Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing- Difference You Must Know

traditional marketing vs digital marketing

Technology has witnessed more sophisticated evolutions in the past years and we can see its impact across multiple industries. And marketing is no exception to it. We all know that marketing trends are changing by leaps and bounds with a major drift toward digital marketing. It has gone beyond traditional methods with marketers leveraging online platforms to promote brands. 

Emails, Google ads, and e-commerce sites are now used more frequently by a maximum number of businesses to reach the target audience. They are spending more effort and money on digital marketing platforms rather than just traditional ways. The best marketing automation software are getting popular day by day. 

However, that doesn’t mean traditional marketing has wiped out completely. We can still see its remnants and it’s not leaving anytime soon. So, which one should you use? Which marketing method would generate more revenue? 

To answer such questions, we have taken a comparative perspective in this blog. We have explained Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing with their pros and cons. 

What Is Traditional Marketing?

Traditional Marketing includes all the offline mediums and marketing strategies to reach the target audiences. It encompasses platforms that we use without the internet for advertising purposes, such as radio, print media, hoardings, television, etc. As these mediums are more accessible to a larger number of people, brands make the best of them to connect with a wide range of users and generate more leads. 

Before the 1990s, traditional marketing was the primary method to promote their brands. However, with the advent of the internet, its significance diminished. Some common types of traditional marketing are:

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  • Tv commercials
  • Magazines & Newspapers
  • Radio Commercials
  • Billboards
  • Tele-marketing
  • Fliers and posters
  • Direct mailers, coupons

We all see these ads almost every day, be it watching a television commercial, looking at a poster, or listening to a radio ad while driving. These methods are part of our daily lives.

What Is Digital Marketing?

Digital Marketing is a blanket term for all the promotional methods that involve online technologies. Here, sellers and brands reach their potential customers through websites, emails, mobile apps, and social media. This marketing approach relies on the internet, comprising all the digital channels and media networks to promote products and services. With the right use of these online platforms and digital channels, brands can excel and drive better sales. 

According to a report, 96% of customers know more about online brands and the number has been backed up by leading marketing agencies. With a drastic change in buying behavior, it is now more critical than ever to leverage the true power of digital marketing to promote brands and connect with customers. Digital marketing includes:

  • Email Marketing
  • Search Engines Ads
  • SEO
  • Social Media Campaigns
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Websites

Also Read: Best Email Marketing Companies To Look Out in 2022

You will be surprised to know how quickly and frequently people respond to emails and text messages. You just need the well-planned strategy that hits the right chord. 

Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing- Comparison 

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  • Marketing Approach

Traditional Marketing that involves physical presence like demos and store visits uses more of a personal approach. Hence, making it easier for marketers to build a person-to-person relationship with clients while promoting their brands. However, when it comes to mass targeting methods, such as newspaper, TV commercials, and other standard methods, a personal touch is almost nil. Also, it is difficult to personalize the commercials or other promotional methods. And businesses can’t keep an eye on buyers. 

Digital Marketing doesn’t need a physical presence as everything is online but if brands can make this happen, it will be a bonus. It uses an approach to reach a global audience, which is possible because of digital platforms that are available across the world. Although it reaches a huge audience, brands can use personalization by showing products that are based on users’ buying history and browsing patterns. Also, one can easily track where buyers have come from, their buying behavior, preferences & interests, and more. 

  • Target Audience

With traditional marketing, you cater to the audience of a specific area. So, you can reach only local or limited consumers living in that geographical area where your ad is shown.

With digital marketing, the world is your oyster and you can reach global audiences using the internet. If done right, your products and services can fetch demand from all over the world rather than a confined area. But to achieve this, make sure that you take care of the interests, demographics, and attributes of your target users, which is quite easy in digital methods.  

  • Customer Engagement

In traditional ads like commercials and print media, people generally change the channel or ignore ads written in the bottom or corner of a newspaper. The engagement rate is quite low and there is no way to know if they have read or watched the ad.

