Digital Marketing Strategy vs. Traditional: Which is Best for Education Marketing?

By now, your college or university must have some sort of digital marketing strategy. Your question isn’t whether having a digital presence is critical. It’s what to prioritize in terms of marketing and advertising spending.

Should we shift more dollars toward digital and away from traditional?

Digital is important, but will we actually get a better ROI from traditional in the long run?

Or, is traditional a relic of the past? Should we put all our eggs in the digital basket?

Why You’re Fixating on Digital Marketing Strategy

We’ve now had the Internet for over 25 years. With the rise of social media, Big Data, personalized ad targeting and analytic tools have created an incredible amount of power for marketers to increasingly engineer results.

This is why your digital marketing strategy looks so different today from what traditional strategies did 25 years ago. They were much more similar in the beginning (think newspaper ads = digital newspaper ads, TV spots = video ads, etc.).

Now, there’s no comparison.

  • A billboard functions nothing like a targeted, clickable, trackable social media ad.
  • Direct mail is completely different from personalized, two-way email communications.
  • Linear television ads live in a completely different space than YouTube videos.

Digital methods are the brightest, shiniest objects in the room, and for good reason. There are many reasons to argue that a digital marketing strategy should be central to your efforts.

Funny thing, though.

There’s still a lot of money going into traditional marketing and advertising. Why? Why do marketers in general — education marketers like you among them — still use the old methods?

Let’s take a look at current advertising trends, how the COVID-19 pandemic is playing into this, and what the arguments are for where traditional methods should fit into your digital marketing strategy today.

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Bart Caylor

Bart Caylor


President & Founder Caylor Solutions Husband. Dad. Learner. Thinker. Branding, Marketing, Problem Solver for Education. Apostle's Creed. #highered #marketing