Top 10 Key Differences Between Traditional Marketing and Digital Marketing

Traditional Marketing , as the term implies ,we often go traditional for marketing . It can be referred to any type of promotion, advertising or campaign that has been in use by any business for years, and that has a proven success rate. Communication through traditional marketing might include tangible items such as business cards, printed ads in newspapers or magazines. It can also include word of mouth, distributing pamphlets, banners, posters, commercials on TV and radio, billboards and brochures. Thus the communication becomes a one-way communication.

But the most updated and advanced version of marketing is the Digital Marketing .The world of digital marketing continues to evolve and as long as technology continues to advance, digital marketing will as well. Products or services marketed through digital technologies, mobile phones, and displays, advertising is a part of digital marketing. This process of the marketing implies particularly on the internet or on any of the trending social media platforms. It is completely automated and efficient.

For carrying out, this strategy the methods include not only internet or any social media platform but also methods like the Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Pay Per Click management (PPC), mobile marketing, email marketing, and e-commerce marketing. Its examples include websites, social media mentions, YouTube videos, and banner ads. However, it is considered a form of inbound marketing and its goal is for people to find you. People may search online or find your business on a social network or by reading content that has been published online such as a blog or an article. The more they see you or your content, the more familiar they will become with your brand . There can be a direct contact between the audience and the business which means that the business can get valuable consumer feedback. Thus the communication through digital marketing is two-way communication.

What are the major differences between Traditional and Digital Marketing?

People are accustomed to traditional marketing because of its longevity. Finding ads in magazines and newspapers, or reading billboards are still familiar activities and people still do them all the time. It is anything except digital means to brand your product or services. Using this strategy you can easily reach your target local audience. For example, playing a radio ad in one location: your city or region. The materials that are used for traditional marketing can be kept that is the audience can have a hard copy of materials of which they can read or browse through over and over again. Promoting products or services through traditional marketing can be easily understood by most people because they are already exposed to this kind of strategy.

But Digital Marketing is more advantageous than traditional marketing. You can target a local audience, and also an international one. The audience can choose how they want to receive your content; that is one person may like to read a blog post, another person may like to watch a YouTube video. Traditional marketing doesn’t give the audience a choice. Traditional marketing has a very little interaction between the medium used and the customers. It is more of providing information to the public that the brand exists with the hope of these people patronizing the brand. That is, the goal of reaching people is low since it involves limited audience. But Digital marketing is a very interactive means of reaching an audience with the use of social media networks. In fact, interaction is encouraged. You can encourage your clients and followers to take action, visit your website, read about your products and services, rate them, buy them and provide feedback which is visible to your market. Learn How to Develop your own Strategy for Digital Marketing 

Carrying out Traditional Marketing is costly since it includes promotion of your products or services through hard copies that is the printed materials or advertising on the radio or tv channels . You also need to hire people to distribute your printed materials for advertising for that particular products or services. Also carrying out campaigns and using banners and bill boards also cost money. But Digital marketing is cost-efficient. Though some invest on paid ads online; however, the cost is still cheaper compared to traditional marketing.

Tracking results in Traditional marketing strategy cannot be easily measured since it involves one- way communication . For example carrying out campaign wherein all the campaigns may not be successful. Also the time required for this kind of strategy is more since it normally requires a longer period of time to test. But the benefit of using digital marketing is that the results are much easier to measure for example a digital campaign can reach an infinite audience, that is it is possible to tailor a digital campaign to reach a local audience but it can also be used on the web and reach the entire globe when appropriate. It provides real time tracking of what works and what does not work so that one can optimize the efforts.

The Return on Investment (ROI) is also low using traditional marketing because you never know where you stood in terms of ROI, that is when you use broadcast and print unless you had good analytics . Though it involves more conservative methods and is slow, it consists of efficient practices. Whereas digital marketing not only use metrics to assess ROI but also uses it to improve ROI. So, you can predict your returns, and also you can have the information necessary to prioritize your marketing efforts, which improves ROI.

A Balance Between Traditional and Digital Marketing

Though the world has transitioned into digital environment our traditional marketing methods support our digital marketing efforts. The two do not operate in exclusion from each other. But we only use hard copy marketing materials to further strengthen a relationship with a client. Even though traditional marketing is as important as digital marketing, it is diminishing in our digitally based world. For today’s businesses, it is necessary to have a website and use the web as a means to interact with their consumer base. There are some successful traditional marketing strategies but we need to take an advantage of digital marketing so as to keep up in today’s world.



Traditional Marketing


Digital Marketing


People Reach



User Target






Return on Investment (ROI)






People Reach


Without internet

With internet


One way

Two way

Target market

Message may not hit target market

Due to analytical data message hit target market


Static and unchangeable

Dynamic and can be revised


Business Profit

User satisfaction + business profit

Value vs Advertising

Try to increase sales with their ad posts

Provide value to audience


Here are some FAQ’S of Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing

Q1. What are the methods of Traditional Marketing?

Ans.  Traditional marketing referred to any type of promotion, advertising or campaign that has been in use by any business for years, and that has a proven success rate.

Q2. Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing which is better?

Ans. Online Marketing/Digital Marketing is very cost efficient, and cheaper than Traditional Marketing. Results and Data can easily be recorded with Google Analytics. 

Q3. Social Media Marketing vs Traditional Marketing which is better?

Ans. Social Media Marketing or Digital Marketing offers a higher level of interaction and engagement, whereas Traditional Marketing doesn’t allow direct interaction with the customers.