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Traditional Media Budgets

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

Traditional media

If we think about traditional media, we think about largely non-digital media. Tracking tells you the value of what each channel is delivering for you. It tells you what’s working and what isn’t. It enables iteration an optimization so you can have challenges strategies, and you can bring alternative methods of delivering media into the mix that can deliver more or less than you have before. And ultimately your goal is to try and generate higher returns.

So even from a traditional media principle, and a lot of these principles hold true into digital media as well, the value of tracking is extremely important. You need to understand what you’re getting from each channel that you’re investing in. Because that enables you to allocate your investment accordingly, it enables you to bring in new challenges or alternative strategies to work out whether they can deliver more efficiently. Because, ultimately, the goal is to try and deliver higher returns.

Traditional and digital integration

Traditional media and digital media are increasingly being integrated – trying to work together – and one of the challenges is how do you think about how to do that? How do you think about how to allocate traditional media? And how do you think about allocating to digital media? Tracking plays an important component as we’ve discussed because you need to understand what’s working, why it’s working, where it’s working.

But also it’s important to take it back to strategic first principles. It’s important to think about marketing communications as an overall discipline and the different elements of marketing communications, the different people that you’re trying to influence, the different people that you’re trying to reach.

  • The Four P's: Within that, consider the key tenets of marketing: product, price, place and promotion. How are each of those influencing? What role are they playing within the marketing mix in terms of influencing your target consumers to come and buy your product or service?
  • Channels: And then we think about channels within that. So, is that direct marketing, for example? Is that email? Is that social? What different channels are there, and which ones can most effectively achieve the objectives?
  • Objectives: In terms of achieving the objectives, consider the number of people that you’re reaching, and the type of people that you’re reaching. The different elements of your target audience and it’s in terms of the effectiveness of the message that you’re trying to get across.

Remember that an integrated marketing strategy between traditional and digital is such because different media channels and different routes have different levels of effectiveness for different types of objectives and different types of people. So if you want to reach a huge number of people in a very short time then television may well be the most effective way to do that.

However, if you want to really engage people in a conversation and you want people to be thinking about the different aspects of product or service, and perhaps co-creating or sharing, then that may be more appropriate for a social space. So think about the pros and cons of the different channels and the roles that they can play, and then track the effectiveness of your activity in each of those channels to balance traditional media versus digital media.

But consumers are operating in an online and offline world and it’s really important to recognize that traditional media has a role to play alongside digital, and it’s identifying the relevance of the message and the presence of the audience that will help you to determine which channel is the most appropriate one to use. And to build the right communication mix overall to be able to achieve your objectives.


Traditional media, however, does have a number of limitations.

  • Time bound: It’s constrained in terms of things like time, for example. If one wants to put a print advertisement in a magazine or an outdoor billboard, there’s a long lead time between your decision to do that; the development of the creative and when the creative actually gets placed.
  • Format restrictions: You’ve got format restrictions if you’re on a page, if you’re on a TV screen, if you’re on a billboard, there are restrictions to what you can do in terms of format what that technology will enable you to deliver.
  • Geographic constraints: So most traditionally in the case of traditional media, consider regional television stations or regional radio stations, which will only reach certain sections of the population, which can be useful for targeting point of view, but it can also be restricting. So there are restrictions in traditional media that one needs to be aware of, and a lot of these are less present in digital media.
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John Garnett

John Garnett is Managing Director at Bee Dance Consulting. He specializes in advising and helping businesses with strategy, marketing, and innovation challenges.

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    Budget and Resourcing
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    This module dives deep into budgeting and resourcing digital campaigns to set them up for success. It begins by focusing on how to plan a digital marketing budget including the key budgetary factors to consider during planning. It covers how to maximize ROI for a given budget and best practices for recruiting and retaining key digital talent. It also covers topics on setting a budget, addressing campaign objectives and KPIs, timeframes, forecasting, organizational structure and systems, and supporting processes and software. Applying a budget is also covered, including specific topics on traditional media budgets, optimizing digital media budgets, digital media pricing, channel integration and attribution, and budgeting for creative.