Digital Marketing

Digital marketing vs. Traditional marketing

By Mary, on December 18, 2020, updated on February 6, 2021 - 4 min read

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To make the most of your marketing budget, it’s essential to spend it in the right direction. Here comes the struggle for marketers on where to spend it, on digital marketing or traditional marketing. Making a decision on the right marketing strategy is not an easy job of a marketer today. When choosing between digital marketing and traditional marketing, you have to dig through your marketing objective’s four corners. Whichever decision you make, gaining clarity is important to choose and apply wisely.

What is traditional marketing?

Traditional marketing is the conventional form of marketing to reach a semi-targeted audience with offline advertising and promotions methods. People encounter traditional marketing ads and campaigns daily, categorized into major groups, as stated below.

  • Printed media marketing – newspapers, magazines, etc.
  • Broadcast marketing – Radio, Television, etc.
  • Telephone marketing – SMS marketing and telemarketing
  • Direct mail marketing – catalogs, coupons, etc.
  • Outdoor marketing – transit advertising, fliers, billboards, etc.

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing, known as online marketing, is used by many businesses worldwide to work on their marketing activities through the internet with electronic devices’ assistance. Marketers can use various channels online to launch their digital marketing campaign, and this will help the people obtain easy knowledge on each brand they come across in no time.

digital and social marketing

Suppose your business struggles to reach the right market and fails or is very poor at getting essential data about your customers, with a limited budget still. In that case, you can try different platforms or channels to experiment on.

This is the beauty of digital marketing

It’ll serve you with the best outcome in no time once you learn how the online game works. Whether your company is a small, medium, or large enterprise, you can leverage your digital marketing effort to reach your target audience in no time to convert them into potential customers. Digital marketing includes search engine marketing and social media marketing, and the strategies may vary, as stated below.

  • PPC advertising
  • Content marketing
  • Email marketing
  • SEO marketing

Digital marketing vs. traditional marketing

There is no one difference between traditional and digital marketing, but many. Before deciding which strategy is better, it’s vital to gauge each strategy’s strength in the following parameters.

  1. Cost
  2. Reach
  3. Target audience
  4. Customer engagement
  5. Competition
  6. Monitoring
  7. Optimization


Online marketing serves better in terms of cost. There’s no limit to your online marketing effort as long as you can put up with the price. Also, you don’t have to bother about the cost of advertising space. Traditional marketing is steeply-priced compared to digital marketing as the cost of conventional channels (print media, radio, TV, etc.) per campaign is relatively high, and businesses may have to spend extra on advertising spaces.

Cost Of Marketing for company


There’s no limit to the reach of audiences in digital marketing. Whether it’s a local market or a global market that you wish to reach, it can quickly be done. Time will not be a constraint whatsoever. Moreover, buzz building for your content is extremely easy on online marketing as long as your content is well crafted, optimized, and promoted.

With the means of traditional marketing, you can only reach a limited crowd, most often a local group of people, and you can’t be sure that you earned the right target audience! In such a case, your business may end up feeding much money only to reach a small audience of people who is interested in your industry.

Target audience

With digital marketing, you can target your desired audience easily by tracking their search queries, demographics, or interests and serve them with valuable content at the right time when they want it. The audience reached by traditional marketing often consists of a wide variety of interests and demographics. If your brand wants to target a niche audience, digital marketing will serve you better than traditional marketing.

Customer engagement

There’s a big difference related to customer engagement between the two marketing methods. Digital marketing will enable higher visibility of customer engagement and feedback, whether it is negative or positive. You can not only gauge the engagement levels but also optimize your campaign to obtain better levels of real-time engagement. People don’t have many opportunities to leave their feedback on your business through traditional marketing. And it isn’t easy to track the real-time user engagement as well. Also, traditional marketing can be intrusive, and that will make the audience less likely to engage.


With digital marketing, you compete with the globe. Whether it’s your website, social media account, or email campaign, you have a significant level of competition to overcome. If you can gain online visibility to stand out from the competition, your online campaign will succeed. But if you’re smart enough, you can outsmart competition even though yours is a small business.

As traditional marketing often reaches a local market, the competition is comparatively low than online marketing. But if a small business is looking forward to outsmarting an established brand, it should allocate a considerable budget to the marketing campaign. If your competitor is a local business similar to the size of yours, then traditional marketing can be the most cost-effective and the best alternative.


There’s a massive difference in terms of monitoring between the two methods of marketing. Digital marketing offers a wide variety of real-time tracking and monitoring methods such as ‘clicks, views, likes, follows conversions, subscriptions’ and many more. Such data obtained about people engagement helps monitor and optimize your campaign to present your services, product, or brand to the perfect audience. Traditional marketing methods cannot be monitored in real-time, and marketers will have to wait until the campaign is over to track the conversions.

Monitoring Social Marketing


Digital marketing is embedded with many opportunities to optimize your online campaign or ads. But it may take up to six months for an optimized digital marketing campaign to provide the best outcome. This time depends on SEO, indexing, ranking, and time to maintain a consistent presence online. There’s a minimal possibility for traditional marketing ads to be optimized due to the lack of personalization options. And once the ads are circulated, nothing much left to do until you track conversions at the campaign’s end.


Your marketing strategy is not a choice between online marketing vs traditional marketing. More than ever in 2020 et and for the future, online and real world are bound and closer.

Web to store is not the next trend, it’s already there. Digital and traditionnal marketing must work together to scale the growth.

Your marketing strategy should be well crafted in aligned with your marketing objective. Even though digital media marketing has a lot of potential online on the internet, it may not serve you with the best outcome as traditional marketing.

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