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The end game of all marketing activity is to achieve results. Whether your aim is to grow your database, increase membership or sales of a specific product, create brand awareness or increase brand loyalty, it is important to choose and use the most effective marketing tool for your individual business needs.

There are many options for business owners in the marketing world these days and choosing the best option can sometimes be confusing.

Common questions often arise, “Should I use traditional newsprint ads?  Would a letterbox leaflet drop work? Should I invest in some radio advertising? Should I use Facebook or Twitter instead?” 

Before any decisions can be made it is important to understand that both traditional and digital media have their own pros and cons and you must choose whatever suits your marketing needs and desired objectives best.

Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of using both traditional and digital media as marketing tools.

Traditional media vs. Digital Media


Traditional media (television, radio, newsprint etc) is a great way to have a one-way conversation with your audience. Traditional media is great if you want to send out a general message about your business or the services you provide, however traditional media isn’t so great if you want to create a two-way conversation about your product or service, or to gain instant feedback from your audience.

Digital media can be used as a way to tailor your messages and have specific conversations with your audience. It is also a great way to gauge your audience’s responsiveness to your message allowing you to change your message accordingly.


The cost of using traditional media can sometimes be a big hurdle for businesses to overcome and may be difficult to maintain a stable and long-term campaign due to high costs. Digital media in comparison is much more cost effective and can garner better return on investment.  The desired length of your marketing campaign will influence your marketing budget and which marketing avenue you choose.


Traditional media can sometimes limit the nimbleness of your message. If you want to promote a specific sale or event it might take a longer time to get the message out to your customers via newsprint or radio, for example. Digital media is more flexible as you can update your webpage or Facebook page at any time of day or night.


Measuring the effectiveness of your campaign and the results of your marketing spend are key to understanding how to proceed with any marketing activities. Traditional media requires a longer time to gauge effectiveness. On the other hand, digital media allows you to measure the results of your campaign immediately through different platforms. This information is great when deciding how to proceed with your marketing campaign.

There are many more comparisons that can be made in the traditional media vs digital media conversation and it is important to note that both these mediums are not exclusive of each other, some of the best marketing campaigns use both traditional and digital media to reach and engage with their desired audience.

The key to creating an effective marketing campaign is to understand who you want to reach, what message you want your audience to receive from you and how often you want to speak to your customers


These factors will help you decide which marketing tool will yield you the best result.