Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing | Which one to choose ?

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.

comparison between digital marketing vs traditional marketing is always trending and which one is better? which one is profitable?, which is cheap to implement?, such questions are always asked by businesses.

Table of Contents

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.

How is Digital Marketing different from Traditional Marketing?

Here we’ve systematically elaborate the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing in tabular form.

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.

example of digital marketing, digital marketing in daily life

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

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.

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.

seo, search engine optimization, seo example, seo in daily life, seo in google search

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.

content marketing, content marketing example, content marketing sales funnel, content marketing in daily life

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 post on social media, a google text ad, what will you remember on the other day?.

No doubt you will remember the Tv commercial because it has the elements that can create a long term impression in your mind. This is also an advantage of traditional marketing.


Less detailed measurement of campaign results

Traditional marketing output can be measured, but it’s not that easy and in depth as of any digital marketing campaign data. This drawback can be a big hurdle for a successful traditional marketing campaign.

Not so cost efficient

It’s very costly for a small or medium business to post an ad in Times of India’s page 3 or distribute templates in the entire city because it involves a number of charges like printing, distribution, etc. This will affect your return on investment negatively. 

Lack of personalized interaction with the consumer

Unlike social media traditional marketing tactics lack in providing a personalized touch to the audience. You might read a newspaper once or twice a day, but you handle social media like 100 times a day. Also you can’t take an eye on whether your audience likes your ad or not.

Digital Marketing Pros and Cons

In 2022, the internet, mobile phones are becoming indivisible part of people’s lives. Let’s check some facts to get this in detail. People are preferring online shopping so rapidly that the global online shopping market was about 4 Trillion dollars in 2020.

There were about 4.66 billion active internet users globally  in January 2021 and it will increase exponentially. Facebook is becoming the most active social media network in the world with more than 2.6 billion monthly active users.

Google reacts to about 5.6 billion searches per month. All these mind blowing stats explains the strength and importance of digital marketing.

Digital Marketing channels consists of:


Can measure engagement

People can quantify their engagement on fb, insta posts. They know how many likes, shares they get on their posts or how many positive comments a particular post is receiving. This is a very important metric to create more engaging content. 

Laser focused targeting possible

While performing paid campaign for google, fb or insta ads you can narrow down your audience by choosing specific metrics such as interests, location, language, behavior and demographics, etc to enhance the performance.

This type of laser focused targeting is possible only in digital marketing domain. You can go even further like mobile device, operating systems etc.

Detailed performance reports

To implement a successful campaign, the data of a precious campaign plays a crucial role. We can now get in depth reports of our previous campaigns. All thanks to Digital Marketing.

Fb ads, google ads provide very comprehensive reports that consists of number of click, impressions, website visits, time on website, country, state, city, new users on website, returning users, most viewed pages, and a lot more.


Extremely dynamic

Digital marketing involves lots of sub streams such as content marketing, email marketing, advertising, etc. It links to lot of entities like Facebook, google, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.

Every entity comes up with their new set of policies, updates, disclaimers. So it’s needed to be aware of all these policy changes and updates otherwise there is a chance to get penalized heavily. This becomes very hectic sometimes so we consider this as a cons.

Temporary impression

Sponsored posts that we see on facebook/instagram or banner ads on websites we searched, all these are easily forgettable. Because such media doesn’t have any physical form, also it can easily get hidden in the ocean of content, it fails to leave a concrete impression in people’s minds.


So in the end of this digital marketing vs traditional marketing debate, we can say that both the ways of marketing are perfect. Performing both the practices in equal proportions can drive you best results. Just know your audience first and go for it.  


Is digital marketing replacing traditional marketing?

It may not be the first place a company looks to promote their brand, but it can be beneficial, particularly when combined with digital marketing efforts. To summarise, digital marketing will not completely replace conventional marketing, but it has clearly captured a significant share of the market.

What are the benefits of digital marketing?

Digital marketing is beneficial in every stage of a business, from brand awareness, to lead generation. Here are some pinch of benefits digital marketing offers. 1) Global reach 2) Local reach 3) High ROI 4) Affordable 5) Focused targeting 6) Trackable insights 7) Easy to Implement

Why digital marketing is the future?

Digital marketing gives businesses a platform to interact with their customers and audience. This helps the companies identify their customer's needs more effectively and create trust and a unique sense of their brand with the customers.

What's an example of digital marketing?

1) You type random keywords in google, some websites rank 1st or 2nd in google search. There is Digital Marketing involved. 2) 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. 3) 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.

What is the success rate of digital marketing?

What is the rate of success for email marketing? The average open rate across all industries is 80%, with a 2.78% click-through rate.

Do digital marketing has future?

Digital marketing has grown steadily during the last few years. There will be plenty of chances in this field, making it simple for digital marketers to select the correct career path. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, internet usage has skyrocketed.

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