Digital Marketing Vs Traditional Marketing: Why Not Both

Traditional marketing has laid the path for digital marketing to generate success for its users, but using a combination of both digital and traditional marketing, marketers have the opportunity to take their brands to new heights!

The rise of computers, smartphones, and social media over the last decade has started a change in the way that marketing is done as there has been a shift from traditional TV, radio and newspaper, to digital channels such as banner ads, websites, and Instagram.

Even though we are familiar with both types of marketing, it is interesting to explore what the key differences between the two are, and more importantly, how they can be used together to make any marketing effort a full-rounded powerhouse.

What is Traditional Marketing?

As mentioned before, traditional marketing focuses on more physical channels for communicating promotional content such as radio and TV commercials, and newspaper ads. This form of marketing was pretty much the only type available to marketers until the 1990’s when the internet started making strikes to becoming the tool we know and love today.

One thing to consider about traditional marketing is that just because digital marketing has become so popular, and most marketers will be using this as their primary channel for marketing, it does not mean that there is no place for traditional marketing in today’s world.

I mean it’s like not we don’t have TV, radios, billboards, and magazines anymore!

So with that in mind, let’s have a look at what some of the advantages are of using traditional marketing for modern marketing efforts.


Supplement exposure

Traditional marketing allows for marketers to supplement exposure to those who miss out on the messaging used in digital marketing efforts by running the two types of channels in parallel with each other. The idea is that if someone does not see the ad for a campaign on Instagram, there is a greater chance that they will see it if an ad from the same campaign is also shown on billboards and in shop windows or heard over the radio.


Familiarity, especially amongst an older audience, is the key to success with traditional marketing in 2020. Many members of older generations are not familiar with using the internet, and are even intimidated by it, so traditional marketing efforts are your best bet at reaching these people.


Traditional marketing is consumed in a different way to digital media. It often incorporates multiple senses simultaneously and is easier to process and understand. This is because there is often less noise in the form of flashing banner ads and pop-ups as you see on most websites today. A message that is easy to understand and relies on multiple senses for recall will always be more memorable than something that is more one-dimensional.


Higher cost

Traditional marketing is a much more costly action than digital marketing as the cost of printing newspapers and distributing magazines and recording audio clips for radio is more expensive than what is necessary to create marketing content for online marketing. The key here is that it is necessary to spend money to make traditional marketing effective, but it is not necessary to make digital marketing effective.

Little to no interaction

There are very few ways that an audience can interact with a brand after consuming their marketing content if it is not online. In fact with traditional marketing, one of the only ways a customer can interact with the brand is by calling them or speaking to them in person at a physical store.

Little control over audience

Due to the nature of traditional marketing, the marketing message and content is often created and then released into the world with the hopes that it will reach the right people. This is not the ideal way of attracting customers, and definitely nowhere near as effective as specific targeting like you can do with digital marketing.

Difficult to measure effectiveness

Because traditional marketing is an offline effort, there are no instant metrics being generated according to the number of views or likes a piece of content gets. Without conducting formal research into the behavior of the audience in relation to marketing efforts, it is difficult to gauge the success of a campaign.

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Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is how most of us experience marketing content from various brands today, and the channels range from blogs, such as the one you are reading now, social media, video media, and organic and paid search.

I think we can all agree that digital marketing is a successful natural progression from traditional marketing, but let’s take a look at why digital marketing has become so popular by analyzing the advantages below.



Digital marketing allows for an affordable way for marketers to create an online presence for their brand and the use of free social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook and free website builders like Wix make it easy to create platforms to be used to reach an audience, without a high entry cost.

What is great is that even with only a small investment, these free tools can be unlocked to target an audience with the full might of your marketing content!

Higher reach

The amount of tools available to marketers that are used to target specific segments in the audience, particularly with PPC tools, is unreal and growing daily. Facebook ads is a tool that is really good for ensuring that an ad is delivered to the specific person it is intended for, which naturally would translate into a higher conversion rate than traditional media.

Direct contact with audience

Digital marketing allows for the audience to respond to any content they receive by leaving a comment on an article, using hashtags to reference material shared across social media, or even by contacting a brand directly through the direct message functions of social media.

This is a great way for brands to receive feedback on their marketing content and also makes them approachable and personal to the audience.

Easily measure results

With the rise of social media, websites, and other online content, the opportunity to report on metrics generated by these channels has become so popular and useful that it has caused a boom in digital marketing agencies and reporting tools that specialize in this.

Most online channels have a built-in function for you to monitor the number of likes, views, and clicks a particular post or ad gets, but tools like Google Analytics are great at giving an in-depth look at all the metrics generated from within your website.

And of course, how could I forget to mention Oviond! It is the perfect tool to measure the performance of all of these online metrics in one place!


However, even with how great digital marketing is, it still has some flaws:

Too much content!

Online audiences can easily feel overwhelmed with the amount of online promotional content they receive while browsing the internet. Facebook, YouTube, and Google to name a few, are flooded with ads and this has caused a serious oversaturation to an audience’s threshold to receive promotional content.


Because it is so easy to share content on the internet, it has become difficult to build credibility on the various online channels and often can take months or years before a brand has built a following large enough for an audience to trust their content.


Following on from the previous point, anyone and everyone can post something online which has made digital marketing an incredibly competitive field as every brand is fighting for their audience’s attention.

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Surely they can be used together?

So you may have noticed that both digital and traditional marketing possess some really great advantages and some not so great disadvantages. The more observant of you may have noticed that many of the advantages for each type of marketing are disadvantages for the other type.

So why not just use both!

Well, that is exactly what many marketers are using today as it is evident that there is a place in marketing for both traditional and digital.

Let’s take a look at how this could be implemented practically:

Online & Print Magazines/Newspapers

It has become really popular recently for companies such as National Geographic to offer both an online and a print magazine. This double-dipping strategy allows for marketers to appeal to both old school and new school audience members so that maximum reach in the targeted audience is achieved. Newspapers have also been using the same strategy.

Online Marketing for Offline Sales

It is often not enough for a physical store to promote itself online, and often traditional marketing techniques need to be used in combination with something like Facebook Ads. For example, a shoe store that is promoting a sale for their signature shoe will put banner ads for this sale all over the internet, but it is still important for them to use promotional material inside the store and store windows to gain the interest of people walking past.

TV and Video Ads

Many brands have seen that many people are using applications like YouTube as their primary video entertainment channel instead of TV. However, that is not to say that TV isn’t popular anymore. In fact, this situation allows for a unique opportunity for brands to run the same campaign ads across both TV and online video platforms like YouTube, to once again maximize the reach of their campaign.

QR codes and personalized URLs

This one I think is pretty clever… So some brands have started to include scannable QR codes on leaflets and newspapers, and any other type of print media, that can direct the audience to the brand’s website once the code has been scanned by their phone. How cool is that!

The Future of Marketing

So even with how great digital marketing is, there are still some aspects that are not yet able to replace good old traditional marketing. It is clear that digital marketing is simply incredible in the way it affords marketers the resources they need to create viral marketing, but used in combination with traditional marketing, your marketing efforts will be unstoppable!

Content like this got you hungry for more? Take a look at our blog and soak up some more juicy digital marketing content.

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