Differences Between Digital Marketing and Traditional Marketing

The internet has changed the way we live our every day lives, but it has also had an impact on the way businesses function. This primarily relates to the way businesses market themselves and their brand image; the marketing environment has split into two, traditional marketing and digital marketing. Traditional marketing involves mass marketing techniques such as TV and radio ads, as well as print campaigns, whereas digital marketing focuses on online methods, involving social media campaigns. These two different approaches differ in many ways, keep reading to find out more.


Promotion Vs Awareness

The first way in which digital marketing and traditional marketing differ is that one focuses on promotion and the other brand awareness. When you think of marketing, you probably associate it with advertising, whereas digital media isn’t advertising. Essentially, digital media is a tool used to familiarize people with a certain brand as opposed to promote a purchase. The main priority of traditional advertising such as TV adverts, radio adverts and print campaigns is to encourage the viewer to go out and purchase the product. However, when it comes to digital marketing, the primary goal is to make consumers aware of a brand and the image it wishes to portray.



Recommendations and word of mouth have always been a motivator for buyer behaviour. Traditional marketing often uses mass marketing techniques, however it relies on people talking to their friends about what they have seen and if they believe it is a good product. However, SEO services and social media makes suggesting a product or a brand to someone much easier. It is possible to post pictures, comments or share a post from a brand on your social media platforms which easily allows people to recommend businesses to their friends. Furthermore, if a brand chooses to use a celebrity ambassador to promote their products through traditional methods it is obvious that it is a paid endorsement. This differs from newer digital methods, where celebrity endorsements appear much more personal and organic. Essentially, digital marketing provides a free, easy platform for people to share their thoughts.



Due to the methods used in traditional marketing methods, it can often be quite difficult to track the success of the methods used. This is generally down to the fact that many methods are considered as mass marketing and in order to track statics, it would be expensive and time consuming. In contrast, digital marketing methods have a huge focus on analytics and tracking the efficiency of the techniques used. For instance, many businesses use tools such as Google Analytics to establish how much traffic is coming from different social networks and techniques; this is done to understand where businesses need to improve and what methods are effective. Analytics make it easier for brands to make decisions and understand where they should spend their money.



It is hard to say if traditional marketing or digital marketing is more effective; each technique has its benefits and drawbacks. Furthermore, it could be suggested that the situation and company play a part in which method should be used. However, it is possible to compare the two techniques side by side to concisely assess how they differ and what they have in common.


Traditional Marketing Digital Marketing
·       One-way conversation- the brand is talking at the consumer

·       Passive involvement as the brand has created content for the customer to view and there is no further need for interaction

·       About the brand and what they have to offer

·       Pre produced content

·       Polished and prepared content

·       Poor analytics

·       Two-way conversation through the interaction between the brand and the customer

·       Active involvement on social channels to engage with the consumer

·       About the consumer and their needs

·       Real time/ live creation

·       Authentic and organic content

·       Detailed analytics

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