Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing: What Works in 2024?


Digital marketing vs traditional marketing

One of the most popular debates in the world of marketing today is between digital marketing and traditional marketing. Many marketers argue that traditional marketing has had its time and place and should be replaced with digital marketing, while others believe that, among other drawbacks, digital marketing makes it too easy for customers and potential customers to see the negative side of your business through feedback and reviews.

The simple truth is that both digital marketing and traditional marketing are still very much relevant in 2024 and that’s not changing anytime soon. However, the best way to go would be to implement both methods of marketing to get the best of both worlds.

Work with the best Ohio marketing company and experience what it’s like to really succeed in business.

Before we start to explain what can really work for you in 2024, it is important to first clarify what each one of these marketing methods is and what differentiates one from the other.

Traditional Marketing vs. Digital Marketing: What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing vs traditional marketing: what is digital marketing?

The term digital marketing simply refers to marketing activities or efforts that are done online. That is why it is also very often referred to as online marketing.

Digital marketing is the type of marketing that is aimed at internet users, meeting them wherever they are. There are different channels of digital marketing and they include social media, emails, websites, and a few others.

Let’s take a close look at some of the different aspects of digital marketing.

1. Website Design

For any business to survive online, it needs a functional website. Website design is considered the first step to any kind of online business. 

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One funny myth about web design is that most people think they don’t need a website because they run a small business. The fact is, it doesn’t matter if your business is big or small, as long as you want a huge return on investment, you’d better have a website. 

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2. Social Media Marketing

More than half of the world’s population is on social media and of this population is your target audience. Social media marketing has to do with your marketing efforts on social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and many others.

With social media, you can sensitize your audience about your business or direct them to your website where they can make purchases or speak directly to you.

3. Pay per click (PPC)

Pay per click is one of the blessings of digital marketing and search engines, especially Google. Advertising on search engines requires a lot of skill and patience. Your competitors are also trying to get audiences, which means that your ads have to be top-notch.

With pay-per-click, you don’t have to pay for the ads until they garner clicks for you. As the name suggests, you only pay for every click you get. This is also a way to monitor the success of your ads.

4. SEO (search engine optimization)

SEO is the most efficient way to get organic traffic to your website. Businesses take advantage of SEO to take in some of their competitors’ audiences by simply providing information to them that the competitors aren’t. 

If you’re ready to supercharge your online visibility, check out our trusted Cleveland SEO company and unlock the true potential of your digital presence. 

SEO may not be easy to scale, but with the right digital marketing firm by your side, you’re very much good to go.

5. Content marketing

Anyone can write content. However, how do you ensure that your customers are seeing the content that you put out? How do you know they even need the information? Does your content solve their immediate problems?

Content marketing is the king of digital marketing tactics because it helps you get real-time feedback from the consumers about your brand.

6. Email marketing

Email marketing often comes across as the slowest or lowest in digital marketing methods. However, it is one of the most effective channels. By running an email campaign, you can get your website visitors to keep coming back.

Pros and Cons Of A Digital Marketing Strategy

Digital marketing has its perks. However, there are a few disadvantages to this type of marketing that we will also consider in this section.

Digital Marketing Strategies Pros

Below are some of the advantages of digital marketing that marketers worldwide can relate to.

A. It makes it a lot easier to reach a global audience

Digital marketing strategies help you reach a global target audience. For example, when you create a website, it is not limited to your locality. Everyone that’s using the internet can access the information on that site. The same goes for social media marketing.

B. Results are Measurable

Whether you’re running social media ads or search engine marketing, digital marketing allows you to easily determine how many people clicked on your ad by using a few metrics. Unlike billboard and magazine ads where you can’t tell how many people saw them.

C. Personalized Ads

Digital advertising has made it effortless to contact consumers on a more personal level unlike the traditional media that creates ads on a more general basis. By clicking on a few links on the website, businesses can target a customer in real-time, calling them by name.

D. It is cost-effective

Unlike traditional marketing methods, meeting your target audience where they are will no longer cost you a hunk of your capital. Digital marketing allows you to create several campaigns at a very cost-effective rate.

E. Building interaction

Internet marketing is the easiest way to interact with your target audience anytime, any day. By frequently posting content on social media, you can get the reactions and feelings of your consumers about your product or service.

