Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing: Differences and Advantages

Technological changes also attract new behaviors, and that is precisely why we can now talk about two great types of marketing: digital and traditional; a duo that, far from being opposed to each other, has proven that it benefits from mixing its actions into creative and intelligent strategies.

To ensure that this is the order of the day, it is necessary to know what each one is about and what its characteristics are. Let’s start with the basics:

Digital Marketing Definition

Digital marketing (or online marketing) are all the actions and strategies that use the internet, digital devices and online platforms to promote, sell or communicate everything related to products or services, customer service and performance monitoring. .

Now, let’s see what defines its counterpart:

Traditional Marketing Definition

Traditional marketing (or offline marketing) mainly refers to all sales, promotion, and communication strategies that occur outside of digital environments, whether in media such as television or print newspapers, or activations in physical stores.

And now that we have established their definition, we can talk about what makes them different from each other:

6 Differences Between Digital Marketing and Traditional Marketing

1. The approach

Because in traditional marketing the audience cannot fully decide the ads they will see, for example, on a television channel, brands focus on showing the product they offer, so that it is the protagonist and the main attraction.

In the case of digital marketing, brands know that it is a more personalized process, and that even people can choose what they want to see on their cell phone or computer screens. Therefore, they must offer something more than an image or the advantages of what they sell. Thus, the content is what matters and what will most successfully attract the audience.

2. The media they use

You probably already sensed this difference: digital marketing lives in environments related to the Internet, such as ads on websites, publications and campaigns on social networks, email marketing, blog content, chatbot service, among others.

In traditional marketing, other media are used that also have reach, but do not depend on platforms or devices that must be connected to the Internet, such as television channels, radio, print media, billboards, actions in physical stores, telephone calls, etc.

3. The scope

The above then explains the scope that each type of marketing has. The digital, by depending on the internet connection, can eliminate geographical limits of its strategy. That is why it is easier for a business that has an online store to promote itself throughout the country, instead of only in the city where it is installed.

In the case of traditional marketing, there are market sectors that still do not have the internet access that digital strategies need, so it is easier to reach the audience through television or radio, if the product or service focuses on the problems that those people face.

4. The ease with which your performance is measured

The truth is that digital marketing can be measured and, therefore, corrected faster than traditional marketing. Because digital tools are used to consult results in real time, bad numbers are avoided and the waste of resources is reduced. In addition, it is easier to track the origin of leads or customers, what they buy, and what really interests them.

Traditional marketing, on the other hand, is reviewed until you finish your campaigns. ROI (return on investment) is slow in coming, data can be less timely, and if it’s not done fast enough, opportunities are missed.

5. The cost

Broadly speaking, the cost of traditional marketing can be higher than digital. You just have to compare what a company should invest in a Facebook campaign, compared to one in print media.


By virtue of the fact that digital marketing actions allow it, the interaction of the audience is practically immediate. Downloading documents, recording data, playing videos, buying online as soon as a product is launched, among others, are actions that take more time for traditional marketing, mainly due to the need to travel to a specific point.

On the other hand, it is possible to create conversations faster if you have a digital channel for a marketing campaign. Thus, communication is done in both directions and more efficiently.

Traditional Marketing vs. Digital marketing: Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages of digital marketing:

  • He is quick to show results.
  • Allows greater interaction and engagement from the audience.
  • It does not involve large investments of resources: the cost of content marketing is 62% less than other methods.
  • It can cross borders and reach beyond the local.
  • It adapts faster to people’s consumption habits.

Disadvantages of digital marketing:

  • It depends on the Internet to communicate its message, so it will not reach sectors that do not yet have access to it.
  • It is more ephemeral and must compete with messages from social networks, applications and websites.
  • People can, if they choose, block messages from a particular brand, which is an obstacle to the potential reach that exists on the Internet.

Advantages of traditional marketing:

  • It speaks to a larger audience. It must be easier to understand, which allows it to reach more people.
  • Your message is reproduced in the media without people being able to hide it.
  • If it is well executed, it is easier for people to remember the messages because there is less volume of advertising offline than online.

Disadvantages of traditional marketing:

  • It takes longer to measure its impact.
  • You can’t fix bugs or optimize campaigns if you see an opportunity to do so.
  • It needs more financial investment.

What does digital marketing and its strategies look like? What is traditional marketing about? The following classification will help you distinguish them even more easily.

Types of Digital Marketing

1. Content Marketing

Content marketing has to do with an understanding of the needs, behaviors and interests of the audience, because based on that information, a brand or business creates content that will attract people’s attention, for two main reasons: it talks about what It is already part of the conversation of that public and shows it at the most opportune moment.

