Traditional and Digital Marketing: A Detailed Comparison | By Design


Traditional Marketing Vs Digital Marketing: What’s the difference?

In the battle between traditional and digital marketing, which one gets victory? With each form of marketing having multiple pros and cons, how would you decide which one will be the best for your business needs? Well, it totally depends on the business and an individual that wish to use them. Although both marketing methods are identical in some ways, there is difference between traditional and digital marketing.

Let’s find out the definitions of traditional and digital marketing, their pros and cons, and traditional marketing vs digital marketing examples.

What is Traditional Marketing Definition?

These advertising methods don’t use the internet. These are known as traditional marketing because they have been used for many decades. This was the only form of marketing until the development of the internet. 

Newspaper, TV or radio commercials, directly mailed postcards, informational packets, magazine ads, coupons, telephone calls, billboards, text notifications, and fliers are common traditional market methods

What is Digital Marketing Definition?

Digital marketing is the method that uses digital channels or smartphones as methods for marketing communication. Clickable ads, email campaigns, SEO (search engine optimization), content marketing, affiliate marketing, website content, social media posts, PPC (pay-per-click), SEM (search engine marketing), and inbound marketing are common types of digital marketing.

Examples of Traditional and Digital Marketing

To better understand the difference between these types of marketing, let’s put a glimpse at traditional marketing vs digital marketing examples. The television commercials of ‘Nirma’ are notorious due to their strong jingle. After more than 2 decades, the 'Rekha, Jaya Aur Sushma sabki pasand Nirma' campaign is still considered one of the most highly praised TV ads of all time.

However, to meet the emerging needs of the ever-changing digital world, Nirma also has to include digital marketing in their business strategy. Even though it was enjoying legendary status, it has to enter the digital world to avail of huge marketing opportunities and widen its customer base. 

Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing

The key difference between traditional and digital marketing is the medium through which customers get a marketing message. As mentioned above, digital marketing uses the internet and digital media, while traditional marketing employs traditional media such as newspapers and magazines.

Although traditional marketing is generally less used today, it can’t be considered outdated marketing. It still plays a significant role in the lives of people and is the perfect marketing method for large businesses with so many resources.

Digital marketing is becoming increasingly popular nowadays because of the higher use of digital devices and the upsurge of online networking.  

Traditional Marketing Pros

• Reach Older Demographic

A study report stated that people above 50 years spend about twice as much time watching television and reading newspapers than youngsters and adults. So, you can effectively reach an older demographic with traditional marketing.

• Impressive and Understandable

Attention-grabbing TV or radio commercials or attractive billboards are highly entertaining and remind customers of the brand or business. The audience easily digests these ads. Since TV commercials are played multiple times, they stay in the mind of the audience.

• Create Local Audience

The traditional marketing method is an excellent choice for businesses, a mainly small business that aims to reach a large local audience.

Traditional Marketing Cons

• Expensive

Printing postcards and other forms of traditional marketing to reach a few local audiences can be expensive for small businesses.

• Difficult Campaign Measurement

There is no assurance that the recipient is interested in your product or service. Also, you can’t find out if someone has read your advertisement in a newspaper.

Digital Marketing Pros

• Easy to Measure Campaign

There are multiple digital tools to measure and track audience involvement instantly. You will immediately be informed when any user reads an email, follow you or your business account on social media, or tap on any link on your website. This data can be used to get detailed insights like which mode is highly effective, which type of content matches the audience requirement, etc.

• Multiple Options for Engagement

Using social media or other channels, you can physically check the audience perspective for your brand or marketing efforts. If you are getting positive responses in the form of more likes, subscriptions, shares, or good comments, your marketing efforts are working effectively.

• Less Expensive

Digital marketing strategies such as sending email campaigns are less expensive. It can save lots of money than traditional marketing like printing postcards and paying for postage.

Digital Marketing Cons

• Lack Permanency

Social media ads, Google ads, or other digital marketing methods can have a temporary character. Your ad will vanish from the screen once the visitor clicks on the next page.

• Regular Updates

Since new technological advancements keep on occurring, digital marketers need to remain updated and reevaluate things to get the most out of digital marketing strategies and efforts.

Difference Between Traditional Marketing and E-Marketing

Determining the difference between traditional marketing and e-marketing is not a big deal if you understand the difference between traditional and digital marketing because e-marketing is just a subset of digital marketing. It also uses technology or the internet for advertising its products, services, or brand.


This is what you must know to better understand the difference between traditional and digital marketing. Both can work effectively for you if you know what exactly your audience desires.


1.  What is the difference between digital and traditional media?

The main thing that differentiates traditional and digital marketing from each other is the use of the internet and digital media. Traditional marketing uses traditional modes like magazines and newspapers, while digital marketing uses the internet and digital channels such as social media and websites.

2.  Why traditional and digital marketing is important?

Both traditional and digital marketing methods are important to create brand awareness and credibility. It helps businesses in obtaining new customers and engage the existing ones for more sales and revenue.

3.  What is traditional marketing?

Any kind of marketing method that uses traditional and/or offline media to reach the target customer is called traditional marketing.

4.  What is digital and traditional?

Traditional is what existed before the development and rise of the internet. For example, traditional media like billboards, newspapers, direct mail, etc. Digital covers everything that uses the internet, smartphones, and other digital formats.