Traditional marketing and digital marketing are marketing strategies you can use to create brand awareness, engage with your audience, and promote your products or services. However, these two strategies are different in approach and methodology. So, this article will teach you the difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing.
Generally, traditional marketing and digital marketing are two sides of the same coin. The goals of these two marketing strategies are the same. But the difference lies in the approach and methodology.
Traditional marketing is an old marketing strategy that promotes brands and business offerings using flyers, billboards, TV ads, radio ads, print advertisements, newspaper ads, etc.
Although traditional marketing seems outdated, companies still target local audiences with it.
Traditional marketing has four phases – Interest, Awareness, Desire, Action (IADA). I will talk more about this later in this article.
However, digital marketing strategies promote brands and their offering through online marketing. It uses digital media and devices such as Google, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc., to market your business or services.
Like traditional marketing, digital marketing also has four phases – planning, conversation, content, and sequels.
Difference Between Traditional Marketing and Digital Marketing – Overview
Below is a quick overview of the difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing;
While digital marketing and traditional marketing techniques have the same goals, their methods of achieving these goals differ.
For instance, traditional marketing promotes products and services using TV, Telephone, Banner, Broadcast, Door to Door, Sponsorship, etc.
Digital marketing, on the other hand, uses digital media like SEO, SEM, PPC, etc., to promote products and services.
Cost is another area of difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing. While the former is expensive and not affordable for startups and businesses with a limited ads budget, the latter is cost-effective, and almost all businesses can afford it.
Both traditional and digital marketing techniques are effective. But digital marketing is more efficient and faster for brand building. That explains why most entrepreneurs and business owners leverage digital media to build their brands.
Traditional marketing techniques are based on assumptions. You can’t measure the effectiveness of your campaign or ascertain the particular media that’s giving you the most sales.
But there are several analytics tools in digital marketing that you can use to measure your marketing activities. With these tools, you can measure the performance of your campaigns.
This is just an overview of the difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing.
But for a beginner, we need to explain these techniques in detail. So, In the next section, we will give a detailed explanation of these two techniques, how relevant they are in today’s marketing environment, and how you can apply them to your business.
What is Traditional Marketing?
Even though we live in a tech-driven world, traditional marketing still has its place. If you don’t understand how marketing works, you may think digital media has killed traditional marketing.
But that’s not true. Traditional marketing is still much alive and relevant in today’s business world.
Traditional marketing uses offline channels to market your products and services. These offline channels have been in existence before the emergence of digital marketing.
In traditional marketing, marketers use the marketing mix variables (4 Ps) to reach out to their prospects.
These traditional marketing mix variables are; product, price, place, and promotion.
Traditional Marketing Mix Variables (4Ps)
You can only understand the difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing if you know how the 4 Ps of marketing work.
Product is the first variable in the traditional marketing mix. It refers to whatever you offer to your customers in exchange for money.
Like digital marketing, a product must be available before applying the traditional marketing techniques.
Product in this context refers to both tangible and intangible goods. It doesn’t matter whether you sell a washing machine, a TV set, or a tutoring service.
To be successful in traditional marketing, you need to understand your product’s life cycle. Try to develop a plan for dealing with your company’s product in every stage of its life cycle.
Price is another crucial variable in the traditional marketing mix. It refers to what your customers pay in exchange for a product. The price of your product should be directly proportional to the product’s real and perceived value.
In traditional marketing, you can raise the price of a product to make it appear luxurious to your customers or lower the price so that your customers can give the product a try.
As a business owner or marketer, you should also decide when a discount is necessary. Sometimes, a good discount can attract more customers.
But if you are not strategic about your discount offering, it may give your customers the impression that your products are less exclusive or less of a luxury. So, it’s important to balance it.
In traditional marketing, place refers to how you sell your product and the method of delivering it to the market.
So, it’s crucial to develop strategies to get your products in front of people who are more likely to buy them.
You may decide to place the products in certain stores, on television shows, films, etc. to get more exposure.
Promotion is the last variable in the traditional marketing mix. It includes advertising, public relations, and any other traditional promotional strategy.
The essence of promoting a product or service is to let your customers know the value of your product and why they should buy it.
