Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing: Which is Right for Your Business?

Difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing strategies

Advertising is an essential factor in deciding the fate of a particular product or service. If done properly, it can build an everlasting brand!. However, there are various elements and aspects of the advertising process that need to be taken under consideration before rendering it with utmost power and control. Some of these factors are the nature and type of the product, target audience, budget, purpose and many more. These factors then further essentially decide what kind of marketing will best suit its needs and goals.

There are primarily two tracks: Traditional Marketing and Digital Marketing. The debate between which is better and which one should be prioritized as compared to the other, is quite subjective and is a result of study of various components. However, a successful well balanced marketing mix leverages the advantages of both for optimal results

In the blog, we shall analyze in detail traditional marketing vs digital marketing and review each one based on their services and outcomes.

Definition of Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing refers to a process where marketers reach out to the audience via traditional forms of media and make a profit out of it. This includes television, radio, billboards, print media, phone, direct mail, etc.

What is traditional marketing?

Traditional marketing is a broad concept which commonly encompasses advertisement through print media, radio spots, commercial spots, trade shows/ conventions, billboards etc. It is a more recognizable type of marketing due to its long prevailing advertising methods and mediums. It is something we see and hear every day and have been witnessing since ages. In this matter, the traditional concept of marketing surely has an upper hand.

Let’s further study various types of traditional advertising:

1. Print advertising

Print marketing is one of the oldest and traditional forms of advertising. Print includes marketing through paper form with spaces available in magazines, newspapers, pamphlets, brochures and other printed material for distribution. It is considered to be the most effective form of advertisement due to its vast reach, coverage and trustworthiness.

2. Broadcast advertising

Broadcast marketing is advertising that most of us have grown up watching. It essentially includes radio and television marketing. They are the avenues that are still heavily used in the world of advertisement. More than radio, television advertising still holds its dominance to the virtual element of it including the script, jingles and tagline. Radio advertising also does have its own crowd and consumers depending on the kind of product being advertised.

3. Direct mail marketing

Direct mail marketing is a form which is fairly replaced by email marketing today. Direct mail marketing consists of sending out printed material like postcards, brochures and pamphlets to market your services and attract more customers. In the past, direct mails were considered to be more influential than some of the other forms.

They ensured fast response rate, more replies and more purchases and greater ease of retrieval. However, direct mail marketing can be expensive due to its design and printing costs as well as postage expenses to reach its target.

4. Telemarketing

Telemarketing is still very much prevalent in the marketing industry. It included the practice of contacting customers through calls and delivering sales messages to convince consumers to buy a particular product or service. However, telemarketing has a slight disadvantage despite generating fairly good revenue. That is it is often negatively perceived by the customers and also is a controversial form of marketing that is alleged to have used various unethical practices.

The world has become even more digital and marketing is no exception to this case. Digital marketing has surely found its own niche and many businesses have turned their marketing strategy towards digital.

What is Digital Marketing?

Marketing is all about connecting with the customers at the right time and place. Hence, in today’s digital world, digitalization too has found its way into marketing so now what exactly is digital marketing?

Marketing through the electronic medium and on various platforms on the internet is called digital marketing. It encompasses usage of advertising tools to research, manage, analyze and improve online advertising campaigns. In the present era of the digital world, digital marketing is the need of the hour and hence cannot be overlooked. Most of the businesses are turning to digital marketing as it gives them endless opportunities for marketing due to its efficient execution and desirable results.

Also Read – Digital Advertising: The Ultimate Guide

Below we have discussed a few best digital marketing channels:

1. Social media marketing

Social media is the hub for digital marketing today. With everybody glued to their phones from the moment they wake up till the time they shut their eyes, social media is an integral part of everybody’s routine today. In this case, marketing had to pave its own way on social media platforms. Video ads, native ads and display ads are primarily 3 types of digital marketing techniques that one can witness here.

