Digital vs. Traditional Marketing: Why Not Both?

By: Emily Scripps

Traditional Marketing  refers to any type of marketing that isn’t online. This means print, broadcast, direct mail, phone, and outdoor advertising like billboards. From newspapers to radio, this method of marketing helps to reach targeted audiences. Traditional marketing is not only one of the oldest forms of marketing, but also one of the most researched. Marketers lean towards this method because it’s tried and true. Everyone encounters some sort of traditional marketing in their everyday lives, whether it’s getting the mail or your daily newspaper.


  • Traditional marketing plays an important part in reaching local audiences

  •  Ads can be kept for a long period of time, if they’re physical

  • Older audiences are easier to reach through traditional marketing than online marketing.


  • Little to no interaction between business and consumers in real time vs. a quick Facebook message

  • You can’t edit physical ads after they are in the hands of the consumer

  • Traditional marketing tends to be a little pricier

Digital marketing is any marketing a company conducts online;  such as paid social media ads, email marketing, and PPC (pay per click) advertising. Digital marketing has become wildly popular due to the cultural, technological, and societal shifts around us. Promoted tweets, influencer trips, and YouTube videos are all examples of digital marketing and how expansive it’s become. 


  • Cost-effective

  • Fast

  • Direct way to connect with target audiences, globally


  • The internet or social media sites can go down, causing scheduled posts to not go out

  • Security: hackers gaining private consumer information

  • Updates to platforms require quick learning curves

The question shouldn’t be “To traditional market or to digital market?” Instead, try “How do we use both tactics to market effectively?” Of course, some businesses may benefit from going one way or the other, but on the whole, it is possible for both methods to thrive harmoniously.