digital marketing vs traditional marketing d-tech-educate

“Business has only two functions—marketing and innovation.”

—Milan Kundera—

What is Traditional Marketing?

Traditional marketing refers to all marketing techniques that predate what we now call digital marketing. Traditional marketing is any form of marketing that uses offline media to reach an audience. Basic examples of traditional marketing include things like newspaper ads and other print ads, but there are also billboards, mail ads, and television and radio ads.

Traditional marketing is not only one of the oldest forms of marketing, but also one of the most researched. Marketers gravitate towards this method because it is tried and true. Everyone encounters some type of traditional marketing in their daily lives, whether it’s getting the mail or your daily newspaper.

Traditional marketing plays an important role in reaching local audiences. Ads can be kept for a long period of time if they are physical. Plus, there is an audience that is easier to reach through traditional marketing than online marketing.

Common traditional market methods include:

  • Directly mailed postcards, coupons, and informational packets
  • Television or radio commercials
  • Newspaper or magazine ads
  • Billboards and fliers
  • Telephone calls and text notifications

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.

Why Traditional Marketing?

Traditional marketing vs. digital marketing is always one of the most talked about topics. Traditional marketing is defined as marketing that does not need the Internet for advertising purposes. This method has been evolving for a very long time, for decades. However, due to technological advances, its use is very limited.

We hear and see many advertisements every day on television, in the newspaper or on the radio as we casually go about our daily routine. When we go out, we can see such marketing advertisements on flyers around the streets. We can also notice huge movie advertising banners on every street. These movie ads are also a type of marketing. It helps the film production company to catch the attention of people walking down the street. Therefore, advertisements and slogans are everywhere in all nations.

The languages may differ depending on the country or the region. So, that is how traditional marketing works. Its main objective is to attract humans in every possible way without using the internet.

For many businesses, traditional marketing strategies work better depending on the type of company they own. Their target audience would prefer the traditional one when it comes to traditional marketing vs. digital marketing. 

  • Traditional marketing is a very effective type of marketing if one wants to reach the older population. Many reports and surveys prove that people over 50s watch TV and read newspapers twice the time compared to the people in their 20s and 30s.
  • It is a very useful type of marketing if one wants to establish or develop a business or a firm with the assistance of a larger local audience. Small businesses grow better using flyers and billboards all across the street. It is because it can attain the attention of a local audience who reside in the city.
  • One huge advantage of traditional advertisements is that they get played repeatedly. But in digital marketing, people can skip them easily.
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Advantages of Traditional Marketing

Local audience reach

The best part of traditional marketing is that it allows to reach the local audience and penetrate a local market. Traditional marketing also plays a vital role in getting the locals talking and interacting with them on the regional and daily basis. Today’s marketing is more than exchanging products for money. 

Instead, it is more about personal relationships between the brand and the consumer. Look, traditional marketing techniques like newspaper ads, commercials, local TV, or billboards significantly impact the local customers as the target audience feels more organic and less corporate.

Traditional marketing is tried and tested.

With the advent of digital marketing, many people wonder why traditional marketing are still around. If your product is best for an audience situated in the local area, then traditional marketing could have a higher success rate. 

Billboards and TV advertisements are proven techniques to increase brand awareness and establish authority. 

For example, a 15-minute show on Burj Khalifa could considerably enhance brand authority for the people who pass that area and online viewers if the brand pushed the same video online.

Hardcopy marketing are easier to process and recall

The attention span of people online is deficient. Thus it is evident that paper marketing could have the edge over digital media in recalling for people. In one report sponsored by a Canadian entity, it was apparent that paper marketing was more accessible for people to process and remember. 

It means that people found it easier and more inclined to remember what they read in a printed advertisement than they did in a digital ad.

Pro of Traditional Marketing

  • Local Targeting – It is easier to reach out to a local audience with traditional marketing. For example, through radio broadcasts and billboards you can target the people of a particular town or city with ease. It can also help target rural areas where newspaper, radio, and television marketing work better.
  • Easily processed – Information in hard copies is easier to mentally process, remember and recall in the future.
  • Highly Effective – Traditional marketing has a good success rate as it is an age-old method of marketing and has been tried and tested to reach the right target audience.

Cons of Traditional Marketing

  • Costly – It is more expensive compared to digital marketing. There are printing costs involved for newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, fliers, etc. Running advertisements on the radio and television is costly as well and billboards need to be rented. In digital marketing, there are fewer costs involved.
  • Difficult to Track The downside to traditional marketing is that there are ways of tracking the results of the campaign but there is no in-depth analysis. Hence, there is no one way of knowing what could have been done better or differently or what went right or wrong in the previous campaigns.
  • Decrease in Popularity – Many brands prefer going online to sticking to traditional marketing methods such as newspapers and magazines. The internet has a higher reach and is easily accessible to most people. To dig deeper, some digital marketing vs traditional marketing statistics state that around 60% of businesses have already shifted their marketing efforts to digital marketing. 

