Digital marketing vs. traditional marketing: what’s the difference?

Digital marketing vs. traditional marketing

Digital marketing vs. traditional marketing: what is the difference between digital marketing vs. traditional marketing and which should you use? Choosing the right marketing type is an age-old question in the mind of every marketer. Here you have to know everything you need to know.

What is digital marketing?

Digital Marketing

Simply put, digital marketing is using digital channels such as websites and social media as tools for marketing communication. If you are using social media, you will be well versed in advertisements that pop up in your stream – which is digital marketing.

Digital marketing, or online marketing, refers to the work related to marketing that a business does through the Internet or electronic devices such as mobile phones. Any business (regardless of its size) can leverage digital marketing to reach its target market, connect with prospects, and convert more of them into customers or customers.  we here provide an array of digital marketing services. Feel free to examine them and see which may be best for your business.

The reason why digital marketing is important for a business today is that the internet is becoming one of the most used tools. More and more people are logging onto the web to do their day-to-day activities, which include buying goods and services.

If you look at the last decade you will see that online marketing has grown rapidly. So when it comes to digital marketing versus traditional marketing, it is clear that digital stands as a definite edge.

Successful marketing requires a business to connect with prospects and customers in the best way possible so that they have a real return on investment. Given the fact that most people (especially Millennials) are spending their time on the Internet, it makes sense for you, as a business, to join them on this.

As technology advances and new digital ideas are brought to life, the world of digital marketing grows with it. One of the reasons why the results continue is because it is a form of inbound marketing. This means, instead of going there to find people, they find you. Whether it is running an ad on Google or creating marketing related content for your blog, it is all about attracting your target audience and spreading awareness.

The idea is to get out there and gain exposure.  This ultimately leads to close relationships or relationships that develop based on trust.

Being a business, the Internet provides you with a way to build an authority in your niche and increase your online presence like never before.

What is Traditional Marketing?

Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing is not new because it is a form of marketing that we expose at one point or another. It is a traditional method of marketing that helps to reach a semi-target audience with various offline advertising and promotional methods. Traditional marketing, on the other hand, includes traditional channels such as billboards and printed media. Think crazy men in TV commercials for downplaying ideas and mimicking Coca-Cola.

Traditional marketing is a type of marketing that is hard to ignore and includes traditional advertising that we face on a daily basis. Many of the following five major categories are common and most tried offline marketing strategies:

Print (magazines, newspapers, etc.)

Broadcast (TV, radio, etc.)

Direct mail (catalog, postcard, etc.)

Telephone (telemarketing, SMS marketing, etc.)

Outdoors (billboards, flyers, etc.)

Traditional marketing may have evolved over the last few decades, but the basic aspects are the same. The technologies we use today depend a lot on marketing’s infamous four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. By leveraging the four P’s of marketing, a business can truly lead its prospects and customers through any sales funnel and see favorable results.

Let’s take a brief look at the marketing techniques of every form of that power of 4P:

Product: Effective marketing starts with a good understanding of your own product. Which can be an intangible service or a good type that meets the demand of the target market.

Price: The overall cost of the product depends on how well you know it. Price is always the determining factor when it comes to things like supply, demand, profit margin, etc.

Promotions: How do you get the word out about your product and promote it to your target audience. Any method that helps you promote the product and get more visibility/exposure falls under the promotion – whether it is advertising on billboards or setting up advertising campaigns on Facebook.

Place: Traditional marketing relies on getting your product in front of your target audience at the right time and place. Which also means that it is correct. In the marketing world, placement plays an important role. Because when a product is placed in an ideal location, the probability of converting prospects for customers or customers increases manifold.

On the surface, digital marketing may differ massively compared to traditional marketing because it is about the fourth P: promotion. However, the truth of the fact is that digital marketing is highly effective as it ignores none of the four Ps of marketing. It rather uses each of them in a unique way and is sometimes better than traditional marketing.

The downside of Going Traditional

Although traditional marketing is still effective, it is not the only way to make your product popular among your target market. Today, technology has grown and is enabling businesses to connect with their audiences like never before. This is why it is important to consider the drawbacks of traditional marketing before investing in it.

Little interaction

One of the biggest and most obvious limitations of digital marketing is that there is little or no reciprocal relationship between customers and the mediums used for marketing.

Traditional marketing is a route where a business is able to disseminate or provide information about its product or service to its target audience. This brand-building exercise is done in hopes of attracting the attention of the right people and perhaps turning them into customers.

