Digital vs. Traditional Marketing

Digital vs. Traditional Marketing

The debate between the methods of traditional and digital marketing has gone on for a long time. It all comes down to which strategy best suits your business’s requirements. In recent years, digital marketing has become an important part of any business’s marketing strategy due to the growth of the internet. However, when used correctly, traditional methods can still be effective growth tools. Thus, it is beneficial to understand the differences between digital and traditional marketing methods when developing your marketing strategy.   

Here’s an explanation of the difference between traditional and digital marketing. 

What is Traditional Marketing? 

Traditional marketing is one of the oldest forms of advertising that does not take place online. Some examples of traditional marketing include newspapers, broadcast, direct mail, phone, and outdoor advertising such as billboards.  

Traditional marketing is key for connecting with local audiences. Physical advertisements can be kept for a long time. Furthermore, everyone is exposed to traditional marketing daily, whether receiving mail or reading the newspaper. As a result, traditional marketing reaches a larger audience via high-reach channels such as billboards and television commercials. 

What is Digital Marketing? 

Digital marketing includes online marketing, such as paid social media ads, email marketing, and Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. Digital marketing has grown in popularity due to cultural, technological, and societal shifts all around us.  

As the world has become more digital, so has the way we market. Not only is digital marketing less expensive than traditional marketing, but it is also a simpler way to reach out to target audiences all over the world.  

Influencer trips, promoted tweets, and videos are all examples of how widespread digital marketing has become. To further elaborate, promoted tweets are regular tweets purchased by advertisers who want to reach a larger audience or engage their existing followers. Influencer trips refer to influencers who leverage their social media influence by promoting destinations, services, or products associated with traveling on their social media accounts. Typically, they collaborate with airlines, travel agencies, tour companies, and local businesses based on an agreed destination.  

Differences between Traditional and Digital Marketing 

These are the differences between traditional and digital marketing 

Traditional Marketing

  • Not cost-effective 

For instance, it is costly to market through TV or radio as the prices are higher during peak times. Moreover, billboard prices differ based on the quality of traffic or where the billboard is located.  

  • More difficult to measure results 

You will need to be patient and wait for some time before obtaining the results of your marketing efforts. The waiting time could take up to several weeks or even months.  

  • More Sustainable 

Traditional marketing helps to make a lasting impression on your audience. The same TV commercial, flyers, business cards, or brochures can be used more than once. As a result, you will not need to create new content frequently to promote your product or service. 

Digital Marketing

  • Cost-effective 

Social media is cost-effective as there are only costs to invest in social media management tools that are needed to market your business on the various social media platforms. 

  • Easier to measure results 

You would be able to see the results of your marketing efforts in real-time. You will be able to see an increase in the number of visitors to your site and subscribers, peak trading times, conversion rates, and much more. 

  • Less Sustainable 

To keep viewers’ attention, there is a need to provide an ongoing stream of promotional materials. This may be a daily task for some businesses. Businesses may need to post on social media two to three times per week, create a new daily video, or send an email out three to four times per week. 

How to Combine Traditional and Digital Marketing? 

Combining traditional and digital marketing is an excellent way for businesses to reach out to more customers and increase conversions. Furthermore, both digital and traditional marketing can benefit businesses. While most people have shifted to online marketing, traditional marketing remains in demand in the marketing world because not everyone is always online. Here are two ways in which you can successfully combine traditional and digital marketing.  

1. Market Local Events Online  

Local events can be advertised effectively using social media and your website. You may want to create a separate event page on your business’s website and for the Facebook event. 

These pages can feature sponsored posts and compelling videos. You can conduct a poll among those who plan to attend the event. By conducting a poll, it will help you attract more people and expand your reach.  

2. Merging Digital Content and Print Media 

For instance, if you place an advertisement in a newspaper or magazine, do not forget to include a link to your website so that the reader can learn more about the business on their own. You can either publish the link or use a QR code to make the task easier. This QR code should be put on newspapers and magazines and other printed materials such as business cards, brochures, posters, and more. 


Due to the rise of the digital age, it appears that investing in a digital campaign has become the norm. Not only are newspapers going digital, but so are many of our daily tasks, such as banking.  

On the other hand, traditional marketing still has a place, but its demand is declining in our today’s world. These are two major reasons why traditional marketing has been declining.  

1. Difficulty in Tracking Progress  

Traditional marketing does not allow marketers to keep track of their progress and marketing returns from a specific channel. For instance, they cannot analyse the increase or decrease in revenue from a specific advertisement in a shopping mall.  

Digital marketing, on the other hand, allows marketers to assess the return on investment for a specific ad on a specific platform. They can then select the most effective ads and media and repurpose them for the next marketing campaign. 

2. Limitation to Targeting a Specific Audience  

Traditional marketing involves creating content for a large audience. Advertisements in newspapers and shopping malls are seen by everyone who passes by and therefore cannot cater to a specific audience.  

On the other hand, digital marketing allows marketers to target a specific group of people. For instance, digital marketers can also personalise their emails to the recipient and track their actions after the emails are sent using email marketing. 

Nonetheless, there are still some very successful traditional marketing strategies, especially those targeting the local audiences. Overall, traditional and digital marketing may appear to be opposites, but they can be used together to achieve multiple levels of growth. The only drawback to using both is that it will be over your business’s budget, overcome with sufficient returns. For example, a print advertisement can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $160,000 to run. With the addition of digital marketing, the cost would increase. However, if you successfully manage to merge and market both traditional and digital marketing, you will be able to generate high returns. By generating high returns, you will be able to cover not only the costs of running your ads but gain a great deal of profit as well.