Traditional Marketing Vs Digital Marketing

Mar 2, 2022

Often companies are unable to decide which type of marketing would be most effective for their company and what would yield the most benefits. If the marketer is unsuccessful in deciding the right mediums to advertise, it could lead to a bad ad campaign and would not reap desired ROI. For that a marketer must understand the meaning and use of different media and which modes are effective in which areas, so as to help him decide better. Typically media can be classified into traditional marketing media and digital marketing media.


Traditional marketing is a broad concept that includes many forms of advertising and marketing. It is the most known and recognized forms of advertising. Traditional forms consist of print, broadcast, direct mail and telephone. Since it has many forms, almost all companies, small or large, use this kind of advertising, depending upon their marketing budget. The main job of traditional advertising is to create brand awareness.

What are the various platforms in traditional marketing ?

BILLBOARDS are one of the most popular forms of traditional advertising. These are placed in an area that receives a lot of traffic, and is near to the business, so as to grab travellers’ attention and make them stop by. They can be more effective if designed in a crisp manner, made eye-catchy and placed at junctures where your targeted audience travels by.

NEWSPAPERS are the oldest and most effective methods of traditional marketing, as almost everyone has a newspaper subscription, despite the online availability of news. Efforts must be taken to make the advertisement on a newspaper, very eye-catchy and that can retain ones attention, or else the effort would go waste. The various types of newspapers like local, regional, and national newspapers, available, can be efficiently used by businesses, to advertise in the particular area of focus.

MAGAZINES have more shelf value than newspapers, as they are more attractive and readers tend to go through the magazines more than once. This makes it easier for the businesses to make their advertisement more visible. Businesses can choose between weekly, monthly or yearly magazines, according to their business requirement.

RADIO signals have the capability to reach larger areas, and lets marketers advertise for 30-60 seconds. Though the listener can choose to skip the channel, and ignore the ad, businesses still choose radio along with other forms, as it creates an impact on radio listeners. Print advertisements are still better than radio, as ones the reader’s attention is caught, he would certainly go through the ad. Time is everything. Once the ad plays of, it’s gone. The listener cannot go back to hear it. This makes the reviewing and analysis of effect of such advertisements, difficult and inaccurate.

TELEVISION has the power to make your advertisements reach millions. It is also the most costly form of traditional advertising, which is why only large business can afford to run a TV ad. The marketer has a chance of developing a much attractive visual display, to make an impression in the minds of viewers. Viewers tend to remember the ad that is attractive, distinct and uncommon, thereby associating the user with the product quickly.

Other forms of traditional marketing include, books, phone directories, pamphlets and fliers, hand-outs, brochures, point-o-sale ads and word-of-mouth publicity which may or may not create the desired effect, but still is an effort made by businesses, small and large, to create awareness.

What are the benefits of traditional marketing ?

Traditional marketing methods have a higher success rate and it is proven over the years. The forms of traditional advertising are not limited to a specific type of people, as it is exposed to all and can be seen by all. Anyone with an access to newspaper, direct mail, television or radio, can know about your business. You take efforts to take your business to the potential customers, and not the other way round, which is why traditional marketing is successful.

One of the major goals of organisations is to reach maximum of the target audience, to grow and maintain loyal customers. It is easy to reach the target market through traditional advertising. Traditional forms like fliers, pamphlets, newspapers, magazines, books etc. can be preserved and kept for and can be taken anywhere as hard copies without any internet connection. People often better understand the ad through a traditional form, as it is familiar and creates a connection with people who have always been exposed to traditional ads only. Especially the older folks associate more to traditional ads, as they wouldn’t be able to navigate through the internet. Paper marketing is studied to be more effective in processing and recalling the ad.


ROI refers to return on investment. It is the profit gains by the advertising efforts. In traditional marketing, there is not really a sure shot method to calculate ROI. This is because our audience is very wide, and we don’t know who sees or reads our ads. Therefore, instead of focussing on the profit gain, we can find out how much we saved in the investment. One must concentrate on the medium which will increase brand awareness and save you time and money.

Also, businesses can compare the before and after effects ofadvertisements. How the sales before and what were the effect of ads on the sales now.

