Digital advertising agency versus traditional advertising agency for small business

This article is addressed to small business owners and I would like to give them the following advice: Whenever you decide to begin a digital marketing and a digital advertising project or campaign for your business please hire a pure digital advertising agency and not a traditional advertising agency converted to a digital agency. Manage your traditional advertising campaigns with a traditional advertising agency, and manage your new digital advertising campaign with a pure digital advertising agency. I will try to explain few reasons that support this advice.

Dialectic versus Rhetoric and the Knowledge Asymmetry

The Industrial Revolution produced its mass communication media, such as TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, and other printed media. Companies and businesses used these traditional mass media to do their advertising and marketing campaigns using the traditional advertising agencies services. Mainly by delivering an advertising message to the mass media audience, without much precise targeting, low relevance, and without any type of education marketing. The delivered message was just a plain banal advertising message to the mass audience. Results always were a very low ROI for the campaigns.

During the Industrial Revolution the world knowledge and the world information were reserved to a few group of people, therefore the mass audience did not have any type of reference to argue the advertising message, making the advertising campaigns as effective and efficient as the ignorance of the mass audience.

With the new Technology and Information Revolution, most of the world knowledge and most of the world information is accessible to the mass audience, free of charge, thanks to the Internet. Making it easy for the mass audience search for any type of information in Internet and compare different products and services qualities and recommendations. This was the beginning of the new marketing and advertising in the new revolution era. The knowledge and information asymmetry began to reduced, and traditional advertising was not effective and efficient anymore as we used to know it. Now we have to well inform the mass audience, because the world knowledge and the world information are now free of charge, accessible to all the mass audience. Traditional advertising agencies campaigns do not work in Internet as they use to work in the traditional mass communication media, such as TV, radio, printed media.

Digital Advertising Agency
Digital Advertising Agency

The way of thinking of a traditional advertising agency people is therefore very different to the way of thinking of the new digital advertising agency people. The traditional advertising agency people were experts in delivering a seductive banal message to the ignorant mass audience using the traditional mass communication media, without having the need to produce a profound message. A seductive message was enough to influence in the mass audience purchasing behavior. The new digital advertising agency people know that a just seductive advertising message is not enough anymore to influence in the mass audience purchasing behavior, and they know that in the new digital media known as Internet, a much more profound advertising message is needed. The old days of banal advertising are gone, and the new days of profound and knowledgeable advertising are welcome.

Interactivity versus Passivity – Mass voices are heard

There is another important matter in this discussion about traditional advertising and digital advertising which we may call audience interactivity. People or the mass audience could not interact with the delivered message in the traditional mass communication media such as TV, radio, printed media, whereas people or the mass audience can and do interact with the delivered message in the digital media. The traditional mass communication media could not delivered opinions, recommendations, references or any other type of consumer’s reviews to the mass audiences, whereas the Internet allows the mass audiences deliver any type of opinions, recommendations, reviews, shares, likes, comments, references, pictures, and videos about the quality of the products and services that are being advertised. Mass voices are heard.

During the Industrial Revolution the advertising was the message, and now during the Technology and Information Revolution the content is the advertising, the content is the message. During the Industrial Revolutions the traditional advertising agencies produced a banal piece of advertising and purchase some spaces in the traditional mass communication media. Nowadays, in the technology and information revolution, the new digital advertising agencies have to produce a profound content about the products and services being advertised, and use that content as the message to be advertised. The advertising is not the message anymore, now the profound content is the message and therefore it is the advertising.

Engineers versus Advertisers – Left brain ahead

Other difference between traditional advertising agencies and digital advertising agencies is the human resources needed in each agency. Traditional advertising agencies needed advertisers, creatives, designers, writers, salesmen. Digital advertising agencies need subject matter experts (SME), engineers, programmers, designers, writers. Traditional advertising agencies did not need neither technology (engineers, programmers) resources, nor content or knowledge (subject matter experts) resources. These two areas make the difference, because we are now in the technology and information (knowledge) revolution. I always mention as an example the Google Company, which is the world largest digital advertising agency and it does not have in its payroll advertisers, but mainly engineers.

Relevance versus Irrelevance – Searching for accuracy

Another variable that differs from traditional advertising agencies and digital advertising is relevance. The main objective of any advertising campaign either traditional or digital is to deliver the right message to the right person, at the right time, at the right place, which is called relevance. Of course, using the traditional advertising agencies with the traditional advertising campaigns in the traditional mass communication media, this was impossible to do. All traditional advertising campaigns have very low relevance. Now, with the digital revolution, we can be more relevant during the campaign, and digital advertising agencies can deliver the right message to the right person, at the right time, at the right place, thanks to big data marketing, and thanks to search algorithms. All digital advertising campaigns can have very high relevance if they are well design and well execute with good testing and adjustment process. However I have to mention that digital advertising campaigns still have low ROI, due to the still inaccuracy of the big data marketing databases and due to the early stage of the search algorithms. There is no doubt that digital advertising campaign ROI will increase in the future.

Digital Advertising Agency
Digital Advertising Agency

Since the mass audiences are still using the traditional media (TV, radio, printed media), and they are also using the new digital media (Internet, Mobile), your business probably need to do two marketing and advertising campaigns, a traditional media advertising campaign and a digital media advertising campaign. The good advice is to hire a traditional advertising agency to design and execute the traditional advertising campaign, and to hire a digital advertising agency to design and execute the digital advertising campaign. As time goes by, and the mass audiences stop using traditional mass communication media, and switch definitely to the new digital mass communication media, then you can stop investing in traditional advertising, and keep investing in digital advertising. We are not there yet, so keep running both traditional and digital advertising campaigns with separate agencies. Internet is still a steam machine and it is yet at its early infancy.

Following a TED video about digital advertising ROI and relevance:

Thanks for reading, thanks for sharing!! I will see you in the next article.

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About the Author:

This article was written by Julio R. Sanoja, SEO Consultant, author, and professor at MSalesLeads, a SEO agency in Miami, Florida. We help businesses all over the world, to grow their businesses online; position their brands, products and services; and get qualified leads and new customers. We have been doing this for the last 17 years.

You can write me or you can call me 305-918-9793 if you need our services.

You can read our recent case studies at the following link:

Julio R. Sanoja is a consultant, strategist, and speaker about Google; SEO; and the first page of Google. Julio offers online and in company Google SEO and first page of Google consulting, strategy, projects, coaching, conferences, training, courses, and workshops.

Julio and his agency have been featured at Expertise, Upcity, CV Magazine, Medium Digest, Voyage Mia, Design Rush, Business Insider.

Our agency website has obtained several Google featured snippets in search.

We have been featured by Design Rush as one of the top 25 SEO agencies that can adapt your SEO strategy in 2019.

Julio R. Sanoja
Julio R. Sanoja



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