This is where actions such as blog posts, creation of downloadable guides on a specific topic, production of video tutorials and other materials that are not ads, but are part of a strategy that includes valuable content, come into play.

2. Inbound marketing

Inbound marketing is the methodology developed to attract the right visitors, and make them completely satisfied with leads and customers. It is based both on content marketing, by offering them valuable information that leads them to your channels (such as a website), as well as offering a delightful customer experience. This means that brands can meaningfully interact with their audience and remain focused on their needs.

Thus, a few initial clients will boost your business, by remaining loyal and being brand ambassadors, who will recommend you to their friends, colleagues and acquaintances.

3. SEO

We refer to Search Engine Optimization (search engine optimization), which helps you boost your content thanks to the use of keywords that are related to what people are looking for on the internet and what you can offer them. It is the reason why some sites appear in the first results of Google when you do a search.

It can be onsite (when optimization with keywords or phrases occurs in your content and website) and offsite (when other sites add links to your content in their own channels, recognizing the authority you have on the subject).

4. Email marketing

Email marketing is responsible for delivering emails to a list of subscribers to the newsletter of a brand or business, who thus become qualified leads who have shown a special interest in the news they receive by that means.

It is one of the most valuable actions in digital marketing, because suddenly you have a list of people who want to know more about you: your news, offers, content, special promotions and product launches.


Search Engine Marketing, or search engine marketing, are paid advertising campaigns that are carried out on search engines, such as Google. They are the ads that usually appear in the first places of results.

Of course, it is not enough to just pay to get those positions: it is also necessary that people really find these ads useful, that they lead to sites or pages that help solve doubts or problems, and that they are not reported as harmful by users.

6. Social Media Marketing

Everything that happens in the social networks of a brand or business is practically marketing. Sometimes they can be paid campaigns on Facebook or Instagram; others, organic publications that are well received by audiences. However, although creating a profile does not cost anything and there are examples of cases of viralized content without investment, the truth is that behind it there is a well-thought-out strategy to stay relevant.

7. Influencer Marketing

This is relatively new and has undergone some modifications in the last year. When it was at its peak, influencer marketing was one of the most popular strategies for brands: they contacted a person with a large audience and relevant content on their topic, they offered them remuneration for talking about their products and this derived almost instant success. This person’s followers tried the recommendation and sales grew.

However, figures with millions of followers became unreachable or overexposed, and they opted for the search for micro-influencers, who have a more modest follower base, but their credibility is greater. The secret is to find the profile that goes perfectly with the ideals of the brand and its audience.

Types of Traditional Marketing

1. Transmissions

Here we talk about the advertisements and messages that appear on television or radio; It is paid to appear at certain relevant times for the audience, and with a frequency that is convenient for the brand or business. It might feel old-fashioned, but remember that huge ads are still being produced during the NFL Finals, paying millions of dollars to appear during the game broadcast.

2. Direct mail

Some businesses use this type of marketing to attract potential customers who live around their stores. It does not have to be addressed to a particular inhabitant, it is simply sent because the convenience of proximity could be relevant to it. Self-service stores, schools, laundromats or day care centers are examples of businesses that resort to this strategy.

3. Cold calling

In the world of the sector towards final consumers, or B2B, cold calls are still part of their traditional marketing actions. It is a way to make first contact with companies that might be interested in your services.

4. Event marketing

Whether as a participant, organizer or sponsor of an event (fairs, conferences, concerts, seminars, etc.), this type of marketing is a good strategy to get closer to the public that needs to know your product or service up close and to position yourself as an industry expert related to the event.

5. Print ads

The presence in print media is still relevant, especially because you have two great options: those with the largest circulation (whose advertising space may be more expensive, but reach more people) and those that are niche (which reduce the price and will be seen by more specialized audiences). It’s a way to refine your audience.

6. Referral Marketing

You can also see this type of marketing in digital offers: if they recommend someone or share their referral code, you reward the person with a special gift or discount. It is also a good way to increase the list of contacts, since if your company or business manages to satisfy the needs of a client, they will have no problem recommending you to other people within their circle.

7. Deliverables

Brochures, triptychs, press releases that talk about an event, the services of a company or the advantages of a product, are free and their main function is to inform. In English they are known as handouts; They are generally released to the public in the context of a company briefing or site or event. For example, when a hotel brochure is distributed on the outskirts of a relevant tourist site.

51% of people in the world already have access to the internet and adapt their behaviors to this access. In the battle between digital marketing and traditional marketing, the key will be to study your audience and their needs thoroughly. Sometimes a hearing may require both types of approaches; although in this era, a digital strategy is indispensable.


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