Digital marketing vs traditional marketing: And why is digital marketing important for your business?

10th February 2017 0
Jiarong Lau
Reach him

“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.” -Seth Godin

In this information era, what matters more is how you touch the hearts of your customers. Traditional methods of marketing have existed since ages, however in this information age, digital marketing is taking the strong grip. So, which one should you prefer for your business? What differentiates digital marketing from the traditional marketing and which one is the best for you? In this article, we will be discussing the answers of the questions and also the differences between these two forms of marketing, with a focus on their advantages and disadvantages.

The three important considerations

Cost: Which medium is economical and fits well within your budget? This is the first question you need to ask.

Outreach: Are you targeting a local audience or a global audience? Also, how much detailed targeting you want to do to communicate your message to your users? This will make the second important consideration.

Interaction: Do you want to interact with your audience and follow up to take an action? This will make the third important question for discussion.

Traditional marketing

Traditional marketing includes marketing via the means of television advertisements, radio broadcasts, direct mails, flyers, billboards etc. The traditional method of marketing is good for reaching local audiences. It is also said that the traditional marketing leaves a long-lasting impression on the viewers. However, the traditional marketing is very expensive to execute and is not measurable. It takes a lot of time to realize the benefits of the marketing campaigns. Also, the traditional method of marketing is static and the users cannot interact directly with the business. They will get the information but there won’t be any interaction.

Digital marketing

Digital marketing includes marketing via the means of social media, google AdWords, search engine optimization, email or display. Via the digital marketing channel, one can target not only local audience but also the international audience easily. The audiences who might be interested in buying your product or services can be researched and targeted. Also, this method is cost-effective as compared to the traditional method of marketing.

The results from digital marketing can be realized instantly. The metrics of the campaign results can be measured and analysed easily using various analytics tools available online.

The best part about using digital marketing is that you can interact with your users in real time and their responses can be tracked easily.

Key differences between traditional marketing & digital marketing

  1. Digital marketing can be measured and analysed easily while traditional marketing can’t.
  2. With digital marketing, the response of the users can be tracked and recorded while with traditional marketing, it is not possible.
  3. Traditional marketing has more longevity than digital marketing.
  4. Traditional marketing is expensive as compared to the digital marketing.
  5. Traditional marketing is good for local audience while digital marketing can be used for targeting local as well as global audiences.

If you are thinking about which one to use for the promotion of your products & services, then you must consider the buyer persona of your users and then decide the one method or the balance of both. However, no matter which way you go, you can’t simply avoid digital marketing methods. With users using the internet for majority of their time, it is the right channel for targeting them.

Some digital marketing facts

  1. For 80% of the marketers, influencer marketing campaigns have been found to be effective. (eMarketer)
  2. The probability of the users getting converted by retargeting is 70%. (HubSpot)
  3. If you make your email marketing campaigns personalized, then the click through rate and conversion rate increase by over 10%. (Aberdeen).
  4. Make social media part of the buyer journey of your customers and enjoy 129% higher conversion rate. (Deloitte)

So what consists of digital marketing?

  1. Search engine optimization
  2. Search engine marketing
  3. Content marketing
  4. Social media marketing
  5. Email marketing
  6. Affiliate/Referral marketing
  7. Retargeting users using browser push notifications
  8. Influencer marketing

And what makes digital marketing more effective?

  1. With your website, you can record the responses of your users. With a converting user experience, you can make the buyer journey smooth for them.
  2. With the help of chat apps, you can help the customers when they have any doubt during their time on the website.
  3. With the help of social media pages, you can maintain a brand voice.
  4. By the means of interest and laser targeting, you can target the users with high affinity on Facebook.
  5. More users can be engaged using conversations on social media. Remember, if they like it they tell it to hundred more friends.
  6. Email workflows can be used to send information related to your products, services, blogs, success stories, etc. Drip email marketing campaigns can be used for delighting the users with information and how to guides.
  7. Remarketing lists can be used for retargeting the users who have already visited the website. This results in high number of conversions as people get reminded of it the second time.
  8. AdWords campaigns are another way of reaching to the users who might be interested in buying your product or services.
  9. Dynamic keyword insertion (DKI) is the feature which shows relevant versions of the same ad to the users based on the query that they are searching for. This is beneficial for the merchants with many products and higher marketing budget.
  10. Analytics tools like Google analytics help you do the tracking of the users and also their behaviour on the website. Also, it helps in measuring the results of the campaigns.

How should you go about using digital marketing for the marketing of your business?

First and foremost, if you have thought of using digital marketing for your business, you must work on the buyer persona of your target customers. After understanding the buyer persona, you will get a clarity on how to target your users.

  1. Based on the buyer persona and the buyer journey, get your ‘website designed for higher engagement and conversions.
  2. Do a detailed analysis of the demographics of your target audience. Understand which social media channels do they use. Where do they spend majority of their time online? What could be their favourite blogs or topics which they regularly read? Which all influencers influence them? Get answers to all these questions and you will have a clarity of thought on how to go about the marketing of the product/service digitally.
  3. Set up google analytics and google search console on your website. Google analytics is used for the analysis of the user behaviour and their acquisition details. With google search console or google webmasters, you can understand the keywords users are typing in google search before coming to your website. Also, you may understand how is your website ranked for different search queries?
  4. Create social media handles for your website on different social media networks like Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, google plus, etc. based on the buyer persona of your users. There is no benefit maintaining brand presence on the social networks where your target users are not spending time. This is why in-depth research is required before you jump into the marketing.
  5. Create a google AdWords account and create remarketing lists. Also, setup the remarketing tag on your website for the users to be tracked when they visit your website.
  6. Constantly update your social media handles. Updating social media posts regularly will help keep the users in touch about your brand.
  7. Regularly blog about the topics important for your business. Content marketing is highly important for your business. It is important to target long-tail keywords so that the users can found you organically. Also, don’t just write about your business, else your users won’t be able to find you. Get the content strategized with a content marketing strategist.
  8. Sending meaningful and important emails are very important for maintaining a touch base with your users. Remember, if you are not adding value by sending email, it may backfire and you might lose a subscriber. Be valuable and delight your customers.


Digital marketing has become a necessity for the businesses trying to reach out the users locally as well as globally. The most important thing about digital marketing is that you try to tell stories to your users. The better the story, the more the engagement and conversions.


Jiarong Lau

Jiarong is the founder of ClickTapConvert ( He loves anything and everything related to digital marketing. He runs a couple of mini sites / projects during his free time, not for profit, but to try out different ideas.

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