With the introduction of digital marketing, the never-ending comparison with traditional marketing seems not to end. This post carefully considers the question of digital marketing vs. traditional marketing to aid entrepreneurs who constantly debate which of these marketing types they should incorporate into their marketing strategy.

What is the best marketing strategy? Is traditional marketing still as effective in this digital age? What is the advantage of digital marketing to businesses?

At one point in your business, you need to delve into marketing. It could be service-based or even product-based. Every business has products to market to potential customers or services they wish to render to an audience. 

This post carefully considers the question of digital marketing vs. traditional marketing to aid entrepreneurs who constantly debate which of these marketing types they should incorporate into their marketing strategy.

Definition of marketing.

Marketing involves the processes involved in promoting, selling, and disturbing a product or service. Marketing can be likened to a strategy used to reach and create awareness among your target audience of the products or services you can offer them.

When it comes to digital marketing and traditional marketing, understanding each concept will enable you to decide what strategy to best use for marketing your products and services.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing, also known as online marketing, is creating visibility and awareness of your brand, product, or services to attract potential customers using the internet or any other digital outlets like video games, DVDs, digital billboards/electronic billboards, etc. 

As the name implies, it is simply marketing your products or services digitally.

For example;

  • Blog sites
  • Websites
  • Emails
  • Webinars 
  • Social media 

The saying ‘the world is going digital’ is not new anymore to our ears because most of the offers, news, information, and adverts we hear, see, and know come from the internet.

Digital marketing continues to evolve, and it has become one of the fastest-growing marketing strategies used by business owners in this century. 

For instance, most newspaper stands are now deserted and traded for daily news updates on our mobile phones. The adverts meant to market a particular business might no longer be accessed by potential customers.

Out of 7.7 billion people globally, 1.66 billion people shop online each year, says Statista. That is more than half of the total world population. 

Crazy, right? 

This stat solidifies that most traditional marketing strategies are entirely out of reach by potential audiences.   

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 Photo by Elio Santos on Unsplash

Types of Digital Marketing

You can use various digital platforms to reach your target audience with digital marketing. These are the different types of digital marketing:

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): 

SEO is the process of channeling organic traffic to your website to improve its presence by optimizing your content and website for search engines. 

When a searcher looks online for products or services you offer, search engines will present you to them, which helps you gain visibility. This helps because if you can gain visibility, the probability of you getting customers will increase.


2. Email Marketing

Email marketing is the trend at the moment! Business owners have realized the benefit of email marketing and how it helps them stay connected to their audience and buyers. 

Email marketing is a type of marketing used to send out messages that promotes or advertise a business to a mass number of people so they can take action. 

Email marketing is mainly targeted at customers to create awareness of their promotions, offers, discounts, or new products. An email list is designed to handle the email addresses of the individuals or organizations you wish to reach out to.

3. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing can be described as paying a person or company to promote your products or services to increase your reach and sales. You are practically just paying another party to market your business while they earn through an affiliate link.

Look at Selar, for example.

Read more on affiliate marketing: blog monetization.

4. Pay per click (PCP)

Pay-per-click is a known digital marketing strategy that allows users to click on adverts and view what your products or services are about and possibly turn them into customers. When one clicks on an advert, the publisher gets paid an amount of money by the advertiser.

Using a real-life example: assuming you have a product to sell, and you approach me as a blogger to help market your product to my audience. Each time my audience clicks on your advert through my page, I get paid while you make sales.

If you use this digital marketing strategy, you need to use a publisher in your niche and not any random publisher.

5. Social Media Marketing

After SEO, I would say social media marketing tops the chart, although some experts have argued that social media marketing is more effective than SEO. Social media marketing uses social media platforms for marketing your products and services. This type of marketing also helps you communicate and build a relationship with your audience while making a profit.

6. Content marketing

This type of marketing requires you to create important and helpful content for your audience so that they become attracted to your products and services. It is a means to engage your audience to convert them into customers. Check out our blog post on five reasons why content marketing is important for your business 

What is Traditional Marketing?

Traditional marketing is any marketing done without using the internet or electronic outlets. Though the name is  ‘traditional,’ many of the channels and platforms used in this type of marketing are not entirely out of service, and the majority of them are still very much utilized to date. 

Some examples of traditional marketing are:

  • Direct mail
  • Radio and television
  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Physical shops, e.g., kiosks and malls
  • Billboards, flyers, and posters

Even if there are still responses from customers using these channels, how effective is traditional marketing?

