Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing

Digital Marketing vs Traditional marketing | Which one is Profitable?

Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing. What’s the difference? Which one is better? Which one is profitable? Which one is easy to implement? Such questions are very handy to every business individual. Let’s dive into the details of it.

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Table of Contents

  • What is Digital  Marketing
  • Real Time experiences of Digital Marketing
  •  What is Traditional Marketing?
  •  Real time experiences of Traditional marketing
  • Key Difference between Digital Marketing and Traditional Marketing
  • Comparison between Digital Marketing and Traditional Marketing
  • Various forms of Digital Marketing
  • Traditional Marketing Pros and Cons
  • Digital Marketing Pros and Cons
  • Conclusion

What is Digital Marketing?

 In very simple words, Digital Marketing is any form of marketing products or services using a digital medium or platform. In our case it could be social media, a website, blog or youtube channel, etc. 

Many of you already have experienced Digital Marketing in their day to day lives.

Real Time experiences of Digital Marketing

  • You type random keywords in google, some websites rank 1st or 2nd in google search. There is Digital Marketing involved.
  • You land on – browse a category of products, then you’ll start receiving ads of the same product on your social media. That is Digital Marketing.
  • Your YouTube feed automatically suggests related videos to you because of Digital Marketing.
  • You see product/service ads streaming in a running video on YouTube, this is Digital Marketing.
  • When you search on google, you’ll see some paid Ads too because of Digital Marketing.
  • When you subscribe for a newsletter and you’ll start receiving email from them about their product and services there is Digital Marketing behind.

What is Traditional Marketing?

Traditional Marketing involves conventional medium such as, Billboards, Posters, flyers, Banners, Flexes, TV commercials, etc. It has its dominance till the development of internet in 1990s.

Real time experiences of Traditional marketing

  • We often see huge hoardings of advertisements on highway bridges, which is traditional marketing.
  • A complete page of advertisements in a newspaper is also a form of traditional marketing.
  • A banner or flex outside a grocery shop can be considered traditional marketing.
  • Templates circulated on the doorsteps or on streets is also traditional marketing.
  • TV commercials are also a well known form of traditional marketing.

Key Difference between Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing

Digital Marketing
Traditional Marketing

It is more cost effective

It is bit expensive

Fast and & efficient for brand building

It is not very effective for brand building

Data/stats can be trackable (e.g. Google Analytics)

Very difficult to track data.

Real Time results

Can’t trace real time activity

Always online 24*7

For limited time period

The major difference between Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing is the medium through which an audience engages with the marketing message.

It’s just the difference between Digital and Traditional Media. As Digital media enhances digital presence with website, social media, etc and Traditional media covers material presence for eg. Tv commercials, hoardings, banners, etc.

Despite the significant increase of internet or mobile users across the globe, traditional marketing still holds its importance.Attractive Tv commercials, newspaper ads, big hoardings on highways are still in trend as companies continue to go with both digital and traditional marketing simultaneously. Probably such a tactic benefits them the most.

Another positive sight of traditional media is it can leave a long term memory of the brand in people’s minds. It’s like people can connect easily with it and the memory will be there in their subconscious mind for a longer period of time.

E.g. If you watch some awesome jingle in a TV commercial it will stick to your tongue and you’ll remember it for days and probably you’ll sing it wherever you go.

On the contrary, brands also use humans’ addictive nature for social media and Google to promote their product or services. They follow the latest trends and create multi channel content to please and engage relevant audiences.

Digital marketing has a global reach with almost minimal cost so brands can reach thousands of miles away from their residing country without any transportation cost.

 E.g. When you search for an electronic product on google, automatically you’ll see amazon product ads first having some nice eye-catching pictures of your searched product and no doubt you’ll end up clicking on it.

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Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing Comparison table





Digital Marketing is any form of marketing products or services using a digital medium or platform.

Traditional Marketing involves conventional medium such as, Billboards, Posters, flyers, Banners, Flexes, TV commercials, etc.




Conversion affinity


Relatively fast

Engagement ratio


Relatively high


Difficult to measure

Easily measurable

Efficiency over money spent

Less efficient with more money spent

More efficient with less money spent.


Very difficult 

Easily possible



Fully customized


Not possible in a running campaign

Possible at anytime





Late results

Real time results


One way interaction

Two way interaction

Various forms of Digital Marketing

1) Social media marketing

In this process marketer promotes the brand through various social media platforms such as facebook, instagram, linkedin, pinterest, etc. Social media marketing is a wise practice to increase brand engagement and reach.

2) SEO (Search engine optimization)

SEO is used to optimize a website in such a way that it will rank higher on google search for a particular keyword/phrase. E.g. will come 1st in google search if someone has type best smartphones under 20000 Rs.S EO also helps to bring huge traffic to the website.

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3) Content marketing

This Digital marketing tactic is used to bring potential customers through a sales funnel by providing relevant, unique content consistently to spread brand awareness and generate leads.

Content marketing is the field where highly targeted leads can be acquired with the help of effective content strategy. Content can be a blog, infographic, whitepaper, video, podcast, etc. The content must be the answer of a question that arises in the minds of customers.

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4) Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing involves promotion of another brand’s product or service on our website, blog or YouTube channel through short link (affiliate link).

When people click on this link and purchase the product, some % share the company will share with us. It is called a referral commission. The image given below is Amazon’s affiliate marketing program.

affiliate marketing example

5) Inbound marketing

This is the strategy where customers approach your brand via content marketing, social media, branding ,etc. It is more of a collective kind of approach. It involves attracting, converting, closing and pleasing clients. 

6) Email marketing

Email marketing is the process of sending targeted emails to the customers. Email marketing is very personalized nowadays. Emails can also convey various types of content such as text, image, videos, docs, graphics etc. You can promote your brand, provide information, promote an offer, subscribe for a webinar, and do a lot of things via email marketing.

7) SEM( Search Engine Marketing)

Search Engine Marketing  method follows the outbound marketing model where marketers pay certain amount to the search engine (e.g. Google, Bing) to rank their website for particular keywords.

When a user types a keyword on google, it will trigger the promoted website in search results and the amount will automatically deducted from the webmaster’s (who owns the website) account.

The amount will be charged based on the number of times the ad gets clicked by someone. Websites shown in search results having “Ad” term placed in the leftmost corner on the top are promoted through SEM.

Traditional Marketing Pros and Cons

As social media and the internet become more prominent these days, it seems that traditional ways of marketing are underrated. However, traditional marketing is still very relevant and effective with certain goals. If you have a nice budget for a TV commercial or magazine then you can still witness the magic of it.

Traditional Marketing channels consist of:

  • Outdoor Media (Hoardings, Banners, Signage, LED board)
  • Broadcasting ( TV, Radio, etc)
  • Print Media (T-shirts, Bags, Umbrellas, Flyers, Templates, Magazines, Newspapers, etc)
  • Telemarketing (Calling, Text messages)


High impact & easy to understand

We all remember so many Tv commercials and their jingles in our lives. It’s so engaging that still we can’t forget those. Sometimes it’s been a part of our childhood days.

That’s a big pro of traditional marketing. We can’t forget Parle-G girl, Amul girl, Kinder joy because all these ad commercials were highly impactful and not very complex to understand.

Print media last for longer times

If your advertisement is printed in a prime magazine, it can’t be removed until it get recycled. This fact also holds true for various media such as T-Shirts, Umbrella, Notebook, newspaper ,etc.

Long term impression on mind

Imagine you see a big hoarding, or a Tv commercial with a impactful theme, beautiful jingle and your favorite actor/actress acting in it against a graphic p