Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing: All You Need To Know

Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing

Blog Outline


There are numerous techniques for capturing the audience’s attention. Marketing is one of the most important aspects of any business because it helps attract customers’ attention.

Marketing can be done in two ways. The first is traditional marketing, which is an old type of marketing, and the second is digital marketing, which is a modern type of marketing.

Traditional marketing has been evolving for centuries, whereas digital marketing has only recently arrived. Both are good in their way, as they both have advantages and disadvantages.

As a result, the decision of choosing between the two is entirely dependent on the marketers and businesses who intend to use it.

Let’s first get the basics right –

Digital marketing meaning

Digital marketing is a type of marketing that promotes products and services through online technologies such as digital media and various digital channels.

People’s interactions with brands have evolved. Especially post COVID-19, the digital marketing trend has accelerated to unprecedented levels.

According to Statista, the digital advertising industry across India is projected to grow up to approximately 360 billion Indian rupees by 2023.

This massive growth can be attributed to the change in consumer behaviour which is driven by increased adoption and reliance on the Internet as well as digital media over the traditional media.

So, what is digital media?

Digital media refers to any type of media that is distributed via electronic devices. Broadly speaking, there are three types of digital media:

Types of digital media

Owned Media

Any online asset that you control is considered owned media. This type of media is usually exclusive to your brand. Your website, social media channels, blogs, videos, and so on are examples of digital media platforms.

When you optimise your owned media for SEO, it will appear when prospective customers search for topics related to what you offer.

The more owned digital media you produce, the more visible your company will be to your prospects. This gives your brand authority, which raises your ranking in search engine results.

Owned media allows you to control the conversation surrounding your company. To get the most out of your owned media, you must commit to delivering valuable content regularly.

Earned Media

Earned media refers to publicity or exposure obtained through means other than paid advertising.

Earned media is essentially online word of mouth, most commonly manifested as ‘viral’ tendencies, mentions, shares, reposts, reviews, recommendations, or content picked up by third-party sites.

One of the most powerful driving forces of earned media is usually a combination of high organic search engine rankings and content distributed by the brand. The most important drivers are usually first-page rankings and high-quality content.

Rankings on the first page of search engines position your owned media sites and content links to receive more engagement and shares, and that is why a good SEO strategy is critical.

When it comes to brand content, interesting, informative content can take many forms. Whether it’s a blog, infographic, video, press release, webinar, or e-book.

The key point is that the content should be valuable to receive the value of earned media; this is why a solid content strategy is essential.

Paid media is simply paid advertising. Overall, it is used to promote content, drive earned media, and direct traffic to owned media properties.

Paying to promote content can help get things started and increase exposure. Paid media advertising is available on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, which could potentially help boost your content as well as your website.

Paying influencers to promote your products or services is another strategy to increase the reach and engagement of your content.

Using retargeting, Pay Per Click (PPC), and display ads to drive searchers to your owned media sites, such as your website, can help increase traffic and/or conversions.

What is traditional marketing

Put simply, traditional marketing is any type of marketing that is not done online.

Print, broadcast, direct mail, phone, and outdoor advertising such as billboards are all examples of traditional marketing. Be it newspapers or radio, this method assists in reaching out to specific audiences.

Traditional marketing is not only the oldest form of marketing, but it is also one of the most researched. This method is preferred by marketers because it has proven to be effective.

Everyone comes into contact with traditional marketing in their daily lives, whether it’s getting mail or reading the newspaper.

Reaching out to local audiences requires traditional marketing. Storing physical advertisements for long is possible for the customers. Furthermore, there is an audience that is easier to reach via traditional marketing than through online marketing.

Traditional marketing examples

Common traditional marketing examples include:

Television commercials

One form of traditional marketing is the broadcasting of advertisements via television commercials.

Radio commercials

Radios were extremely important in the late twentieth century. People who couldn’t afford television relied on radios and CD cassettes back then. There are numerous types of advertisements that can be broadcasted with the help of radios.


Many companies and businesses continue to print flyers to promote their products and services. Flyers are also known as handouts.


Billboards display images of advertisements. They are typically found on highways. Top companies and businesses typically place billboards to promote their services.

Magazine and newspaper advertisements

Newspaper magazines were one of the best sources of information about anything.

Telephone and SMS marketing

These primarily consist of phone calls and text messages containing advertisements for various businesses and their services.


When an organisation asks its employees and customers to recommend its products and services to their friends, family, or neighbours, this is known as a referral.

Direct mail

Many businesses send their advertisements in the form of postcards or notices to people in the company’s target area or city.

Traditional marketing vs digital marketing: key differences

Although traditional and digital marketing share few similarities, both are unique in their way. The table below shows the key differences between digital marketing and traditional marketing:

Parameters for ComparisonTraditional MarketingDigital Marketing
DefinitionA type of marketing that uses media such as television or magazines to advertise a company’s services and productsA type of marketing that advertises businesses through the internet and social media
  • TV Ads
  • Radio Ads
  • Print Ads
  • Billboards
  • SMS
  • SEO
  • PPC
  • Content Marketing
  • SMM
  • Email Marketing
EffectivenessLess effectiveMore effective
CostExpensiveComparatively very low
EngagementVery lowComparatively high
Targeting DifficultyDifficultEasy
ConversionsExceptionally slowExceptionally fast
Brand BuildingNot so efficient and slowEfficient and quick
ROINot measurableMeasurable
EditableNot possible once publishedYes, any time
Value of trendEasy to identifyHas to be remembered
Interaction between seller and buyerVery highVery low
Likelihood of going viralVery highVery low
Strategy improvisationCan be done in real-timeTakes time
StickinessVery highVery low

Which is best for you – traditional vs digital marketing

So, which is superior: traditional marketing or digital marketing? It completely depends on the target audience you intend to engage with. A combination of both strategies may also be appealing to your target audience.

Understand their preferences, likes, dislikes, purchasing habits, and so on. Once you’ve determined what types of data they prefer, you can begin strategising accordingly.

Even if you believe traditional marketing is too old-fashioned for you, we recommend that you not abandon digital marketing entirely. It is an urgent necessity, especially given the ongoing pandemic. Divide your marketing efforts by demographics.

Traditional marketing, on the other hand, is required if your brand caters to an older audience. Your digital marketing efforts can be a secondary priority.

If your product or service is suited to a younger demographic, you should go all-in on digital marketing. It is also ideal for small businesses to establish an initial presence because it is inexpensive and has a high reach and engagement.

Every marketer is concerned with ROI. When it comes to digital marketing vs. traditional marketing ROI, it is extremely subjective.

If your audience is larger, digital marketing provides a better ROI because it allows you to reach a larger audience with less investment, whereas traditional marketing is only limited to a local audience.

On a concluding note

To summarise, digital marketing has evolved in recent years, but it has become more popular than traditional marketing due to a variety of advantages, one being cost-effectiveness.

Smart businesses, on the other hand, use both to build strong relationships with prospects, leads, and customers.

It is important to look at traditional marketing as it is a tried and tested tool. However, one should keep up with the times and incorporate digital media in their overall marketing strategy as well.

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