traditional marketing vs digital marketing

Traditional Marketing Vs Digital Marketing : A Complete Guide

The thought and implementation of the right marketing strategies for a growing business can be a daunting task. This is why most marketers brainstorm themselves from dusk till dawn seeking out ways of introducing their brand to the marketplace.

Today, many believe the use of digital marketing appears to be more powerful and consistent than the use of traditional marketing. Some are of the opinion that digital marketing strategies outstripped traditional marketing strategies. But the question is, could there be a big difference between the two marketing techniques? Is it possible to merge both techniques for an effective result? If yes, then which of these techniques is better? And how can both marketing techniques be merged?

This article is a detailed guide to digital marketing and traditional marketing. It covers a broad spectrum of marketing, marketing era, digital, and traditional marketing pros and cons. And the measure of influence both marketing strategy has on the growth of your product or brand. Without further ado, let’s get started with this short tale.

On a bright and sunny morning, Johnny and Joel decide to start a business, they both had great ideas, and so they went their separate ways.

Johnny decided to start up a brick-and-mortar store that sells products. He rented out a nice building, had a nice location, and hired enough salespeople.

He printed brochures, flyers, Direct Mail pieces, and also advertised in local newspapers, and within a few weeks, Johnny started seeing sales.

He had a lot of local customers, he was excited, but he had high overhead, and a low-profit margin; so he decided to wait to see some growth.

Joel decided to start an online store that sells products. Joel got an excellent-looking website, and craft a nice Nickname for his website.

He hired a content writer, invested in online marketing, and hired some professionals to help with SEO and Email Marketing.

He advertised on different websites and signed up for paper click advertising, and within a few weeks –Joel started seeing sales.

He had customers and clients coming to him from all over the country; and had very low overhead and a very high-profit margin, and he couldn’t wait to see some growth.

A year passes by, but Johnny was still in the same building, with the same salespeople, with the same marketing strategy and local customers.
His overheads for still very high, and his margins were still very low, so he decided to wait another year to see some growth.

Joel move to a new office hired new people and kept getting a lot of new and repeated customers from all over the country.

His overheads were still very low, and his margins were still very high, so he decides to start another online store to sell a different line of products.

After two years, on a bright and sunny morning, Johnny and Joel met again. Joel told john about his Marketing strategy, and Johnny realizes his mistakes.

Traditional marketing can only get you so far; “think local but act globally.” so this time, Johnny went back and fired his rusty salespeople.

He hired a good web company, and outsource all his online marketing jobs to them. And within a few weeks -Johnny was again a happy man to see increase profits and lower overhead, and needless he was grateful to Joel.

Though most products and brand owners may give less preference to marketing, if any serious business wants to grow its profit margin then it will always set aside a proper budget for marketing to reach out to the right audience.

We all know about the debate for digital marketing vs. traditional marketing is becoming alarming by the day, and I bet you will be surprised at the measure of progress you can attain by applying the right marketing strategy.

Although there are a lot of stumping opinions about digital marketing vs. traditional marketing, this confusion arises as a result of most of our marketing been carried out in a traditional way, and how digital marketing is gaining an edge.

Today’s world has a considerable amount of population who use the internet for various purposes, including our day-to-day transactions.

One of the major secrets to excel in business; is getting ahead of the competition. This means your product or brand cannot depend on outdated marketing strategy.

Now to excel, you will need to understand the measures you can leverage on with the latest digital marketing strategy to reach out to the right audience.

Let’s consider some marketing ideas you will need to understand before we get the ball rolling on marketing Nitti gritty details.

Marketing – born 1750, and ongoing

The commercial term marketing is backdated to the pre-industrial restricting and has gone through server adjustment approaches to adapt and succeed and keep up with changing clients’ needs.

Before we take a head start on how digital marketing and traditional marketing have experienced a dramatic change, it’s very significant to state out and explain all the phases of revolution it has encountered over the years; since the 18th century, till date.

Marketing: Trade Age (1750 to 1850)

The trade era is also known as the pre-industrial revolution age. During the trade era; most businesses were had their focus on providing a handmade product to target markets. The trade was founded on the use of the “word of mouth” strategy to communicate and convert clients.
As most primitive villages get developed with a large dispersal of the population, the global economy experiences an increasing change. This change has birthed the adoption of other mediums of communication to reach out to the audience.

In this era, efficient and effective production was the heartbeat of businesses. During this marketing era, most businesses believe that an increase in productivity will lead to sales. The idea was pretty similar to that of a simple marketing concept.

