Traditional VS Digital Marketing

Marketing through the ages

Marketing has always proved itself to be essential in the success and the continuity of the company. It is one of the fundamental departments in any company. The importance of marketing has revealed itself throughout the years, and even ages. The tools used to apply the marketing strategies has changed and the channels have been developed several times.

Until the 1990’s; the prosperity of internet, digital marketing did not exist, companies used to utilize the traditional channels to apply their strategies, of course back then it was called Marketing and not Traditional Marketing. After the booming of the internet, a digital revolution was created and new marketing channels started to emerge into the marketing world.

Since then, many companies get confused on which channels to use, and what is more effective to promote their brand, products and services. They need to discover which delivers more value, adapting to Traditional or Digital Marketing. 

Traditional Marketing.

Traditional marketing involves using the traditional channel in promoting to the brand or service. For example, magazines, newspapers, TV commercials and billboards. On the other hand, digital marketing uses the digital channels. For example, websites and social media. The main difference between the two marketing tools is the channels used. However, each has pros and cons.

Traditional marketing has many pros, one of them is that it is often entertaining to the audience. For example, billboards on the streets most of the time have strong impact on the daily passengers, because it is usually a big sign, so people can remember it, and also people pass by it almost every day, so it would have a strong impact on those who are seeing it frequently. Another example is the TV commercial, also could have a strong impact on the viewers, especially for those who watch the news regularly, or watch a show on daily or weekly basis. When the ad is repeated, it gets stuck in the viewers mind, especially if it were humorous or contains a catchy song.

Another good feature about the traditional marketing, it can get permanent. For example, the printed media, like the magazines and newspapers. There are still people who like to read the newspapers, and also some people like to collect versions of their favorite magazines and newspapers. This would make these channels permanent, because those who are fans or loyal customers to these magazines, are satisfied with their content, and they are more likely to remember and be influenced by the ads in it.

These tools are seen in real life, rather than behind a phone. This would make these ads displayed more memorable, an ad on social media may be scrolled past in no time. But people are more likely to relate to the experiences their live by, even if it were an ad they see every day on the street, or another ad broadcasted before and after their favorite show.

However, there is an ugly side behind the above interesting channels. 

Digital Marketing.

It is not easy to measure the campaigns of the traditional marketing channels. In this area digital marketing has the upper hand, the technology has developed in an amazing way in the last decade, which made it easier for digital marketing to measure campaigns, however, this technology cannot help much in measuring campaigns for traditional marketing.

One major disadvantage of the traditional marketing channels, they are often too expensive. Imagine a new business wanting to post a new ad in a high-end magazine, this option is probably unavailable for this new business, the entry barriers are too high for them. However, those who have a bigger market share are more able to post these kinds of ads and reach wider population, even though it is also expensive for them, and they would prefer a more cost-effective option.

Another bad side of traditional channels, there is no interaction with the audience. Companies would not be aware of the feedback of the market they are trying to target. Sometimes the ad is too repetitive, and it might seem boring. Unlike social media, there is no like button nor a space where audience can place their comments.

Likewise, Digital Marketing also has those two sides.

One of the main advantages of digital marketing is the engagement with the audience. Unlike the traditional marketing channels, digital channels have many options in order to engage with their audience. For example, a coffee shop can post an ad on social media and receive the feedback from their customers and also other consumers in no time. Moreover, a conversation can be created with the customers and subscribers.

Another advantage that is not found in traditional channels, is campaigns are easy to be measured. As mentioned before, the technological advancement made it easier to measure campaigns, and this is very important, because it gives the company clearer data and more insight about how to plan for the next move. They are more likely to know what worked and what failed, and they can adapt to different strategies accordingly.

Another major pro for the digital marketing, is the ability to target their audience in a very accurate way. For example, if an individual searched a product or a brand, related posts are most likely to appear on their social media pages. This happens because of the Big Data technology, which enables marketers to collect data, analyze it and relate it to the consumers. This would help companies to target adequately the market they are interested in, and in this way, they can deliver more value with a cost-effective manner.

The other side of Digital Marketing

Even the moon has a dark side, as well as the digital channels used.

On many occasions, people find the ads on social media annoying. Although sometimes repetition promotes more brand awareness, at other times, this repetition is not appreciated by the audience. For example, when scrolling through Instagram, ads get repeated due to a previous search through a search engine or due a search on Instagram, these sponsored ads may get annoying and people might be annoyed with the brand representing these ads.

Although it can be repetitive, these ads on social media and search engines can be easily ignored. Despite the fact that sometimes it gets annoying, an ad can be scrolled by easily, in which people scrolling the ads would not benefit from it. Hence, the companies would not be delivering the value they intend to demonstrate, despite the importance of these ads for the brand.

The advancement is the digital world is very interesting and useful, however, sometimes this quick advancement in the social media would create new features to new channels on a regular basis. The disadvantage here is not the advancement, the disadvantage is in the need to train the employees on these advancement on daily basis to be able to conduct the best results. Each social media channel would need a specialist in order to be able to create value content and have better outcome. This might cost the companies money and time.


Despite the pros and cons in the traditional and digital marketing, at the end of the day, companies need to deliver value. The value of the brand is not in the ads, but these ads can help the company to create awareness for their brand and products. Whether they need traditional or digital marketing, they should adopt the proper strategy that would permit them to standout and create competitive advantages. Although Digital Marketing is more appealing in our era, Traditional Marketing does not mean it is old fashioned. Commercials at the Super Bowl competitions in the USA are still highly watched and brands pay billions of dollars to broadcast their commercials. So mainly, there should be a balance in choosing what to utilize; either traditional and/or digital channels. The important aspect of this choice is to deliver value.

Pinnacle has set of consultation programs, trainings, services manage to help your organization set the right marketing strategy and advertising plans to reach your client in the best way to achieve the needed Return on Marketing Investment ROMI.

Pinnacle® is a multi-country consultancy firm. Our consultants are spread around the world. We have built our organization on modern business model with agility, diversity, and resilience to the business dynamics. We have chosen our technology platform to support our modern mindset thus we work from anywhere …. As work is not a place anymore. We implement Lean Six Sigma in everything we do whether internally or externally at our client sites.

Article is written by:
Pinnacle Customer Satisfaction Consultant and Manager  – Liliane Nahle

Pinnacle Ltd.

Pinnacle Ltd. is a multi-countries modern consultancy firm, with offices around 11 countries in 4 continents, and 28 consultants working remotely and virtually managed.

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