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Can digital marketing replace traditional marketing?

July 20, 2022

Technology now dominates our lives, and there is an immeasurable amount of data being gathered, stored and analysed across the globe. That could make it seem there’s only one clear winner when reviewing the merits of traditional marketing v digital marketing.

Should your entire marketing budget now go on building a stronger and more compelling online presence? Is print dead?

The pandemic certainly accelerated the trend for digital communication and collaboration, replacing countless in-person meetings. There are even virtual trade shows, enabling buyers to browse around digital stalls and see online product demonstrations without leaving their desks, adding to the view that traditional methods of marketing products and services have had their day.

But, we are about to prove that could be a premature conclusion.

Statistics, and traditional marketing vs digital marketing

As ever, research provides lots of insights into which forms of marketing are most in use and which ones are creating the highest success rates.

For example, Hubspot’s ‘The Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics for 2022’ reports that 82% of marketing professionals actively use online content marketing to promote their products or services, as it works.

There are going to be almost 3.43 billion global social media users by 2023. So why would you not have a strong social media strategy?

Integrating video into your website and social media is also effective. One study showed that 84% of consumers have bought a product or service as a direct result of watching a brand’s video.

Emails are still highly potent in marketing too. In fact, around 80% of marketing professionals have grown their reliance on email campaigns, as they can work.

So, can all marketing be digital?

These impressive figures are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the amount of emphasis now placed on digital marketing, and the sort of results it can achieve. We haven’t even touched on the massive reliance on eCommerce these days, especially post-pandemic.

This is why many companies focus primarily on new, digital routes to market, including blogs and articles (like this one) placed on well-designed websites (like this one), as surely no one reads books and other physical literature anymore?

That’s where it gets interesting.

Before deciding that traditional marketing vs digital marketing is not a real contest anymore, there are more facts and figures you need to consider. Starting with a report in Publishers Weekly that there were 825.7 million physical books sold in 2021. That is a significant increase when compared to the 757.9 million books sold in 2020.

Is that because older people love physical, printed materials? Put it this way, the biggest jump in the sale of actual books was in the young adult fiction genre. It saw a massive 30.7% increase!

This suggests that all ages still find merit in having something physical to read and interact with. Which is why the worldwide value of printed materials is expected to reach colossal $821 billion in 2022.

No one would be spending that sort of money if print is dead!

Also, people are going out and about more and returning to in-person interactions in business and leisure, suggesting tried and trusted marketing methods such as face-to-face networking and in-store promotions are just as important as ever.

Multi-marketing methods

Clearly, it’s not a question of traditional marketing vs digital marketing, but the best way to combine both and manage your budget effectively.

Yes, digital marketing can be a vital way to support sales. However, there is abundant evidence that also incorporating print and other ‘non-virtual’ activities into your marketing plan can be important.

Here is one more statistic that provides evidence of that. Research has proven that when you base an ad campaign on a mixture of print and digital exposure, it can be up to 400% more effective than relying on one of those options.

Why is that? One possible answer loops us back to the introduction – technology dominates our lives these days. It can leave people jaded, tech-weary and tech-wary. There are multiple ways marketing in the digital realm can be interrupted, overlooked or merely ‘skimmed’.

Something physically present can perhaps be more compelling to read, and more ‘in their face’ and personal. It also doesn’t rely on an internet connection and a small screen.

Can digital marketing replace traditional marketing? The short answer is…..not yet!

Now we’ve cleared that up, shall we discuss how our digital marketing services can help your business flourish? From SEO to PPC, social media marketing to content writing, we can help with your digital marketing efforts in many ways. Take a look for yourself and give us a call!




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