Is Digital Advertising Killing Traditional Advertising?

January 12, 2018

Guest Article By: Adam Dahan

When is the last time you watched a TV commercial, listened to a radio ad or read a newspaper? Now, you probably have done at least one of those three things recently, but ask yourself how many times you did in comparison to looking at Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or Google? You are probably realizing now you spend way too much time on your phone. Well businesses are starting to realize this too, and so are marketers.

Why Traditional Advertising Is On the Way Down:

TV, Radio and Print used to be considered the most influential mediums in advertising (Out of Home is arguably bigger than print). However, in recent years these mediums have been losing their reach because of other alternatives. TV has Netflix, Radio has Spotify and you can get all your news or gossip from online publications. With apps and websites taking over, these traditional mediums are quickly losing the reach that made them so desirable to use.

What Are the Alternatives?

If people don’t have their eyes on traditional mediums anymore then where did their attention go? The answer is simple, “Social media”. Everyone you know is on at least one social media platform, even your grandmother. So how do you as a marketer reach those people on a large scale? Again the answer is simple, advertise on social media. Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Google and even LinkedIn all have advertising platforms. Not only are these platforms cheaper than traditional, they are able to create highly targeted audiences.

The Advantages of Digital Advertising:

Of all the advantages of digital advertising, the biggest selling point is the ability to measure return on investment (ROI). Unlike its counterpart, traditional advertising, all digital advertising platforms allow you to see how your budget is being broken down and what your ROI is. This is the real reason businesses are switching over. If you had the choice to spend $100,000 on a TV commercial and never know how much business it brought you or you could spend $20,000 and see that it made you $100,000, which do you choose? Most businesses just aren’t willing to take a shot in the dark anymore. Knowing where your money is being spent and knowing your ROI gives businesses more security when investing into advertising.

There are plenty of other advantages to digital advertising too, and each platform has its own unique functions. Another big selling point is the ability to create highly targeted audiences. Unlike traditional advertising where audiences are limited to a TV or Radio station, digital advertising allows you to make a custom audience however broad or specific you would like it to be.

Ok, so traditional advertising isn’t out for the count yet.

So maybe traditional advertising will still be around for long time. But, you can’t disregard the fast growth of the digital advertising industry. With the number of social media users increasing every year, the reach of these platforms has increased too. Digital Advertising is also pretty new so there is still plenty of room for businesses and freelancers to get in on the action. So don’t miss out on the digital advertising wave.


Adam Dahan is a managing partner at Clever Marketing Co, a digital advertising agency specializing in Facebook Ads and Google Ad Words. He studied Advertising and Marketing Communications at Humber College and went on to become one of the youngest digital agency owners in the industry. To connect with him follow Clever Marketing Co on Facebook or LinkedIn

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