Marketing: Production Age (1860s to 1920s)

The evolution that birthed this era started out with the huge improvement, with the fate that a targeted market patronizes a product. At that time, the market recorded a huge level of success due to the few amounts of competitor that was present in the market. As time goes on, manufacturers began to realize and adopt the power of newer print mediums like magazines, newspapers, and other forms of manual, to convey information to the masses.

Marketing: Sales Age (the 1920s to 1940s)

There was a dramatic increase during the sale age; the level of industrial completion was amplified, and most companies had their focus on the productions and sales of goods to the targeted market only. During this age new medium of passing information, such as television and the radio were invented –backdate to the 1940s. This mentioned marketing innovation was used to convert clients by persuasion.

Marketing: Marketing Age (1940s to 1990s)

During this age, ‘marketing companies’ and ‘marketing department’ were evolved as a result of market saturation. The introduction of the market 7Ps: product, price, place and promotion, people, process, and physical environment was adopted by a large number of people.

The adoption of the marketing pattern prompts most marketers to use billboards and television commercials. Marketers use the invention of this technology to show their clients what they will look like when they buy a particular product or use their services.

Today, the marketing age has experienced more change and has grown to be more effective than ever.

Marketing: Relationship Age (1990s)

This marketing age is centered on building a relationship and developing target market loyalty. Verbal communication is not enough, so the use of the database became our marketing armory. However, and we stepped into a new world where technology is the primary source of marketing.

Relationship marketing involves building a personal lifelong relationship between a product or brand and its customers. The entire concept is built upon relationship; gaining more loyalty to a brand. The Relationship era encourages most sellers to market their products using loyalty and rewards. This strategy enables buyers to have a lasting interaction with the brands.

Marketing: Social Age (2000s to now)

The social marketing age is focused on real-time connection and social interaction with clients. Over the past ten years, we have all experienced how the use of modern-day technologies for digital marketing feels like. Social marketing is governed by the theory of mass communication that is known to promote socially acceptable behavior.

These marketing techniques, integrate the social benefits concepts with techniques to enhance communication and add more value to society.

This form of marketing unites both psychological and social factors that lead to a decrease in changes in a particular society. This form of marketing increase acceptability, practice, and the response of a given social idea or group — this pattern of marketing employees marketing techniques like market exchange theory, market segmentation, and consumer research.

This era allows room for social connection with clients or customers using various social media platforms like Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, and Google plus.

You can be like Joel from the above story, by considering the right medium that will allow your brand and product to reach the right audience. But the question is; how do you know where to spend your resources when it comes to digital marketing vs. traditional marketing?

For many products and brands, reaching out to the right marketing decision is not easy, even though it requires a huge difference in their outcomes.

But with the right knowledge and clarity on both digital marketing and traditional marketing, a product or brand can have a better understanding of the appropriate marketing procedure and steps to adopt to get the most required result.

Let’s take for instance; you choose a social media platform to build your brand and also increase your customer base, but a successful business goes beyond having a high-quality product or choosing the right market. What makes a successful business, is its ability to reach and leverage the right targeted audience who are converted into leads.

Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing: What is Traditional Marketing?

At one point or the other in our business carrier, we have encountered traditional marketing strategy; a promotional strategy that demands a lot of commitment to reach out to a semi-targeted audience. These marketing techniques are not new but are strategies that are acquainted with all.

Traditional marketing is outbound marketing that deals with creating or building awareness of your organization’s products and services using tools and techniques such as telemarketing, television advertising, magazines, newsletters, or other types of copy like a billboard. It involves shouting at a mass number of people. This form of marketing deals with “interruption marketing.”

Let’s explain some of the different types of marketing.

Relationship marketing is defined as a development from traditional Direct Response marketing campaigns. These campaigns are used to emphasize customer retention and satisfaction, rather than a predominant focus that is only on sales, or only on a specific transaction.

Relationship marketing considers the long-term value of customer relationships and extends its communication beyond Intrusive advertising sales promotional messages; which is what we characterize as traditional marketing.

In relationship marketing, we get closer to the customer and build a one and one relationship to keep the customer and satisfy the customer.

