Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing - Key Differences [Updated 2023]

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Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing
Updated on 22nd Aug, 23 7.8 K Views

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What is Traditional Marketing?

Traditional Marketing is an offline form of marketing in which platforms like print media, radio, television, hoardings, etc are used for advertising purposes. It works on the principle of reaching a large number of people. And Traditional Marketing intends to reach a large number of people to generate leads. 

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It is a prominent marketing technique that existed till 1990. After the 1990s with the internet revolution, the significance of Traditional Marketing slowly diminished.

In the debated topic of Traditional Marketing vs Digital marketing, the strength of Traditional Marketing is that no consumer can ignore the advertisements in Traditional Marketing.

Types of Traditional Marketing

Type of Traditional Marketing

1. Broadcasting

Broadcasting is sending the same content to a large group of receivers simultaneously. Generally, used mediums are television and radio.

2. Telemarketing

Unsolicited phone calls to potential consumers are used to sell goods or services. It is also known as inside sales.

3. Print Media

Physical editions of books, periodicals, journals, magazines, and newsletters circulated as paper publications are generally known as print media.

4. Window displays and signs

The display of products at the entrance area of a retail store.

5. Outdoor Marketing

Any sort of advertisement that attracts the public’s attention when they are outside is classified as outdoor advertising. While billboards are the most common form of this type of advertising, there are other styles that come under it.

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What is Digital Marketing?

Digital Marketing is a blanket term for the complete marketing technique in which sellers reach their general customers through advertisements, web applications, emails, search engines, mobile applications, influencers, and other paid promotions on social media.

Digital Marketing is empowered by the internet and the smartphone revolution. The smart and right use of Digital Marketing techniques would help any enterprise to excel.

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Types of Digital Marketing

Types of Digital Marketing

There are eight types of Digital Marketing:

1. Content Marketing

Content Marketing mainly focuses on generating content and then distributing it to a specified target audience. The objective is to drive the customer to your platform and engage them.

2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO focuses on optimizing content with the help of various SEO tools. so it’s relevant to your target audience. The process is used to generate organic traffic on your website via search engines.

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3. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Search Engine Marketing focuses on generating traffic using paid alternatives. The process is used on search engines by paying a certain amount.

4. Social Media Marketing (SMM)

Social Media Marketing focuses on using social media platforms to appeal to your specific target audience. SMM also helps in maintaining a relationship with customers.

5. Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)

With PPC, the marketing team has to pay for every click on their ads.

6. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing focuses on individuals and businesses collaborating or affiliating with businesses and helping them generate traffic. Every time a customer clicks the link on the affiliate’s page, blog, etc, the affiliates receive a commission from it.

7. Email Marketing

Email Marketing strategy focuses on sending Emails to your current as well as potential customers and increasing engagement.

8. Instant Messaging Marketing (IMM)

IMM focuses on sending Instant Messages to your customers.

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Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing

Traditional Marketing and Digital Marketing differ a lot in various aspects of targeting, ROI, measuring the impacts of marketing, and much more. So, why don’t we summarize them into a table?

 Traditional MarketingDigital Marketing
DefinitionConventional methods of approaching customers using print marketing, outdoor marketing, broadcasting, referral marketing, one-to-one marketing, etcConnecting with  customers through electronic media and social media platforms
CommunicationOne-wayTwo-way communication feeding relationships and credibility
Value of trendThe trend has to be rememberedThe trend can be easily identified by the customer
TargetingDemographicsBased on the attitude of customers
Targeting difficultyDifficult to targetEasy to target
Seller buyer InteractionVery less or NilHigh
Being viralDepends on effective presentationBased on trustful content and features
Content-typeCreated by experts, limitedMixed content ( audio, video, blogs, posts)
Opinion LeadershipExperts have the major sayUsers and customers’ opinions are important
ROICannot be measured easilyEasily tracked
TweakingImpossible once the ad is publishedPossible any time
ResultsDelayed resultsQuick results and impacts
InterruptionsCannot be ignoredAd blockers and premium services might prevent from reaching customers
CostExpensiveComparatively cheap and affordable

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Advantages of Digital Marketing over Traditional Marketing (Why it is better)

Let us take a gander at the comparative aspects of Traditional Marketing and digital marketing. Traditional Marketing is slightly shallow. It involves conventional methods like billboards, newspaper ads, broadcasting on radio, etc., whereas, Digital Marketing offers two-way communication. There are many benefits of Digital Marketing.

It fosters proper interaction wherein sellers take in feedback on a regular basis. Thus, Digital Marketing enhances credibility, brand loyalty, and customer satisfaction.

Traditional Marketing, which poses the limitation of demographic targeting, has the greatest advantage as well as some disadvantages. The presentation plays a significant role, if you present it well, you win and if your presentation is poor or average, you lose. But Digital Marketing doesn’t allow that. Only trustworthy content with good features can succeed in winning the hearts of the people worldwide.

A closer observation of Digital and Traditional Marketing shows that Traditional Marketing is a static system whereas Digital Marketing is a dynamic system that opens the possibilities of pulling Digital Marketing as well as pushing Digital Marketing. In Pull, Digital Marketing consumers seek the content whereas, in push, Digital Marketing the content is pushed to the customer without them looking out for the information.

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Pros and cons of Traditional Marketing:


  • Easy to capture the attention of customers
  • Exhibits stability and security of brand
  • Easy to target elderly customers
  • The quick impact can be created effortlessly
  • It’s more like permanent marketing as a hard copy of the advertisement can be saved
  • More memorable than seeing something on the phone
  • Better reach in the local market
  • Easy to target areas where there is less development and no internet connection
  • Advertisements can be directly registered in the minds of the customer as there is repeated broadcasting.
  • Possibility of word-of-mouth marketing

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  • It is highly expensive.
  • Difficult to understand the attitudes and preferences of the customer
  • One-way communication
  • Time-consuming process
  • Very difficult to analyze and measure  the strategies and results
  • Only target local audience
  • Difficult to understand whether it has reached the right customer
  • Demographic restrictions

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Pros and cons of Digital Marketing


  • A highly economic and efficient approach
  • Provide equal opportunity for all the businesses
  • The high return on investment
  • Better  lead generation and conversion
  • Easy to connect with the customer
  • Increased  brand awareness in the market
  • Digital Marketing campaign results can be measured and tracked
  • Better engagement of customers
  • Scope of Digital Marketing for personalization and easy to target customers
  • Connection with global market as well as global customers
  • Direct communication between the businesses and their audience
  • Can engage the customers using creative content


  • Sometimes advertisements and promotions are really annoying. This might provoke the customers to use ad blockers or premium services without pop-ups or banner ads
  • Since there are plenty of brands competing in the Digital Marketing arena, it’s difficult to register in the minds of the audience
  • This is not permanent and Digital Marketing strategies keep changing from time to time
  • Each type of Digital Marketing needs its own experts
  • It requires continuous evaluation to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of the implemented strategies

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Digital Marketing or Traditional Marketing – Which Marketing is best for you?

There is no distinct answer to this question. The most ideal solution for most businesses is a good mix of traditional marketing and digital marketing. When both of these are used together, it makes the marketing process even more efficient.

We have seen the pros and cons of both of them. The final decision relies on your understanding and your needs. You have to take your budget and your target market into consideration. The key is to know your audience well.

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Read: Fundamentals of Digital Marketing


We know Digital Marketing has been really successful in recent times, overtaking traditional marketing. Digital marketing has proven to be more effective while costing much less than traditional marketing. But a combination of both still remains the most effective choice for all successful organizations. Nowadays the demand for professionals with Digital Marketing skills is on the boom.

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