Although paid social media ads and organic social media ads are essentially specific to social media platforms. Social media marketing is highly influential and when strategized accordingly, social media marketing can act as a very powerful tool for your business

2. Email marketing

Email marketing is an effective way to reach out to potential customers. It consists of newsletters where the potential customers who might or might not have filled the “sign up” form on your website. These sign up pages are usually present on the homepage of a website and are integrated via e-mail service providers. This further helps to grow your email marketing list. This strategy is also used to follow up and generate a lead potential customer. If executed well, Email marketing is also an impactful technique for digital marketing.

Also Read: Types of Email Marketing

3. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

SEM is one of the most reliable types of digital marketing and hence makes it an asset of digital marketing. It is based on keywords that are most researched and looked up by the users. PPC allows businesses to pop their ad up as the first and/or last several results on the first page.

4. Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization is the most effective and efficient way to attract potential customers to your website. Although it needs more time and effort, if executed properly SEO can prove to be very fruitful.

SEO mainly includes search engines which allow relevant content to show up in results. This relevance can be brought by optimizing the website content with certain specific keywords which then attracts the users and customers which are potentially interested.

The Difference Between Traditional Marketing Vs Digital Marketing

Traditional Marketing v/s Digital Marketing is the ongoing debate as businesses decide out on which strategy would work best for their service. As traditional marketing’s strength lies in its legacy and familiarity with the audience for decades, digital marketing has found its own niche with the internet culture and holds a promising future.

Although, there lies a lot more to both of them, and below we should study Traditional marketing vs digital marketing differences in detail:

1. Audience Reach

Traditional marketing is still a very familiar and conventional way of advertising. People are used to looking up for ads in newspapers and magazines or on television and radio. Hence this enables marketers to attract local potential customers easily.

However, with the use of various marketing tools available for digital marketing, finding the right audience and reaching out to them is one of the many benefits available in this type. Having a vast reach due to internet marketing, it can fetch your business local as well as international audience.
Traditional marketing has a very confined and local reach whereas digital marketing has personal and larger reach. Moreover, mobile users exceed around 5 billion mark and about 79% of people are active on various social media platforms. Also, 78% of internet users conduct product research online. Hence, these numbers very clearly define the reach of digitally marketed ads.

2. Cost-effective

The recurring cause in traditional marketing and huge human resources needed could prove to be huge investment and without any guaranteed fair results. Whereas, digital marketing provides cost effective strategies and are mostly a one-time investment. For example, an advertisement given to a newspaper to be published will be only effective if it received a good response from the audience after having viewed it on that particular day. On the other hand, a good website can ensure to serve as a perfect endorsement for the target audience to visit for years and then contact further, that too with no additional cost. Also, broadcast ads or print media costs way more than the digital driven ads.

3. Marketing Approach

Approach in traditional marketing is quite personal than in digital marketing. In traditional marketing there can be a contact on person to person level as they are informing the public and promoting their brand name, which isn’t the case in digital. Yes, if one wishes to, they can have this angle in digital as well but it however stands inessential as digital marketing allows to reach finite volume of consumers easily.

Marketing approach in digital is quick, efficient and targeted at a wider audience. It encourages two-way communication and hence is more accessible and within easy reach of the audience. Moreover, digital marketing approaches for a global reach than just local. If concluded by the numbers and statistics, 78 % of salespeople are observed to have done better by using a digital marketing approach than their peers.

4. Tracking & Analysis

One must admit that digital marketing has made tracking and analysis much easier with its various effective tools like Google and Social Media Analytics. This feature is not really applicable for traditional marketing and makes it difficult to evaluate strategies and its success rate. Calculating the effects and results of strategies applied ftoa campaign can be easily tracked down and studied in digital marketing.

This then allows us to take necessary steps and decisions to measure up or continue any particular plan of action. The simplicity and effectiveness offered by this feature of digital marketing make it even more appealing and preferable for result-oriented marketing.