No time control

Traditional marketing relies on promotional methods that cannot be updated once executed. Whether it is a static text print ad in your local newspaper or a TV ad, you will have to place a new ad to replace the old one in case of any change. Although this does not seem to be a huge factor, it does make a big change in the long run.

For example, suppose you run an ad promoting your latest widget. After this, you make a major update to it which can have a significant impact on the sales numbers. Can you change ads on the fly? Of course not, which can make a big dent in your marketing budget over time.

High cost

Recurring costs in traditional marketing can prove to be a huge investment that may or may not provide good returns. Your advertisement in the local newspaper will be effective only when it is seen by your target audience on the day it is published. And what are your chances?

If you want to reach them again, you need to create and run a new print advertising campaign. Or when you create and distribute posters or flyers in your area, it is an investment you are making for a one-time exposure. Compare the content that you create on your website that can bring in targeted visitors for years to come at no additional cost.

Limited customization options

Do you want to target customers working in a certain industry and fall into a particular age group? When it comes to optimizing your campaign and targeting specific customers, traditional marketing gives you a little help.

Even though you can use traditional marketing techniques to market in certain areas, you cannot go after targeted customers. When you are using online advertisements, you have the option to not only reach the right type of customers but also show them offers that suit them.

Cannot be easily updated

Let’s face it, one of the strengths of digital marketing is that it can be easily updated and adjusted. Unlike traditional marketing, in which it takes a lot of effort. Imagine your print ads have a wrong percentage discount, so how can you correct that if prints are already out? On the other hand, editing digital marketing campaigns is just a few clicks away.

Inability to reveal full pricing details

At a basic level, traditional marketing has never failed to attract people based on discounted prices or special sales. However, when it comes down to offering more specialized, customized pricing options, you can hit a brick wall. If you analyze the options given to you in print marketing, you may not find the space needed to showcase all your pricing options – even though these may help you convert more people into customers.

Poor campaign measurement

When executing a traditional marketing strategy, it is necessary to know how effective it is to ensure that you are not investing in the wrong direction. Unfortunately, the results you get from traditional marketing cannot be measured easily and efficiently.

However, when you start an online marketing campaign, you can spontaneously identify where you are wrong and whether it is successful or not. This alone makes digital marketing much better than its traditional counterparts.

Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing: What’s the Difference?

The main difference between traditional and digital marketing is the medium through which an audience encounters a marketing message. While traditional marketing uses traditional media such as magazines and newspapers, digital marketing uses digital media, such as social media or websites.

Today’s experience of the tactile nature of an influential TV commercial and a copy of Rolling Stone Magazine is as important as their lasting impact on your memory 20 years ago. Subconsciously you attach yourself to their brand emotionally, which means that they will stay top of your mind.

In the same token, digital marketing is just as important and not as traditional.

If you are considering a Google search holiday for your next weekend getaway, chances are soon you will see a tailored sponsored ad from Sky Scanner.

Using the Internet for several hours each day is a normal part of most people’s daily lives. Digital marketing uses this to its advantage by cleverly weaving marketing communications into every digital channel.

What type of marketing should you use?

The key to a great marketing campaign is to find the right balance between traditional and digital. In 2020, digital marketing is the yin to traditional marketing. Both play an important role in a marketing strategy, but they are used on top of each other.

Take Guinness for example. His TV commercials are notorious because of his unique and powerful cinematography. 20 years later, Guinness’s classic 1999 ‘Surfer’ campaign is still one of the best TV commercials of all time. However, with this great position, Guinness will still have to keep up with the times and incorporate digital marketing into their strategy so that they do not miss out on some huge marketing opportunities.

To reach a wider and younger audience, Guinness recently expanded its digital marketing horizon by creating video content exclusively for Facebook and Instagram. Instead of merely correcting their TV commercials, they filmed their campaigns as social-first videos by composing shots specifically keeping both Facebook and Instagram in mind. The videos were specifically targeted to viewers who were on their minds.

The result was an astonishingly stunning and influential social media campaign about the Compton Cowboys caring for their horses in California. Totally trendy and sharable Instagram bait.

Specify the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing and their pros and cons.

Traditional Marketing: Pros and Cons

With the rise of social media, traditional marketing is often not rated by marketers. However, traditional marketing still has a place in the day-to-day life of a consumer. If you have the budget to share your campaigns in magazines and prime time TV, then your money may be well spent.


