Digital Marketing Vs Traditional Marketing (Radio, TV & Print) Which Is Better In 2024

dede dan digital marketer

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With the advent of the internet in the wake of the new millennium, digital marketing vs traditional marketing has become a choice that advertisers have to make. They now have so many options which was not the case. The internet is usurping the space formerly occupied by radio, tv, and print media.

With so much competition and decline in advertising budgets, businesses cannot afford to hit and miss. You need to ensure that the advert channel you utilize gives you bang for your buck. A lot of business owners and marketing managers are in a dilemma, not sure which way to go to maximize their reach.

In this article, we are going to break down all you need to know about Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing (Radio, TV & Print). In the end, you will be clearer about which marketing channel is best for your business, both in the short and long term. Let’s start by explaining everything in-between.

What is Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing is the use of all marketing channels that don’t use the internet. This traditional concept of marketing basically includes all the marketing channels available before the advent of the internet.

Radio, TV, Newspaper and Billboardds are the most popular traditional marketing medium

This form of marketing is one-directional – the advertiser pumps our marketing messages, and in most cases, the receiver has no option to question the message. The traditional forms of marketing are very popular for local businesses and big brands where marketing budget is not so much of an issue.


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Traditional Marketing Examples

When we talk about digital marketing vs traditional marketing, there are many types of traditional marketing and approaches. Let us take a closer look at some examples of traditional marketing strategies.

Outdoor advertising
Transit Advertising
Electronic Broadcast Media
Print News Media
Direct Mail Marketing
Cold-calling/ Telemarketing
Window display and signs

Let’s look at them more in-depth

Outdoor Advertising

Outdoor advertising is any form of advertising done outdoors, typically in popular locations along the roads, where many people can see it as they pass by. These ad signs are usually placed by outdoor advertising companies who in turn lease the space from local authorities.

Outdoor advertising billboards

Outdoor advertising examples

– Billboards
– Posters
– Lamp Post signs

– Bridge Signages

Transit Advertising

Transit advertising (also known as mobile advertising) is a traditional marketing concept that involves placing adverts inside and on the exterior of commercial vehicles like Taxis and Buses. The advertising agencies rent the spaces on the vehicles after reaching an agreement with the commercial vehicle owners or companies. They then charge advertisers a premium and place their adverts on the vehicles.

Transit advertising with taxi wraps

Transit advertising examples

– Trains
– Buses
– Taxis

Electronic Broadcast Media

Electronic broadcast media is any medium that uses electronic means to disseminate information to a large number of people at the same time. The public gets access to broadcast information by means of electronic devices like radio and television sent out by broadcasting and media production companies. The following are types of broadcasting media:

Electronic Broadcast Media

Electronic Broadcasting Media examples

– Radio
– Television
– Cinema

Print News Media

Print media is one of the oldest forms of mass communication known to man. The information is printed on paper and distributed using channels, and then it finds its way to individuals via news vendors. The fact that the news finds its way to the hands of the users is one of the importance of print media.

You can rarely talk about digital marketing vs traditional marketing without mentioning the print media, led by newspapers and magazines.

newspaper and magazine Print News Media

Types of Print Media

– Newspaper
– Magazines
– Handouts (flyers)

Direct Mail Marketing

Direct mail marketing is a marketing strategy where messages are disseminated to targeted individuals through (snail) mail. Usually, the receiver will have to visit their mailbox in order to get the message. The users are meant to go through the marketing materials and place their ‘mail order’ to the direct mail companies. This form of marketing is seriously dying along with snail mail.

Direct Mail Examples

– Catalogues
– Offer Postcards
– Coupons Cards
– Non-profits Solicitation Letters

Cold-calling/ Telemarketing

Cold-calling is a form of telemarketing where a marketer reaches out to a potential client through the phone without a prior appointment, with the aim of offering a product or service. This is another old form of marketing and became mainstream when the telephone became common.

Cold calling techniques involve the use of cold-calling scripts which include the offer by the salesperson.

