Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing

By Carla Unuwai on Aug 28, 2020
Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing

Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing, which is better?

When it comes to advertising Perth businesses, there are a few key decisions to consider before deciding:

  • Where are your ideal customers spending their time
  • How do you want to track your conversion rate?
  • What is your advertising budget
  • What stage of the buyer journey are you targeting?
  • How important is the return on investment (ROI) accuracy?

From a marketing real estate perspective, the macro-level choices mean traditional advertising platforms vs. digital platforms. Let’s take a look at how they stack up against each other.


Traditional Media vs Digital Marketing

Billboards, TV, Print and Radio all feature in the traditional landscape, so let’s break each one down.



Ideal Customers

If you have ever travelled down Perth’s major freeways or decided to do a weekender to the South West, or up North, you may have noticed billboards for either luxury brands, internet service providers, real estate developments, or tourism.

Customers are geographically targeted, in the car, and in peak hour, potentially staring at your billboard.

Conversion Rate Tracking

Billboards are limited with split testing, and rely on simple impactful creatives to reach their customer. A smart billboard strategy could use a specific phone number to identify where the query has come from, however tracking conversions is generally quite difficult and reliant on customers and employees capturing this data.

Advertising Budget

Prime real estate = prime advertising budget, meaning you are likely to be selling a high priced item, with a larger volume.

 Billboards are “leased” for a certain period of time, so consider the relevancy to what is happening in the world of your customer, which leads us to the buyer journey.   

Buyer Journey Stage

Suitable for an “in-market” decision. For example, this may make sense for real estate developments where there are government grants and incentives available, and your billboard placement is close to your house and land offer.

ROI Accuracy

While you can still monitor to see if there are any spikes in sales when your advertising campaign is rolled out, ideally you would only need to launch a billboard campaign to do so.

Depending on the billboard media (think printed posters vs. animated digital billboard), split testing and optimising becomes difficult. You and your creative team have one shot to get the investment working for you, and the time to turn around changes is significant.


TV and Radio

Once the dominators of the advertising world, they have had their own industry disruptors shake things up thanks to the rise of options for consumers. Think of networks like Netflix, Stan, Spotify & YouTube, where people can spend countless hours binging shows, listening to curated playlists or watching funny cat videos. Throw in podcasts, and the choice of how we are now entertained & informed has changed substantially.

Ideal customers

Understanding their specific hobbies or interests can help you reach them, so it can be useful for niche shows with a cult following. Knowing if your customer is into Better Homes and Gardens or are die-hard fans of Masterchef Australia can help. Similarly with Radio, if they are into Pop music and love a breakfast crew, it can help your demographic reach. 

Conversion Rate Tracking

Once again, you would need to have some smart advertising copy within a very short time frame to get your customers’ attention and give them a “code” or another way to tell whether your media campaign is working.


Aside from hiring a creative team to produce your ads, you also need to buy air time, and as this is limited, expect higher fees for popular time slots.

Buyer Journey Stage

Can be great for brand awareness (I mean, who hasn’t had The Grout Guy jingle or a Thirsty Camel pun stuck in their head), and also for those who are actively in the market for your goods or services.

Remember that your creative needs to be memorable, so you are in the front of your customer’s minds.

ROI Accuracy

This all comes down to how you can capture your leads and conversions on this platform.  Call to actions would need to be worked into the advertising creative.  If you are working with a media buyer who will be working with you on your TV or radio ad placement, ask them how they calculate it, how they manage the accuracy, and what kind of ROI can be expected so that you are informed before investing.

It can also be helpful to ask what the trend has been for businesses in a niche similar to yours since the arrival of the media disruptors mentioned earlier. 



Print Media

Thanks to the rise of digital media, print publications in Perth and Australia have been in decline over the past few years with the exception of a few specialist niches.   This has also been signalled by how large media agencies have restructured and streamlined their staff.

To save you reading a similar synopsis as print is similar to TV and Radio, there is still a place for advertising on print media if you are seeking to reach a specific audience niche in a specific geographic area.  

Budget for print will depend on how much space you are taking up, your position in the publication (tends to be more expensive toward the front and back), and how often your run will go.

Important questions to take note of are to ask how big is the readership, how is the print publication distributed, and what are the time frames for production.



