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Search Market Mentors

Traditional vs Digital Media Buying

Picture of Times Square for blog about traditional vs. digital media buying


As the largest full-service agency in the region, we know a thing or two about media buying. In fact, having worked with so many clients over our 15+ year history, we understand that effective media buying isn’t achieved by chance. It requires a healthy mix of quality data, and skillful negotiations and placements—a blend perfected over time and through experience and relationships.

Here, we dive into traditional vs digital media buying, explaining how they differ and how they’re similar. We’ll also outline some considerations and questions to ask to be sure the agency you partner with has the understanding and expertise to make your media buy efficient and effective.

First Things First: Definitions

Traditional media is anything that pre-dates the internet. Examples include print ads placed in newspapers or magazines, outdoor billboard advertising, and radio or television advertising. Digital media is everything else: online, display, pay-per-click, paid social and a growing array of other digital options, like remarketing.

All these forms of advertising can reinforce your brand and introduce products to the market. But when you break down the target audiences and strengths of each type of media, you’ll see the differences between traditional vs digital media buying, and how experts with very different skill sets are best equipped to buy each.

Making the Right Buys

Traditional placements can be targeted, but not as finitely as digital advertisements. Still, strategic and well-informed buys can be (and are) made by our team. We are the only agency in the market that invests in Nielsen Television and Nielsen Audio ratings, among others, to help guide our decisions. The available performance reporting and analytics provide us with numbers in black-and-white to make efficient and informed media plans that deliver results. This data, combined with our expertise, market knowledge, established relationships and keen negotiating skills, also lend themselves to the endeavor.

Digital media buys are likewise numbers-driven; however, we are can drill down deeper. We define goals and strategies and identify the “ideal customer” based on demographics, geography, psychographics, audience and qualitative data. With this information in hand, we strive to maximize your ad spend, and monitor and adjust buys throughout the life of the campaign.

Strategy & Execution

As you can see, it helps to partner with professionals who understand traditional vs digital media buying. Lucky for you, we have teams of experts in both areas. Ready to make a buy? So are we. Contact us today.