Choosing the Best Media Buying Strategies for eCommerce

3 min read

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The debate over whether to use digital or traditional marketing is not a new one; it's been ongoing for some years now. Although the former is a relative newcomer to the scene, it has taken the world by storm, causing many business owners to invest in digital advertising themselves.

Traditional marketing techniques are somewhat premature, yet they still offer a lot under the right circumstances. The question is, how do you know which is right for your eCommerce business? 




Traditional Media Buying 

The term traditional marketing refers to any marketing activity that takes place away from the online world - billboards, radio ads, TV ads, and regular ‘snail mail’. It’s the oldest kind of marketing and was used exclusively until around the end of the 20th century.

Some marketers prefer it because it’s what they know, and it's effective for reaching local audiences. Additionally, because the output of traditional media buying is physical, it’s tangible, long-lasting, and memorable.

Advantages include:

  • Great for establishing credibility

  • A more diverse audience reach

  • Reaches the audience where they are in the physical world

Disadvantages include:

  • It is expensive
  • Results aren’t as measurable compared to digital marketing
  • Implementing and changing strategies takes time



Digital Media Buying 

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Digital media buying refers to paid social media ads, paid search marketing, boosting rankings, ads within email marketing campaigns, and other placements like within mobile apps, on blogs or websites, etc. Essentially anywhere you can click or view something on a digital device.

In the modern era, digital marketing is often the preferred marketing strategy due to it being a more direct way to connect with your consumers and allowing marketers to precisely target their ideal customers based on digital device use data. Brands are able to hone in on targeting so finely that those ready to buy can be identified.

To learn more about advertising and media buying, check out this resource on using native ads as a digital media buying technique.


Advantages include:

  • Specific audience targeting
  • Sharable content to reach larger audiences
  • Real-time performance tracking and optimization

Disadvantages include:

  • Competition can be high, meaning visibility can be tough
  • Online ads can be skippable unlike traditional advertising
  • Restricted by legal compliance rules for using customer data



Which Is Right For Your eCommerce Business?

Media Buying Strategy Team Meeting At Agency Office Space

When it comes to comparing the two, the differences can be quite stark. While traditional marketing is more sustainable in terms of messaging, there’s little to no ability to interact with customers.

Putting something customers can hold in their hands can create a connection that the online world can’t offer on its own. Traditional ads may be more cost effective for reaching a diverse audience than digital ads.

On the other hand, digital ads reach people in spaces that traditional advertising can't reach, like on customers' social feeds while they're immersed in scrolling. Digital marketing can target the exact niche audience a brand wants to reach, and encourage real-time interaction, but the planning and execution often requires expert assistance.

TV and radio ads cannot be edited once submitted, so you are constricted to your original ad campaign. Additionally, the cost of traditional marketing varies depending on where it’s released: businesses can pay anywhere from $2k to $175k.




Utilizing The Strengths Of Both Marketing Strategies

Instead of looking for the best media buying strategy, try taking advantage of both traditional and digital marketing to leverage the benefits of both. If you're unsure of how best to distribute your spend, contact one of our media buying agency experts, and we can put together a roadmap and a plan.

Planning a mix of traditional and digital advertising may be the best combination of cost-effectiveness and driving results, although it will be more work to initiate and manage. Brands looking to expand their advertising strategy can benefit from outsourcing the media planning and buying to advertising experts!

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