The primary difference between digital marketing and conventional marketing is the medium that is used to execute it. Digital marketing is conducted through tactics such as SEO, blogs and local online search. Conventional marketing, on the other hand, leverages media such as newspapers, magazines and the yellow pages.

So, which type of marketing is the most effective?

It Depends on the Audience

Baby Boomers and Generation X-ers are familiar with newspapers and phone books, while Millennials may have no clue what they are, let alone use them! Conversely, the elder generations may not be social media savvy like the younger generations. So, when it comes to deciding between using digital marketing or conventional marketing, the intended audience is an important factor to consider.

Since your target audience likely consists of a wide range of ages, using a blend of both is a wise approach. Think about your goals and which type of marketing would best serve each.

For example:

  • If you want to ensure that consumers can find your website, you would not rely on the yellow pages; SEO and online business listings increase your online visibility.
  • Pay-per-click advertising is not ideal for establishing thought leadership, but placement of an article in a well respected industry publication is.
  • While blogs offer many benefits, daily engagement is not one of their strong points. However, social media is an excellent way to interact with your audience every day.

Do Not Dismiss Conventional Marketing

While digital marketing gets the most attention for its “sexy” benefits, conventional marketing is still powerful and effective when used in the right context. In fact, response rates to direct mail, coupons and ads have increased by 60% in the last 10 years! Sometimes conventional marketing even supports your digital marketing efforts

If you think that conventional marketing is dead, ask yourself, do you encounter any of the following on a regular basis?:

  • TV commercials
  • Radio programs
  • Signs
  • Window displays
  • Magazines
  • Billboards
  • Direct mail

We are willing to bet your answer to this question is a resounding “yes!” Now you understand how pervasive these forms of conventional marketing are when leveraged in a smart, well-informed way.

As you can see, digital marketing and conventional marketing both play an important role in the visibility, reputation and success of your business. That said, it has become necessary in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic to get creative with conventional marketing. Tactics that worked before may not work now.

One example is direct mailers. While direct mailers are an effective way to reach your audience, they are not the best option right now, as people may toss them out of fear of getting exposed to the virus.

This does not mean you need to relegate conventional marketing tactics to the trash bin, as well. Instead, pivot in your approach. For example, you could produce face masks and hand sanitizer instead of pens or stress balls.

Using both doubles your company’s chances to profit from your marketing efforts.