Traditional marketing is a blend of different advertising and marketing strategies. It remains the most popular marketing tactic that customers see daily.
What are the Features of Traditional Marketing?
Before the emergence of the internet, traditional marketing predominated the business world. Of course, it’s still a viable marketing method in the 21st century.
Here are some of the unique features of traditional marketing;
#1. Offline Channels
The activities of a traditional marketing mix don’t involve digital channels. All the techniques, strategies, and tools are deployed offline.
The interaction of the marketing mix variables in traditional marketing is done via offline channels.
Examples of offline channels are newspapers, magazines, billboards, flyers, radio advertising, car wraps, banners, t-shirts, etc.
You don’t need an internet connection to carry out a campaign on any of the offline channels.
However, some brands may want to execute a multi-channel marketing campaign. It combines offline (traditional marketing) and online (digital marketing) to drive higher ROI.
Although companies are more focused on digital marketing these days, traditional offline channels are still relevant.
All you have to do is understand which of the channels will be more effective in reaching your target audience.
#2. Less Segmentation
There is little or no market segmentation in traditional marketing. it’s one of the areas of difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing.
There’s no way you can segment your audience when using traditional channels. These channels deliver messages to the masses.
So, it’s challenging to micro-target your audience based on age, income, behavior, and gender in traditional marketing.
#3. Build Better Relationships
Traditional marketing tactics create credibility and help brands build strong relationships with their audience. And that is because there’s one on interaction, physical contact, suggestion, etc., with brands.
Furthermore, local audiences engage more with traditional marketing than digital marketing. So, if your brand sells a product or service to a local audience, traditional marketing tactics tend to be more effective.
#4. Better Value Creation
Traditional marketing allows physical interaction between salespeople and prospects, and the interaction builds a connection between your brand and customers. Such connections will bring about better value creation and more customer loyalty.
#5. More Credible
Traditional marketing is an old form of marketing, and some people still consider it more credible than digital marketing.
For instance, if you are marketing a product or service to older people, traditional marketing will be more effective. That is because these groups of people are familiar with traditional marketing and it resonates more with them than digital marketing.
These are some of the features of traditional marketing. These features will help you understand the difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing.
Why is Traditional Marketing Important?
Although we are in the digital age, traditional marketing is still important. You can’t rule out traditional media channels like TV, radio, and newspaper in your promotional mix. They still play an important role.
If your business serves a local audience where access to the internet is difficult, you will need traditional marketing channels to create awareness in those areas.
Furthermore, if you are selling complex products or expensive items, traditional marketing tends to be more effective.
Regardless of your niche, traditional marketing channels still have a role to play. Don’t worry, as we explore the difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing further, you will understand why offline channels are still relevant in the 21st-century business environment.
Traditional Marketing Channels
Like I mentioned earlier, traditional marketing is not extinct. Many brands still use different traditional channels to promote their products and services.
For instance, even in the age of digital marketing, you can still use cold calling techniques to create leads, increase sales, and boost your revenue.
Even though digital marketing continues to grow, traditional marketing still has a role to play in building your brands. It’s an effective technique for interactive, one-on-one, and expert marketing.
So, here are some of the traditional marketing channels that may still be relevant to your business;
#1. Out of Home Marketing (OOH)
OOH marketing is one of the digital marketing channels you can leverage to grow your brand. It’s a marketing technique that you can use to communicate with your customers or audiences outside their homes or businesses.
Out of Home Marketing is a form of visual advertising media. It uses more images to convey a marketing message to your audience.
Examples of OOH marketing are; billboards, signs, street furniture, benches and bus shelters, stadiums, retail malls, and cinemas, etc.
Broadcasting is one of the traditional marketing channels that will help you understand the difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing.
It involves transmitting information or programs through mediums like television and radio.
Broadcasting can help you reach a large number of people easily. It’s an effective channel for increasing brand awareness.
You can use television to create more appealing commercials because it allows for visual presentation of the product you are advertising. Television also allows you to demonstrate the functionality of your product to your audience.
Unlike other mediums, a radio broadcast tends to effectively reach a more local audience.
