What Is The Difference Between Traditional And Digital Advertising Age?

The advancement in technology has shaped how advertising is done over the years. There has been a rapid shift from the traditional age to digital advertising age.

The traditional and digital advertising age are both relevant in their own space. But, digital advertising seems to have improved on the hiccups of traditional advertising.

This article will talk about the features of traditional and digital advertising age. It will also look into why digital advertising is preferable to traditional advertising.

What Is Advertising?

Advertising is a marketing strategy. It involves paying to promote goods or services to a targeted audience. It is done to create awareness and sell goods or services to a specific audience.

Advertising is an integral part of every business. For a business to thrive and remain profitable, it needs a solid marketing strategy.

The rise in advertising dates back to the late 19th and early 20th century. This era marked the invention of machines that made mass production possible. Mass production created a new problem, which is how to get surplus products into the hands of the masses.

Advertising Procedures

Traditional and digital advertising may have unique features that distinguish them. But, looking closer, they both have the same procedures:

  • Identify a group of audience with specific needs.
  • Create or find products/services that will solve their needs.
  • Identify how your products or services can solve their needs.
  • Choose an effective channel to target your audience.
  • Create commercials that outline the values of your products/services.

Traditional Advertising Age

The traditional advertising age involves the use of conventional media platforms. These are used to convey advertisements to potential customers.

This form of advertising has been in existence for a long time. Some major media of traditional advertising are TV, Billboards, and Radio.

Types Of Traditional Advertising


The newspaper is a significant form of print media. It is used to disseminate news to the public. This makes it an effective channel of advertisement.

Newspapers companies sell ad space to businesses that want to reach more people and sell their products or services. This can be an effective way to capture a local market. The majority of newspapers target local readers.

Before a business advertises in a newspaper, it should consider the newspaper’s readership. It is not advisable for a business to promote in a newspaper that serves a different audience. How can a business get a great return on investment (ROI)? It should only consider newspapers that its target audience reads.

Radio Advertising

Radio Advertising is another popular traditional advertising method. It caters to certain demographics in the society. To advertise on the radio, you will need to buy airtime. This is priced based on how long you want your advert to be played and the reach of the program. Some businesses sponsor certain radio programs. This is so they can position their brand to that specific audience.

Radio signals cover a large area. This makes it possible for businesses to reach a wider audience. Plus radio adverts can be played over and over again to the greatest effect.

Television Advertising

Television Advertising allows businesses to reach a large audience with audio-visual commercials. With television adverts, businesses can use audio-visual elements in their commercials. This helps them to better show the value of their products/services to their target audience.

Producing a decent television advertisement comes at a high cost though. Businesses will need to shoot commercials. After which they will need to decide how often they want their advert shown. Then, they’ll need to buy advertisement slots.


Billboards are the largest form of traditional advertising. They are installed in strategic places where there is a lot of traffic. Billboards are aimed at enticing travelers and passers-by.

Billboard advertisements need to be concise, catchy, and bold to get the best results.


Unlike newspapers, magazines are published weekly or monthly. Also, magazine readers are somewhat classier than regular newspaper readers. People seem to spend more time reading magazines. The lifespan is usually longer than that of a newspaper too.

Adverts in magazines are colorful and elegant, which makes them more appealing.

Direct Mail Advertising

A Direct Mail advert makes use of a mail service to distribute printed adverts to your target audience. These printed adverts could be postcards, newsletters, sales letters, and brochures.

Direct Mail is one of the most effective traditional advertising channels. Businesses use it to reach potential and existing customers.

Direct mail advertising allows companies to communicate with their customers one-on-one. This helps them build a lasting relationship.


Telemarketing is the act of advertising products/services over the telephone.

This form of advertising involves a telemarketer calling potential customers. Their goal is to convince people to buy a product or subscribe to a service. It is an effective advertising form as it allows human-to-human contact.

How can telemarketing outreach be effective? The telemarketer must know a lot about potential customers. They should also know a lot about the products/services they are selling and be empathic.

An empathic telemarketer listens to the needs of their prospects. From there, they can work on developing a relationship with each prospect. To them, selling is secondary.

Digital Advertising Age

The digital advertising age is also known as the new era of advertising. Advertisers in this era make use of new media. It also uses the latest technologies to reach potential customers.

Unlike traditional advertising, digital advertising can be highly targeted, super effective, and affordable.

Types of New Age Advertising

Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising is the act of targeting social media users with promotions that are relevant to them.

This form of advertising involves creating content. This should be tailored to the context of each social platform to drive engagement and sales. The advertiser needs to create content that is engaging. It should also be appealing to the audience.

Social media advertising is aimed at engaging and building relationships with your audience. It is not sales-oriented like other forms of advertising. Some major social media platforms where B2B and B2C businesses advertise are:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube

Advertisers can reach more potential customers by buying paid social media ads. To get the best out of social media advertising, you need to have a clear, defined goal. Then, look for the social media platform where your ideal consumer hangs out.

Search Engine Advertising

This is the process of driving targeted traffic to a website through search engines for free or for a fee. Advertisers aim to rank their webpages on search engine results pages (SERPs) to achieve this.

Search Engine Advertising comes in two main forms:

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engines consider various factors before webpages are ranked on SERPs. Search engines rank web pages that are deemed relevant, valuable, and well-written.

By ranking web pages, advertisers are able to drive traffic to their products/services at no cost. SEO aims to provide value first and build a relationship with the audience.

2. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Unlike SEO SEM requires advertisers to pay. This comes before they can have advertisements featured on Search Engine Results Pages.

Search Engine Marketing is highly targeted. It is tailored to people’s interest, location, search history, and buying behavior. One popular form of SEM is pay-per-click (PPC).

