Difference Between Digital Marketing and Traditional Marketing

Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing

The difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing are outcomes of technological and knowledge advances of the human race. Marketing in a broad scale that describes all the activities from the need identification till post purchase support. Though the concept of marketing remains the same in both terms, the marketing mix or the 4 P’s (Product, Place, Price, and Promotion) makes the difference. Both set out to achieve the same objectives of reaching towards customers, creating brand identity, and penetrating into the markets. There is a strong belief with conclusive evidence that digital marketing is overpowering traditional marketing. However, both strategies are required for a firm to be a success, and a firm must find the correct balance between the two.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital obviously refers to technology. So, the marketing of products or services using technological channels to reach consumers is referred as digital marketing. Promotion of brands is the key concern in digital marketing. Digital marketing continuously evolves with technological advances. Examples of digital marketing include websites, e-mail promotions, banner advertisements, online social media videos, and blogs.

Digital marketing is a form of inbound promotion channel. It directs customers to the seller, or it aids customers to find the seller. Organizations place their advertisements or messages in the online / digital media for the customers to look. It may be in the forms of online search, search engine optimization, social network pages, or blogs. The more the customer see and familiarizes with it, the more they will remember and get involved with the product or service promoted.

Digital marketing has number of benefits embedded within it. First its results can be easily measured such as the number of audience reached. It can reach mass audience worldwide at less cost. It can be customized according to customer wish and whims. Finally, digital marketing is a very interactive mode of marketing where customer inquiries and feedback can be received and seller can respond at the same time.

Difference Between Digital Marketing and Traditional Marketing

What is Traditional Marketing?

Traditional marketing refers to classical promotion modes where the use of technology is very low or nonexistent. The channels used have tangible evidence attached to it in most instances. Examples of traditional marketing are printed advertisements in newspapers, magazines, business cards, printed posters, billboards, brochures, radio, and television commercials.

As traditional marketing has a long history attached to it, it is very familiar with customers. In the present days too, most people have the habit of looking at newspaper advertisements and billboards. Traditional marketing has a limited audience base and its costs are relatively much higher than digital marketing. The penetration level or customer access cannot be easily measured with traditional marketing. The biggest drawback of traditional marketing is, it is not a two-way communication. Only seller messages get transmitted while customer feedback is less assured.

Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing

Picture from LG Border Wireless LED TV Commercial

What is the difference between Digital Marketing and Traditional Marketing?

People are more mobile and are adopting themselves to be in line with the digital world. Newspapers and magazines have also become digital. So, traditional marketing is being offset by digital marketing. But, still traditional marketing has a scope if you are targeting a local audience group and people’s trust in it is more. However, it is important for a firm to find the correct balance between these two when planning their marketing campaigns.

• Definitions of Digital Marketing and Traditional Marketing:

• Traditional marketing is classical promotion modes where the use of technology is very low or nonexistent.

• Digital marketing is marketing of products or services using technological channels to reach consumers.

• Cost:

• Traditional marketing cost is higher than digital marketing. The channels utilized such as television, radio or billboards require huge investments.

• Relatively, digital marketing costs are far less than traditional marketing. Sometimes it can be free too.

• Coverage:

• In traditional marketing, advertisements are printed in newspapers or magazines. The coverage is restricted to the audience who read such printed materials. Also, the impact of advertisement is momentary, where it is not recalled. For example, after reading a magazine or newspaper it is thrown out the next day.

• Digital marketing coverage can be made permanent. For example, a facebook posting will remain forever and it can be recalled by the customers at any time.

• Monitoring:

• The result of traditional marketing is hard to measure such as the customer behavior towards it or the number of people it reached.

• With digital marketing, the results can be easily measured with relevant software tools. For example, e-mail marketing software can record the number of messages sent and number of messages viewed. Also, similar software can track the sales that were result of digital advertising.

• Time:

• With traditional marketing, messages intended to customers cannot be transmitted to customers immediately. It requires time to get printed or placed. So, it is not an instant mode of communication.

• Messages can be showcased in real time to customers with digital marketing. It is instant.

Traditional marketing and digital marketing objectives are similar. But, the pathways to access the objectives are different. These differences have been highlighted above.


Images Courtesy:

  1. Digital marketing by Henripontes (CC BY-SA 3.0)
  2. LG Border Wireless LED TV Commercial, Daniel Henney, September 2009 by  LG Electronics’s official Flickr (CC BY 2.0)