What is Digital Marketing? Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing Explained

What is Digital Marketing?

Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing Explained(Reading time 8 minutes, 17 sec.)

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What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing has burst onto the scene in the last few years. The introduction of technology has revolutionized the world of marketing! Companies all around the world are spending millions on digital marketing & traditional marketing: because it's what makes products & services sell! Marketing is an essential part of any business. You need to invest in it if you want to become a successful, recognized business owner. Let’s take a look into the two major types of marketing – traditional and digital marketing – and weigh their pros and cons to see which is better for you!

What is Digital Marketing About?

Digital Marketing refers to the use of technology & internet-based digital media like social media to market your product or service. Digital marketing has become a huge success in recent years, more and more brands are shifting to this form of marketing every year! Worldwide the average amount of time per day spent on the internet is 6 hours 40 minutes. As a marketer, one would like to have some of that time spent on your brand. Digital Marketing ad spend in the US is expected to increase by 85% between 2018 and 2023.

Here Are A Few Examples Of Digital Marketing:

Social media marketing (SMM) Social media marketing is where platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are used to promote a product or service.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search engine optimization is a strategy that increases the amount of visitor traffic to a website from search engines like Google. Gaining higher rankings in the search results & getting more visitors to your website.

Pay-per-click (PPC)

PPC stands for pay-per-click, where advertisers pay a fee each time an ad gets clicked. This is a way of buying visits to a website, as opposed to the organic method of SEO. You are paying for the privilege of being seen on the first page of the search engine results. PPC platforms include Google, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Email marketing

Email marketing is a strategy using emails to developing relationships with prospects and customers. email marketing can send news, advertisements, request business, or gain sales.

What is Traditional Marketing?

Traditional marketing includes using marketing media that has been around for decades, or in some cases, even centuries! Here are a few examples of traditional marketing methods: Newspapers and magazines Television and radio advertisements Postcards Flyers Billboards These are some of the traditional marketing methods that have been around for a long time. Some of these have become pretty outdated though others are still pretty effective.

chart-showing-various-digital-marketing-vs-traditional-marketing-ad-spend-increase-and-decrease-expectations-by-year Photo by Marketing Charts

Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing – The Pros of Digital Marketing and Cons of Traditional Marketing

Knowing which form of marketing to make use of is crucial to the success of your business. Each of these marketing methods has its pros and cons! Let’s compare a few features of both these forms of marketing.


For startups and other businesses in their initial phases, digital marketing is a better option because it significantly cuts costs. Traditional marketing media such as billboards, magazines, and radio are a lot more costly and not and too expensive for some business owners. On the other hand, a digital marketing campaign is just a fraction of the price! You can find digital marketers and social media managers for a reasonable price to give your brand a boost! Let’s go into a more detailed analysis of the cost. Let's say you have your advertisement printed in a national newspaper so that you can target a larger audience, you are likely to invest about €35,000 for a full-page advertisement. Even if a million copies get sold, you will not know how many readers have read your advertisement, or just skimmed through. Moreover, a lot of newspapers end up in the bin. On the other hand, if you advertise using digital media, you will only get charged at the rate of cost per click! This means that you only get charged for the exact amount of people that took interest and became visitors/traffic that went to your website. Saving you tons of money.

Type of target audience

When you’re marketing a specific product, you have an audience in mind. When it comes to digital marketing, you can choose the exact audience that you want. You can take factors like age, gender, and even preferences into account while choosing your specific target audience. Have you ever noticed that you get more sponsored posts of the type of content that you’ve recently been searching for? Digital marketing tracks your moves to find what fits best for you. Companies can use this to their benefit and market their product by micro-targeting their specific audience! On the other hand, traditional marketing cannot target a specific audience. If you’re advertising in a magazine, anyone who buys that magazine is automatically your target audience. Therefore, with digital marketing, you have greater control and access to your target audience.