PPC advertising involves creating content and showing it to relevant users. You will then be charged based on impressions, engagement, clicks, and views generated.

Rideshare Advertising

Rideshare advertising involves the use of rideshare cars for advertising. Advertisements can be placed on the body of a rideshare car in the form of banner wrappings. This form of rideshare advertisement is known as an on-car advertisement.

Rideshare advertisements can also be displayed on tablets that are installed in cars. Here, tablets are installed at the headrest of a rideshare car, showing ads to riders.

Rideshare advertisements are highly targeted. They are also tailored. This is usually based on the audience’s locality, which leads to better engagement rates.

Display Advertising

This form of advertising involves using texts and images. These are used to convey your message to a targeted online audience.

Display advertising comes in forms of landing pages, pop ups, and banners. Unlike PPC, display ads are not featured on the search engine. Instead, they are targeted at the audience of a particular website.

Digital Video Advertising

Digital Videos are dominating and popular in the online scene today. In fact, online videos continue to make up for the dwindling attention span of consumers. Digital videos engage consumers in a way that online texts don’t. This is regardless of whether they are meant to entertain, educate, or enlighten.

Advertisers have noticed an increase in ROI when they use digital videos for advertising campaigns. This is because there has been an increased consumption in digital videos. People connect and engage more with videos. The growing demand for digital videos has also led to their adoption on social media. Such platforms include Instagram and Snapchat. Instagram recently adopted IGTV.

Youtube is one of the largest digital video platforms. It is the second most used search engine, after Google. Youtube itself has adopted digital advertising (PPC) for its advertisers. Digital video advertising is a suitable replacement for traditional TV commercials.

Email Advertising

Email advertising is the act of advertising products and services using electronic mail. This form of advertising is usually directed to current and potential customers. Email campaigns might be aimed at building a relationship with potential customers. This may be done to convince them to buy a product or service.

Email advertising takes the same model as the traditional direct mail advertising. The only difference is that there is no need for using postal services to convey your campaign.

Email advertising is quite effective if done right. Advertisers should resist buying an email list and blasting them with unsolicited offers. Instead, build your email list. To do this, you will need to offer something valuable (a lead magnet). This can be in the form of discounts, free course or free ebooks.

A lot of people claim that email marketing has become outdated, but it is still quite effective. In research done by HostPapa, 75% of adults claimed that Email marketing is their preferred means of advertising.

Flaws Of Traditional Advertising

Traditional advertising in its own rights is effective. But, it has its own flaws, some of which are:

It is difficult to measure

Traditional advertising makes it hard to measure ROI. This is especially true for print advertisements like magazines and newspapers. Also, there is no way to measure if your marketing tactics are effective or get insights on how to improve it. A newspaper or magazine can boast of large readership, but they may actually never read your ads.

It is expensive

Traditional advertising like Billboards can be pretty steep, especially for small businesses. Traditional ads are targeted to reach a large number of people instead of a small targeted group.

Also, buying TV spots is an expensive option for small business owners. Even if they can get their spots, they will have to spend more on creating commercials.

It has low response rate

Traditional advertising is not highly targeted. So, most of the time it has poor response rates. Direct mail, for instance, has a response rate of 2 and 5 percent.

Difficult to modify

Traditional advertising can be difficult to make changes to. This is one of its major downsides. Especially when you want to update your ad based on new knowledge or market positioning. For example, modifying a TV ad will come at an extra cost as you may need to reshoot your commercial.

Difficult to target a specific audience

Traditional advertising’s strength lies in targeting a large audience. This makes it difficult to split the audience into groups based on their needs. Ads convert better when they are targeted to a specific group. This is because the ad’s message will resonate better when it speaks to the targeted audience.

It can be limiting

Traditional advertising limits the message you can get out to your potential customers. There is a sort of restriction which could limit your creativity. You might not have more than a few square inches or a short timeframe to communicate your message.

Benefits Of New Age Advertising

It is measurable

One benefit of new age advertisement is that it allows you to track your progress. Then you can find out how effective your marketing campaign is. There are many analytical tools you can use to measure your ad engagement and ROI. This is a positive thing. Traditional advertisements don’t give any room for real-time measurement.

Highly targeted

Advertising on traditional platforms doesn’t allow you to target a particular audience. This is especially true when using flyers, billboards, TV ads, and Radio ads. Instead, your commercial will be created for the general public. But, new age advertisement allows you to target your audience based on many factors. This includes demographics, age, interest, education and other elements.

Platforms like Google and Facebook have a vast resource of different users data. So, you can focus your adverts on your ideal customers. Doing so will save you money when you avoid targeting the wrong audience.

It is cost-effective

Another significant benefit of new age advertisement is that it is cost-effective. Especially when compared to traditional advertising. Billboards and TV ads might cost a fortune. But, SEO, SEM, Email advertising and other digital advertising channels are cheaper. It is affordable for small and medium business with a shoestring marketing budget.

It is more flexible

New age advertising allows you to make tweaks and effect changes in an instant. This isn’t the same for traditional advertising as it takes time and resources to update a campaign.

There you have it, the things you need to know about the traditional and digital advertising age. What do you need to do before deciding what model to adopt for your ad campaign? Start with trying to identify who your ideal customers are and where they hang out. Doing this will help you run a profitable advertising campaign with massive ROI.

Table of Contents

With Scrollable Navigation

Chapter 1 – What Is The Difference Between Traditional And Digital Advertising Age?

Chapter 2 – What Is Advertising?

Chapter 3 – Traditional Advertising Age

Chapter 4 – Digital Advertising Age

Chapter 5 – Flaws Of Traditional Advertising

Chapter 6 – Benefits Of New Age Advertising

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