How digital Marketing varies from Traditional Marketing

Digital marketing varies from Traditional Marketing in many ways. What exactly are the differences and how do you choose the right one? Here is everything you need to know.

What is Digital Marketing?

Simply put, Digital Marketing is marketing using digital channels such as your website, social media and paid search ads. There’s more on what Digital Marketing is here.

What is Traditional Marketing?

Traditional Marketing is a type of marketing that’s hard to ignore. It's been around for a long time and we’ve all been subjected to it at some point, if not daily. It is a conventional method of marketing that helps to reach out to a semi-targeted audience via various offline advertising and promotional methods.

Traditional Marketing shown on Newspaper

The most commonly used methods can be categorised into 5 major categories:

  1. Broadcast (T.V, Radio, etc)
  2. Telephone (Cold calling, text message marketing, etc)
  3. Outdoor (Flyers, Billboards, etc)
  4. Direct Mail ( Circulars, Catalogues, etc)
  5. Print (Magazines, Newspapers, etc)

What is the difference?

The main difference between Digital and Traditional Marketing is the medium through which the audience encounters the marketing message. While traditional Marketing uses mediums such as Newspapers and Magazines, Digital Marketing uses digital media, such as social media or websites.

Traditional Marketing still plays an important part in people's lives, with a growing need to step out of the digital world we’ve created. Due to their lasting effects on your memory, the tactile nature of a magazine cover to the immersive experience of a hard-hitting TV commercial is as important today as they were 30 years ago. Subconsciously you attach yourself to their brand emotionally, meaning they stay at the top of your mind.

In the same way, Digital Marketing is just as important if not more. Digital Marketing uses every touchpoint of your daily internet usage to reach you.

Using the internet for several hours every day has become a normal part of most peoples day to day life. Digital Marketing utilises this by weaving marketing communications into every digital platform.

 What are the Pro's and Con's

When deciding between 2 things it's always best to way up the Pros and Cons of each one. Even more so when you’re going to part with some money for it.

We will start with

Digital Marketing: Pro's and Con's

We must never forget that we are well and truly living in the digital age. According to Statista, as of April 2020, almost 4.57 billion people were active internet users, encompassing 59 per cent of the global population.

That’s a massive amount of people and a massive opportunity to do some clever Digital Marketing.


Infographic displaying the pro's of Digital Marketing

It's easy to measure the success of your campaigns.

A direct opposite to a downside of Traditional Marketing. One of the biggest pros of Digital marketing is that you can easily measure the success of your marketing campaigns. Not only is it relatively easy to measure, it's also exceptionally in-depth, meaning you can learn a lot from your campaigns, and optimise them for the next one.

with Digital Marketing its easier to measure the success of the campaigns

Makes clever targeting possible

Targeting options for ads on social media and search have become so sophisticated it's hard to ignore the benefits of it. You can target people with an interest in your niche specifically. Meaning it's much easier to build an audience with some really good quality content.

There’s greater scope for engagement

Marketing through channels such as social media you can physically see what your audience think of your brand and marketing efforts. You can tell you’re doing well if you’re getting lots of likes, being shared, and had plenty of good comments.

with Digital Marketing there's greater scope for engagement


Infographic displaying the con's of Digital Marketing

Constantly Evolves

There is much to learn to get the most out of your Digital Marketing efforts. From Social Media to Search Engine Marketing,  each channel usually requires an expert to get the best out of your campaign.

Less Permanent

Social Media Ads, Promotional Emails, Banner Ads and Google Ads, have a very temporary character. If your target audience clicks to the next page or keeps scrolling your ad will be gone from their screen, meaning they’re easy to ignore, intangible and fleeting in nature.

Digital Marketing is less permanent

Digital Ads can be viewed as annoying

Facebook ads interrupt your timeline so while you’re scrolling looking for your friend’s photos or status updates you see a cleverly targeted ad about the embarrassing illness you googled the previous night. This can make you dislike the brand that’s doing the targeting.

Digital Marketing ads can be seen as annoying

And now we’ll turn our attention to;

Traditional Marketing: Pro's and Con's

Up until the development of the internet during the 1990s, Traditional Marketing was pretty much the only type of Marketing. Traditional Marketing plays an important role in reaching local audiences.


Infographic displaying the con's of Traditional  Marketing


Many forms of Traditional Marketing can set you back quite a bit. And if your brands in its infancy the chances are that you don’t have the funds for a full-page newspaper ad.

