Differences Between Traditional Marketing And Digital Marketing?
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What are the differences between traditional marketing and digital marketing?

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Differences between digital marketing and traditional media

Digital marketing isn’t simply another channel for sharing advertising. It’s not like you craft ads like companies have for generations, then share the ads across different channels, such as radio, TV, and print. And, while you may change the execution of your ad across media, you fundamentally kept the message the same and use similar main elements in your ads regardless of channel.

Digital isn’t a channel. It’s a totally different way of looking at the world and engaging with your audience.

In my original post, which was updated a year ago, I created a table that identified differences between traditional media and social networking. I’m reproducing that here because those differences still hold in a world where we talk about digital marketing rather than social networking.

Social Media

Two-way conversation

Open system


One-on-one marketing

About you

Brand and User-generated Content

Authentic content

FREE platform

Metric: Engagement

Actors: Users/ Influencers

Community decision-making

Unstructured communication

Real-time creation

Bottom-up strategy

Informal language

Active involvement

Deep Analytics

Paid, Owned, Earned

Traditional Media

One-way conversation

Closed system


Mass marketing

About ME

Professional content

Polished content

Paid platform

Metric: Reach/ frequency

Actors/ Celebrities

Economic decision-making

Controlled communication

Pre-produced/ scheduled

Top-down strategy

Formal language

Passive involvement

Poor analytics


There are many misconceptions as to what digital marketing really is and how it differs from traditional forms of marketing. The question often asked is, which is more effective? Digital marketing is certainly more effective because of its ability to track data – but that’s not to say that traditional marketing is dead, because they both have their niche. Despite where your audience may or may not be, one thing is for certain – the impact of technology on consumers is increasing, showing no signs of slowing down.

Digital marketing has become more profitable in recent years because it works directly with the digital world we live in. Global Consulting Director, Dr. Thomas Oosthuizen talks about how measurable data is affecting how businesses can better understand their ROI. To learn more about measurable data and ROI read his corresponding blog. If your business has a website or another type of digital presence, there are ample opportunities to increase exposure, and drive more traffic to your website, ultimately making your business more money. The number one thing to always consider when investing in a service is the ROI (return on investment). The key to a good ROI is efficiency, which is pertinent for digital marketing. Let’s see what exactly makes digital marketing so efficient:

Audience Segmentation

Audience segmentation is a key component in the world of marketing. The goal of the marketer is to reach and communicate a message with their intended audience, not just anyone. This is certainly possible for traditional marketing, as you can choose what magazines you place your ads in, and decide where you place your billboards, but that’s very conservative when compared to the way that digital marketers segment their audiences.

The same could be said with digital marketing – you can choose where you place web banners and measure the stats of your social media posts, but digital marketing is measured to an exact science. For example, say you were on a website looking for shoes and you decided to think about whether or not you wanted to buy them. You eventually go on Facebook, and you notice an advertisement for the shoes you were thinking about buying right next to your trending topics. With the introduction of remarketing, consumers are constantly being exposed to advertisements for products they have already searched for and viewed online, making interacting with that product again much more likely, and even perhaps leading to a sale. There is no way traditional marketing can gauge their audience better. Traditional advertisements are unable to track or measure viewing habits, which brings us to our next example.

Data is Measured More Effectively

As far as measuring data is concerned, digital marketers are able to accurately track how well their marketing efforts are working – allowing them to make better decisions moving forward. Let’s remember the key to effective marketing is knowing how to analyze your data and implement changes based on what your data tells you. For traditional marketing, can you really say for sure how many people saw your billboard? You can estimate by generalizing how many cars drove by it, but then you have to consider the accuracy of your guess. Do you know how many people were in each car and how many of them saw it and paid attention? There is a lot of room for error. For digital marketers, measuring data is a different story because they are given a long list of statistics ranging from a simple impression (views of a particular piece) to something more complex, such as how much time someone spent on a web page and where they clicked (which can lead to why).

A Potentially Larger (and More Personal) Reach

The ability to correctly, and successfully target your demographic is crucial to your campaign’s success. For digital marketing, your demographic can range from a local to a global audience, which is something much more difficult to achieve with traditional marketing tactics. A billboard is stationed in one place and a magazine only covers so far, but the internet is everywhere. If there’s a language barrier, most, if not all internet browsers can translate the text instantly. This shows marketers that the digital world grants a potential infinite reach to their audience.

A digital presence also brings the opportunity for interaction. For instance, social media managers can respond to comments or questions, taking advantage of the opportunity to establish a personal connection with their audience. Never before has there been an interactive approach like this, other than traditional customer service.

As we shift towards a digital world, it only makes sense to adopt a method of marketing that can best reach our digital audience. By adding the element of digital tracking to the equation, an effective approach also becomes a cost-effective way to invest in your business’ marketing efforts.

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Mr. Rajveer Singh Rathore is the founder and CEO of Yug Technology, a positioning brand firm that focuses on increasing organic search visibility, website development, and software development. He is a leading expert in helping businesses use data to drive digital change. His extensive marketing experience to provide tips and insights to businesses looking to learn more about things like blogging, branding, and social media, mobile, and content marketing.