F. Higher conversion

Digital and traditional marketing will boost conversion. However, one does it better than the other. Your digital marketing efforts are very much more liable to bring in customers because the majority of your potential customers are online.

With digital marketing, you can meet them where they are and with just a few clicks, they can buy the product before they even know it.

G. It doesn’t take your time

Although building your brand online can take a while, just like any type of marketing, advertising online doesn’t require too much time or physical effort.

Cons of digital marketing strategies

Below are some of the disadvantages of digital marketing.

A. It requires a lot of experience

To be able to carry out a digital marketing strategy successfully, you need to be very experienced in all the different aspects of digital marketing mentioned above. Well, that is why you could simply hand the job over to a digital marketing company.

B. Visible complaints and negative feedback

One of the ills of digital marketing is the fact that your target audience can see what other users have to say about your product or service—bad or good. This can be a blessing or a curse, depending on the quality of your product or service.

C. Competitiveness

Online marketing is inarguably the order of the day. Every company has a social media account, a website, and most likely, a digital marketing company to handle these tasks for them.

This makes digital marketing very competitive. Your audience is very likely going to be seeing your competitors as much as they see you.

D. Privacy issues

With online marketing, you need to be very careful how you use the information of consumers. You have to be careful not to breach their privacy or security terms.

Traditional marketing vs. Digital marketing: what is traditional marketing?

internet marketing vs traditional marketing

Traditional marketing is any marketing activity or effort that is done offline. It is the only form of marketing that was done before the internet and social media became a huge part of our existence. However, traditional marketing is still highly in use.

Traditional marketing strategies involve the use of channels like prints, magazines, billboards, television, direct mail, and radio ads for interacting with customers and potential customers. It needs to be mentioned that over 40% of direct mail never gets opened.

Traditional marketing is difficult to ignore. It is always in your face. It comes in form of TV commercials that you cannot skip. If you must watch your program, then you must watch the ad.

The traditional marketing strategy makes use of the four Ps of marketing, which includes the following:

1. Product

Traditional and digital marketing focus on products and services. However, traditional marketing takes it up a notch by getting feedback from customers about the product and ensuring that it meets the request of customers. Digital marketing doesn’t pay attention to this. It focuses solely on advertising and selling.

In traditional marketing, the product has to be presented in a way that is palatable and solves the problem of the end-user. Everything from the packaging to branding and just about anything that makes the product more appealing to the user is focused on.

2. Price

How much do we set the price at? How much do our competitors charge for this product or service? Will we make any profit by bringing down the price to drag in customers? Will we get any customers by taking the price up? Can we sell at the same price even though our brand is better? All these are questions that go into the determination of price.

Traditional marketing strategy carries price along with the product and it is not a coincidence that “pricing” is very often placed after “product” when talking about the 4 Ps.

3. Promotion

Promotion is where traditional and digital marketing has almost everything in common. The promotion has to do with every activity that helps the brand get more recognition and also helps the company make more sales.

Traditional marketing will use radio and tv commercials, one on one advertising, billboards, and several other means to promote the product. Promotion doesn’t end at advertising. Discounts, gifts, and other strategies that help customers interact with the brand also count.

4. Place

The place in traditional marketing simply refers to the location of the business—headquarters or branch.

How do we situate the office or factory in such a way that we’re able to meet our customers at the point of their needs? Where do we set up the farm so that we can easily access the market for sales? These questions and more are what “Place” in traditional marketing tackles.

The Pros and Cons of Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing has made its mark on marketing in general and will continue to do so. One question we very often get when talking about digital marketing vs. traditional marketing is whether one will outlast or terminate the other. Let us consider the pros and cons before we go into that.

Traditional Marketing Strategy Pros

Below are some of the important advantages of traditional marketing.

  • Establishes credibility: When you see advertising on TV, there’s a very high chance that you automatically think the company is a legit one.
  • Creates an easier connection with a local audience: When you create a marketing campaign on a radio station, you know you’re only relating with potential customers in that locality. It helps you channel your marketing campaigns more creatively.
  • It’s better for connecting to a larger and broader audience: One of the advantages of digital marketing over traditional marketing is that you can target an audience based on specific demographics. However, for brands that cater to more general audiences, traditional marketing helps you do that with ease.
  • Helps you connect emotionally: Traditional marketing allows you to communicate more emotionally to your audience, giving you room to connect more with them.

