Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing [The Real Comparison]

Published by Avenir Education on

Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing

In this article, we have shown the REAL comparison between Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing to clear all your doubts and help you choose the best form of marketing for your company.

There is a constant debate between conventional thinkers & modern-day marketing strategists to determine the outcome of the battle between traditional marketing & digital marketing.

Having practiced digital marketing for more than 5 years now, we are of the clear opinion that digital marketing is a comprehensive winner. However, we understand that a large section of business owners, decision-makers still feel apprehensive about switching over to digital marketing.

The main reason behind this apprehension, as we have observed, is the lack of detailed & objective view of the benefits of digital marketing over traditional marketing.

The argument is not to run down traditional marketing in its absolute sense, but to adapt to newer times & extract modern solutions for modern-day challenges.

Let’s take a brief view of what both these marketing mediums have to offer:-

Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing

  • Print media includes any kind of marketing undertaken by way of newspaper ads, magazines, flyers, brochures, etc.
  • Billboards are the various hoardings or advertising boards you see on the streets & roads
  • Marketing campaigns run through FM radio channels is another form of traditional marketing
  • TV or commercial breaks are extensively used by big brands for advertising & prime time slots are most sought after

While we are all well familiar with these mediums, it is worth looking into the disadvantages posed by these hugely popular marketing channels



The biggest drawback of traditional marketing is that it is immensely generic in nature. No matter what your budget is, but all these channels are meant for a specific customer group but shown to everyone, that means you are spending a sizeable amount of your budget marketing your product to a section of the audience that will NEVER NEED it, let alone buy it!

Take, for instance, the jewelry ads which are a regular feature of our morning newspapers. Statistically, males form a huge percentage of readers of newspapers and hence, the ad might go completely unnoticed or even intentionally ignored.

Billboards face the same issue as they are preferably installed at a prime location but prime only in terms of potential footfall. A busy intersection in the city might have thousands of ‘viewers’ every day in a Tier-1 city but how many find it relevant?


Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing

Contrary to popular perception, traditional marketing is costly in an absolute sense. The way traditional marketers sell it makes it SOUND CHEAP.

Newspaper ads, for example, are sold at a high cost solely based on the reach. A major publication like Times of India or Hindustan Times will easily garner a readership of 50+ lakh people and you will be shown the per-reader cost which obviously will sound reasonable.

But the downside (and reality) is you are being charged on the following parameters:

  • Size of the Ad
  • Color or Black/White
  • Number of Lines/Words
  • Number of Circulation Zones to be covered

Can you imagine the limitation you will face while describing your product in a few lines?

Will you really want to go for a black & white ad in today’s times?

Do you really think you will get reasonable inquiries by running the ad, just one time?

Basically, the entire newspaper ad campaign is built on upselling principles & hope for return is best left to God!


Traditional marketing provides absolutely no scope for user engagement. Once an ad has been run, you have no feedback, no room for re-marketing.

Traditional marketing is based on a big ‘MAYBE’ directed in the hope of converting viewers into customers rather than targeted customers into converted customers.


Another challenge posed by traditional marketing is the lack of control of the advertiser. You hand over the advertising material to a marketing agency & God forbid, they make a mistake.

Any mistake like a typo error reflecting incorrect contact number OR misspelling the very brand name or product will become a permanent feature of the campaign as you will not be able to update the information.


Traditional marketing’s biggest drawback lies in the fact that it is not measurable. By being measurable, we mean an advertiser or company should be able to measure the return on investment (RoI) or at least be able to satisfy himself that the cost has been spent in the intended direction.

A customer who walks into a shop cannot be asked if he was led there by a hoarding outside on the street or a newspaper ad. Hence, you have no way to know if your customers are a result of your advertising campaign or are they walk-ins or just a result of some good old word of mouth.

Knowing if your money is being effectively spent or not gives you the chance to revisit your strategies but unfortunately traditional marketing fails to do that!

