Digital Marketing VS Traditional Marketing

How does digital marketing differ from traditional marketing? Does the difference really matter? Some people find it quite hard to decide on the type of marketing strategy to use. One has to figure out the method that will give the most returns out of the investment made. In this exhaustive article, we’ll have an in-depth look at the differences between digital marketing and traditional marketing as well as their pros and cons.


Digital Marketing


Digital Marketing is a form of online marketing that can be done via the internet. This type of marketing allows for brands to be found with mobile devices like mobile phones, Ipads, Laptops and more.

The main aim of digital marketing is to help people to find you online. You make it possible for people to find you by conducting an online search. The more you advertise, the more people get to see you. As a result, they will get more familiar with your brand and eventually develop some form of trust thanks to your online presence.

The marketing funnel for digital marketing incorporates conceptual tools that include awareness, interest, desire, and action.

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Traditional Marketing


Traditional marketing is the conventional form of marketing that helps businesses to reach out to their target audience using various promotional methods of advertising. This includes the traditional ads that we encounter daily, say, on billboards and on newspapers.

Over the years, the fundamentals of traditional marketing have pretty much remained the same.This form of marketing has always focused on 7 main points; product, price, place, promotion, people, process, and physical location.

These elements form the basis of the traditional marketing strategy and should be put into consideration during the sale of an item.

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Marketing Channels


Digital Marketing


The technology has revolutionised the way we market our products. Different digital marketing channels are being created at an exponential rate. Thanks to the advent of the internet, digital marketing has expanded the landscape within which we market and advertise out products.

These days, businesses invest millions of dollars in building websites and advertising their brands in online marketplaces and on social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

Other digital marketing channels include SEO, SEM, email marketing, banner ads and blogs. In order for them to stay up-to-date, digital marketers have to keep their skills sharp.

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Digital Marketing: The Pros


Every single day, the rules are changing in the world of marketing. Digital marketing cannot be ignored due to the numerous benefits that businesses reap after implementing a digital marketing plan.

Digital marketing has proven really helpful especially for businesses are trying to leave a mark on a tight budget. Let us have a look at why both startups and well-established businesses are leveraging the power of digital marketing:

  1. You reach a massive audience. 

    Digital marketing does not limit your geographical location. You can use your campaign to reach anywhere in the world. Your audience will get your marketing message regardless of their location, age, gender, and interests. There is literally no limit to the scope of digital marketing. If your business is not geographically-bound, why limit your reach? Say goodbye to the blanket and restrictive approach that traditional marketing uses.
  2. Your audience can choose the most appropriate way they can access your content. 

    Your audience is completely free to choose how they want to receive your content. While one person may be okay with reading your blog posts, another person would prefer watching a video. The person gets to choose the most relevant communication channel for them.
  3. It’s possible to interact with your audience. 

    Digital marketing allows direct interaction with customers. This is either through email responses, social media pages, or commenting on blog posts. When you interact with your audience, you are able to solve their problems, meet all their requirements without wasting time, and follow up on issues. Good interaction helps you to build effective relationships with your customers.
  4. The method is cost-effective. 

    Digital marketing is very affordable. The best thing about digital marketing is that it allows you to spend less and gain so much more.
  5. Data can be recorded easily for easy measurement of results. 

    Thanks to Google Analytics, you are able to get insights into the progress of your campaign. These insights help you to tell what works well for your business and what does not. You are then able to adapt quickly to improve the results. You are able to get information about how many visitors come to your website and what percentage of them actually converts.
  6. Digital marketing is fast and easy to understand. 

    Considering the fact that the average attention span of a person browsing the internet is less than 20 seconds, digital marketing makes use of shorter posts that function to get your message out there as effectively as possible. Digital marketing creates higher levels of brand loyalty. 
  7. Digital marketing not only helps you to get new customers but also helps you to retain them. It creates repetitive business opportunities for you which can prove to be really profitable for your business. 
  8. Level Playing Ground. 

    The internet gives an equal opportunity to all businesses allowing them to compete with other businesses regardless of their size.