Traditional Marketing Strategy Cons

When it comes to a more modern and broader picture of marketing, the traditional way is at a disadvantage. Let’s take a look at the few cons of this form of marketing.

  • It is often more expensive: running a traditional marketing campaign requires so much funding. When you add the media buy and the total cost of production (+ marketing costs), you’ll see that it costs a lot to keep it running. According to Fit Small Business, the cost of running a full-page print ad can cost anywhere from $2,700 to $160,000.
  • The results are difficult to measure: when it comes to digital marketing vs. traditional marketing, one major deciding factor is how well these forms of marketing are doing. With traditional marketing, you cannot measure how many people interacted with your advertising campaign. How then do you know if it is worth paying for?
  • Most people don’t pay attention to the traditional media anymore. TVs and radios have not gone out of style but they are no longer as important as they used to be.
  • The traditional marketing campaign takes far too long to execute.
  • It is difficult to target a sub-segment audience.

How Does A Digital Marketing Strategy Differ From A Traditional Business Strategy? 

The major differences between digital marketing, traditional marketing, and other types of marketing are the marketing channels and cost.

While digital marketing uses online tools and media, traditional marketing uses offline campaigns. You already know which one costs less and saves time.

Businesses that use digital marketing can reach their audiences much faster than traditional marketers because you don’t need to do anything special to see the campaign. Just turn on your internet, try to use an app and the ads are sent to you.

Another major difference between the two methods is that digital marketing allows you to only target an audience that has shown interest in your product or one that is interested in your industry.

You can see results in real-time with digital marketing. You know which variation of your audience is buying from you and which one may be interested but not yet ready to buy. This helps you to properly structure your campaigns.

Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing; which is preferable?

Traditional marketing vs digital marketing, which one to pick

Deciding which one of these marketing methods to choose is not a difficult task, especially after reading through this piece of content.

Digital marketing, traditional marketing, or any other form of marketing has its good sides and not-so-good sides. However, when you consider which one has more good and less bad, you’ll know which one to choose.

From the carefully outlined advantages and disadvantages of both digital and traditional marketing mentioned above, it is obvious that digital marketing has a sharp edge over traditional methods.

Why’s that?

As of April 2021, more than 60% of the world’s population uses the internet in one way or the other. To clarify things, the world’s population is around eight (8) billion. This simply means that over half of the world’s population is on the internet doing one thing or the other.

Advertising to that population had to be the best marketing strategy ever, compared to sending direct mail, installing billboards, or using TV and radio ads.

One good thing, however, that most marketers will never tell you is that these two methods of marketing can work together to create the best campaign or strategy ever seen. This is because both methods give you access to both digital and traditional audiences.

Whether you like it or not, there will always be people who won’t and can’t use the internet. Kids, for example, influence their parents to make certain buying decisions.

Targeting this population has to be done through marketing channels where they can be met. TV shows for kids are a great place to do that.

Our advice is if you only have to choose one of digital and traditional marketing, then go digital. It is cost-effective and conversion is guaranteed, as long as you have an expert on the job.

Work With The Leading Cleveland Marketing Company

best Cleveland digital marketing company

To achieve success in digital marketing, you need a highly experienced digital marketing company. It is very possible to do it alone, there’s no doubt about that. However, if you consider the time, effort, and cost of learning most of these skills, handing the task over to an expert is your best bet.

Work with the best Cleveland marketing company today and watch your business grow from where it is to where you want it to be in a matter of months.

We have been helping businesses maximize profits and boost sales. Our marketing strategy cuts across both traditional methods and digital methods.

We have a team of experts to handle all the different digital marketing channels, including social media, emails, search engines, website designs, and several others.


Traditional and digital marketing have proven to be important parts of the world of today’s businesses. You certainly cannot rule out the importance of one of these forms of marketing to favor the other.

Digital marketing can be referred to as the marketing method for the current world but that doesn’t rule out the fact that traditional marketing can complement its effectiveness.

Most of the time, marketers use traditional marketing to solidify the level of trust that consumers have in them and their digital campaigns.

Picture of Anthony Milia

Anthony Milia

Anthony Milia is an author of Marketing Magnifier, marketing consultant, and owner of Milia Marketing, an award-winning Marketing firm located in Cleveland, OH. Anthony helps Small and Medium-sized businesses get the best ROI for their marketing dollars by shedding light on their sales and marketing challenges.