A traditional marketing technique is a type of marketing that is pretty difficult to ignore, and it is made up of traditional ads we encounter on a daily basis. The most tried offline marketing tactics fall under the following five major categories:

1. Print (, newspapers, magazines, etc.)

2. Broadcast (radio, TV, etc.)

3. Direct Mail (postcards, catalogs, etc.)

4. Outdoor (fliers, billboards, etc.)

5. Telephone (SMS marketing, telemarketing, etc.)

Over the past few decades, traditional marketing had experienced several changes –but its fundamental aspect is still the same. In today’s world, selling techniques revolve around the four marketing P’s: product, price, place, and promotion.

A successful business is attainable only with the right application of a sales funnel. With a proper application of four P’s as leverage, your growing business can lead its prospective customer through any sales funnel.

At this point, let’s get our focus on the four P’s that serves as the driving force to every form of marketing strategy:


I bet you agree with me that an effective marketing technique starts first with a proper understanding of your product. Your product could be goods that are currently in demand or an intangible service.


the price of a product is dependent on how informed you are about the product. Price is an essential factor that determines supply, demand, and profit margin.


These are all the series of steps that involve the public about your product. The act of marketing your products to a targeted audience is known as promotion. Promotion turns the spotlight on a particular product or brand, by increasing its visibility, this marketing strategy allows you to gain more visibility and at the same time, promote your product and brand. This could take a traditional form of advertising on a billboard or a digital form of creating Facebook ads.


This is one of the most important factors in traditional marketing; it depends on getting your products or brand in front of your targeted audience at the right place and time.

The placement of a product has a vital role in a market role, because, placement of your product in the right location; where the right audience will see it will generate more leads and convert prospective buyers to customers or clients.

The ideal marketing strategy involves a consistent promotion of the four P: promotion. In digital marketing; promoting a product employ the use of the four P’s, this is one of the reasons why digital marketing is efficient because it covers the use of the four (Ps) in marketing.

Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing: Downside of Going Traditional

Traditional marketing is not the only way of publishing your products and services to the audience. Today, technology has provided us with a better and effective medium to reach a global market. This is why it is essential that you consider the downsides of traditional marketing before taking out time to invest your resource and effort in it.

Little Interaction

The interaction between a buyer and a customer in traditional marketing is limited. This marketing strategy provides little or no medium of communication between a customer and a service provider.

This brand building is done to attract the attention of prospects into customers. In this strategy, a business can provide their audience with information, but on the other hand, the client finds it challenging to reach out to their service provider.


Not everyone is buoyant enough to buy a radio, television, or printed ads. These mediums of advert can sometimes be too expensive for the public.


This is different from online marketing; measuring its conversion rate and the efficiency of your ads, and the results they offer can most times be difficult.

Forced Technique

This type of marketing technique is known to be a forced method of selling a product since the consumer is not seeking your product in the first place.

No Control over Timing

Traditional marketing is a wholly dependent rigid pattern of promotion, and that once it published to the public, it cannot be updated. Creating a new ad will be the only promotional measure to replace previous publicity, although this factor may not seem significant on the onset but will make a massive difference with time.

Let’s take, for instance; you promoted your product using a magazine ad. After which, you decide to update the ad to increase your sales, the question is, can you have access to the previous magazines and change your ads? You and I know that is not possible; this act can lead to a big difference in your marketing budget, by causing you to spend more.

Higher Costs

The cost of carrying out traditional marketing can be a huge investment that may or may not give back a good return. For instance, you decide to publish an ad on a local newspaper, that publicity can only affect your sales rate when it’s seen by the right audience on the day of publication; this will reduce your rate of sales.

Any time you want to reach out to your audience, you will have to create a new print campaign. Posters and flyers are an investment for one-time exposure, and I bet you agree you will need something much more to grow your brand and product leads. Now compare this previous act with a content that you created years ago on your website that can still educate visitors in five years to come with no extra cost or demand.

Limited Customization Options

Do you want to target customers working in a certain industry and fall in a particular age group? Traditional marketing offers you little help when it comes to customizing your campaign and targeting a specific customer.

You can use a traditional marketing strategy to market to certain customers, and yet find it difficult to go after certain customers. But with digital marketing, you have the option to reach a broad range of customers whom you know will be needing your product and value.

Inability to Disclose Full Pricing Details

Traditional marketing has always provided the right discounted price and special rates sales that attract people. However, when it comes to offering a customized quotation, the marketing strategy can get you to hit the wall. With the option given to you by print media, you may not find all the required space to present all your pricing options.