Impressive and easy to understand

A visually bold board or a striking TV commercial is a normal part of most people in day-to-day life. They are easy to digest and often entertaining.

Printed marketing materials are more permanent

If you have an advertisement in an issue of The New York Times, it will remain until the magazine is recycled. This is great if the consumer is an avid collector.

More memorable

They are more likely to remember than to see something in real life on their phone. The anticipation of new Super-Bowl ads or a beautiful and impressive window display is more likely to be on your mind than an ad you probably scroll in seconds.


Campaigns more difficult to measure

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

Often expensive

If you are a brand in its infancy, you do not have the money for a 4 page spread across Vogue. Many forms of traditional marketing will return you a considerable amount.

No direct communication with a consumer

Unlike social media marketing, you are more or less in the dark about your audience’s reaction to your marketing efforts.

Digital Marketing: Pros and Cons

Although influential is traditional marketing, we cannot forget that we are living well in the Internet age.

This is a great time and opportunity to do clever digital marketing.

Digital marketing channels include:

Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.)


content marketing

affiliate marketing

Inbound marketing

email marketing

PPC (Pay Per Click)

SEM (Search Engine Marketing)


More options for engagement

Through channels such as social media, you can physically see what your audience thinks about your brand and marketing efforts. If your marketing has been shared, liked, and has received lots of positive comments, then you know that you are doing something right.

Easy to measure your campaigns

On the flipside to traditional marketing, the nuances of digital marketing tracking are exceptionally in-depth. This makes your efforts extremely clear for the next round of your marketing efforts.

Makes smarter targeting possible

If you have the tools to specifically target a 29-year-old female writer who loves Lizzo and drinks Guinness then surely you can also create completely tailored content?


Digital ads can be considered annoying

Think about the moment you are scrolling through your Facebook homepage and what you want to do is what your old school friends are looking at these days. Then you get a dreaded sponsored advertisement for something related to that shameful disease that you googled the night before. Be sure to actively dislike the brand you are targeting.

Less permanent

Digital marketing efforts such as Google ads, banners, promo emails, or social media advertisements can have a fleeting, temporary character. They are intangible and can be easily ignored. If your target audience continues to scroll or click to the next page, your ad will run from their screen.

Constantly evolves

There is a lot to be learned to make the most of your digital marketing efforts. Each channel usually needs its own expert, from search engine marketing to social media, each channel needs a pro to get the best bang for your buck. However, a grass-roots social media marketing strategy is a great place to start. Take a look at our Digital Marketing Strategy Guide for some inspiration.

Find what works for you

Ultimately both types of marketing have their benefits and drawbacks, but the key is understanding your specific marketing needs, considering your budget, and understanding your target audience.

Traditional marketing channels are often called the Baby Boomer generation and General X-people, who own TV and prefer to buy newspapers for example. However, digital marketing is a surprisingly appropriate route for all eras, not just millennials and General Z- Mere Nan scrolls through Facebook for hours, sharing Lad Bible videos and shopping online.

Moral of the story: Both digital and traditional marketing can work for you, as long as you know what your audience wants.

Digital vs Traditional Marketing: What Do the Stats Say?

Keeping in mind the current growth of digital marketing, especially the U.S. In, it will be a long time ago when digital advertising spending is spent on traditional advertising such as television advertising. As of today, 60% of marketers from various industries have already shifted their efforts to digital marketing.

Here are some more statistics to help you understand the growth and prominence of digital marketing…

Over 80% of buyers/purchasers do their research online before investing in a product/service.

About 60% of US adults use Facebook regularly.

94% of the B2B market people are actively using LinkedIn for marketing.

Mobile will be accounting for more than 70% of digital advertising spend by 2019.

90% of B2C businesses report social media as the most effective content marketing strategy.

Regardless of the business, you are in, you have to keep in mind the importance of digital marketing. Or you can lose to a competition that is taking advantage of the latest digital marketing techniques.

Now, understanding digital marketing trends and implementing methods that are appropriate for your business may not be your specialty. It can take a lot of time and investment to see favorable results. In such a scenario, working with a specialized digital marketing agency like ours can help you get a higher return on investment. If you want to discuss your digital marketing campaign then contact us.

Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing: Where to Invest?

Setting a marketing budget is one thing, but making sure you get a good return on your investment is something else. This is why it only makes sense to focus on those marketing channels and methods that are more likely to give you the best bang for your buck.

