If you own a business, you know plenty of ways to spend your advertising budget. The biggest debate for many companies is whether to prioritize digital or traditional advertising. Which is right for your business? Find out by reading along.

What is Traditional Advertising?

Traditional advertising is simple. These ads take shape in the form of any media that doesn’t utilize the world wide web. Examples of traditional advertising might include television and radio commercials, billboards, or mailers. 

What is Digital Advertising?

While the internet is excluded from traditional ads, it’s the core medium for digital advertising. Advertising on the internet is growing all the time, including things like search engine marketing, social media, video ads, and email marketing campaigns.

Now that you know the difference between these two types, how can you make the best decision for your business?

Advantages of Old Media

Before making a case for why you should make digital ads your priority, we should first outline old media’s advantages. Some businesses might find that old media is better for their audience, message, or budget. Here are a few cases in which you might prefer to use traditional advertising:

  • Your target audience is older and less active on the internet
  • Your organization does not have a strong online presence
  • Your audience spends more time engaging with traditional media like TV and radio

Embracing the Digital World

Even though there are a few instances where you can make a case for old media, digital ads are almost always more effective for business. The main draw to digital ads, in BadCat’s opinion, is three-fold. Digital ads are cheaper, target audiences more effectively, and are easily measured.

The Cost of Digital Ads

When was the last time you bought a slot on your local television station or called your local billboard salesman? If you have, the chances are that these packages were expensive. Expensive costs stem from the fact that most traditional ads come in monthly, quarterly, or annual packages. Digital ads, however, allow you to set a budget or create a spending cap. Rather than buying a full package, you can instead spend a specific dollar amount to advertise online.

Hyper-Detailed Targeting

Traditional marketing doesn’t target as well as digital ads. With traditional ads, the best targeting you can get is often limited to your choice of zip code. With digital marketing, you can access extremely specific groups. Do you have a product that needs to be seen by avid quilters? Throw some targeted ads toward the terms they’re searching for online. Want to retarget current customers? You can easily whip up some social ads for your followers. This advantage is crucial in the age of niches and is a vast improvement over traditional advertising.


Digital ads are easy to measure. It’s not unusual to have no measurements for traditional ads other than how often they’re shown, and thus no indicator of return on investment. Digital ads allow for conversion tracking. You can define what makes the ad a success, like visiting your website or following your page–and track whether the ad was a success. The best part is that if the ad doesn’t work, you can change it on the fly.

Now that you know why you need to prioritize digital marketing, how are you doing? If you need help beefing up your online presence, contact BadCat Digital for help.