Businesses are always looking for different ideas for capturing their audience’s attention. They are torn between choosing the tested and true traditional marketing strategies and the advanced ingenious digital marketing strategies with each of one having their own plus and minus.

Today digital marketing both organic and advertising space is on big boom. Internet marketing has proven with thousands of business models with great ROI numbers. However, there are several marketing situations where traditional direct mail marketing is more effective than online marketing

Conventional marketing is opposite of digital marketing and both have their strengths, but which one is the most powerful?

According to statistics, fifty-two percent of companies use a minimum of seven channels to engage with their customers and audience. Though digital marketing continues to expand and enjoy the budget’s lion share, traditional marketing mediums carry on many business types. 

 There are many things to think about when talking about digital marketing -vs.- traditional marketing. 

When talking about traditional marketing vs. digital marketing, there is a lot to consider.  This blog post will briefly discuss the purpose of each strategy, its benefits, along with its pros and cons to help you determine which approach is an excellent fit for your business.   

What is Traditional Marketing?

Traditional marketing has several aspects. It includes every marketing method that you can do without using the internet. Conventional marketing has been around for several decades and still in use today though less often. 

 Traditional marketing Strategies include:

  • Print advertisement in newspaper or magazines
  • Business cards
  • Billboards
  • Brochures
  • Posters
  • Commercials on TV or radios
  • Window signs and displays

Traditional marketing plays a critical role in helping you reach your local audience. You can keep the ads for as long as you want to. Also, you’ll always find that there’s an audience that’s way much easier to reach using traditional methods than digital marketing. 

Every effort to promote your business without using the internet is traditional marketing. 

Though traditional marketing has evolved with time, the fundamentals remain the same. 

You hear and see these ads almost daily, whether you are listening to the radio, watching TV, or seeing the billboards on your way to work as you pass by. They are part and parcel of our everyday life. 

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing refers to every marketing campaign that a company does online.

Types of Digital Marketing

  • Social media ads
  • Email marketing
  • website content
  • Email campaigns
  • Content marketing
  • Online PR
  • Inbound Marketing
  • Sponsored Content
  • Social media post
  • Clickable ads
  • Social media ads
  • PPC advertising
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Search engine optimization (SEO

Digital marketing has grown exponentially due to changes in society, technology, and culture. 

These digital marketing strategies have become very popular nowadays as consumers use mobile appliances and the internet frequently. 

There are 4. 64 billion active web users globally and 3.7 billion active social media users, according to Statista. You see. It makes sense to market your products online because you’ll be able to reach a bigger audience.

Traditional Marketing vs. Digital Marketing – What Is The Difference?

The only significant difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing is how the target audience comes across the intended message. 

Traditional marketing focuses on passing the message using tangible items such as calendars, newspapers, billboards, etc., while digital marketing centers on using digital media such as social media platforms, websites, etc.

Advantages of Traditional Marketing Over Digital Marketing

Traditional marketing is still an effective advertising method as it’s tried and tested and has been in use for a couple of decades. 

It focuses primarily on product promotion and brand recognition on a big scale. Traditional marketing may be costly, but it has several advantages such as;

  • Easily accessible
  • Longevity- the audience can see your ad for a long time.
  • Radio and TV commercials play several times a day, reminding the target audience of the existence of your business. And the viewers have no choice but to brave them even if they do not like them. On the other hand, in digital marketing, the audience has more choice regarding the advert.  Audiences can block the ads by clicking ” I do not want to see this ad” on social media platforms. They can skip through ads before Youtube videos begin to play.
  • Traditional marketing can be highly effective if you need to reach an older population. According to GlobeNewswire, viewers aged fifty years and above spend at least twice of their free time watching TV and reading newspapers in comparison to those aged between 20- 36 years.  

For every business looking to build a more prominent local audience, a traditional marketing strategy can be ideal. Startups are far more successful in competing for attention using fliers, brochures,  and billboards instead of competing for online space against more prominent brands. 