Digital Marketing: The Cons


One needs specific resources and platforms to be able to reach your target audience. If you do not have these tools, you cannot realise any results no matter how much money you spend on advertising. Here’s a list of the disadvantages that are associated with digital marketing:

  1. Time consuming. 

    You have to spend approximately 6hours daily on your digital marketing for your efforts to bear fruits. Even though it might not cost you a lot of money, you have to sacrifice a lot of your time and energy to get a marketing campaign up and running. Digital marketing requires a solid sweat investment.
  2. A negative reaction from the audience. 

    Digital marketing usually attracts a lot of people. While most of these will have a positive response to your marketing efforts, some will have negative things to say. There are a lot of trolls, scammers, spammers and unsatisfied customers lurking out there. 
  3. It gets difficult to establish the ROI. 

    One of the disadvantages of using digital marketing is that it is very hard to realise measurable results. Very few digital marketers can effectively measure the results received from their marketing efforts. Others are not even sure if they are measuring the performance indicators and other metrics correctly.
  4. Sometimes it might spiral out of your control. 

    Sometimes when negative content is published about your product, it might go viral. Once it does, there is really nothing that you can do to protect your already tarnished brand name. Not all exposure is good exposure.
  5. Other times it takes control of your hands. 

    Basically, digital marketing relies on the services offered by other to perform. If these services prove unreliable, there’s only so little that you can do. For example, if you have a large following on Instagram and the site has an outage, your campaign may backfire. In short, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
  6. You get judged on your first impression. 

    First impressions are important everywhere. In marketing, the first impression you create determines whether or not your products will be taken seriously or not. Therefore, very important that you maintain professionalism right from the start. Always use appropriate means to advertise your products or services to establish a positive first impression.
  7. Your efforts may get lost in the white noise that exists online. 

    There is so much information on the internet today. People usually skim through posts quickly or ignore them when they feel overwhelmed. Your campaign might not generate the desired effects if people ignore your marketing message.
  8. It’s very easy for people to copy your ideas. 

    A lazy digital marketer just needs two mouse clicks to copy the marketing efforts that you worked so hard to come up with.


Traditional Marketing

The moment you step into a mall you are met with overwhelming and colourful signboards representing different brands. The same happens when you switch on your TV. 

Other lines of traditional marketing include business cards, newspapers, magazines, radio commercials, posters, flyers and brochures sent in the mail, as well as telephone solicitations.

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Traditional Marketing: The Pros


Due to the fact that traditional marketing has been around for longer, people are more accustomed to it. Before you can decide which method is most suited for your business, you need to study all their advantages and disadvantages in order to make an informed decision. Here are some of the reasons why people still implement traditional marketing strategies:

  1. These marketing strategies have been around for a reasonable amount of time. The fact that these methods have stood the test of time means that they are successful. 
  2. Over time, a lot of research has been carried out on traditional marketing. This information is readily available to anyone who would like any help choosing the best strategy to use for different target markets.
  3. Traditional marketing techniques focus on the potential customers. This increases the rate of conversion.
  4. People who do not have smartphones or access to the internet are still reached by the marketing message since they still watch TV, listen to the radio, read newspapers, and see billboards. The traditional marketing channels are more accessible to more people.
  5. Some traditional marketing strategies are not limited to a specific audience. For example, a TV commercial can be seen by different people; this means that potential clients are not left out or overlooked.

Traditional Marketing: The Cons


While traditional marketing is still effective, the internet had grown so much that businesses are forced to switch to digital marketing to connect with their customers on a higher level. Let us have a look at the downsides of traditional marketing:

  1. Traditional marketing does not target specific individuals. Instead, only general areas and groups are targeted. This means that not all people who get the marketing message are really interested.
  2. Many traditional marketing solutions have been digitised. For example, you can find many magazines and newspapers online minimising the need for you to buy a printed copy.
  3. Traditional marketing methods are not effective for the younger generation.
  4. The mediums used allow very little interaction with the audience.
  5. Your ideas may be unique and creative but the mode of delivery may sell you off
  6. People can intentionally ignore traditional marketing method of advertising; they may simply ignore the writings on billboards and TV commercials. Some may even change the channel whenever there is a commercial break.



Regardless of what business you’re in, you need to account the pros and cons of both marketing strategies before you can finally decide which one works best for you. The digital marketing vs. digital marketing debate is quite old; the two do not really operate in exclusion from each other.  We would, therefore, recommend that invest in both marketing strategies for the best results.