Comfort Level

Let’s say that you see an advertisement on a billboard of a random product that you can get at the grocery store. You’re heading home from the grocery store when you see the advertisement. How likely are you to remember that product and buy it the next time? On the other hand, when you see an advertisement for a product online, with a link to the purchasing page, you’re more likely to purchase that product because you can do so at that moment. You can make the immediate decision to buy that product. However, billboards don’t have that option! This means that the path of digital marketing allows for much more effective sales.

Traditional Spray and Pray marketing

When it comes to traditional marketing, spray, and pray is a form that has been around for a long, long time! It refers to businesses sending out messages and advertisements (spraying) and then hoping that a few of the recipients will respond to their marketing by converting into a sale (praying). It doesn’t track the number of sales or conversions you get or the exact size of the target audience. When it comes to traditional marketing, the “spray and pray” method isn’t that effective. This is because you’re targeting such a wide range of audiences and you don’t even know if the audience wants to see your products. For example, if a company is selling an air conditioner through the spray and pray method, they would advertise to many random people. If you’re using digital marketing, you can target an audience to be one that has searched for air conditioners in the past, or is searching for air conditioners right now! This leads to better conversions and sales!

Easier to Correct Your Mistakes

It’s common for marketing agencies to send out misprints! When it comes to traditional marketing, the misprint cannot be corrected, no matter what you do! Once you’ve printed an advertisement in a magazine, there’s no going back. You can’t edit or take the advertisement back even if your marketing team has accidentally made a mistake in it. On the other hand, you can correct your mistakes if you choose digital marketing. Every sort of content can be updated, edited, or even removed! Thus, you can take back any form of mistake that you’ve made. It will be like it wasn’t even there in the first place.

Measuring Results With Data

With digital marketing services, you can check how many potential customers have seen your advertisement, how many of them clicked, and how many of them converted to sales. Thus, you can measure the outcomes of your marketing campaigns, and this way, you can see which marketing campaigns are most effective. So you can align future marketing campaigns accordingly to gain even more customers! Using digital marketing, you can get a detailed data analysis of your marketing results. On the other hand, traditional marketing methods don’t allow you to analyze the results of your marketing campaign. It can be much harder to attribute the success of new sales to a traditional campaign than to digital media. You don’t get to check how many impressions are converted to sales!

Interaction with Customers

Digital marketing gives you a better platform to interact with your customers! If your customers follow you on social media, there’s a high chance that they’ll regularly see your posts and they are more likely to interact with you. This allows the followers to feel like they are a part of your journey and allows for brand loyalty. It’s easy to hold contests and other fun activities that encourage engagement when it comes to digital marketing on social media. On the other hand, traditional marketing is more of a one-way road where you’re giving customers information, but they don’t get to interact with you as much, or even if they do, it’s only to a limited extent.

computer-screen-with-analytical-data-for-digital-marketing Photo by Pexels

Traditional Marketing VS Digital Marketing – The Pros of Traditional and Cons of Digital

Traditional marketing has been around for centuries and still has a place in the marketing industry. Well, here are a few pros of traditional marketing that will ensure that this form of marketing is not vanishing anytime soon.

Hard Copy

Face-to-face marketing, as you see at stores and malls, lets customers have a “sample” or a hard copy of your product. This can often lure your audience into buying your products! For example, if there’s a tea stall at your local grocery store sending free cups of tea to the customers as samples, you’re more likely to buy the tea if you like it. On the other hand, a digital graphic of tea products can never convince you like the taste of the actual tea can!

Not everyone uses the internet

If you have an older target audience, then you’re more likely to get better results with traditional marketing. Although many grandmas now know how to use Facebook and other social media, they still prefer shopping the old-fashioned way. Moreover, a portion of the older population doesn’t spend a lot of time on their devices!


When it comes to marketing, digital marketing, and traditional marketing have their pros and cons. A lot of factors come into play when you need to decide which method to use. These include target audience, business size, cost, and advertising method! Keeping these points in mind, you can make an informed decision! Happy marketing!

If you are interested in trying a digital marketing service, or just have questions, feel free to contact us and we will be happy to assist.

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