Since the COVID-19 lockdown when people had to stay at home, the traditional marketing strategy of promoting businesses dwindled. Companies, businesses, and brands were pushed to sort for other means of marketing their products and services.

This showed the limitation of traditional marketing and emphasized the need for every business owner to have at least one effective digital marketing strategy in place for their businesses.

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Types of Traditional Marketing

1. Broadcast

This involves radio and television in advertising and reaching a large audience.

2. Direct mail

Direct mail sends messages through postcards and fliers to specific people’s mailboxes. This traditional marketing is targeted to a particular audience.

3. Print media

This traditional marketing works through the use of prints to advertise to customers. Newspapers and magazines are regular for this marketing, but billboards and posters also fit into this category.

4. Direct sales

Direct sales are called direct contact with your customers and persuading them to buy from you. Direct sales can also be made over mobile phones.

Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing

This post carefully considers the question of digital marketing vs. traditional marketing to aid entrepreneurs who constantly debate which of these marketing types they should inc
Photo by SARMLife

Choosing the best marketing strategy from these two marketing methods is challenging for most business owners. While traditional marketing has not gone into extinction and is still in use, we find it slowly fading out. 

Digital marketing, on the other hand, has been steadily eclipsing most traditional marketing techniques while also getting updated with current changes and trends.

Reaching an agreeable stop on the best marketing strategy for your brand or business is crucial. 

5 Facts about Digital Marketing compared to Traditional Marketing

You should consider these five facts before settling on the marketing strategy to use.

1. Digital marketing is measurable.

Digital marketing sales and outcomes can be measured and monitored using digital analysis. The records of digital marketing are stored online, making it easy to analyze how effective your marketing strategy is. 

However, traditional marketing does not support simple marketing analysis, and companies will have to take surveys from customers before analyzing. This can be both time-consuming and stressful.

The cost will also be on the high side as you might need to pay for print media and contract workers to help distribute surveys.

2. Digital marketing provides a platform for communicating both ways. 

A business can create awareness of its products and services and allow the customers to respond. 

You can break the bridge between distance and location, get to communicate, and make your customers happy as they feel important and part of your business. 

In comparison, traditional marketing creates awareness without a platform for its customers to share back with them. 

Like a poster advertising Coca-Cola or a paper section showing a product, it creates awareness. Still, it leaves little to no room for communication about how you feel concerning their products and services.

3. Digital marketing is cost-friendly.

It does not require you to break a bank to market your products. The printing of fliers and paying for T.V. or radio commercials are eradicated. Having magazines and newspapers bill you for space(s) to advertise your products is also avoided. Traditional marketing is costlier than digital marketing. Paying for advertisements in broadcasting agencies and printing enough fliers to reach your target audience is quite expensive for business owners, especially startup entrepreneurs.

4. Digital marketing is never restricted to a local audience. 

Using digital marketing allows you to reach different potential customers worldwide. Digital marketing has proven to have the power to take your business to a global level. Imagine having customers from all around the world. That’s cool. 

However, traditional marketing is streamlined to marketing your products to a local audience, mainly the people around your vicinity. This is limiting because your potential clients go way beyond your environment. 

5. Digital marketing gives quick results.

With this kind of turn-up from digital marketing, a company can make the next move early and plan other marketing strategies. Traditional marketing, on the other hand, produces slow results from marketing. As a result, the company experiences a delay, and it takes longer to make certain decisions that can project the company forward.

How Digital Marketing helps in business growth

Digital marketing can help your business grow tremendously, and here is how:

1. Increase sales

The reason businesses are set up is to make sales and profit from them. Digital marketing will influence your customer’s behavior to purchase your products and use your services because you have already made them feel comfortable by building relationships. 

2. Make better strategies

Digital marketing gives you the advantage of having records holding your marketing sales. This makes it easy for you to plan better and strategize on the next step after seeing the result of marketing online.

3. Save on profit more

You save more instead of paying costly fees to market your products offline. Digital marketing helps you save your money while still bringing in the profit that drives you to do business. 

Digital marketing is steadily taking over the marketing world, and most businesses are venturing in to get the best out of it. However, knowing the type of digital marketing that will be best for your business is equally as important as the digital marketing and traditional marketing debate. 

Ultimately, I will advise most entrepreneurs to utilize both of these methods in their marketing campaigns, especially if they can afford it. 

A minor percentage of your customer base will probably be conservative, and it will do well to reach these minorities. Also, in cases where technology can fail, your traditional marketing strategy can step in.

So, you use digital marketing to get to the majority and traditional marketing to get to the minority. This way, you can cover 100% of your potential clients.


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