You see traditional marketing every day – the printed advertisements in your newspapers or magazines, the catalogues that fill your mailbox, and the grinning faces that sell you products through your TV set.

While sometimes those stuffed mailboxes can be annoying, traditional marketing has a number of benefits. It offers a tangible product for your potential customer to hold and look at, and can reach people who don’t use the internet or social media.

But there are downsides to traditional marketing too. It’s often expensive – a TV campaign is outside the budget of almost all small businesses, and even hard copy brochure printing can be pricey. It’s also usually forced on someone – through your screen, mail, or radio – which might not put people in the right mood to buy.

That’s where digital marketing can step in. For B2B marketers who measure ROI, 64% say digital marketing is the better choice compared to traditional marketing (AMR International).

Why is this? There are a number of benefits digital marketing can have over traditional marketing.

One of the main advantages is that digital marketing is measurable. When you send out a brochure through the mail, there’s no way to tell who’s read it, how they received it, and even if you do get a new customer make a purchase, it’s hard to tell whether it was the result of that brochure or some other source.

Compare this to email marketing. You can see who’s opened your email, whether they’ve followed the links within it, and whether that’s meant a sale – hard data you can use down the track with your business.

Digital marketing also scales. We mentioned at the top that a physical mail campaign can be prohibitively expensive for some small businesses. But because of the range of methods available to digital marketers, you can do as little or as much as you want to meet your budget. You can spend a small amount to reach hundreds via an email campaign or sponsored Facebook posts, or implement a full-blown digital content strategy. What’s appealing is that you can customise it to your needs and constraints.

Finally, you can target digital marketing. If you start a mail or TV campaign, it’s difficult to target people who are actually interested in your business – meaning your message falls on a lot of deaf ears. Digital marketing lets you talk to the people who care about your products or services, which means people are more interested in what you’re selling and you don’t waste money talking to people who aren’t.

This in no way advocates disregarding traditional marketing campaigns – they’ve been tried and tested as successful in a number of areas. Rather, we’re trying to illustrate the importance of digital marketing to any business marketing plan. Both forms of marketing can work in tandem, but for those who want targeted messages and measurable results, digital marketing performs best.