#3. Print Media
Print media marketing is a traditional marketing technique that advertises products and services through print media like newspapers, magazines, and other print mediums like books and journals.
It is a mass marketing approach that you can use to reach a large audience. You can also use print media to target a specific group of people.
For instance, if you sell female fashion apparel, you can advertise your brand in women’s or fashion magazines.
#4. Direct Mail
Direct mail is also one of the traditional marketing channels. It involves sending commercial literature to your prospects via postal mail.
Examples of direct mail marketing are; brochures, letters, postcards, catalogs, flyers, and other printed materials that you can directly distribute to your customers.
The essence of direct mail marketing is to create awareness about your products and services.
Direct mail marketing is an effective traditional marketing strategy that can help you generate new leads and increase your revenue.
Telemarketing is one of the most common traditional marketing techniques. It’s also called cold calling.
Telemarketing involves contacting, informing, and persuading your potential customers over the phone.
You can use cold calling to market your products or services, generate leads, and create awareness for your brand.
What are the Advantages of Traditional Marketing?
To better understand the difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing, we will briefly look at some of the advantages of traditional marketing.
#1. Diverse Audience
One of the advantages of traditional marketing is that it allows businesses to reach a large and diverse range of audiences. From billboard advertisements to television, and radio, your message will be extended to different areas and likely to reach your target audience.
When your marketing message is transmitted via a traditional channel, a new audience will become familiar with your brand and product offering.
You tend to scale your business faster when you reach a diverse audience. That is why some brands still consider traditional marketing as a preferred marketing technique for onboarding new customers.
#2. Greater Brand Exposure
Traditional marketing is highly effective when it comes to giving exposure to your brand. It’s easier for your audience to process and record hard copy marketing materials. So, it’s likely to perform better.
A traditional marketing campaign surrounds your audience with great value propositions, messages, and products. And when such a campaign is out in the public, more people are likely to patronize such brands.
Have you noticed that you are more likely to buy an item you saw on traditional channel ads like billboards or television when you go to a convenience store? Well, that’s the potency of traditional marketing.
#3. Credibility Builder
When you target a local audience, traditional marketing gives more credibility to your brand than digital marketing.
Local people consider printed content and advertisements on larger mediums more credible and trustworthy.
Generally, traditional marketing techniques are not for companies with limited budgets. And if your brand can afford to run an ad in a commercial on television or radio, it gives your audience the impression that the company is financially viable.
Such an impression builds credibility and gradually grows the brand over time.
#4. Reusable Promotional Materials
One of the unique advantages of traditional marketing is that you can reuse promotional materials.
You can use the same TV ad, flyers, business cards, or brochures several times. And the approaches can leave a lasting effect on your target audience.
So, you don’t spend money repeatedly on creating content whenever you want to create a traditional marketing campaign.
#5. Better Connection
In traditional marketing, you can easily connect with a local audience. With broadcast media like radio, you can advertise your business and convey marketing messages to many local audiences.
Furthermore, channels like marketing brochures, newspaper ads, local TV commercials, and billboards can strategically place your brands at the heart of your audience community and consumer base.
And this will make your effort to reach your audience more authentic and less artificial.
Now you know the advantages of traditional marketing techniques over digital marketing. It will further help you understand the difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing.
Disadvantages of Traditional Marketing
Traditional marketing techniques are not all rosy. Certain limitations discourage brands (especially startups) from using these techniques.
Here are some of the disadvantages of Traditional Marketing;
Traditional marketing is very expensive. It’s costly to promote your business in newspapers or distribute marketing leaflets and brochures.
You will need to pay for the development of the ads before you buy a spot in any of the traditional channels.
And most times, you may have to spend a lot of money before your traditional marketing adverts start yielding results.
But that’s not the case in digital marketing. With a small budget, you can launch a digital marketing campaign.
You may even spend less on advertising if you already have a presence on platforms like Facebook or Instagram.
#2. It’s Difficult to Measure Traditional Marketing
A major area of difference between traditional and digital marketing is measurability. Compared to digital marketing, you can’t easily measure the success of your traditional marketing promotional activities.
You can’t get the exact figures in traditional marketing, even though you can estimate TV viewership and billboard drive-bys.
