public squares or easy distribution of free samples to passing potential customers.

It’s difficult to pull off a stunt on the internet, because the internet is, after all, largely already still seen as an exciting and unusual stunt in its own right. That’s often where traditional marketing can still retain its value: in fast-paced, real-world consumer situations where there is something to be said for being a little bit out of the ordinary. 

Internet marketing

Any talk of critical mass in the context of modern marketing, however, has to devote lots of consideration to the role played by the web. Internet marketing works simply because there are so many people on theinternet. Facebook has almost 170 million users in the US, for example, and many of these are also Google search users, readers or viewers of web content, and much more.

From the point of view of a marketer’s business model, the range of settings and tools you can pick from when marketing online is just phenomenal. You can buy guest blog posts at an affordable price to get your brand messages and your hyperlinks seen in the right places. You can partner with viral content creators who can disseminate your information far and wide. And you can write long-form thought leadership pieces on websites such as Medium. Whatever sort of marketing you want to do, there will be a cost-effective or even free way to do it on the internet, and it’s easier to go ahead and get stuck in. 

The divide between traditional and internet marketing doesn’t have to be a fixed one, but it does have to be something that you think carefully about, especially if you are looking to get your marketing game top-notch. Some marketers are choosing a third way, and are creating cross-channel campaigns, which are just as slick on billboards as they are on phone screens. Others go for one or the other. Whichever way you choose, don’t forget to check out the different methods on offer and experiment until you find the one that suits your organization.