Marketing is one of the most important methods for businesses who are eager to grow in the global market and reach new business levels. Companies spend millions of dollars every year on marketing campaigns trying to reach out to their target audience and convert them into loyal customers.

In recent years, businesses have started to leverage new marketing techniques and have adopted strategies which divert from the traditional way of marketing. It is no secret in the 21st century that things are getting online, and people are getting tech-savvy. 

While ‘convenience’ is the word that sums up the online surge, there is definitely more to it. In this post, we will delve into the details of the transition from traditional marketing practices to online and digital marketing. We will also compare the traditional and digital marketing and discuss the reasons that are driving the shift in marketing strategies.

However, before we dive into the subject, it is vital to understand the difference between the two types of marketing.

What is Traditional Marketing?

Traditional marketing encompasses the conventional mode of marketing that includes print, radio, TV, and other forms of offline communication and promotional methods. The conventional form of marketing is hard to ignore as we encounter it in one form or another on a daily basis. Some of the common traditional marketing techniques include:

  • Print
  • Broadcast
  • Telephone
  • Mail
  • Outdoor ads

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing refers to the marketing practices that a business does through the internet or electronic devices like the smartphone. It is a form of marketing that any business can leverage, regardless of their size, to reach out to prospects and convert them into leads and customers. The reason why digital marketing is crucial is because of the prevalence of the internet and smart devices. More and more people are logging in online to carry out their activities, including shopping.

Given the fact that a majority of people are spending most of their time online, it makes sense for a business to connect to them. One of the reasons why digital marketing continues to deliver results is due to its inbound nature. Instead of you going out to search leads, your customers find you. Whether it is through running a Google ad or uploading marketing-related content to your blog, it is all about getting out there and gaining exposure. The more people know about your blog, brand, or product, the more exposure your products get, which eventually leads to more leads and more revenue.

What do stats say about traditional and digital marketing?

For some well-established brands with a huge offline following, traditional marketing may be tough to ignore, but small businesses with tight budgets are swiftly moving towards digital marketing. As of today, over 60 percent of marketers have already shifted towards digital means, and with the current growth of digital marketing, it won’t take long before digital ads overtake conventional advertising. 94 percent of B2B marketers are already actively using LinkedIn for marketing, while more than 90 percent of B2C businesses consider social media as the most effective content marketing tactic. 

Credit: Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn

Why are businesses moving away from traditional marketing?

While traditional marketing may still be effective, it is certainly not the most efficient way to make your product or service popular among your target market. Technology has enabled businesses to connect to prospects and existing customers like never before. Below are the reasons why businesses are breaking the bond with traditional marketing. 

Low level of customer engagement:

Traditional marketing provides little or no direct interaction between customers and the marketing medium. It is a one-way street where businesses can broadcast about their products and services to attract prospects and hope to convert them into customers. There is no mechanism for customer engagement and interaction as offered by social media where you are instantly connected with your target market through the digital marketing channel. 

A business can perform better when it operates in conjunction with the needs of the customers. But traditional marketing does not let you do that as you cannot actively engage with the customers. For example, if you own a clothing store like leather skin shop or if you are a cosmetics seller like Avon, your facebook page can do wonders for attracting more visitors by providing interactive visuals to them.

More expensive and less effective:

Traditional marketing requires a significant investment which may or may not give a good return. The ad that you publish in the local newspaper or the broadcast through TV and radio will only be effective if it is seen, watched, or heard by your target audience on the day it is published or broadcasted. If you want to reach the audience again, you will have to run another campaign. So, creating posters, fliers, or running your ad on TV and radio is only a one-time investment. Compare it to the content that you upload to your blog or social media page that can bring visitors to your site or page for years to come. That too, without any additional costs.

Lower audience range:

Traditional marketing is limited in a way that it restricts you to a regional or local audience. Limiting your audience to particular geography may become a huge drawback for businesses who are not geographically bound. 

This is why many organizations are going digital and setting up their business profiles across various social media platforms to market their products and reach out to the audience as far as they want.

Ineffective campaign measurement:

When you advertise in the local newspaper, distribute brochures and fliers, or broadcast through radio and TV, you don’t know how successful your marketing campaign will be. There is no reliable way to measure the results that you get from traditional marketing. You may well be going in the wrong direction, but the results don’t always tell that. 

Changing your fashion habits could have more of an impact than changing your eating or travel habits.
Audrey Thorne

Digital marketing, on the other hand, provides tons of information about your campaign, prospects, and customers that help you understand where you are heading. You get information about the number of people that visit/leave your site, the leads generated by a campaign, or what percentage of them are converting. All this data is absent in traditional marketing.


Traditional marketing involves high risk and little reward. This is not a desired combination in the business world. Hence, businesses are shifting towards digital and online marketing that hold much greater promise for creating sustained business growth in the digital world.

Audrey Throne is the mother of a 3-year old and a professional blogger by choice. Throne is passionate about lifestyle, business, automotive, technology and management and blogs frequently on these topics. Find her on Twitter: @audrey_throne.

The opinions, content and/or information in this article are those of the author and are independent of BK Reader.

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