But you can identify KPIs along your digital marketing funnel. You can tell how many people visited your landing page and those who bought your products and services.
#3. Traditional Marketing Communicates Less Information
The message delivery capacity of traditional marketing is far less than that of digital marketing. But that is not the case in digital marketing.
Digital marketing enables you to provide your audience with limitless information about your brand, products, and services. It all starts with a click on your ads (it could be banner or link ads).
Once your audience visits your website through an online channel, they can learn a lot more about your business. All they have to do is – navigate through the different pages on your website.
But in traditional marketing, you have to deliver your marketing message in a few square inches of space or a few seconds with print and broadcast media channels.
#4. It’s Time Consuming
Traditional marketing is rigid and time-consuming. Once you launch a traditional marketing campaign, it doesn’t give room for adjustment.
For instance, if you want to print your ads in the daily newspaper, you must prepare them in advance. That is because once you publish it, you can’t make any corrections.
But in digital marketing, you can adjust your ads in real-time to optimize their efficiency. This is another major difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing.
#5. It’s Difficult to Target and Sub-segment
Most traditional marketing channels don’t give room for segmentation and targeting. These channels target a wide range of audiences including those that may not be interested in your brand.
But in digital marketing, there’s a high level of market segmentation. It allows you to precisely target your prospects based on different factors like their ages, income, gender, location, etc.
With digital marketing, you can get your ads in front of a niche audience. But that is almost impossible in traditional marketing.
Now you understand the concept of traditional marketing, its features, advantages, disadvantages, and relevance in today’s business environment.
In the next section, we will discuss digital marketing, its features, its pros, and its cons. This will help you understand how to apply digital and traditional marketing techniques in your business.
What is Digital Marketing?
Traditional marketing may still be impactful and effective, but we are in the internet age. So, it’s natural for brands to give priority to digital marketing.
Although, some brands leverage multi-channel marketing (a blend of digital and traditional marketing) to grow their business, increase sales, and boost revenue.
In the next few paragraphs, we will discuss the meaning of digital marketing, its pros, and its cons. Hopefully, you will understand the difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing.
Digital marketing uses the internet and other online-based digital technology to promote your products and services. Experts describe it as the new face of marketing.
According to Statista, as of January 2021, there were 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide. And that amounts to about 59.5% of the global population. From this population of active internet users, 92.6% accessed the internet via their mobile devices.
Furthermore, experts estimated that there would be 2.14 billion global digital buyers in 2021. Yeah, that’s huge!
I hope you now understand why brands are giving more attention to digital marketing. And with more and more people shopping online every year, there’s never been a better time to take your business online.
There are several channels digital marketers use to reach their audience. Some of these channels are; social media, website, content marketing, affiliate marketing, inbound marketing, email marketing, pay-per-click, search engine marketing, etc.
What Makes Digital Marketing a Powerful Tool?
Whether you are a startup or an established brand, digital marketing provides an even playing field for all. That is why it’s the most powerful marketing tool in the 21st century.
It doesn’t matter how much money you have to spend, you need the right strategy. Otherwise, the campaign may not yield the desired result.
In a nutshell, digital marketing is a game of strategy. And if you understand how the game works, you can scale your business, attract more customers, and boost your revenue.
But in traditional marketing, there’s no level playing field for all. The more money you have to spend, the more effective your traditional channel will be.
Types of Digital Marketing
There are different types of digital marketing. These various digital marketing channels will help you understand the difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing.
Here are some of the types of digital marketing;
#1. Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization is one of the most popular types of digital marketing. It involves optimizing your website to rank at the top spot of search engine results. And this will get more organic traffic to your website.
#2. Content Marketing
Content marketing is a form of digital marketing that focuses on developing, publishing, and promoting content.
Every piece of content you develop is tailored towards creating brand awareness, increasing traffic to your website, and generating more leads.
#3. Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing involves helping your prospects find your brand through content marketing, branding, social media, etc. It attracts, converts, closes, and puts a smile on your customers’ face.
#4. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is one of the most popular types of digital marketing. it involves promoting your brand and its offering over social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, etc.
