Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing
Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing / © TechMag

The biggest debate of the decade and an enormous paradigm shift for sure. Last decade, in fact, starting from the late 90s to be precise, ever since then, the invention of the internet and digitization has already been blowing our minds. Slowly but steadily, the internet and then artificial intelligence has gradually become a part of our lives – in a good way obviously – making our lives better and way too convenient than ever before.

Marketing has always been all about reaching out to the target audience. It has been around ever since we can possibly recall. From opening our eyes to newspaper filled with ads on every page to walking out to see a billboard or receiving pamphlets or flyers on our doorsteps or while driving or traveling through public transport. Switching on TV or radio and getting bombarded with loud ads – pretty annoying, right? But this is how the media earns and we all are kind of used to it by now, no?

Let’s take you to next level, I am sure you know it yourself too, but we are trying to skim through the marketing timeline so far and how it has emerged as a new medium by adding digital touch into it. OK! Let’s not just focus on evolution and jump straight to the pros and cons of digital marketing and traditional marketing.

Pros of Traditional Marketing

  • Can be easily implemented and executed very thoroughly.
  • Local audiences can be conveniently targeted.
  • The content or materials can stay forever.
  • Massive reach because it is not very specific.
  • Easy to comprehend for everyone regardless of age, gender, language or cultural biases.
  • Usually a very vocal and clear strategy.
  • Can be preserved forever.
  • Stays longer than digital marketing.
  • Long-lasting memory – easy to recall even after ages.

Cons of Traditional Marketing:

  • Least amount of interaction.
  • One-way communication – branding and just hoping for a result.
  • Extremely expensive. TV, Radio ads, Billboards, Magazine ads, etc. are very costly.
  • Feedback from target audiences is rare and minimal if any. Uncertainty.
  • No way to measure the success of any campaign unless something goes viral.
  • Traditional marketing is more like sharing information.
  • It targets irrelevant people too.

Pros and Cons of Digital Marketing:

  • Unlimited specifications.
  • Local and international audiences can be catered in one go.
  • Can omit whoever and however, you want. Depends how smartly you can fit it in.
  • The target audience can be tailored by choosing gender, age bracket, interests, demographics, locations, online behavior, etc.
  • Customization makes the campaign and results way too effective.
  • Each and every step can be viewed hence the traceability is just a few clicks away anytime.
  • Highly cost-effective.
  • Engagement factor makes the brand more accessible ultimately more recognizable and increased interaction.
  • Digital marketing shows the ads according to interest. If I like to watch videos, someone else likes to read; it will show the ads accordingly.
  • Unlike traditional marketing, you can always opt-out of anything you don’t want to see. Unsubscribe or give feedback.
  • Competition is not bound to local campaigns. Business competitors are also more in number in terms of comparing the campaigns.
  • The ROI (return on investment) can be measured and seen anytime from the backend.
  • If things don’t go right, they can always be changed and are flexible enough to be modified.
  • If the content on digital marketing platforms is maintained and managed well. They can get organic leads and attention after the campaign goes offline.
  • Something going viral can get the brand or product attention from all across the world. Just a matter of luck. You don’t even have to think about that, it’s usually spontaneous.

Fortunately, our conventional market supports and takes interest in both sorts of Traditional Marketing and Digital Marketing. The even better scenario that both can go hand in hand. Considering the strengths and weaknesses of both and coming up with a media mix strategy can be designed to get the benefits of both.

Hard copy marketing has got its own kind of appeal and impact and solely depending on digital marketing may not be recommended. Although, the marketing strategy for either medium or a mix of both entirely depends on the targeted market. If the target audience is not a very religious or active online age-group – perhaps a billboard, TV/Radio ads or a pamphlet so they can keep and read later sometime.

Referral marketing, existing clients, any kind of remarketing can be incorporated in both digital and traditional marketing. Instead of sticking to one marketing type, and disregarding one entirely, it has been proven that a multi-channel approach brings out the unique bests of both worlds. All or nothing approaches are never very appreciated by marketers, too – which is why we have media or marketing mix strategies.


Being a digital marketer for 5 years and after spending 3-4 years in traditional marketing, I have experienced and researched online by staying updated about the latest marketing gimmicks. Researches are significant for any marketing person, in order to comprehend and learn from other’s experiments. This is exactly where you get to realize how your marketing plans may not be very well received, what mistakes in the market are being made and how you can rectify them in your next plans.

I would suggest the same to all the marketers all there, knowing the skill is not enough, you need to know your targeted audiences and how the market actually works. There can be something that works for you and not for the competitors – try to find out that one unique factor which separates you from the rest. Same goes when something so well is not doing as successful as it might be expected to – read your market.