Cold-calling Examples

– Phone
– Text message

Window display and signs

Window displays (sometimes called window dressing) are signages mounted by retailers on the glass windows of their shop windows or doors. The ads are usually printed and come with some form of adhesive to make it stick to the glass, or could be electronic

Window display and signs

Window Signage For Business Examples

– Printed window display
– Electronic or Neon window display

What is Digital Marketing

Digital marketing (also known as internet marketing or online marketing) is any form of marketing that takes place using the internet as a medium. The receiver must have internet access in order to receive the sent marketing messages. You can liken them to non-traditional marketing.

Digital marketing is quickly upstaging traditional marketing as internet penetration expands globally. Mobile internet is making it expand even faster. As it stands, traditional media houses like radio, television, and print have had to adapt and incorporate digital marketing into their marketing strategies in order to remain relevant.

Unlike traditional approaches to marketing, the biggest appeal to digital marketing is that you can access a worldwide audience of over 4.5 billion people from any part of the world, which was almost impossible before the advent of the internet. This is the nucleus of digital marketing vs traditional marketing.

Digital Marketing Strategies

The most popular forms of internet marketing strategy in use today include:

Search engine optimization (SEO)
Email marketing
Social media marketing
Web design and development
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
Content marketing
Influencer marketing

Let us also look at each in more detail

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization

Search engine optimization (popularly known as SEO) is a form of digital marketing strategy that involves optimizing digital content to make them gain love from search engines like Google so that these search engines will place the content on the top of their search engine result pages (SERPs).

This top position is desirable for all online marketers because the top 3 results get over 50% of the clicks by web searchers. on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO are the main forms of search engine optimization.

Digital marketing SEO tactics

– On-page SEO
– Off-page SEO
– Technical SEO

Email Marketing

email marketing strategy

Email marketing is the process of sending out messages and marketing materials via electronic mails (emails). The marketer starts off by acquiring the email addresses of potential customers by mostly offering them freebies in exchange for their email addresses. Afterward, they are then put through a series of marketing messages to warm them up and sell to them.

Types of Email Marketing

– Email Newsletters
– Acquisition Emails
– Retention Emails
– Promotional Emails

Social Media Marketing (SMM)

Social media marketing is the type of marketing targeted at users of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, etc. Because users go to these channels to socialize, the platforms serve them with targeted marketing.

Social media has boomed in the last decade and is showing no signs of slowing down, even as marketers are finding more ways of using them. There are text-based, audio-based, graphic-based, and video-based social media channels that marketers use to pass their marketing messages.

Top Social Media Marketing Platforms

– Facebook
– Instagram
– Youtube
– Twitter
– Pinterest

Web Design and Development

Websites these days are equipped with various widgets and components to make them automatically target visitors for marketing. From contact sign-up forms to remarketing pixels, there is no limit to what can be achieved with web design in marketing. Web design is the digital hub when the topic is traditional marketing vs digital marketing.

Marketing Components of a Great Web Design

– Compelling Email Signup Forms
– Calls to action
– Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Analytics
– Mobile Responsiveness
– Clear Contact Information
– Customer Testimonials
– Remarketing pixels

Pay-per-click (PPC) Marketing

Pay-per-click (or PPC) is the term used to describe online advertising in general. Marketers target web users based on their digital footprints and serve them in marketing adverts. The users in turn click on the adverts that resonate with them and are redirected to the visitor website. The advertising network then charges the advertiser some money for the visitor it brought to them.

ppc advertising digital marketing

Types of PPC marketing

– Search ads
– Display ads
– Social ads
– Local ads
– Remarketing Ads
– Video Ads
– Shopping Ads
– Mail sponsored ads

Content Marketing

Content marketing is the use of various digital content types to market products and services. It usually consists of nurturing the audience until they convert to buyers through a process known as funneling.

.Content marketing types include written articles, videos, images, and audio podcasts.


