Traditional Marketing vs. Online Marketing


By Contributing Author

If you run a business, you may be looking into the different marketing techniques to promote your products and services. However, one of the biggest questions is whether traditional or online marketing techniques are more successful.

To understand which would be the best for your business, there are a number of different factors to consider that may help you decide which route to go down, but first, what is the difference between traditional and online marketing?

  • Traditional marketing: Includes the likes of business cards, announcements, leafleting, magazines, and TV promotions.
  • Online marketing: Digital-based, including the use of websites, social media, and YouTube videos.


There are a few variations in the cost of traditional and online marketing techniques. In order to reach substantial audiences on TV, radio, and magazines, you’ll have to pay a large amount from your marketing budget to get a slot. However, there are cheaper alternatives to traditional marketing, such as business cards or leaflets. This will mean having to meet face-to-face with individuals and perhaps even having to go out into the public to get your brand known. If you’re looking to hire someone to carry out a traditional marketing role, you’ll need to look into taking out small business insurance should any accidents occur while out and about.

On the other hand, digital marketing has been proven to be a lot more affordable. On the most part, social media advertising is free, but there is often the option to promote to a wider, target audience for a cost. It would also be wise to hire a full-time employee who can put their entire efforts into this role due to the immense amount of competition online.

Measuring success 

It can be difficult to measure the success of traditional marketing and whether the tactics you have used have brought new customers to you – the only way to find out would be to personally ask them how they discovered your business, but it’s not always realistic to keep on top of. As traditional marketing strategies cannot be measured, it can be difficult to know whether your campaign was successful.

However, results can be measured very easily with online marketing. You can pay attention to analytics to discover where customers have come from and how good your return on investment (ROI) has been. Some of these analytics measure the likes of basic trends, interested visitors, traffic and bounce rate, so you can discover what’s working and what isn’t.


Traditional marketing makes it difficult to interact with customers on a 1-to-1 basis but focuses more on publicizing that the brand in the hope that they will be interested in the products and services you sell.

Digital marketing is a much more personalized form of marketing, in the sense that you can get to know your customers and build relationships with them. Studies have shown that interacting with customers and followers could significantly boost your profits. Once you feel you’ve built these initial connections, you should be encouraging followers to take a certain action; such as visiting your website, reading more about your brand or providing feedback as a way of enhancing your sales.