The great divide: traditional vs. digital advertising

Which method of advertising prevails, digital, traditional or a mix of the two?

The history of advertising began with public notices carved on steel in Ancient Egypt. Since then, the evolution of advertising has touched on print ads, branding, billboards, backlit shop signs, TV advertisements and celebrity endorsements, which just about brings us up to where we are now with social media and digital agencies. The question is though, which method of advertising prevails, digital, traditional or a mix of the two?

With so many new advertising trends surfacing every week, it is difficult at times to separate the good from the bad or the short-lived to the everlasting. Jumping on the latest advertising craze can oftentimes cause a business to fall flat on its face. While this differs from business to business depending on size, service/product, location, etc., there are of course a few guidelines to look out for.

Make your physical store visible

For businesses with a physical store or office, it is important to make it visible to passersby. For this, traditional methods of advertising are the most reliable. Ensuring your storefront looks professional, clean and inviting is the first step to improving your shop’s appearance. The next is to think about signage, plants and display.For eye-catching signage, consider things like backlit signs, LED video walls, window designs, and banners. Rollout banners can be an easy way to attract attention, provide information and inject some life to your storefront. Companies like Saxoprint provide several options if you decide to go for rollout banners. Your window display should attract attention, encourage impulse sales and spontaneity, as well as provoke curiosity.

Online presence

This form of digital advertising is an absolute must. Whether you’re a carpenter in Leeds, a stationary shop in Brighton, or a consultancy firm in London, a modern, informative and user-friendly website is a necessity. A business without an online presence is often considered untrustworthy and unreliable. What once took place only on the streets, window shopping is now occurring online; browsing the internet for goods and services both near and far has almost become a favourite past time of ours. It is therefore important to make your business visible online and provide all the relevant information such as opening hours, location and products or services provided.

In addition to this, social media is one of the best ways to keep your customers up to date with news on your business. With social media, you can easily inject some of your business’s personality into posts and images. Another element of social networking for businesses is advertising on such platforms. The trend towards user-generated advertisements on the likes of Facebook and Instagram is growing rapidly and is proving to be a trusted method of advertising amongst millennials.

Paid advertisements

The traditional method of paying for TV, radio and newspaper magazines now seems somewhat outdated for some businesses, however, this totally depends on your trade. TV adverts used to rule all other forms of advertising, but with video content marketing they have suffered slightly. What is important to take into consideration with such traditional forms of advertising, is who exactly is your target audience – perhaps they are more likely to pick up a paper and cut out ads than scroll through Instagram and follow a link. Some people also tend to be dismissive of video content online as we are exposed to an excessive amount of it, while TV adverts have been proven to be very memorable – just think of John Lewis adverts at Christmas!

Jon Sumner

Vivianne Halvorson

Experienced director of digital media with a demonstrated history of working in the publishing industry. Strong media and communication professional skilled in media sales, digital strategy, web development,...

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