5. Measuring ROI

Digital marketing with its data tracking option enables precise allocation of marketing spend which in return helps to achieve maximum ROI. The availability of specific efficient tools enables digital marketing to be more effective and result oriented. In comparison to this, traditional marketing still uses manual tracking practices such as subscription form signage, etc. which can further complicate the procedure.

6. Customer Engagement

Digital marketing encourages an interactive form of marketing as it often uses social media platforms to promote brands and services. Hence this encourages more customer engagement. Whereas on the other hand, in traditional marketing engagement can be lower as promotion mediums used are not flexible to encourage audience interaction most of the time.

7. Communication

Traditional marketing displays one-way communication as the promotion mediums are rigid hence mostly limiting any form of interaction. Whereas, digital marketing promotes two-way communication and hence renders the customer with a feeling of acknowledgment and of being heard.

8. Real-Time Result

Digital marketing offers easy and efficient real-time results as the response rate of a particular strategy or campaign can be easily evaluated. However, with traditional marketing things can get a bit slow as the company may have to wait for weeks or months to obtain results.

Also read: 10 Internet Marketing Strategies That Work

Give your business the trendy digital appearance that it needs and get ready to dive into the pool of the digital world. Reach out to a wider audience with the traditional and modern concepts of marketing and make your mark globally!

BrightBrain Marketing Technologies is a digital marketing agency providing top-notch services that cater to your online marketing needs. We are based out of Pune and Mumbai. At BrightBrain, we implement the best digital marketing strategies to help our clients grow digitally. We stay up to date on how digital marketing works best so our clients can meet customer demands and stay competitive.

Do doubts still linger? Click on ‘See Our Work’ to get to know us and our services better.


1. Is traditional advertising dead?

No, traditional advertising is still just as important as it ever was. The many conveniences of digital advertising do overshadow the benefits of traditional advertising to a certain extent. But, that’s not to say that traditional marketing is no longer valid. It is significant, very much so. Traditional mediums like digital billboards, on-screen streamers, email newsletters, flyers, etc. are still a part of our everyday lives and will remain to be for a long time.

2. What is the future of digital marketing?

The digital marketing industry is a dynamic one. But one doesn’t have to look far to realize that it’s consistently on the rise, especially since the pandemic sped up digital transformations of companies across the world, all within a year. Needless to say, the future of digital marketing is bright. Here are a few trends that are expected as the industry advances:

-Subscription-based everything

-Conversational Marketing

-Influencer Marketing

-Personalized Marketing

-Video Marketing

-Smart Speakers & Voice Search

3. What services do digital marketing agencies offer?

Today’s digital marketing agencies focus on providing comprehensive solutions to clients to improve their brand’s online presence, drive sales and generate revenue. The ideal agency is the one that had 360-degree solutions in store for you with expertise in the following services:

-Digital Advertising Campaigns

-Social Media Marketing

-Search Engine Optimization

-Search Engine Marketing

-Web Development

-Online Branding

4. Do I need a big budget for digital marketing?

The budget for digital marketing is not set in stone for all. It largely depends on your business offerings and goals. However, if you are new to the world of digital marketing, you can start with this – most companies spend between 7-10 percent of their overall company revenue on marketing. Of this 7-10 percent, about half or more of that should go toward digital marketing. This allows you to spend neither too little, nor too much.

5. Which type of digital marketing is best?

Each digital marketing strategy has a charm of its own. For example – Social Media Marketing helps improve brand awareness by helping you maintain an excellent online presence on all platforms and allowing you to interact with the consumers. SEO helps your website or content pieces rank on top of the SERPs. PPC marketing helps bring in quality leads faster. The right mix of at least two to three different strategies, based on the business goals, can bring great results.

Suhail Bajaj

Suhail Bajaj is the CEO of BrightBrain Marketing Technologies LLP that has now grown into a full-fledged digital marketing agency with 55+ employees and clients from 7+ countries – all under his supervision. Graduated with an MBA from the esteemed Cass Business School, he brilliantly puts his learnings into practice, helping brands meet their business goals and succeed in a digital-first world.

Suhail Bajaj

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