Poor Campaign Measurement

If you want to carry out a traditional marketing campaign, it is very vital to recognize how essential it is not to invest in the wrong direction. Traditional marketing results are not easily measurable. However, with the adoption of a digital marketing technique, you can easily measure out the efficiency of your ads and also identify what part needs to be renovated. This factor stands digital marketing out.

Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing: upsides of Traditional marketing.

This marketing technique allows you to reach a range of consumers, especially those that are not familiar with the internet.

One on one contact:

Traditional marketing is considered to be one of the best ways to offers bands and products exclusive recognition.

Material gifts:

This marketing strategy creates room for tangibility –this refers to products or ads that clients come in contact with –during their free time, for instance, the magazine ads.

Product testing:

Although this is solo dependent on the product, traditional marketing can offer product testing to its customer and via the process, prove its quality.

Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing: What is Digital Marketing?

Online Marketing is divided into three fundamental aspects, which are online presence, traffic attraction, and traffic conversion.

Online presence is established through social media and a website that will provide a professional profile and at the same time, give your potential customer confidence in your services.

Traffic attraction is done through mediums of publicity like Google, Facebook, or through Local SEO strategies for your website, and through these strategies, you achieve conversion.

In contrary to traditional marketing, digital publicity or Local SEO captures the attention of consumers who are searching for your service or product.

Digital marketing, also known as online marketing, is a type of marketing technique that involves the use of the electronic device and the internet, to carry out marketing. Digital marketing can suit any business and its application to convert most of its audience to clients/ customers.

Today the use of the internet is becoming more cramped than normal; this is one of the basic reasons why the use of digital marketing should be the center focus of your brand. There are tons of people right now t carrying various services; some are buying while others seek the attention of service providers.

Over the past decade, when compared to today, online marketing has experienced a dramatic increase in its influence. So when it comes to digital marketing vs. traditional marketing, it’s obvious to know that digital has an edge.

Successful marketing is carried out when a business connects to prospective customers and clients in an easy way and also allows you to have a return on your investment.

Digital marketing evolves with the change in technology and continues to deliver more productive results due to its inbound nature. It allows you to source out for customers and clients from the comfort of your home. It could take the form of blog content or advertising on Google. All that is centered and attached to these marketing techniques are all about getting the attention of your targeted audience.

The more reach and exposure you gain the more trust, and familiar people become with your product and brand. This will stand you out and get you more repeated buyers of your product or service.

Digital marketing offers you the platform to build your niche and create and grow a virtual community like never before.

Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing: Advantages of Digital marketing


Digital Marketing achieves results that are only a fraction of the traditional marketing costs.

Efficiency in Results

With Online Marketing, you can adjust your marketing strategy based on the results obtained.
Online marketing allows you to view exact results such as the number of page visits, links clicked, number of time your page was visited, call tracking, and even footage of what the consumer did while visiting your site and all to analyze where the interest of the consumer was captured or lost.

Specific Marketing

Online marketing is specific in targeting a particular group of people. It allows you to direct and redirect your marketing techniques to a specific region or postal code.


In today’s world, the number one way to get socialize is through the use of social media. Online marketing provides a perfect platform to socialize with individuals or groups.


Online marketing can allow your brand to compete with other popular brands and other big businesses.

Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing: Disadvantages of Digital Marketing


Digital marketing is often time-consuming and complex and demands the service of a professional. It involves the use of posts, content, and time for an overall page administration.


Often than normal, visitors are often doubtful about certain products and services. But doubts can be overcome by the use of testimonials, credentials, portfolio, and certificate.

Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing: What Do the Stats Say?

With the increased rate of exposure in digital marketing, it will take no distance time for digital marketing to outstrip traditional means of marketing, such as radio and television ads. Currently, 70% of marketers from various industries across the globe already have a change in perception regarding digital marketing.

Here are some more stats to help you understand the prominence and progress of digital marketing.

· More than 70% of buyers/ shoppers do online research before investing in a service/ product.
· Approximately 70% of U.S. adults use Facebook on a regular basis

· Mobile will be accounting for over 70 percent of digital ad spend by 2019.

· 9o percent of businesses report social media has been one of the most effective media of content marketing.
· Irrespective of your current business, it is very vital to reconsider your medium of marketing and bring to perspective the importance of digital marketing, outweighing both to see which is more convenient and important to you.
After a clear evaluation, I will say; take what will beam the spotlight on your product. Doing this simple analysis will keep you on track and also help you with the current competition.

