Many brands are shifting their focus from traditional marketing to digital marketing, with good reason.  Recent trends are showing a decline in engagement from traditional marketing efforts and an increase in engagement on the digital marketing front. For decades, traditional marketing dominated the advertising industry but there was always a major component missing: the ability to accurately track data. Digital marketing seems to make up for any slack that traditional marketing has when it comes to gathering data. However, in order to understand the full power that digital marketing holds we first have to understand what exactly traditional marketing is.

By definition, traditional marketing refers to any type of promotion, advertising or campaign that has been in use by companies for years, and that has a proven success rate. Methods of traditional marketing can include print advertisements, such as newsletters, billboards, flyers and newspaper print ads. In addition, broadcast media such as television and radio are considered traditional. Now that we know what traditional marketing is let’s take a look at how digital marketing gained traction over the years and see exactly why it’s dominating the advertising industry.

What Exactly Is Digital Marketing?

By definition digital marketing is an umbrella term for the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, mainly on the internet, but also including mobile phones, display advertising, and any other digital medium. Digital marketing has drastically changed the way that advertisers utilize technology.  Digital marketing tactics come in various forms. A few examples are:

  • SEO
  • SEM
  • Content Marketing
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Campaign marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Social Media Optimization
  • Display Advertising
  • E-mail Direct Marketing
  • Games
  • E-books
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These tactics allow advertisers to create unique and attention-drawing campaigns.

A Proven Track Record of Success

When it comes to the battle between digital and traditional marketing the winner is chosen by metrics. Digital marketing has become increasingly popular with advertisers due to the clear ability to measure performance from its campaigns. Digital marketing allows users to track metrics like traffic to a website, video views, impressions, sales and engagement just to name a few.  Traditional marketing does not have the ability to accurately track these methods. You can track magazine sales but you can’t track how many people actually saw and engaged with a particular ad in a magazine unless there is a call to action: mail in rebate, mail in sweepstakes.

Sculpting The Perfect Audience

One major advantage that digital marketing has over traditional is the ability to tailor messages to certain audiences. Digital advertisers can market their products or services to the audience that they feel is most likely to interact and engage. Digital marketers also have the ability to choose their target audiences age, gender, interest, and location. Traditional marketing efforts tend to reach a more general audience because you can’t control to a science who see’s your billboard. Another major problem that traditional marketing faces is losing its potential audience. Take television for example. It has become harder for traditional marketers to reach a target audience with a commercial because the amount of viewers watching television is steadily declining. The same thing can be said for newspapers because more people are now reading the news on tablets and mobile devices.

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Saving Money Where It Counts

Most cost-conscious brands are going to want to get the most for their money. IAB’s Senior Vice President of Research, Sherrill Mane was quoted as saying, “while it’s true TV and online advertising aren’t entirely interchangeable, the IAB learned that strategically moving your dollars to digital increased reach without increasing spend.” More brands are seeing more value for their money in digital advertising; thus, they are shifting funds from traditional marketing to digital.

The End Result

The benefits that digital marketing brings to the advertising industry are undeniable. We can only expect the amount of advertisers that turn to digital marketing as their primary focus for advertising will continue to grow over time. One thing is for sure – digital marketing is here to stay.


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Ronn Torossian is the Founder & Chairman of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently owned PR firms in the United States. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth and vision, with the agency earning accolades including being named a Top 50 Global PR Agency by PRovoke Media, a top three NYC PR agency by O'Dwyers, one of Inc. Magazine's Best Workplaces and being awarded multiple American Business Awards, including a Stevie Award for PR Agency of the Year. With over 25 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected public relations executives. Throughout his career he has advised leading and high-growth businesses, organizations, leaders and boards across corporate, technology and consumer industries. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications. He has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly in the media and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller. Torossian's strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, a Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a recipient of Crain's New York Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Outside of 5W, Torossian serves as a business advisor to and investor in multiple early stage businesses across the media, B2B and B2C landscape. Torossian is the proud father of two daughters. He is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of multiple not for profit organizations.