What are the Differences Between Traditional and Digital Marketing?

When your company seeks customers, we call it traditional marketing and if customers seek your company; we term it as digital marketing. In technical terms, Traditional marketing focusses on reaching out to the customer to promote their products and services, which can be termed as outbound marketing. Digital marketing makes customers reach out to the company, making it an inbound marketing strategy.

Let’s find out more about the strategies involved in traditional and digital marketing,

Traditional vs Digital  Marketing
Traditional vs Digital Marketing

What is Traditional Marketing?

Traditional marketing involves the use of print materials to promote the brand, products and, services to potential customers. This includes advertisements, brochures, catalogs, pamphlets, newsletters, magazines, newspapers, radio and television ads, telemarketing and other printed material.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is an emerging way of publicizing and promoting a business or a brand through the internet anchored on electronic devices such as smartphones, iPhones, iPad, laptops, PCs and, tablets. This includes websites, emails, social networking sites, videos, affiliate advertising, content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), social media optimization (SMO) and social media marketing (SMM).

How do Traditional and Digital Marketing Differ in the Outcomes?


Even though traditional marketing has been developed way before technological evolution, it has not become extinct still. People still use traditional marketing tools such as newspaper advertisements, radio, and television ads to promote their brand to the public. However, with the popularity of digital marketing techniques, traditional marketing has taken a backseat.

Traditional marketing is a popular technique used by established brands and businesses, whereas, digital marketing tools are becoming increasingly popular among startups and small-scale businesses. With strategies such as, social media marketing, social networking sites and, websites, anyone with a brand can gain massive customers and become globally visible. Therefore, businesses are making digital marketing as their popular choice for brand promotion and recognition.


For decades, companies have used traditional marketing to gain attention from target customers. By interacting with customers directly, giving posters, pamphlets and posting advertisements and, newsletters, brands have made it big in the market. However, considering the cost of printing, designing and developing ads, it is expensive than the current digital techniques.

Since traditional marketing tools were expensive, many emerging brands could not afford these strategies to promote their products and gain new customers. But, with digital marketing tools, even startups can reach out to potential customers within a budget. Developing a website, creating a Facebook marketing page, writing promotional emails and making videos can be done through various free software and apps. Thus, considering the cost of digital marketing, traditional marketing is very expensive.


Tracking the performance and reach of traditional marketing strategies is near to impossible. With posters, banners, pamphlets and, newsletters, we can only know the quantity of the printed material but not the reach of it. We may not know whether the customer reading your brand advertisement actually will ever step into your shop, and even if he does, we may not know their identity precisely. Therefore, it is very difficult to track the reach of your advertising tools through traditional marketing.

With digital marketing strategies, we can track every move through Google Analytics. You can track the reach of your emails, websites, blog posts, social media ads to website traffic and online branding status. With the ability to track the performance of your older marketing strategies, you can develop newer ones to target a different group of audience. The expected to actual results through digital marketing has little difference.


Traditional marketing ranges from organizing events, posting advertisements in newspapers and magazines, handing out catalogs, brochures to telecasting television and radio advertisements with which we can reach only a limited audience. Local stores, shops and, brands can employ these types of tools to make customers visit their physical store and buy the products. Traditional marketing can only make the brand visible to a limited audience.

Whereas, with digital marketing, it becomes easier to promote your products, offers and, services to many audiences. People from different parts of the world can click on your website, blog post, advertisement and visit your online store and make purchases within a few minutes. It acts as a great way for new and existing customers to recognize and recommend your brand to friends and family. This is a tried and tested marketing strategy for bringing in potential customers globally.


Any information printed on a paper is static and becomes very difficult to change the data once published. Since all the traditional marketing tools are related to print, it is impossible to perform any updates, changes to the information. When you have advertised an offer or discount on a product for a week and by the time, the sale gets over, you cannot retake the offer. People might still visit your store based on the information after a week to avail the discount and may get disappointed. Similarly, it can happen with advertisements, radio ads, banners and, newspapers.

But, with digital marketing, the brand has the flexibility to make instant updates on their products, services, offers, discounts depending upon the availability and duration. They can edit, delete and update any content on their website, blog and social media pages without any hassles. On the same platform, we can make thousands of ads daily, weekly, monthly and yearly with no repercussions. Thus, digital marketing is considered to be a safe, effective and economical way of promoting a brand to the audience than traditional marketing. However, adapting traditional and digital marketing tools totally depend on the brand and its audience.

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