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This is different with online marketing platforms as customers can view the products that they are interested in. They can read descriptions, details, offers, and other information by simply clicking on the product they want to buy. As it’s more personalized, the engagement level is high well. 

  • Consumer Interaction

The traditional marketing approach allows one-way communication as the channels are rigid. Companies can only spread the word about their services, quality, and other offerings. 

However, online marketing gives you an opportunity to interact with buyers constantly and understand their demands better. Through digital platforms, such as social networking sites, e-commerce websites, different apps, you can take their inputs, reviews, respond to their queries and complaints, and have live chat sessions. When you listen to your customers and value their feedback, it ensures higher satisfaction.

  • Marketing Costs

Traditional methods are more expensive as they include printing, radio and TV ads, and other additional costs that companies can’t avoid and find harder to scale. 

Digital platforms are more economical as to use social media and other online platforms, you don’t have to shell a penny. Also, you can set a budget and track real-time results, making it more cost-effective. 

  • Real-time Results

For traditional methods, companies have to wait for weeks and months to monitor and get results. 

This is not the case with digital promotions as results can be measured instantly using reports and web analytics. With more metrics options available, such as views and click-through rate, you can easily track real-time results. 

  • Track Feedback

Feedback is hardly an option in traditional marketing. Companies have to just hope that there is no negative response for customers. Hence, it demands more investment and effort in research and focus groups. 

Digital marketers can easily track and analyze the feedback of each campaign as it involves an open line of communication. Thanks to this, they can fix glitches immediately and improve their marketing efforts.

  • Strategy Refinement

As marketers using traditional ways can’t measure real-time results and get instant feedback, they take longer to create an effective marketing strategy. Due to their dependence on results which can take months, they need detailed planning and research. 

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Digital marketing delivers real-time results which makes strategy refinement easier. The team of marketers can change or update the strategy according to the results. 

  • Marketing Analysis

Analyzing results is a complex process in traditional methods because brands rely on market surveys and findings.

Digital marketing records and stores data, facts, and other information online making it easier for marketers to analyze results. 

  • Sustainability

As traditional methods, mainly print media, such as newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, etc., heavily use hard copies to describe products and services, they are not sustainable. 

Companies use online platforms and channels, such as websites, apps, and social media channels, to market their brands. They are more sustainable and can be accessed by users anytime, anywhere. 

Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing- Final Verdict

The final question comes to “which is better traditional or digital?” If we make a comparative analysis of the pros and cons of both techniques, then digital marketing has got a slight edge over the traditional, especially now, when we all rely on online platforms and channels to meet our daily needs. Traditional strategies include more conventional methods, such as broadcasting, billboards, newspapers, etc., which are not so popular among users and they have switched to other digital alternatives, such as apps, websites, blogs, and more, which are a part of digital marketing. 

The latter offers two-way communication and fosters instant interaction where sellers can take feedback from buyers in real-time. Hence, adding to credibility, customer satisfaction, and brand loyalty. Taking a closer look at both, we can also conclude that traditional methods are static whereas online marketing is dynamic, opening more possibilities. Even within a small budget, you can have enough resources, run A/B testing, change ads even after they go live, and connect with users anytime. 

Moreover, traditional techniques are less effective and more expensive online digital methods that are cost-efficient and result-driven. The former doesn’t allow brands to select the target audience, personalize messages, or connect with them for one-on-one interaction. On the other hand, the latter option is less expensive, lets brands generate personalized ads, and enables conversation with the audience. 


To sum up Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing, we would say that digital marketing is evolving and soaring high right now and brands are tapping into its true potential to achieve the best results. However, you can’t ignore traditional marketing completely, especially if you want to reach local or old audiences. They may be old methods but there is a reason they have stuck around for so long. It’s better to hire a marketing professional who can create a perfect mix of both and meets your brand’s requirements. You can rely on the services of social media marketing companies as well for strong brand presence on social media. 


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