Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing : The Difference

DSM Digital School of marketing - the difference

Is digital marketing overriding and surpassing traditional marketing? The discussion continues. Several think that digital marketing has taken over and that traditional marketing hardly exists at all.

Digital Marketing is on the rise

Over the last year it has been said that the use of traditional marketing has fallen sharply and in the same timeframe people turning to using digital marketing has increased exponentially. With this being said, what are the advantages and disadvantages of using digital marketing over traditional marketing? Should we be following the trend and throwing traditional marketing by the wayside? What is the difference between digital and traditional marketing? Read of to find out more.

Firstly, what is traditional marketing?

Traditional marketing is any type of promotion, advertising or marketing campaign that’s been used by companies for years which has yielded success. The methods that are used in traditional marketing are tangible items like:

  • Business cards,
  • Print ads in newspapers or magazines
  • Posters,
  • Commercials on TV and radio,
  • Billboards, and
  • Brochures

Traditional marketing uses anything except digital to brand your product or logo.

Another form of traditional marketing which is overlooked is when people find a specific business through a referral system or network and build a rapport with them.

So, what is digital marketing?

Basically, digital marketing is marketing done online. Businesses control their online marketing presence through digital channels like Google search, social media, e-mail and their respective websites to reach current and prospective customers.

Digital marketing is comparable to traditional marketing, but the difference is that digital marketing uses digital devices. Nevertheless, it is measured as a form of inbound marketing because its aim is for people to find you through:

  • Content in the form of blogs or online press releases,
  • Online adverts,
  • Organic online search, and
  • Paid search.

The more people who see you or your content frequently, the more familiar they will become with your brand. This will lead to you developing a relationship with your customers online.

DSM Social Media Marketing

What are the advantages and disadvantages of traditional marketing?


  • Traditional marketing methods have high success rate and are proven to work instead of digital marketing methods where clients/customers have to access an online medium and be Internet savvy.
  • Traditional marketing can help supplement your brand’s exposure to make up for clients/customers you miss out on by only using digital marketing.


  • A print ad or advertising commercial which promotes your product is static. You can’t change the ad unless you place another one.
  • It’s difficult to target a specific customer and get accurate results using print advertisements.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of digital marketing?


  • With digital marketing extend your reach globally as a website allows you to find new markets.
  • Digital marketing costs a lot less if it’s planned properly.
  • Your digital campaign reaches the right customers at a lower cost than traditional methods as you can track and measure your results.
  • You can personalise your website which allows you to refine your customer profile and market effectively to them.
  • Digital marketing allows you to access various social media platforms which can help you to build engaging campaigns and assist with conversion rates.


  • Digital campaigns can be copied. Trademarks or logos can be used to defraud customers and steal market share from you.
  • Your marketing can get drowned by too much online ad clutter.
  • If your internet marketing is not done professionally it won’t be taken seriously.
  • Too much competition and negative feedback can harm your reputation online.
  • As the Internet depends on technology, it can be prone to errors.

Get in touch with the Digital School of Marketing

Whether you use traditional marketing or digital marketing for your business, you need to know the difference between the two and how they work as well as what you stand to gain and lose if you use digital or traditional marketing. If you want to learn more about digital marketing and how this can benefit your business, visit the Digital School of Marketing’s (DSM) website to see our full range of courses.

DSM Digital School of Marketing Digital Marketing course registration