Traditional Marketing can be expensive

Very Little interaction

One of the biggest downsides to Traditional Marketing is that there is little to no interaction between the customers and the medium used for marketing. Traditional marketing is like a one-way conversation, where a business can broadcast about their product or service. This is done in the hope that you attract the attention of the right people and maybe convert them into customers.

Traditional Marketing can see Very little interaction

Difficult to measure the campaigns

There are means to measure Traditional Marketing for example brand trackers. These, however, are nowhere near as in-depth or intelligent as the tools available for Digital Marketing.

With Traditional Marketing it can be Difficult to measure the success of the campaigns

No Control Over Timing

Relying on promotional methods that once performed cannot be changed or updated. With Traditional Marketing you would need to place a new ad that replaces the old 1 if you needed to change anything. This, of course, will impact your marketing budget negatively.


Infographic displaying the pro's of Traditional Marketing

More Permanent

The fleeting nature of Digital ads means they’re gone once the user has scrolled past it. However, with Traditional Marketing a print ad in the latest issue of Vogue magazine will be there until the magazine is recycled, which is great if the customer is an avid collector.

More Memorable

When you see something in real life rather than on your phone screen it becomes easier to remember it. The new John Lewis Christmas T.V ad is much more likely to stick in your head

Than an Instagram ad that you’ll probably quickly scroll past.

Traditional Marketing is easier to remember

Easier to understand and more impactful

A striking TV advert or a big, bold billboard are normal parts of people's lives. They are often entertaining and easy to digest.

Traditional Marketing Vs Digital Marketing: What do the stats say?

Digital ad spend is already well on its way to overtake the spend on traditional ads such as television ads or radio ads. With many predicting the shift to happen this year. Many marketers across various industries have already shifted their efforts towards digital.

Regardless of what business you’re in, you need to consider the importance of Digital Marketing, as 80% of shoppers/buyers do their research online before deciding to purchase a product or service.

Here are some more stats to further support the growth and prominence of Digital Marketing:

70% of digital ad spend is predicted to be on Mobile by last year (2019)

60% of US adults use Facebook regularly

94% of B2B marketers are actively using LinkedIn for marketing purposes

90% of B2C businesses say that Social Media is the most effective content marketing platform

According to ClickZ:

Internet users now make up 57% of the global population. On average, people spend 6 hours and 42 minutes online each day. By 2021, a projected 73% of all e-commerce sales will come from mobile.

That’s an incomprehensible amount of time and a big opportunity to do some clever Digital Marketing.

Traditional Marketing Vs Digital Marketing: Which Type of Marketing should you choose

The key to answering this question is understanding your specific Marketing needs, considering your budget and most importantly understanding your target audience.

Traditional Marketing is more suited for the baby boomers generation for example, people who prefer to buy newspapers and own televisions. However Digital Marketing is a surprisingly sufficient route for all audiences not just Millennials and Gen Z, due to the mass appeal of Facebook, many peoples elderly family members are on the platform. Successful marketing is based upon reaching your target audience where they are, with the right message at the right time. It makes sense then that the “right type” of marketing is that, that serves your target audience where they might be. Be that watching TV, reading a newspaper, or indeed scrolling through Facebook.

This has been and will be debated for some time. But it's a fact that there is absolutely a time and place for both Marketing strategies. For many companies, part of their target audience will be the ones that buy newspapers. And another part will be on digital. Let’s say, John Lewis, for example. You can’t DM one of their print ads, but you can sign up to their automated emails or follow them on social media. Which works well, where the older woman who prefers receiving leaflets and flyers in the post and her millennial son, who prefers Social Media Marketing, receive the same information.


So really the question should not be Traditional Marketing Vs Digital Marketing, as in one or the other but really, how do we utilise both tactics to market effectively? Some businesses, especially smaller businesses will benefit from going one way or the other. But on the whole, it is very possible for both methods to be utilised harmoniously.

Traditional Marketing Vs Digital Marketing: Summary

While we haven’t answered the question of Traditional Marketing Vs Digital Marketing, I think the moral of the story here is both Digital and Traditional marketing can work for you, as long as you know what your audience wants. It's not one or the other, it's about finding what works best for you and more importantly your audience.  Although Traditional Marketing methods still have their place in the world, this is quickly diminishing and it has been hugely overtaken by Digital Marketing thanks to its low cost, ease and effectiveness. Whether you’re at the start of your Digital Marketing journey or an established brand looking to grow, here at Break the Mould Marketing, we can help you with all of your Digital Marketing needs. From SEO and PPC to Social Media Management, we have the know-how to ensure your brand reaches the top of the search engines while increasing your social reach and following. Contact Us today to find out more.

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(c) Break the Mould Marketing 2021