What is Digital Marketing?

The term digital marketing refers to the use of digital channels to market products and services in order to reach consumers. This type of marketing includes the use of websites, mobile devices, social media, search engines and other similar channels. Digital marketing became popular with the advent of the Internet in the 1990s.

Digital marketing involves some of the same principles as traditional marketing and is often considered a new way for companies to approach consumers and understand their behavior. Companies often combine traditional and digital marketing techniques in their strategies. Digital marketing is a general term for any steps a company takes to connect with customers through electronic technology. 

The digital marketing process involves similar tactics as traditional marketing. Organizations can combine both traditional and digital marketing techniques as a strategy.

Common digital marketing methods include:

  • Website content
  • Email campaigns
  • Content marketing
  • Social media posts
  • Clickable ads
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)

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.
  • Content marketing: It helps advertise in the form of storytelling to the users.
  • 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.

Why Digital Marketing?

In this fast-moving world, a lot of new technologies have evolved. Digital marketing strategies are one among them. Nowadays, people can do marketing using the internet and smartphones from the comfort of their homes. These strategies are not physical, so they cut out the transportation, inventory, and other related expenses. 

Therefore, it makes so much sense to advertise over the internet rather than on any television or magazine.

Due to the current technological developments, digital marketing methods and strategies will always continue to evolve no matter what. There are enormous ways to do this marketing. Since they are modern, it is essential to have maximum knowledge regarding current technologies and advancements. They use the latest tactics.

There are a plethora of benefits of digital marketing over traditional marketing. Given below are some of them:

  • It is simple to track audience involvement and collect their data for future use. It will enhance the algorithm of the company’s website. You can easily obtain the information when someone uses your site, follows you on social media, or messages you regarding queries.
  • Businesses can advertise their services for free on many platforms. It is possible to send and receive emails without involving any cost. But in traditional strategies, it will involve a lot of money to print and send individual postcards.
  • Because digital marketing has a wider scope, it will help businesses acquire a global audience’s attention.

Advantages of Digital Marketing

Global reach

With digital marketing, any brand could reach new markets and trade globally and track and measure the results.

Lower costs with a focus on ROI and ROAS

A properly planned digital marketing strategy allows you to target the customers who might be the right fit for your product. Not everybody on the internet is your customer. You could create a customer persona and target the people who fit this criterion. 

Web analytics and other online metric tools make it very easy to measure your online marketing campaigns. It gives a clear idea of where the budget is spent and how much ROI (return on investment) and ROAS (return on advertising spend) could be obtained for every dollar spent. 

The top-notch digital marketing help you get return on your advertising budget. With the digitalization in marketing, the marketing budget is no more an expanse but an investment in the brand’s growth.


Not all customers are in the same stage of the marketing funnel. Thus, it makes excellent sense to provide personalized offers to each customer viewing your website or advertisement offer. However, it is impossible to add the personalization touch in traditional marketing, leading to weaker bonds between the brand and the customer. 

However, with digital marketing, you could greet your audience with a personalized message in email marketing and create different ad copies for people at different customer journey stages.

Pro of Digital Marketing

  • Cost-efficient– If you’re on a low budget, digital marketing is perfect for you. The best part is that you can do a lot with a limited budget and get exactly what you want. It is much more cost-efficient than traditional marketing and it is much easier to control and track the budgets as well. This is great for startups, especially.
  • Reach – The reach is global when it comes to digital marketing and the investment involved can be minimal.
  • Measurable results – The marketing results are real-time and trackable. You can track how a user navigates your website, leads, conversions and so much more. With many metrics to choose from, you can get an in-depth analysis of your marketing efforts.
  • Targeting – With digital marketing, it is much easier to know that your communication is targeting the right audience. With filters, you can set specific attributes for your target audience narrowing down relevant users.
  • Interactive – Digital marketing is highly interactive as it makes use of a two-way approach to communication. You can easily strategize your communication to be conversational to increase engagement on your page.
  • Immediate Conversions – In the case of websites, social media posts, etc. conversions are on-the-spot unlike traditional marketing wherein a user is directed to a phone number or a physical store.

Cons of Digital Marketing

  • High Competition – With digital marketing, there is global reach which means there is also a global competition to tackle. It is difficult to stand out from the crowd – your product/service and communication need to be very unique.
  • Skills and Training – Creating digital marketing campaigns and training marketing executives is very time-consuming.
  • Fast-changing – Marketing tools and trends are fast-changing and hence, it is important to keep up to date with them.
  • Tedious CRM – Carrying out CRM (customer relationship management) can be very challenging. Negative feedback would be displayed on your website for all your users to view and can affect your brand reputation. Managing it is also a task. 

Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing

traditional marketing vs digital marketing d-tech-educate
BASIS FOR COMPARISONTraditional MarketingDigital Marketing
DefinitionConventional methods of approaching customers using print marketing, outdoor marketing, broadcasting, referral marketing, one-to-one marketing, ectConnecting with  customers through electronic media and social media platforms
CommunicationOne-wayTwo-way communication feeding relationships and credibility
Value of trendThe trend has to be rememberedThe trend can be easily identified by the customer
TargetingDemographicsBased on the attitude of customers
Targeting difficultyDifficult to targetEasy to target
Seller buyer InteractionVery less or NilHigh
Being viralDepends on effective presentationBased on trustful content and features
Content-typeCreated by experts, limitedMixed content ( audio, video, blogs, posts)
Opinion LeadershipExperts have the major sayUsers and customers’ opinions are important
ROICannot be measured easilyEasily tracked
TweakingImpossible once the ad is publishedPossible any time
ResultsDelayed resultsQuick results and impacts
InterruptionsCannot be ignoredAd blockers and premium services might prevent from reaching customers
CostExpensiveComparatively cheap and affordable
Key Differences Between Traditional Marketing and Digital Marketing

1-The difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing are stated hereunder:
Traditional Marketing implies any sort of promotion, advertising or campaign, used by the companies over the years for publicizing the products and services, by using conventional channels like radio, television newspaper, etc. On the other hand, Digital Marketing is the process of promoting and selling the company’s products and services by using online marketing channels and tactics.

2-While traditional marketing is static, whereas digital marketing is dynamic in nature.

3-The rate of conversion from a prospect to lead is faster in digital marketing as compared to traditional marketing. This is because, digital marketing is data-driven marketing and ads are shown to people according to their likes and interests, and this helps in generating qualified leads.

4-Customer engagement refers to the interaction between a customer and a company via different online or offline channels. So, the rate of customer engagement is higher in digital marketing as compared to traditional marketing. This is because, the customers can directly view the product details and other offers, just by a click in case of digital marketing and they don’t need to visit the showroom or the company to get the details of the product.

5-Return on Investment cannot be calculated in the case of traditional marketing, but one can easily calculate the same in the case of digital marketing.

6-While traditional marketing is less effective more expensive, digital marketing is less expensive more effective.

7-With digital marketing, one can easily keep an eye on where the buyer is coming from, which is the most viewed product, how many customers are actually buying the product, who are interested in the product, etc. On the other hand, in traditional marketing, tracking the customer is not at all possible.

8-Traditional Marketing uses standardized methods to target customers, and therefore, it involves mass marketing with a very low personal touch. On the contrary, digital marketing uses personalization in the sense that only those products are shown to the customers in which they have shown interest recently or they are searching for it over the internet for quite some time.

9-In the case of traditional marketing, tweaking’s are not possible once the ad is placed. As against, tweaking can be performed anytime, even after the ad is placed.

10-As the traditional marketing caters the audience of the specific geographical area only, so the reach is local or limited to the concerned area where the ad is shown. On the other hand, as digital marketing uses the internet, the products and services that are being promoted can fetch demand globally. Thus, digital marketing is not confined to a specific area only.

11-Coming to the results,  traditional marketing takes time to show the results of the marketing activities. But, digital marketing shows quick and real-time results to the marketer.

12-In case of traditional marketing, consumers cannot skip the ads, as they are bound to watch them, however, there is no such limitation in case of digital marketing as it allows the consumers to avoid or skip the ads which they do not find useful or they are not interested in.

13-While traditional marketing is a one-way communication, where the company spreads information about the product or services offered, digital marketing is two-way communication, where along with the ads placed by the company to spread information, customers also provide their feedback about the products and services, in the form of reviews, etc.


Q: What are the different ways of digital marketing?

Ans: Marketing digitally includes the following ways:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Social Media Marketing (SMM)
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Q: Who is a digital marketer?

Ans: Digital marketers increase awareness of the company’s brand and help generate leads using both free and paid digital platforms.

Q: How can digital marketing and traditional marketing work together?

Ans: One way wherein both digital marketing and traditional marketing work together is to provide customers with personalized experiences.

Q: What are the advantages of digital marketing over traditional marketing?

Ans: Digital marketing has global reach at a minimal cost as compared to traditional marketing.

Q: What is the difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing?

Ans: In traditional marketing, the company’s prime focus is the sale of a product or service, while the focus of digital marketing is more on the customers.

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By d-tech-educate

The passion for technology, the curiosity and the desire to discover more about the world of the internet pushed me to create an educational peace for technology which I hope will help a lot of people with the information they will get from my posts. For the creation of the website I followed many videos on Youtube and WordPress attracted me more and I started to create it, now I am very happy that I created it. D-Tech Educate is a new website created to publish materials that will educate site visitors to be adopted with the latest technology, take advantage of its benefits while being careful with privacy of personal data etc. Thank you !

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