Traditional Marketing vs. Digital Marketing: Which One Is Better?

Traditional Marketing vs. Digital Marketing: Which One Is Better?

You can capture the audience’s attention in many ways – though a cleverly placed video in their feed, or an eye-catching billboard on their daily commute. Obtaining people’s attention is one of the most important aspects of marketing in a business. There are two main ways to grab eyeballs – traditional marketing and digital marketing. 

Although they share few similarities, they are both unique in their own way.  

Traditional Marketing  

The term “traditional marketing” refers to marketing without the use of the internet for advertising purposes. This method has been around for decades. A traditional marketing strategy uses media, TV, or magazines to advertise a business’s products and services.  

Traditional marketing also covers billboards, TV commercials, print ads, flyers, direct mailers and SMS notifications. Our ears and eyes are constantly met with these ads as we listen to the radio or watch the billboards as we drive by. Daily life is dominated by them – because they have several strengths. 


  • Traditional marketing can be very effective if you want to reach an older demographic. People aged 50+ read the newspaper and watch TV almost twice as often as those aged 21-34.  
  • Local businesses tend to be the best candidates for this type of marketing strategy. Rather than competing for digital space against larger companies, a small business should compete for attention through billboards, flyers, and events. 
  • TV or radio commercials will play multiple times and remind the audience of the business, but digital marketing items may be skipped through or blocked. 



  • The cost of printing flyers, posters, or mailers for distribution to a local audience can be prohibitive, and there’s no guarantee the recipient will be interested in your product/service. 
  • It may take weeks or months for traditional marketing methods to yield results and data. It is impossible to tell whether someone has read your newspaper ad unless they follow up. However, unless you conduct a survey, you cannot tell if the advertisement was the reason for the follow-up. 
  • Advertisers face challenges because it is expensive and difficult to measure its effectiveness. There is a relatively low level of engagement, a low conversion rate, and a static nature to it. 
  • Traditional marketing is also difficult to customize. The advertisement cannot be edited once it has been placed.  
  • Communication is one-way, and the audience cannot be targeted. 


Why Traditional Marketing? 

Digital marketing vs. traditional marketing is always a hot topic. Throughout our daily routine, we’re bombarded with traditional marketing. From starting your day watching commercials on TV, to listening to radio ads while you drive past billboards, banners, and flyers on the way to work – you can’t escape it. Unlike ads on social media, you can’t “skip.” 

This is the strength of traditional marketing. It’s widespread, repetitive, and in-your-face. It seeps into the collective consciousness. This is very useful for some companies, such as film productions, big events, and consumer goods. Traditional marketing is also very useful when it comes to marketing to the older population.  


Digital Marketing 

Digital marketing address many of these problems faced in traditional marketing. Trends and new technologies drive the evolution of digital marketing strategies which cover all internet and smartphone content. They aren’t as old as traditional methods, but they sure are powerful. 

Digital marketing methods cover website content, email campaigns, content marketing, social media ads, search engine optimization, and affiliate marketing. This type of marketing uses the internet and social media to advertise businesses. 

These strategies are so popular due to consumers’ frequent use of the internet and mobile devices. I mean, how many times have you checked your social media notifications today? At present, there are 4.95 billion active internet users and 4.62 billion active social media users, according to DataReportal. It makes sense to market online and through social media when those numbers are that high. 



  • Digital marketing has a relatively high level of engagement. It is very dynamic, as it is fast to convert and can be easily customized, edited, and rolled out. The system allows for two-way communication with quick and live results. 
  • It is possible to track audience participation and data instantly. The information you receive when someone clicks on a link to your site, reads an email, or follows you on social media is available immediately. Using this data, you can identify what type of content works best for a specific audience, which mediums are most effective, and even what time of day is most engaging. 
  • Digital marketing isn’t expensive, so everyone can take advantage of it. The cost of digital marketing strategies is much lower. For example, the cost of sending an email campaign is much lower than printing and mailing postcards individually. 
  • Because digital marketing has a broad scope, it works well for more global or scattered audiences. 


  • Some internet users have ad blockers, so they won’t see pop-ups or banner ads. If a user subscribes to a premium service (e.g., Spotify, Hulu, Twitch), ads can be skipped or removed. 
  • Considering that new technology and trends emerge so frequently, digital marketing tactics need to be evaluated and reevaluated for effectiveness continuously. What works well one day may not work the next. An understanding of the basics of digital marketing can help combat this. 


Why Digital Marketing? 

Thanks to rapidly evolving technology, today, people can do marketing from the comfort of their homes with nothing but internet and a smartphone. This cuts down on transportation, inventory and other associated costs.  

Globally, these strategies are becoming more popular due to the frequent usage of social media and the internet in general. Billions of people use the internet every single day. Thus, internet advertising makes so much more sense than television or magazines. 

Technological advancements will continue to evolve digital marketing methods and strategies in the future. 

Digital marketing has many advantages over traditional marketing. Data collection and audience tracking are easy. If someone uses your site, follows you on social media, or messages you, you can easily obtain the information. 

Moreover, many platforms allow businesses to advertise their services for free. Email can be sent and received without cost. Printing and sending individual postcards require a lot of money in traditional strategies. The global reach of digital marketing allows businesses to reach out to a larger audience. 

Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing 

Comparing traditional marketing with digital marketing, which strategy wins? 

It depends… 

For most businesses, digital marketing is the best option. With digital marketing, you can reach a particular group of people wherever they are, while keeping your costs low. It will also allow you to collect valuable information about your audience immediately, so that you can create even more effective marketing campaigns. 

Traditional marketing still has its place, however. If you want to reach an older audience or a local audience, traditional marketing may be more efficient and effective. There’s a reason why these methods have stuck around for so long. Those strategies work! 

To choose the right marketing strategy for your business, consider your audience and where they get their information. As traditional and digital marketing serve different purposes, it’s not necessarily true that one is better than the other. In order to select the right strategy, you must fully understand your business and your audience. 

How Should You Market Your Business? 

In general, digital marketing is more cost-effective and more targeted than traditional marketing, which can reach a broader audience. When deciding which type of marketing to use, consider your budget and target market. 

Ultimately, the nature of your business and goals will determine which type of marketing is best for you. 

Create Smart Marketing Content with SwaysEast 

Digital marketing is a powerful tool, but it can be difficult to know where and how to start. With so many moving parts, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But if you approach your content with a comprehensive strategy in mind, the results will speak for themselves. 

SwaysEast offers a suite of smart digital marketing tools to help brands create innovative solutions and experience their very own AI digital marketing success stories. Book for a FREE APPOINTMENT today.