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Traditional Advertising vs Digital Advertising: Fools Following Fools

Traditional Advertising vs Digital Advertising Online
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Digitization is happening at a maniacal pace. Nevertheless, even with the advent of Digital Advertising, traditional Advertising is still alive, that’s without a doubt. Although it is on a decline, the decline in traditional advertising is a lot slower than it could have been. It could have been worse.

“A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops the clock to save time.”   -Henry Ford

Why is this so?

There are enough people who don’t know what they’re doing who spend more than they should on traditional advertising. The fundamental issue of traditional ads is that these ads are usually broadcasted to the masses, e.g. viewers on Television, readers on newspapers, which is extremely difficult to track and measure the reach and effectiveness of traditional advertising.

When corporates invest vast sums of money into traditional advertisements, chances are, this money will not be able to reach the same number of people as it would have achieved if it were pumped into digital advertising instead. No, not even close. Logically speaking, the real reach of the ads on traditional media is a lot lower than the reach as advertised by conventional media and news companies.

Traditional Fools are driving with their eyes closed

Of course, corporates with enormous budgets spend on digital advertising as well. Most organisations do not know that they’re splurging most of their money on the traditional side, as it is not tracked, so they continue to proceed with this ineffective marketing strategy.

Some do know that it is mostly ineffective but their budgets are so big that they are perfectly fine with the limited value they receive. Sure enough, traditional marketing still works for a handful of organisations (e.g. MacDonalds).

mcdonalds-SG-ad-ramadan tv traditional advertising

Image Source: Coconuts Singapore

But then smaller companies say, hey, all those corporates are spending on traditional advertising so it must be good – they must know what they’re doing – and so they do the same. And it goes on.

It’s fools following fools.

Digital Advertising: No more gut instincts

Being capable of measuring and targeting audiences renders digital advertising completely superior to traditional advertising. Online Ad Companies like Facebook Audience Network and Google AdWords gives full control to advertisers.

Agoda Facebook Ad

Image Source: Agoda @ Facebook

Advertisers are given the autonomy to be selective over what type of visitors to target. Some metrics include Age, Gender, Behaviours & Interests, Device Platforms and Location. These parameters can later be analysed to evaluate the overall effectiveness of the ad with its audiences. Facebook, in particular, has a relevance score, that estimates how well your target audience is responding to your ad. This score is shown after the ad has received more than 500 impressions.

Advertisers are also able to get the biggest bang for the buck as they can choose how the money is spent, i.e. cost per mile (CPM, also means cost per thousand impressions) or cost per click (CPC). There is even a new industry standard that combines several metrics into one. It is called the effective cost per thousand impressions (eCPM).

Finishing off, advertisers are able to select to bid for ad spaces automatically or manually to optimise ad delivery. The bid will compete for auctions with other advertisers who also want to reach the same target audience.

Traditional Advertising: Old but Gold?

With so much said about the superiority of digital ads to conventional ads, the same reasons have now given traditional advertising a new edge too.

Wait… what? Hear us out.

Lots of marketers are realising the decreasing significance of traditional adverts and shifting to the digital marketplace. This phenomenon alone allows us to safely say that some forms of conventional advertising are more effective now than ever before.

Take newspaper advertising for example. There was once a time when everyone had one or more newspaper subscriptions, even if they were just going to flip through the pages for a few minutes every morning before work. With the onset of the digital age, people started to discontinue their subscriptions. Now, if you advertise in a newspaper, you are more likely to see your ad in the front pages. On top of that, since most casual readers have unsubscribed from the news, your ad is delivered to generally dedicated readers, at a much lower cost.


Image Source: Marketing-Interactive


At the end of the day, content is king and marketing is queen. But behind every successful man is a woman. Know your audience and do good work, because your work speaks for you.



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