Advertising in Perth

Moving into the digital realm, the big players in digital advertising are Facebook (which includes Instagram) and Google (including the Google Display Network).  Then there is the rise of relative newcomers such as Spotify and TikTok as a way to reach your ideal customer.

There are big benefits for advertising digitally, and when you can start with a budget as small as $1 per day, it becomes not just a game-changer, but a growth changer for smart and savvy small businesses.

Ideal Customers

Let’s grab some stats first:

Facebook - 2.8 billion monthly active users globally.

Google -  2 trillion searches per day (yes, trillion) globally.

Spotify - 299 million monthly active users

TikTok - 800 million monthly active users.

That’s a lot of potential customers to reach.

Digital media allow you to be very targeted with your audience, and thanks to advertising algorithms, the advertising platforms work to help get your ad in front of the right customer on the right device at the right time.

The beauty here is the ability to reach customers locally or globally and based on demographics, psychographics, behaviours and interests.

You have the ability to target specific life stages of your customers, and thanks to advertising options such as retargeting and remarketing, you have the ability to remind customers of your product that they have been browsing on your site, or build brand awareness by getting your goods featured on their favourite YouTube channel or website.

Conversion Rate Tracking

Setting your ad campaigns up correctly is part of this.  The beauty with digital advertising for Perth businesses (or any business) is that conversion rate tracking happens live and in real-time.

Depending on your campaign choice, getting insight as to how effective your ad campaign is can be quick and instantaneous, allowing businesses owners and their agency partners to optimise, giving them the opportunity to dial up what’s working and dial down what’s not.

Campaign analytics with Facebook and Google allows you to see who is clicking, and who is converting, which makes this great for managing your advertising budget.


You may choose to work with an agency and tap into expertise and knowledge that you don’t have, or you may choose to DIY your digital advertising strategy.

The great news is that ad spend is performance-based. This means if you are running a brand awareness campaign, you pay based on the number of page views reached. Likewise, if you are running a conversion campaign, you pay on Cost Per Click (CPC).

Your budget comes down to how much traffic you are looking to drive, and ultimately, how many customers you can feasibly serve for the stage of business you are ramping up for.

Buyer Journey Stage

Great news again. There are three key stages to the buyer journey.

Awareness - where you want to reach new customers who have never heard of you.

Consideration - where they are actively in the market and researching and Googling.

Decision - where they are committed to spending, and actively looking for a solution.

How can you tell which stage your existing or potential customers are at?

Let’s build it out with an example.

Say you have started a sports store and you have just started selling Stand Up Paddle (SUP) boards, and want to reach customers all over Australia.

An awareness campaign may focus on getting your new product range in front of potential customers. The goal is to let them know you are around.

At consideration, you may focus on cost per click (CPC). Think of warmer weather when people are thinking about your paddleboard and getting back outdoors.

Getting traffic to your site means you have the ability to remarket and retarget the customers who clicked through but did not purchase.

Ad the decision-making stage, a customer may be actively searching for Stand Up Paddle (SUP) boards under $1000.  Their search terms indicate they are in the market, as they have become specific with their search criteria.

ROI Accuracy

Thanks to having stronger control over your budget, and digital advertising being performance-based, the guesswork is removed for online customer lead generation and acquisition.

The great news is that digital media is created to be agile, giving you the ability to optimise your advertising set and get real-time results as opposed to waiting for the end of a traditional media campaign to see what happened.



Which Should You Choose

Ultimately, that depends on your budget, the customer you are wanting to reach, and the importance of campaign accuracy.

Traditional media still has a role to play if your budget allows, makes a great partner with digital media.

If you would like to explore how digital advertising can support the marketing goals for your business, reach out to the team at Dilate for more information.

Carla Unuwai

Heya, I’m Carla! Picture a bubbly, 5f 2” chic that doesn't know the definition of an inside voice - that's me! Born in Australia but with Sicilian descent, and no, this does not mean I can cook - there’s a high chance I will burn down the kitchen if I tried. I am always up for a new adventure, I love 4x4 driving & camping along our beautiful coast line. You will rarely see me without a smile on my face, always choosing to focus on the positive things life brings. Creative by nature & passionate about this fast moving industry that is Digital Marketing.

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