Content marketing example

– Blog Articles
– Videos
– Images
– Audio Podcasts

Difference Between Traditional Marketing and Digital Marketing

Here we take a look at the differences between traditional marketing and digital marketing

Traditional Marketing Advantages/ Digital Marketing Disadvantages

Here are the advantages of traditional marketing and the disadvantages of digital marketing

Traditional Marketing personal interaction

  • Face-To-Face Interaction – Nothing beats a human face-to-face interaction made possible by most of the traditional marketing strategies. This is not the very case with digital marketing.
  • Traditional marketing establishes Credibility – Consumers tend to trust commercials placed via traditional means of advertising than those on digital marketing channels.
  • Hard Copy Marketing Materials – Consumers in most cases find it easier to handle and process hard copy traditional marketing materials like newspapers and magazines.
  • Traditional marketing connects more with the local audience – Traditional marketing channels like radio and television tend to be more popular with the local audience than digital marketing.
  • Reach A More Diverse Audience – While you can do more targeting with digital marketing, this may sometimes be a disadvantage, because some of those you didn’t target may actually be interested in your product or service. This is where Traditional marketing gives you a broader outcome.
  • Marketing Tactics Familiarity – Practitioners quickly get used to traditional marketing channels, but digital marketing keeps evolving and requires learning new tips and tricks regularly to remain current.

Disadvantages of Traditional Marketing/ Advantages of Digital Marketing

Here are the disadvantages of traditional forms of marketing. It includes the disadvantages of traditional and digital marketing advantages.

targeting in digital marketing

  • It’s more expensive – All forms of traditional marketing are more expensive when compared to digital marketing.
  • Not as measurable – There are no ways to measure the impact of most traditional marketing mediums. You just throw money at it and hope it delivers. But with digital marketing, you can measure a lot of things.
  • Takes longer to execute – Traditional forms of marketing are static and due to this, the execution takes time. This is not so with digital marketing which can be executed almost instantly.
  • Delay in response to change – It takes a lot of time and protocol to make changes to traditional marketing messages. But with digital marketing, you can instantly stop, make changes and restart the message again.
  • Unable to target audience – Just like with measurement, you cannot target a segment of the market in traditional marketing. In digital marketing, this is a breeze.
  • Less informative – Due to space and time, most traditional marketing mediums pass much less information. It will cost so much more to add more information. On the other hand, you can add as much information as you want with digital marketing.
  • Gradually losing its audience – Traditional media are losing their audience year on year, even as digital marketing is expanding.
  • Forced on consumers – The traditional marketing messages are somewhat forced and intrusive. Since there is no way of targeting the audience based on interest, those who do not care about such messages may be irritated by it.

Digital marketing vs Traditional Marketing Statistics

online search trend for radio vs social media marketing

Online search trend shows an increasing interest in social media and a deceasing interest in radio

Here are some important statistics about the digital marketing vs traditional marketing war

Traditional marketing generates 50% fewer interactions with customers than digital marketing.

SEO has a 14.6% conversion rate while traditional outbound methods such as direct mail or cold-calling have a 1.7%.

Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional methods.

The internet has become the go-to destination when shoppers want to make a decision; More than 80% of shoppers/buyers do their research online before buying.

People reading paper ads are 70% more likely to remember the company which placed the ad.

More marketers are shifting their AD spent away from traditional marketing into digital marketing. They must be seeing results.


Traditional vs digital ad spending. Courtesy

Traditional Marketing vs. Digital Marketing: Which Is Better

Without a doubt, digital marketing has been shown to produce a better result than traditional marketing. Unless there are other reasons, then there is no need to take traditional marketing over digital marketing.

As of today, 60% of marketers across various industries have already shifted their efforts towards digital marketing. There is a reason they are doing so. You need to join the train. Most took the decision after seeing the traditional marketing vs digital marketing pdf.

Though we have seen the obvious, it’s still advisable not to throw the baby together with the bathing water. If your marketing budget permits, find a way to have a mix of both digital marketing and traditional marketing. This digital with traditional marketing mix will give you the best publicity.

Traditional vs. Digital Marketing: Conclusion

With so much research and the continued penetration of the internet via mobile, it will take a miracle for traditional marketing to make a rebound and upstage digital marketing. So there is no basis for the comparison of traditional and digital marketing.

Should you need a well-rounded digital marketing team to handle your marketing, feel free to consult me and my team.

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