The digital marketing versus traditional marketing debate is age-old and is far from over. However, given the advancement in technology, there is no denying the fact that digital marketing can help a business generate qualified leads/sales without making a dent in the wallet. The risk is definitely small compared to traditional marketing.

If you look around, you will find businesses of all sizes taking advantage of digital marketing, especially due to the lower cost/barrier to entry compared to offline advertising methods such as print advertising. Even though print advertising can help in brand building, digital marketing can help a company to build a strong foundation for effective promotion. And this can be done with a very small budget.

Investment in print ads

There is no doubt that print advertising can work well if done properly. However, without consistency, print ads will fail to produce favorable results. Whether you choose to advertise in a major magazine or your local newspaper, you need to be prepared to spend a huge amount of money in the long term.

When Blue Fountain Media decided to advertise with a major magazine, what were the results?

Also, when it comes to printing advertisements, which businesses fail to understand is the prevailing aspect. The number of readers who actually see your ad will be less than the number of magazines in circulation. Because a good percentage of magazine issues will almost always go unheard.

Investment in digital advertising

For example, if you are running a search campaign, you can target your ad to a certain audience and change it later. It is easy to adjust and make your ads according to real-time data.

Then comes the question of CPM, which can be expensive with magazine advertisements. According to Gebler, a full-page (black and white) ad costs close to $ 120k, for a CPM of $ 50 USD. This is compared to a digital marketing channel such as Google Display Ads, where you are charged per click rather than per impression. Which means CPM can cost you zero dollars in some cases. So if you are a business with a limited budget and want to increase your chances of success, digital marketing can be your best bet.

Looking at the example above, Blue Fountain Media found a clear winner in digital advertising because magazine advertising proved costly. It just states that the level of optimization and tracking you do with digital marketing is up. You have a lot of control over ad performance and in-depth analysis to improve them along the way.

Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing: Why Choose Digital

For some brands, especially those with a huge offline audience, it can be very expensive to ignore traditional marketing. But for many small businesses who are trying to make their mark on a tight budget, digital marketing can prove to be a savior. This is why many new and old businesses are taking advantage of the power of digital marketing and reviving the marketing funnel.

# 1: High Level of Customer Engagement

Traditional marketing does not allow direct interaction with customers, while digital marketing provides a high level of engagement and engagement. Whether it is through social media comments or email messages, your target audience is instantly connected to you through various digital marketing channels.

Your brand can easily build better and longer-lasting relationships with customers by interacting with them through videos, surveys, or webinars. Your business performs better when it suits the needs of your customers. And digital marketing allows you to do this, as you can connect with customers and solve their issues/problems without wasting time.

# 2: ease of measuring results

When you give brochures, distribute flyers or advertise in magazines, you don’t know how successful your marketing is going to be. You can go in the wrong direction, but there is no way to tell it.

Unlike Digital marketing vs. traditional marketing allows you to measure results. This allows you to play a clear-sighted marketing game rather than a blind one.

You have access to a ton about your prospects and customers which will help you understand where you are going. How many people are visiting/leaving your website, what percentage of them are converting? Imagine the level of imagination / you can do with digital marketing, which is literally absent in traditional marketing.

# 3: Large Audience Range

Traditional marketing is limited in many ways, but one of the biggest restrictions that come with it is the inability to go beyond regional or local audiences. Your business may not be geographically constrained, so why limit your reach?

Using digital marketing, you can create a highly customized campaign and expand your reach to different cities or even different countries. So say goodbye to the blanket approach that traditional marketing takes and say hello to digital marketing, allowing you to change your campaign based on how far you want to go.

# 4: less expensive and more effective

When it comes to spending money on marketing, your return on investment determines whether your campaign was successful or not. It is no surprise that digital marketing gives you better ROI because it is cheaper than traditional marketing/advertising in more ways than one.

Would you invest in an advertisement where you pay based on performance or in an expensive newspaper advertisement that is seen by a limited audience? Digital marketing allows you to spend less while getting more profit. For many businesses, this is not a mind.

Decision Time: Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing

We hope Digital marketing vs. traditional marketing that we will assure you with data and facts that digital marketing is definitely the way to advertise as a small business. If you have already tried traditional marketing and the rapid growth results you have seen, then give digital marketing a shot. There are little risk and big reward. That is not the combo you often see in the business world.

Our experts can also remove some pressure. They do all the work for you. All you have to do is stay informed and approve the content. At we worry about your online advertising and digital marketing which allows you to focus on other areas of the business that require your undivided attention. Contact us today to start your digital marketing campaign. It is so easy.

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