Digital Agency vs Traditional

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Today’s marketing world is dominated by two different types of agencies: digital and traditional. Obviously, as a digital agency, Alter Imaging is biased when comparing the two but we (sorta) tried to provide an unbiased comparison.

Let’s start with a look at what a digital agency is…

About Digital Agencies

Digital agencies utilize new technologies to help clients reach new customers through new channels. For a digital agency, Internet users (whether on the traditional web or mobile devices), are the primary target for their campaigns.  To the average person, a digital agency focuses on website design. In reality, they do much more. They monitor visitor behavior through web analytics and utilize the information to increase sales and conversions. In a similar vein, they create, monitor, and modify online ad campaigns that  laser-target specific regions and demographic groups. Ads will appear in search engines, on other websites, in video and across many other online mediums that provide content that is relevant to the message of the client. Each ad and each ad placement is monitored with the goal of finding the most effective combination of ad, placement, and landing page.

Benefits of a Digital Agency

Cost. Going online to advertise with a digital agency is much less expensive than traditional ad placements, allowing for even the smallest of businesses to benefit. Professional video production and voice over talent isn’t required for online ads.

Time. Digital marketing campaigns can launch mere days after the campaign parameters are set. Text-only pay per click ads typically go up first, followed by more sophisticated display ads.

Accountability. Compared to traditional advertising, this is a digital agency’s biggest strength. In digital campaigns, every metric is monitored. Conversions and sales are tracked to specific keywords, ads, locales, and landing pages. The info gleaned from tracking drives changes to the campaigns to improve efficiency.

The Downside of Digital

The only major downside to digital advertising is the increased technological capabilities required in order to use digital technologies effectively in a constantly changing landscape. But this is only a downside for the consumer. A digital agency is designed from the ground up to flexibly adapt to the changing environment and creatively deploy emerging technologies to their clients’ marketing campaigns.

About Traditional Agencies

Traditional agencies have and continue to dominate marketing and advertising industry simply for the sheer size and momentum. Think Mad Men. Traditional advertising agencies handle everything from branding to media placement. The branding process includes everything from logo to final product design. Ad placements are typically through common mediums such as publications, billboards, television and radio, just to name a few. Ad placements through a traditional agency typically have a very far reach, but are not quite as targeted as options offered by a digital agency.

Benefits of a Traditional Advertising Agency

One stop shop. A traditional agency can offer a holistic plan to advertise your product or brand. They can go from initial product research all the way to producing tv commercials, for a price. Many times the digital side of the campaigns are sub contracted out to digital agencies. The traditional agency maintains creative control but charges a premium on top of the subcontractor’s price.

Security. There’s a saying that goes “Nobody was ever fired for going with IBM.” Established traditional agencies are a safe bet. You know what you’re getting and, chances are, it will be extremely similar to your competition.

Trends in Digital and Traditional Advertising

While there are definitely glaring differences between traditional and digital agencies, the line distinguishing the two has been slowly becoming less noticeable in recent years as traditional agencies evolve to keep up with modern consumer trends and as digital agencies grow both in size and scope of services.

It is not a matter of if companies need to branch out into the digital world, but when.

Marketing and advertising practices are constantly evolving. The greatest trends and growth are currently being seen in digital mediums. Small, nimble, digital marketing agencies craft solutions that scale up from small initial investments as clients experience success. This allows small and large companies alike to try out new ways to reach new clients without having to invest large amounts up front.