Other methods like, using a unique phone number for print and broadcast ads, can be used to understand which medium is working the best.

Businesses often use polls, asking customers how they found out about their products or businesses. This is a good way of learning which medium was most popular and effective. They might also assign key codes (for example: HAPPY250), and then ask the customers to mention the key codes, so as to know which advertisement grabbed the most attention. Key codes having discounts and offers are more attractive, for example- HAPPYHOUR, to get free delivery. Setting up different phone numbers can help track references from specific locations, to know which campaigns are generating more responses. In the end, tracking and comparing sales reports, can help find out the impact of advertising  and calculate ROI.

Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing


Digital marketing is the method of advertising, and reaching out to potential customers, through digital methods like websites, blogs, social media and other paid campaigns.. These are considered less costly than traditional forms and can be used by the smallest of small businesses too. Online marketing allows a marketer to target the whole world.


Digital marketing includes search engine optimisation, content marketing, banner advertisements, analytics, Google adwords, campaign marketing, e-commerce marketing, social media marketing, e-mail, e-books, etc.

WEBSITE is an online presence of the organisation which displays the company’s offerings, products, contact, etc. users generally refer to the company’s website to know about the products and services.

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATIONfocuses on getting a higher listing in the search engines results, thereby increasing organic traffic. With millions of search queries done by consumers on an daily basis it’s imperative for an business to have an presence on search engines.

CONTENT MARKETING involves creating unique, useful, distinct, and crisp content about your business to make the customers interested to read. This content may be published on the website or blogs, to help potential customers know better about the organisation.

BANNER ADVERTISING is done to attract attention of users, on the websites, to generate visits on our website. They are made eye-catchy, crisp and make users curious.

GOOGLE ANALYTICS is a premium web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic, free of cost. It shows how the website performs, how many visitors viewed the website, how long they stayed, etc.

GOOGLE ADWORDS is an online advertising service developed by Google, where advertisers pay to display brief advertising copy, product listings, and video content within the Google ad network to web users. This helps our website to reach the top of the search results hence making it most visible to users.

SOCIAL MEDIA is the most popular method of digital marketing due to the vast population of social media users. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc., are rapidly developing and providing a platform to advertise.

Benefits of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing enjoys a number of benefits. Businesses of all sizes can use digital means or marketing, as costs are lower. It provides a global reach at the marketer’sconvenience. Target audience can be reached in a cost-effective way, and results can be measured efficiently. This is a more personalised method of marketing in which we can connect to the customer and notify them about updates and offers. It creates credibility and builds reputation ofthe business, hence increasing the number of loyal customers. The customer can access the websites at their own convenience 24/7. Digital marketing is a faster, developed and easy way of advertising.

People nowadays choose digital marketing over traditional marketing due to advantages like 24/7 accessibility and wider reach. These methods are easy to use and can be performed by anyone.


Online marketing ROI measurement can be both easy and hard. It is easy to measure because of services like analytics.  Paid Campaigns can measure brand audience reach (Impressions), no of visitors to website, engagement of consumers and lastly the sales from the campaign. Whereas campaigns like SEO can be measured in keyword rankings, overall growth in organic traffic and sales through organic traffic. It is quite easy to measure social media advertising returns, through likes, comments, shares and retweets or replies. We can find out what kind of people liked the message, where they are from and which social media handle gained the most response. But it is not always necessary that if a person like the post, he will definitely go and visit our website and buy our products. This is why it is difficult to measure social media investment returns.


A company must make use of both digital and traditional methods of advertising to yield the best benefits, and take advantages of both the methods. Using just one means would not help in successful marketing. Both mediums when used collaboratively will create greater effect. Traditional marketing would support digital marketing methods, and vice versa. It appears that a multi-channel approach that leverages the unique benefits of paper with the convenience and accessibility of digital will perform best.

People still watch TV, listen to radio, read the newspapers, and have a glance over banners and billboards on display. Then why not use those mediums too, which are most exposed to [people. Abandoning one medium for the sake of other may be bad for business. One must remember that online and offline are not meant to oppose each other, but are meant to complement each other.  Anyone who understands this, will manage to utilize the benefits of both, by maximising marketing efforts and get best results or their campaign