On the other hand, the downsides of traditional marketing are indeed well taken care of in digital marketing & in fact, contribute towards making it the guiding force for future marketing.

A look at digital marketing as opposed to traditional marketing:-


  • Multiple channels within digital marketing give you a wide array of possibilities to experiment with and each is unique in its own way
  • All channels are totally non-intrusive in nature and hence, provide for a meaningful user engagement environment
  • Each channel has its own potential of becoming a steady income source
  • Most digital marketing channels are reasonably priced


Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing

The first downside of traditional marketing of being generic in nature is reversed for good when it comes to digital marketing strategies.

Digital marketing at its very core has been built for selective broadcasting which means the advertiser can and does choose his audience!

If a product or service is being introduced solely for males below 40 years of age, I need not spend my precious money showing the said advertisement to all other age groups, genders, etc.

We can filter our audience on the basis of their interests, user engagement patterns, age, gender, location, etc. If this doesn’t sound like a tool for victory, we don’t know what will.


We truly believe that people should research more & speculate less. Digital marketing has often bored the brunt of speculative advertisers who haven’t updated themselves with the times.

To tell the truth, digital marketing vs traditional marketing is far more cost-effective. For one, there is no ‘fixed cost’ of advertising; it all depends on the duration of the campaign, the desired reach and the platform on which the said advertisement has to be run.

Platforms like Facebook offer to advertise for as low as INR 100 per day with a potential reach of thousands of people!


Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing

Digital marketing would be a complete waste of time if user engagement was not possible. It aims to integrate the basic principles of advertising wherein an advertiser has the right to know how people are reacting to his campaign.

How many ‘likes’ did a campaign receive, how many times was it shared as well as the comments section where users are free to post their opinions or queries, all contribute to user engagement.

User engagement becomes a critical point as it acts as a good indicator of generating a reaction from the targeted audience. A low user engagement level can either mean that the campaign is not being well received by the targeted section & hence, should be reviewed while a high user engagement can help determine future campaign strategy.


Digital marketing campaigns run in real-time and hence, can be changed, updated, removed at the click of a button. For dynamic industries like E-commerce businesses, tackling the competitor’s deep discount pricing could prove to be a challenge if it was not for digital marketing’s real-time action.

You can change the price, theme, audience; anything at all to suit your changing needs or rectifying an error!

In a fast-paced environment, it is imperative to have an advertising campaign that can be molded as per need.


Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing

You will be amazed to know how digital marketing lets you analyze each & every aspect of your campaign. Every website, every campaign’s success or failure can be analyzed to the last bit in order to strategize for future endeavors.

  • Which age group has been most reactive to the campaign
  • Which geographic location we have had the most hits coming from
  • Which gender looks more interested in our product
  • Are the users, mobile users or desktop/laptop users
  • Which are the ones who have spent considerable time on our website
  • Which are the ones to bounce off in a few seconds and much more…

Imagine having the answers to all these questions and being in the driver’s seat for once. How to channelize your advertising budget, reviewing your target audience, ad placement, etc. can be determined only through digital marketing tools

Traditional marketing is generations away in this regard

You can practically compute your RoI for each advertising campaign and be well aware of a certain campaign has been successful or not

Digital marketing simply gives you more to play with both in terms of options; platforms, features that are not only unavailable but also impossible to incorporate in traditional marketing.

Moreover, traditional marketing only allows you to try & convert customers through the ad campaign but digital marketing gives you the option to earn from various other mediums like:-

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Influencer Marketing and many more…

We truly hope that you have gained some valuable information about the benefits of digital marketing vs traditional marketing and would be much more interested to know more about this cutting edge niche.

With AVENIR EDUCATION, you can learn all there is to learn about DIGITAL MARKETING!

With us, you can become a Google certified digital marketing professional, use digital marketing for your own business or startup or generate a second source of income.

Did you like our Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing Comparison? Share your thoughts down below in the comments section.

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