Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing

Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing

Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing

Digital marketing vs traditional marketing: what’s the difference between the two and which one should you use? Selecting the right marketing type is an age-old question on every marketer’s mind. Here’s everything you need to know.

Defining digital and traditional marketing

To get a better understanding, let us start by defining these two marketing terms.

Traditional marketing

“Traditional marketing refers to any promotion, advertising or campaign that has been in use by companies for years, and that has a proven success rate. Methods of traditional marketing can include print advertisements, billboards, flyers or pamphlets, TV, newspaper, radio, direct mail, door to door and much more.

Traditional marketing refers to the conventional methods of marketing used for decades as stated above. These have all been ideal mediums for business owners to market their products or services to the masses. And for many years these were the only ways to advertise your business.

Digital Marketing

“Digital marketing is the promoting of goods and services via computers, smartphones, mobile phones (both SMS and MMS), smartphone apps, email, social media, display advertising, search engine marketing, video games and so on.

Nowadays, for your business to thrive, you need a digital marketing strategy. As noted here, in this digital economy, only the companies and entrepreneurs that are adaptable to change in their marketing strategies will succeed especially with the change of the scenery thanks to Covid-19… If you don’t maintain your change management and appear dynamic to serve your customers in a better more efficient way in order to grow with the times and you business, you might stand the chance to lose your business.

What is the main difference?

Through defining both marketing methods it is clear that the main difference between digital and traditional marketing is the medium through which an audience encounters a marketing message.

In today’s day and age, it’s not strange to hear that traditional marketing is ‘old fashioned’. However, traditional marketing still plays an important role in people’s lives with the ever-growing need to step out of the digital world. 

Similarly, digital marketing is just as important as traditional – if not more so. Digital marketing uses every touchpoint of your daily use of the internet. Think about it, if you recently searched for father’s day gifts, the chances are that you’ve seen a tailored sponsored ad from let’s say Takealot or another gifting company. 

Using the internet for several hours every day is part of our normal lives – well for most people. We sometimes spend more time on the internet then we watch TV. Digital marketing just uses this to its advantage by cleverly tapping into various digital channels to communicate various marketing messages.

Which type of marketing should I use?

There is no right or wrong answer, each campaign is different and has different goals. The key to a great marketing campaign is to find the perfect balance between traditional and digital and choose the channels where you can measure your ROI. In 2020, both digital and traditional marketing play an important role in any marketing strategy, especially when used together.

Although both digital and traditional are important there are some pros and cons to both. Let’s get the specifics and define the differences between digital marketing and traditional marketing and their pros and cons.

Traditional Marketing

With the rise of social media and online ads, traditional marketing is sometimes overlooked by marketers. However, traditional marketing is still very relevant today. If your marketing budget allows it you can share your campaigns in magazines, prime time TV and more.

Some traditional marketing channels include:

  • Print medium like printing your brochures and catalogues to reach customers and spark an interest
  • Outdoor Billboards, TV Screens, posters and vehicle wraps
  • Broadcasting on radio and TV
  • Print Ads in Magazines and Newspapers
  • Window Displays and Signage etc.


Pros of Traditional Marketing

  • Impactful and easy to understand
    A visually striking billboard or TV commercial is part of most people’s daily lives. They are easy to take in and can be entertaining.
  • Printed marketing resources are more permanent
    If you have a printed ad in a magazine or newspaper or even some printed signage it will be there until it gets recycled or thrown out. Therefore you can reuse it or it will be visible to anyone that sees it in the future. For example, if you have an ad in the latest Lifestyle Magazine, in 4 months time when you look through the magazine it will still be there.
  • More memorable
    It’s in human nature to remember something in real life rather than on your phone. Seeing a memorable billboard ad or a beautiful and impressive window display is more likely to stay in your mind longer than an Instagram ad you’ll probably scroll past in seconds.


Cons of Traditional Marketing

  • Very difficult to measure the campaigns ROI (Return on Investment)
    Traditional marketing is extremely hard to measure in-depth as opposed to measuring tools for digital marketing
  • Often expensive
    In business, marketing is a great expense especially if you opt for traditional marketing campaigns. Many forms of traditional marketing like magazine spreads and TV ads cost a considerable amount.
  • No direct interaction with the consumer
    Another downside is the fact that you have no direct interaction with your consumer. Unlike social media marketing, you are more or less in the dark about your audience’s reaction to your marketing efforts.

Digital marketing

However impactful traditional marketing is, we can’t overlook the fact that we are living in the internet age.

According to Statista, almost 4.57 billion people are active internet users, encompassing 59% of the global population. Furthermore, people spend an average of almost 7 hours online each day. That is a mind-boggling amount of time and opportunity to do some attention-grabbing digital marketing.

Digital Marketing channels include:
– Social media
– Websites and PPC Advertising
– Content marketing
– Affliate marketing
– Email Marketing etc.


Pros of Digital Marketing

  • More options for engagement
    Channels like social media make it possible to see in real time what your audience thinks of your brand and marketing efforts. If your audience interacts with your content you know you’re doing something right.

  • Easy to measure your campaigns
    Quite the opposite to traditional marketing, the specifics of digital marketing tracking is exceptionally in depth. This allows you to see exactly what your audience likes about your campaigns and what you can improve to get better results.
  • Makes targeting easy
    One of our favourite aspects of digital marketing is the possibility to target specific audiences. This makes it possible to target your ads to only show to your ideal customer instead of broadcasting to everyone out there.


Cons of Digital Marketing

  • Digital Ads are often deemed as annoying
    Unfortunately with everyone being on the internet and constantly scrolling through social media and online content digital ads can be seen as annoying. So don’t be annoying, create striking and original ads…
  • Constant changes
    To really get the most out of digital marketing is to keep on learning. Each channel is different and has its own structure of what works best. On top of that, each platform keeps changing to stay up to date with new user patterns. Keeping up to date to use all the various digital platforms can be difficult.

Find what works for you

In the end, both types of marketing have their advantages and disadvantages, however, the key is understanding your specific marketing needs and considering your budget. Both digital and traditional marketing can work for you as long as you know your audience. Digital marketing is much more budget-friendly and a forgiving marketing platform than traditional marketing

Born Intelligence is a marketing agency that combines both traditional and digital marketing strategies to achieve the best results for all our customers. Our marketing strategies are based on our client’s needs and goals. Need a new and improved market strategy for your next campaign? Get in contact with us today.



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