Accessibility may be the most significant aspect of traditional marketing. Televisions, radios, newspapers, and other entertainment media that rely on advertisements are accessible to almost everybody on the planet.

Almost everybody on the globe has unlimited access to newspapers, TVs, radios, and any other type of entertainment that depends on the advertisement. So, if you place your ads on some of these items, you can be sure that they’ll reach the target audience. 

In the Us alone, 99 percent of all households have a TV. In just one nation, 315 million people have access to broadcast ads.

 Disadvantages of Traditional Marketing Strategy

  • Reaches only the local audience
  • In some cases,  you can’t measure the results
  • Costly compared to digital marketing

Advantages of Digital Marketing 

Due to technological advancement, digital marketing strategies will keep evolving. Here are the advantages of using digital technology to grow your brand awareness. 

  • You are to reach both local and global audiences at the same time.
  • It’s less costly compared to traditional marketing
  • Results are easier to measure
  • You can customize your marketing campaigns to a specific audience 
  •  it is easy to engage with your audience

It’s two-way communication- you hear from the audience and respond to each other.

You can quickly track information and audience engagement. When somebody reads an email,  clicks on a link to your website, or starts following you on social media, you get that data instantly. You can gather insights from this reliable data. From there, you can determine which platforms are most suitable for you. You’ll also be able to tell what time and which days are eligible to engage your audience.  

Disadvantages of Digital Marketing

Due to changes in technology, you have to keep evaluating and reevaluating things as what works perfectly today may be useless tomorrow. 

Internet users can block ads so that they never get to see banner adverts or pop-ups. Other web users can skip ads or have the ads removed if they pay for premium services such as Twitch, Hulu, and Spotify. 

So, When Comparing Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing, Which one is better then the other?

The answer is it depends on your target audience and the type of business you conduct.

However, digital marketing could be a superb option. It enables you to reach a massive number of people regardless of their location on the globe while cutting down the cost. Also, you receive first-hand information from your following so that you can tailor your content based on their needs. You can easily interact with your target audience via surveys, webinars, and videos. 

Nonetheless, traditional marketing still has a solid place in the marketing world. Traditional marketing is memorable, impactful, and can last forever. It’s still effective as it was back then, especially if you are targeting pensioners. 

When thinking about which marketing strategy is appropriate for your business, determine who your target audience is based on the products and services you offer. If you know who you are targeting and what you are selling, you’ll know the best way to build your brand awareness. 

Can Traditional Marketing and Digital Marketing work together?

Though traditional marketing and digital marketing are different, they do not have to be sworn enemies. You can combine them to steer your business to a whole new level. 

To see an excellent combination of traditional and marketing videos, consider Guinness. Their TV commercials are legendary due to their eccentric cinematography. Twenty-two years down the line, Guinness’s finest 1999 ‘Surfer’ campaign remains the all-time best TV commercials.   

Nonetheless, even with its world-class status, Guinness has to keep up with the trends and integrate digital marketing in its campaign to avoid missing out on enormous marketing opportunities. Here’s the link to their excellent ad

What are KPIs in Marketing? 

KPI stands for Key Performance Indicators.  It is a quantifiable value that shows the progress you are making towards achieving a business objective. A KPI in marketing is a computable value attached to the unique goals of a marketing campaign. It stipulates progress throughout a campaign and assists in measuring marketing success at the end of every campaign.  

The five Key Performance Indicators that you can easily track are;

  • Average Class Attendance (ACA)
  • Client Retention Rate (CRR)
  •  Profit Margin (PM)
  • Revenue per client/member (RPC)
  •  Average Daily Attendance (ADA)

Closing Thoughts

 The baby boomer generation (people born between 1945- 1964) welcomes traditional marketing channels. Some love watching TV, listening to the radio, and still buying newspapers and magazines. On the other hand, digital marketing cuts across all age groups. You’ll find people in their seventies on Facebook posting photos of their families and great-grandkids.   

The bottom line is that both traditional marketing and digital marketing are effective. Just be sure to know what your audience needs. 


Percy is fulltime editor working for