With the right strategy, social media marketing will create more awareness for your brand, attract traffic, and generate more leads.
#5. Pay Per Click (PPC)
PPC is a paid form of digital marketing. It’s an advertising model that you can use to drive more traffic to your website. But you will have to pay the publisher a certain amount every time users click on your ad.
PPC ads always appear on Google and Bing search result pages.
#6. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a digital marketing technique that involves promoting your company’s offering on other people’s websites or platforms.
In this technique, the owners of the platforms or websites promote your products or services, and they get a commission for every sale you get through their website.
#7. Marketing Automation
Marketing automation is unique software designed to perform repetitive marketing tasks effectively.
Here are some of the tasks you can perform with marketing automation software;
- Create relationships with buyers through engagement marketing
- Streamline your email marketing process
- Create a custom offer with personalization
- Nurture your prospective customers
- Score leads for sales readiness
- Test variables
- Determine your marketing ROI through analytics
#8. Email Marketing
Email marketing is a digital marketing technique that uses email to market new products, offers and creates awareness about related discounts.
#9. Online PR
Online public relations uses online platforms like social media, blogs, forums, digital press releases, etc. to boost a brand’s reputation. It’s a digital marketing technique brands use to build an online reputation with their customers.
Read Also: Social Media Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
Why Do Brands Prefer Digital Marketing?
We have discussed the difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing. You now have a proper understanding of traditional and digital marketing techniques.
In this section, we will look at the reasons why brands prefer digital marketing.
So, here are the reasons companies now prefer digital marketing to traditional marketing.
#1. Highly Cost-effective
Digital marketing is budget-friendly. Regardless of your advertising budget, you can still use digital marketing channels to promote your products and services.
Even if you don’t have enough money to invest in paid promotional channels, you can leverage other channels like social media, search engine optimization, etc., to build your brand.
#2. It Levels the Playing Field
Digital marketing provides equal and similar opportunities to all brands (regardless of their size). It doesn’t matter whether you are an established company or a startup, there’s a perfect strategy for you to scale your business.
#3. It Helps You Connect with Your Audience Better
Digital marketing helps to create a better connection between brands and their customers. All you have to do is – consistently create valuable content that addresses some of your audience’s needs.
When you create high-quality content, it’s easy to influence your audience. And that will make them loyal to your brand.
And when you continue at this rate, you tend to become a thought leader in your niche in no time.
So, whether you are a solopreneur, an entrepreneur, or an established brand, digital marketing allows you to become a sensation in your niche.
Try to understand your audience, their pain points, and some of their frequently asked questions.
Once you can do this, you are likely to become a thought leader in your niche. For instance, in the digital marketing space, people often trust content from the following websites; Hubspot, Tycoono, Neil Patel, Backlinko, etc.
#4. Increases Conversion
Digital marketing allows you to use different channels to attract visitors to your website. You can get traffic through your social media platforms, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Affiliate Marketing, PPC, etc.
And the more traffic you attract to your website, the more you are likely to make sales.
#5. Higher Revenue Generation
Generally, digital marketing increases customer engagement and conversion. And this will lead to more sales and revenue.
In recent times, digital marketing has helped several brands scale their business to the international market without stress.
#6. Create Brand Awareness
Digital marketing is the fastest way to create massive global awareness for your brand. With email marketing, social media marketing, and content marketing, you can keep your customers updated about new products, offers, discounts, etc.
The best part of it? You don’t need to break the bank to use digital marketing techniques. All you have to do is – understand your audience and develop a strategy to engage them.
#7. Helps You Realize Higher ROI
Digital marketing techniques are designed in a way that you can reap higher revenue with a small budget. And this will help you to get a better return on investment.
By now, you should know the difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing. Furthermore, this article discusses the traditional and digital marketing techniques and explains why brands prefer digital marketing.
But to wrap up this article, it’s safe to say that digital marketing has evolved. And it has become more popular than traditional marketing.
However, you can still use a blend of traditional and digital marketing strategies to create brand awareness, promote your products, and build relationships with your prospects, leads, and customers.
Tycoono can help you develop results-oriented digital marketing strategies that not only complement your traditional marketing strategies but will help you grow your business and compete favorably in your niche.