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Digital Marketing Vs Traditional Marketing

From putting one’s entire creative team behind Billboards and TV ads to having one digital marketing expert on the team, marketing has had a long journey. Traditional Marketing continues marketing its presence. On the other hand, digital marketers are working hard to reduce costs and increase the returns on every marketing investment. According to popular research, 62% of marketers have already shifted to building in software. 

The following article is an attempt to clarify to users about the major distinction between digital marketing and traditional marketing. By the end of this article, you should be able to choose a great marketing strategy for your business.

What is Traditional Marketing?

These are the ads or marketing strategies one encounters on a daily basis without making a deliberate attempt. The Billboard banner you see at the bus stop or the direct email sent to you by a retailer, everything is a part of a traditional marketing strategy. 

In simple words, traditional marketing refers to the usage of traditional means to reach out to the audience. The medium could be TV, press, newspaper, or Emails. What is crucial is the unavailability of targeted data, which is a major disadvantage.

Advantages of Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing offers a number of advantages to business marketers. Although it is quite expensive, the approach had a huge impact on consumer taste and buying preference. Some of the advantages of traditional marketing are mentioned below, 

Sustainable approach

Traditional marketing offers a long-term advantage to the business, without having to change the strategy or content periodically. The investment leads to long-term gains for the business and sufficient time for the marketing team to assess its effectiveness. In fact, brands like Apple and Nike continue trying to upgrade their billboard banners, etc. 

Real-time assessment of customer response

Traditional marketing allows businesses to analyze customer responses. The response to banners and TV ads is discussed by the audience loud and clear. 

Innovative approach

Traditional Marketing is a lot more innovative because marketing teams undergo severe pressure to make them work. The team understands the size of the investment that goes behind every ad. As a result, the final outcome is often tasteful for the audience. 

Let us now try and understand digital marketing and what it offers to new-age marketers.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital Marketing is experienced by a social individual almost on a regular basis. From emails to your Instagram, digital marketing strategies have expanded exponentially. So much so that marketers are now able to test ideas before their implementation. 

Digital Marketing means the use of digital mediums like Phones, laptops, PC, and iPad to market your product or service. It relies on new-age social platforms to convey the right message and track it using industry-best data and automation tools. Digital Marketing strategies are relatively less costly and supplement big decisions in the organization. 

Advantages of Digital Marketing Strategy

Digital Marketing has something for everyone. From small businesses to large corporations, digital marketing provides great exposure to everyone. Some of the advantages are mentioned below,

Provides an Equal ground for competition

Competing with big brands using traditional marketing is difficult, as the competition often revolves around investment. However, digital marketing ensures that every brand can compete in the market without spending too much. 


Digital Marketing does not require heavy investment. The returns depend on the strategy and not the investment. Even a low-cost digital marketing strategy can end up building huge website traffic. For instance, affiliate marketers are paid on a lead per click basis, which means paying per lead rather than paying for the process.


There is no fixed platform for digital marketing. The strategy needs to be formulated for different platforms to fetch the required website traffic. Customization allows brands to reach out to a large audience. 

Digital marketing is an extensive process. Marketers spend weeks assessing data and formalizing a plan for growth. Though conventionally different, both traditional and digital marketing strategies have a few similarities as well. The following are discussed in the next segment. 

The similarity between traditional and digital Marketing

Traditional marketing has grasped the art of accessing customer data. Digital marketing on the other hand is continuously in the tussle to improve innovation and creativity. Both the strategies continue to learn from each other. Some of the common similarities include, 

The first similarity between digital and traditional marketing is that both types of marketing focus on creating a strong brand image for your company.

We all know that when it comes to branding, the logo plays an important role in attracting customers to your business. Irrespective of the type of marketing you choose, you must create a unique logo for your business. The logo must be simple yet attractive so that people can easily connect with your brand. Each type of marketing can be complemented with other types of marketing strategies and mediums in order to create a synchronized customer experience.

Both types of marketing target audiences and work to attract, engage and convert them into customers. Both types of marketing work to increase brand awareness and customer loyalty, which leads to brand advocacy.

Both types of marketing use different channels (social media, email, etc.) and mediums (print ads, TV commercials, radio advertisements) to reach their target audiences.

The basic difference between the two has pushed businesses to opt for one or the other. The next section discusses the stark differences between traditional marketing vs. digital marketing. 

Traditional Marketing Vs Digital Marketing

Traditional marketing and digital marketing differ in almost every other aspect. Although the end goal remains the same, the strategy itself becomes a bone of contention between marketers and businesses. The difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing strategy is mentioned below, 

Medium of advertising

This is one of the basic differences between the two strategies. While digital marketing relies on new-age tech tools like mobiles phones and PCs, traditional marketing uses television, radio, press, and billboards.


The shelf life of traditional marketing is longer than digital marketing. This is because of the repeated experience that a user gets from a traditional advertising plan. For example, a student who visits the bus stop daily and sees the iPhone ad is most likely to purchase it whenever the need arises. Digital marketing efforts need to be built and rebuild to stick with the user. This is because of the large-scale competition that every brand has to face to get seen by their targeted audience in a space that is regulated by Google and other search engines. 

Investment size

Digital marketing cost is lower than traditional marketing cost. However, a lot depends on the scale and need of the marketing campaign. 


Traditional marketing has limited reach compared to digital marketing. The only way for brands to reach out to massive mainstream audiences through traditional marketing is by utilizing expensive tools like television commercials and billboards which are only affordable by big brands with deep pockets. On the other hand, digital marketing tools are much cheaper and have a wider reach than traditional marketing tools; thus they can be used by companies of all sizes to promote their products and services. For example, small businesses can not afford the costs of television commercials; however, they can easily create a website/blog or a Facebook page for their business which will be accessible by millions of online users.

Primary Objective

.The main goal of traditional marketing is to promote your brand offline and help you reach more customers. The aim is to create awareness, increase sales, and improve brand recall among consumers. The content used in traditional marketing can include TV commercials, radio ads, billboards, brochures, catalogs, door hangers, flyers, and posters.

The primary objective of digital marketing is to target audiences online and get more interaction with your potential customers so that you can convert them into paying customers. Content used in digital marketing includes social media posts, blog posts, e-newsletters, and videos.

Traditional Marketing OR Digital Marketing- How to Choose?

Traditional marketing involves a combination of offline and online strategies. An online marketing campaign might involve advertising across the web, while offline marketing efforts include ad campaigns in print or in TV commercials. Digital marketing is a subset of traditional marketing, in which the majority of marketing efforts are directed through digital channels like email, search engines, and social media.

Axad, a digital marketing company for brand awareness prefers to use performance marketing strategies to deliver results. The strategy is basically a mix of different marketing components to test, assess and deliver results using automation. Axad experts suggest businesses rationalize a balanced approach between the two marketing strategies. 


By Author: Patrick Long | 19 Apr 2022
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