Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing


 What’s the Difference?

When it comes to marketing, there are two main types: digital marketing and traditional marketing. But what’s the difference? Digital marketing refers to any form of marketing that takes place through digital channels, such as the internet, email, or mobile devices. It’s become increasingly popular in recent years due to the proliferation of digital devices and the rise of online networking. Traditional marketing, on the other hand, refers to any form of marketing that takes place offline, such as print advertisements, television commercials, or radio ads. It’s still a popular method of marketing, especially for larger businesses with more resources.

Which Type of Marketing Should You Use?

Digital marketing is generally more cost-effective and can be more targeted, while traditional marketing can be more effective at reaching a larger audience. It’s important to consider your budget and target market when deciding which type of marketing to use.

Forms of Digital Marketing

  • Social media marketing: Social media marketing is getting widely popular among the youths. Many businesses and startups advertise their work in the form of posts, videos, and stories on all social media platforms.
  • Email marketing: It is one type of digital market where businesses send electronic mail to the target audience.
  • PPC – Pay-per-Click: These are paid advertisements. They only stay on the web for a shorter period. Once you stop paying, it will be gone.
  • Mobile marketing: Provides advertisements on smartphones, laptops, and tablets for the target audience.
  • SEO – Search Engine Optimization: SEO is the most common type of digital marketing used in many organizations. Its main objective is to show the business on the top while searching it on the web. However, it also needs customers’ support to get high ranks.
  • Affiliate marketing: Includes advertising a product or a service with the help of a well-known influencer or a celebrity. The major reason companies do it is to improve their brand name.

Forms of Traditional Marketing

The following are some of the traditional marketing methods:

  • Television commercials: One method of traditional marketing is broadcasting advertisements using TV commercials. There are millions of ads that benefit due to this form of marketing.
  • Radio commercials: Radios played a vital role in the late 20th century. People who could not afford television opted for radios and CD cassettes those days. There are many different varieties of advertisements that could be broadcasted with the assistance of radios.
  • Flyers: Many companies and businesses are still printing flyers to promote their services. Flyers are also called handouts.
  • Billboards: Billboards contain pictures of the advertisement. They are usually found on the highways. Mostly, billboards are placed by top companies and businesses to promote their services.
  • Magazine and newspaper ads: Newspaper magazines acted as one of the finest sources of obtaining information regarding anything. There are tons and tons of ads posted every day.
  • Telephone and SMS marketing: These mostly include phone calls and text messages of advertisements for various businesses and their services.
  • Referral: Referral is when the organization asks its employers and customers to recommend their products and services to their friends and family or neighbors.
  • Direct mail: Many businesses mail their ads in postcards or notices to the people in the company’s target area or city.

Which One is Better?

So, which strategy wins when comparing traditional marketing vs. digital marketing?

The short answer: it depends.

The long answer:

Digital marketing is probably the best option for most. If you want to reach a particular group of people, wherever they may be, while keeping costs low, go with digital marketing. Doing so will also allow you to collect valuable information on your audience immediately so that you can create even more effective marketing campaigns.

However, there is still a place for traditional marketing. If you want to reach an older audience or a local audience, traditional marketing methods may be more productive and stand out better than digital marketing methods. Though these methods may seem “old,” the reality is that they’ve stuck around for a reason. They work!

When considering which marketing strategy is best for your business, consider your audience, where they get their information from, and use that to make your decision. When deciding between traditional marketing vs. digital marketing, it’s not necessarily true that one is simply better than the other as they serve different purposes. The bottom line is that you need to fully understand your business and your audience to pick the strategy that’s better for you.


Digital Marketing 


More options for engagement
Through channels such as social media you can physically see what your audience think of your brand and marketing efforts. If your marketing has been shared, liked and had plenty of positive comments, you know you’re doing something right.

Easy to measure your campaigns
On the flipside to traditional marketing, the specifics of digital marketing tracking is exceptionally in depth. This makes your learnings extremely clear for your next round of marketing efforts.

Makes clever targeting possible
If you have the tools to specifically target a 29 year old female writer who loves Lizzo and drinking Guinness then surely you can also create perfectly tailored content?


Digital ads can be deemed as annoying

Think about the moment you’re scrolling through your Facebook homepage and all you want to do is see what your old school friends are up to these days. Then you get the dreaded sponsored ad for something related to an embarrassing ailment you googled the night before. It’s sure to make you actively dislike the very brand doing the clever targeting.

Less permanent

Digital marketing efforts like Google ads, banners, promo emails or social media ads can have a fleeting, temporary character. They’re intangible and can easily be ignored. If your target audience keeps scrolling or clicks to the next page your ad will be gone from their screen.

Constantly evolves

To get the most out of your digital marketing efforts there is a lot to learn. Each channel usually requires its own specialist, from search engine marketing to social media, each channel requires a pro to get the best bang for your buck. However, a grass-roots social media marketing strategy is a great place to start. Have a look at our digital marketing strategy guide for some inspiration.

Traditional Marketing 


Impactful and easy to understand
A visually bold billboard or a striking TV commercial is a normal part of most people’s day to day lives. They’re easy to digest and often entertaining.

Printed marketing materials are more permanent
If you have an advert in an issue of The New York Times it will be there until the magazine is recycled. Which is great if the consumer is an avid collector.

More memorable
Seeing something in real life rather than on your phone is more likely to be remembered. The anticipation of the new Super-Bowl ads or a beautiful and impressive window display is more likely to stay in your mind than an Instagram ad you’ll probably scroll past in seconds.


More difficult to measure campaigns
There are ways to measure traditional marketing campaigns such as brand trackers but they are nowhere near as in depth or intelligent as the tools available for digital marketing.

Often expensive
If you’re a brand in its infancy chances are you don’t have the funds for a 4 page spread in Vogue. Many forms of traditional marketing will set you back a considerable amount.

No direct interaction with the consumer
Unlike social media marketing, you’re more or less in the dark about your audience’s reaction to your marketing efforts.


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