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Traditional Marketing VS Digital Marketing – Should You Use Both?

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Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing

The goal that every business has in common is that they want to grab the attention of potential clients, customers or users. The most effective way to grab people’s attention is through marketing. When it comes to marketing, there are many options but simply they can be divided into traditional marketing and digital marketing. If we compare traditional marketing vs digital marketing, they both have different advantages as well as disadvantages.

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Traditional Marketing

Traditional Marketing includes marketing techniques that do not require the use of the internet. These are the options that have been around for decades and are used less and less today. Traditional Marketing may be used less often these days but it is still a very effective way of reaching customers and promoting your brand. 


Some Examples of Traditional Marketing Include:

  • Television Ads

  • Print Ads

  • Radio

  • Billboards

  • Telephone Calls and Text Messages 

  • Hard Copies of Flyers 

  •  Events 

  • Direct Mail

It’s easy to say that digital marketing is the more popular option when it comes to marketing, but it is also a challenge to escape traditional marketing. Everyday we hear and see ads on the radio or television. When you go outside you are bombarded by billboards and flyers advertising different businesses and products. These kinds of advertisements are very effective as they are memorable and allow for consumers to build an emotional connection with the brand or product without even realising it!

For many businesses, traditional marketing strategies work better depending on the type of company they own. Their target audience would prefer the traditional option when it comes to traditional marketing vs. digital marketing.

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Pros & Cons of Traditional Marketing



  • Traditional marketing reaches certain audiences more effectively. If your target audience is an older age group then using traditional forms of marketing may be more effective than using digital marketing. 
  • Traditional marketing poses less of a potential risk to your brand. You can have more control over your brand and message as well as how it is displayed. Some audiences also link traditional marketing to a brand that is stable and secure, making them more likely to use the brand or product. 
  • Traditional marketing is more difficult to ignore. You can surround your prospect with your brand, value proposition, message and products via a public multi-media campaign. Mass Media – TV, Billboards, Stadiums, Buses – creates mass effect and impact. Out in public, your potential for brand exposure to the mass market is enormous. 



  • Traditional Marketing can take longer to execute and refine than digital marketing. It takes time to make a printed ad, once it is edited and printed, there is no going back. Whereas for digital ads, they can be tested and edited in real time to improve their effectiveness. 
  • Traditional Marketing is gradually losing its audience. When it comes to designing your campaign, it is important to keep in mind who is actually reading the newspaper or watching television advertisements these days. There is no doubt that streaming services and online news pages are taking the place of where traditional media once was, which makes it more difficult to reach some customers through traditional media. 
  • Traditional Marketing can be more expensive than digital marketing. This is especially true when you add in the cost of production and the media buy.

Traditional marketing is still a realistic and important way to market certain businesses or products. But digital marketing is an increasingly important revenue driver.

Traditional Marketing VS Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing is any form of marketing that uses electronic devices to deliver content. This includes methods such as SEO, email marketing, social media marketing and paid search advertising. Digital marketing has become wildly popular due to the cultural, technological and societal shifts around us. As the world becomes more digital, the way that we market has evolved. Not only is digital marketing sometimes more cost-effective than traditional, but also it is a more direct way to connect with target audiences globally.


Digital Marketing Channels Include:

  • Social Media Ads – Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, etc
  • Content Marketing
  • Website
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Inbound Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • PPC – Pay Per Click 
  • SEM – Search Engine Marketing

Due to the current technological developments, digital marketing methods and strategies will always continue to evolve no matter what. There are enormous ways to do this marketing. Since they are modern, it is essential to have maximum knowledge regarding current technologies and advancements.


Forms of Digital Marketing:

  • Social Media Marketing: Social media marketing is getting wildly popular. Many businesses and startups advertise their work in the form of posts, videos, and stories on social media platforms. 
  • Email Marketing: Where businesses send electronic mail to the target audience. 
  • Content Marketing: Helps advertise in the form of storytelling to the users.
  • Pay-per-Click: These are paid advertisements, they only stay on the web for a shorter period. Once you stop  paying, it will be gone.
  • Mobile Marketing: Provides advertisements on smartphones, laptops and tablets for the target audience. 
  • SEO – Search Engine Optimisation: SEO is the most common type of digital marketing used in many organisations. Its main goal is to show the business on the top while searching it on the web. However, it also needs customers’ support to get high ranks.
  • Affiliate Marketing: Includes advertising a product or a service with the help of a well known influencer or a celebrity. The major reason companies do it is to improve their brand name.

Pros & Cons of Digital Marketing


  • Digital marketing’s exposure is expanding. Consumer usage of everything digital is growing. Magazines are going digital as is music, movies and tv networks. Digital is where you will reach the widest audience. 
  • Digital marketing is customisable and enables better A/B testing and personalisation. Digital marketing allows you to test, in real time, the impact of every element of a campaign – from the offer itself to the fonts, colours, headlines, graphics and layout, you can use this capability to find out what your customers and prospects are responding to. 
  • Digital Marketing is cheaper to implement and maintain than many traditional marketing methods.


  • Digital marketing can be low impact from a visual standpoint. There are millions of ads on the internet, it can be difficult to stand out and some ads can be easy to ignore. Especially on the screen of a phone. 
  • Digital marketing can lead to content and email overload. Be careful about the frequency of messages you send out to customers and prospects.  
  • Digital can exacerbate a bad experience and poor reviews via social media. You need to have a proactive approach to managing your online and social media reputation as everyone can see your online reviews and complaints. 

Digital technologies can help marketers of all sizes and budgets make the most of their marketing funds and reach the right audiences. The goal is to stay focused on your business objectives, start small and experiment and build out a digital marketing program – linking it with your traditional programs – to see what works best for your company.

Can I Use Both Traditional and Digital Marketing?


When comparing traditional marketing vs digital marketing, it is safe to say that there is a time and place for both. The key is to know when and how to use them. The kind of marketing you use depends on many elements. For example, who is your target audience? Is it a younger or older audience, it may be more effective to use a digital marketing strategy if trying to reach a younger audience as they likely consume more media through social media platforms rather than through traditional media such as radio. 

You can also, of course, use traditional marketing to heighten digital marketing. For example, sending out flyers or putting up signs informing people where to find your brand’s website or social media. Something that is becoming more popular is the use of QR Codes, adding these to physical advertisements  makes it easy for customers to access your digital content, they simply have to use their camera to scan the code and it will take them right to your brand’s website. 

In simple terms it is useful to use both traditional marketing and digital marketing effectively, but it is also the case that some businesses may benefit from going one way or the other. Essentially, it is possible for both marketing methods to thrive harmoniously. 


 If you wish to learn more about digital marketing, or have an idea for a traditional marketing campaign, we are here to help with both.
Contact us for a quote or free digital marketing consultation.
Originally published December 1, 2022
 11:00 AM
, Updated November 2, 2023