With so many different forms of advertising, it can be a nightmare for a business owner to decide on a path to follow. Lets take a look at how “old school” stacks up against “modern” methods of marketing your business.

the difference between digital and traditional advertising

What does Traditional Include?

These methods of promotion have been used for many years by many businesses. They do have their time and place and can be very effective if done properly.

When thinking of conventional forms of publicizing your brand the following come to mind:


radio-158399_1280-300x150Placing ads on your local radio station, targeting specific times of the day. Preferably when your target audience is most likely to be listening. There are many different channels that attract a certain demographic.

The amount you pay will depend on how many radio stations you want air on, the frequency your ad gets plaid and what time of the day it airs.


21957968670_4286af3d8c_mAds may be placed in the classified section, however, your news paper will have areas of the paper that are dedicated to local business promotion.

The cost for this depends on the size of your ad, the location its placed and whether its color or black and white.

Direct Mail

This is in the form of circulars, pamphlets and letters. This is a blanket approach as there’s no specific targeting when spam-964521_1920-150x150dealing with mass pamphlet campaigns. If you are send letters out then you can be specific on who you send them to.

The cost here will vary with the letter campaigns being the cheapest.


These can be effective, especially in larger populated areas. These are effectively large signs placed in areas where lots 115505850_f4adac8e1e_qof traffic, be it foot or vehicle, pass by.

The costs vary here depending on the size and location.


These generally target a specific type of reader. If you can find a magazine that aligns itself with your target market then this can be great.

magazine-806073_1280-150x150Even in small local towns like Blenheim, there are community magazines that will have advertising space for you.

The cost varies from publication to publication. Similar to newspaper, the size and location of your ad will impact the cost.


Sign writing on vehicles can be very effective, especially if you are quite mobile and actively driving around. This will place you in the eyes of your community, keeping you in the front of their mind.

hqdefault-150x150The cost will include both the vehicle and graphics. This can be very expensive depending on the cost of the vehicle and the graphical wrap that is applied.

There are a few more long-established methods but the above are the most popular.

What About Digital?

Very similar to traditional except the major difference is that it involves using technology to create and deliver it.

More and more businesses are adopting a digital advertising process. Whether they are doing it effectively is another topic.

Now there are so many different kinds of technology based promotion so i’ll only go over a handful.

socialmedia-pmSocial Media Ads (Facebook/Twitter)

We should all be familiar with this as so many people use this social media platform.

The article below from Yahoo News released the following statistics:

Facebook says it now has 1.11 billion people using the site each month, slightly more than the 1.06 billion reported three months earlier. It represents a 23 percent growth from a year earlier.

The figure is as of March 31 and was disclosed Wednesday in Facebook’s quarterly earnings report. Facebook also says it had 665 million active users each day on average in March, up 26 percent from a year earlier, and 751 million using Facebook from a mobile device each month, up 54 percent.

In addition, Facebook says it had 751 million monthly active mobile users in the first quarter, up 10 percent from 680 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.

read more at yahoo.com

It makes sense to be taking advantage of this form of advertising. You can be very laser focused and attract your target audience.


These are image and text based ads generally place at the top or sides of other related websites.

In the following article, Guest Author Tuan Nguyen from 20dollarbanners.com explains what they are, how they work and who should be using them:

Maligned, dispensed with, but still darn useful.

Banner ads have caught a load of flak for the slashed CTR’s they’ve seen of late. But while the numbers are daunting, they merely point to a poor average, not a death knell for the humble banner.

They might not pull the engagement that more obtrusive options do, but banner ads remain wonderful for establishing visual branding, and hitting a highly targeted audience.

The ability to pick and choose where an ad shows up allows advertisers to carefully tailor their campaign toward a given site and demographic.

But in order to beat flagging CTR’s, companies do have to evolve. Think about clever examples like Skittles’ interactive, offbeat banners, or powerful, fold-dominating movie posters.

read more at jeffbullas.com


You may recognize this through Googles Pay-Per-Click campaigns. These are thin, text based ads and are similar to Banners in the sense that they are placed on other websites.

ppcThey are cheaper than Banners, largely due to them only being text based.

This style of promotion is good for businesses that are trying to get a foot in the door with paid advertising. The costs to create a good ad are significantly lower than other visual ads.

Depending on how you choose to pay, PPC is also part of social media advertising.


abstract-1233873_640-e1464657730561Platforms like YouTube can also be used to spread the reach of your business. The number of people using YouTube is mind blowing.

Telegraph.co.uk posted these stats:

1 billion – YouTube has over a billion users – that is almost a third of all people on the Internet

80% – The percentage of views on YouTube that come from outside the United State

70 countries – Have local versions of YouTube

40 minutes – The average time spent watching YouTube on mobile – a 50% increase year on year

6 billion – Number of hours watched on YouTube every month

300 hours – … of video uploaded to the site every minute

read more at telegraph.co.uk

So Which is Best?

question-mark-1019820_640-150x150It really depends on who your target audience is. This will dictate how they are consuming media, and which medium you need to be promoting on.

Younger people (18 – 25) won’t be picking up the newspaper to see your ad. They won’t be watching TV and most likely wont be listening to the radio.

Yes, a small number may be  using the above but the majority aren’t.

And it’s not just young people who have replaced traditional with digital advertising consumption. A huge portion of the over 60 generation are on Facebook (what better place to keep an eye on the grandchildren).

Facebook is like a newspaper. All the latest news updates from around New Zealand and the world is live and being published on their news feeds.

advertising-without-tracking-is-pointlessA big point that digital promotion has over its older brother is that it can be tracked. It’s not hit and miss. It’s not a matter of paying for an ad and hoping someone calls up and buys.

Tracking your performance is necessary for you to monitor your ROI.

So to Wrap it up

Each form of advertising has its place, and at this stage one is not replacing the other (not yet). A multidimensional marketing strategy is your best to make sure you get the best ROI which ultimately increases the growth of your business.

Image credit http://infopub.blogspot.com/2006/03/billboard-3d-rasoir-bic.html

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My name is Beau Michaels and I am the owner BlackBeech. We are a New Zealand based Web Solutions company currently working out of Blenheim, Marlborough. It is our goal to offer businesses the opportunity to harness the power of the internet and incorporate this form of marketing into their new and existing business.