· We understand that understanding digital marketing trends and applying the techniques you have learned on your business can be a daunting task, and may take some professional effort to yield positive results. In a scenario like this, it is best to consider the opinions of professionals that will ensure you get rewards for all your efforts invested.

· Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing: Where to Invest?

Away from the accurate marketing budget, it is always important to invest your effort where it will yield more results. This is why your focus wholly on marketing channels and methods that are likely to be a game-changer to your product and brand.

In a nutshell, the digital marketing vs. traditional marketing debate is far from over. However, with the current advancement in technology, it is clear that digital marketing generates the right leads/sales with light or no risk factor than when it compared to traditional marketing

On the internet is tons amount of start-up and businesses of various sizes that are again exposure and generating leads via digital marketing it is When compared to traditional marketing methods such as the use of print and flyers can build your brand and enhance sales and assist your brand in generating a solid foundation that aids promotion.

Investing in Print Ads

Without consistent advertisement on print and flyers, traditional marketing won’t produce a favorable result as that of digital marketing.

So it doesn’t matter where you chose to invest; it could be in a local newspaper or in major magazines both will require some funds from you on a long-time base, to keep the ads going.

Often time, the percent of magazine produce is always less than the number of goods solid, and as a result, most printed ads tend to be seen by a fewer amount of people.

Investing in Digital Ads

Digital ads allow more room for customization than print ads; this important factor makes them less risky. Let’s take, for instance; you want to run a search campaign, you can choose to have your ads targeted to the audience of your choice and also change it with time. This marketing platform creates room for adjustment and tweaking, to all and all-around improvement.

Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing: Why Choose Digital

For a brand that is well established, with enough online and offline audiences, traditional marketing may appear too expensive to ignore.
Growing businesses that are willing to step their foot out across the line and make a mark with their budget, digital marketing appears to be the best and recommended solution. This is one of the basic reasons why several businesses, both old and new, are leveraging the broad benefit of digital marketing.

1: High Level of Customer Engagement

In traditional marketing, the customer has not availed the privilege of direct interaction. Conversely, in digital marketing, there is a higher level of interaction and engagement. This engagement can be a simple comment from a social platform. It gives provision to reach out to your targeted audience.

The room for communication allows your brand to build a long-lasting customer relationship. This system of marketing allows your business to grow and perform better by talking directly with your customers to iron out issues with them.

2: Bigger Audience Range

Traditional marketing is restricted in many ways, but one of its major limitations is its inability to scale beyond a local audience or regionals. If your business is not restricted by location, why would you want to limit your reach?

With digital marketing, you can create a professional campaign that will widen your reach and increase your sales.

3: Less Expensive but More Effective

Your return on the capital you invested during marketing will decide if your campaign is worthwhile or not. Digital marketing is cheaper and affordable; as a result, you stand the chance of gaining more by leveraging on it.
conversely, with digital marketing technique, you can spend less than and gain more

How digital marketing and traditional marketing work together.

As we replace our traditional lifestyle with more of the digital trend, there are opportunities where we could blend both marketing strategies to grow the sales of a product or the visibility of a brand.

If you already have a successful traditional publicity strategy that has yield significant and consistent result, then you don’t need to forsake the pattern that has a created a consistent result and embrace a digital marketing campaign although there might be a need for that in a long run, it best to supplement traditional with digital rather than replacing one strategy for another.

You can create a consistent pattern to supplement your traditional marketing effort with that of digital marketing. Print ads are designed with social media business account links or website URLs attached to them in an attractive manner.

With the URLs and social media business links attached on posters, customers can gain access to the social media account or web address of a company on social media; as a result, your brand stands the chance of driving more digital traffic with the use of traditional marketing strategy.

Stake difference between traditional market and digital marketing.
Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing

Marketers can reach their local audience. Digital marketing can reach an audience from all around the globe.
Traditional marketing has personal to building a person-to-person relationship. Getting more popular is easy since it can reach a finite audience.
The audience is presented with copies that they can go through over and over again. The public can also have access to different content like videos on YouTube, on websites, and video sharing websites.
Most people can easily access this publicity strategy. Strategies implemented can reach the target market with an Internet connection.
There is only a little or no interaction medium between the medium used to the targeted customer Interaction is made possible with the use of social media networks.
Print or radio advertisements can be expensive for most brands. Digital marketing is cost-efficient.
Results that are obtained from a marketing strategy cannot be measured. With the use of Google Analytics, Data, and results are easily recorded.

Also, Read the related content

An Overview of The History of Marketing

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