7 Top Characteristics that Distinguish Digital Marketing from Traditional Marketing

7 Top Characteristics that Distinguish Digital Marketing from Traditional Marketing

Today’s era is changing quickly, and the market has drifted to digital marketing from traditional marketing. Get down the article below to know which strategy for marketing will provide you with the perfect reach and most quantifiable profit.

What is the difference between Digital Marketing and Traditional Marketing?

Which one should I choose for my product or service?

What will it cost, and which method would give me the maximum value?

These are some common questions that float in everyone's mind, especially the new business enterprises that want to make a mark in the industry with the help of efficient marketing techniques.  

This post will highlight everything you need to know about the various characteristics that distinguish Digital Marketing from Traditional Marketing. So here we go but first, let us know the definitions of both marketing techniques. 

What is Digital Marketing? 

Put in words, marketing on digital mediums or platforms such as websites and social media is called Digital Marketing. 

For example, when you are surfing a website or a webpage and a pop comes related to some product, or when you see advertisements on various websites and apps, that's called Digital Marketing. So all these brands use digitized networks as a tool for marketing communication.  

What is Traditional Marketing? 

On the other hand, traditional marketing uses channels like billboards and print media for brand promotion. So whenever you see a newspaper advertisement or a banner down the road, these are all forms of Traditional Marketing.

Until the Internet evolved in the 1990s, traditional marketing was the only present form of marketing. 

Digital Marketing VS. Traditional Marketing: 7 characteristics that distinguish them  

There is a massive gap between these forms of marketing. Both have their pros and cons. Business units understand that the states' utility and the techniques to choose depend hugely upon your business type. The method varies if you are a startup, a small business or a large corporation. Geological factors also play a crucial role in deciding the mode of advertisement.  

However, as the Internet has evolved and the digital era has expanded like gunpowder, the customer is more inclined toward seeing what he chooses and not what he is forced to, and that's where Digital Marketing takes the cake. The Internet has empowered the user to choose whatever he wants.  

But why does digital marketing have the edge over traditional marketing? Traditional marketing (offline marketing) focuses its mechanism of action on the product or service to generate sales. While Digital marketing (also called online marketing), on the other hand, uses its effort to connect with the user to create a conversion. 

Here are 7 Top characteristics that distinguish Digital Marketing from Traditional Marketing and make it more profitable:  


1.   Segmentation  

In Traditional Marketing, the message or advertisement is propagated to the masses. The concept is more generic, where general aspects of age, sex, income, and location are studied accordingly. It typically works best at the local level. Launching a national or global advertising campaign through traditional marketing methods will require a lot of careful planning as the cost will be extravagant.  


In Digital Marketing, the behavior in terms of choices and preferences in Social Media is studied, focusing on a more specific approach. The advertisement is catered to selected segments based on specific demographic characteristics of the audience. 

Digital marketing empowers a company or an organization to market its business globally with a few clicks. For example, a PPC ad campaign can easily target a specific city, state, or country worldwide. 

2. Costs  

One of the most important characteristics that distinguish Traditional Marketing from Digital Marketing is its cost element. Digital Marketing offers a much better return on investment when compared to traditional marketing. Small business units prefer Digital Marketing due to its cost efficiency and higher ROI.  

Advertising on TV, Radio, billboards, and mailers are much more expensive than advertising through social media, Blogging, and Content Marketing. Also, these techniques are not only cost-efficient but also permanent, and it's there until you remove them.

For example, traditional marketing is 62% more expensive than content marketing, yet, Digital marketing can generate three times as many leads for each dollar spent.  

Therefore, it is evident that the online marketing method is more cost-effective than the offline marketing method. So due to less cost, digital marketing for startups is more beneficial.

The primary reason behind this phenomenon is that when a business creates its online presence, it will continue to earn new customers over time. On the other hand, a traditional advertisement will not be helpful anymore as soon as a business stops paying for it. While these ads can be expensive, some business owners will turn to personal or title loans, such as those offered by MaxCash Title Loans, to cover the upfront costs of supporting their business.

3. Defining the Target Audience  

Traditional marketing and Digital marketing also differ in targeting a specific audience. For example, although a conventional advertisement displayed in magazines, billboards, or TV will have a large audience, the audience will not be much defined. 

Anybody watching TV randomly will see the advertisement even if he has no interest in the product or service advertised. This can even lead to creating negative publicity for the product or service.  

Digital marketing, on the other hand, works differently. Digital marketing techniques help advertisers market their products to their targeted audience based on various factors. 

Pay Per Click and Social Media Ads can be customized and designed to target a specific category of people based on their age, sex, location, interests, choices, and preferences. People who discover a business through content marketing and SEO will search for relevant keywords online. 

4. Buying intent 

With efficient digital marketing techniques like SEO, the people who find your blog or website will do it by searching for a specific keyword related to your product or industry. 

In Traditional Marketing, you would target people who may not be actively looking for a product or service. As a result, the conversions would not be as per the expectations despite the message being conveyed to a massive audience.  

Digital marketing, on the other hand, aims at targeting potential customers based on their interests. This means that people who come across your product or service online will be there because they are willing to purchase or actively look for the solution to their problem.

That's why the conversion rate in Digital marketing is much higher than in traditional marketing.  

5. Customer Engagement  

The next factor in distinguishing the two marketing techniques is their ability to engage the customers. Traditional marketing takes an in-your-face approach, while digital marketing (online marketing) aims at sparking a conversation that provides value first. In addition, digital marketing is inbound, which pulls people into a business.  

The traditional approach is sometimes more helpful when the audience is older and doesn't use modern technology much. But, at the same time, digital marketing is proper when we target a younger audience using social media and other online platforms.  

6. Longevity  

The following characteristic is the longevity that differentiates digital marketing from traditional marketing.  

There is a wide range of digital marketing techniques, such as Search Engine Optimization and Email Marketing which can be fruitful for long-term gains for your business. In addition, video marketing, social media, blogging, and content creation will help you increase your online presence and, eventually, your business. 

As most of these online techniques have a cumulative impact, your website or business will get new visitors and customers for months or even years.

When we talk about traditional marketing, it is often a one-stop deal. For example, as long as you are paying for a billboard ad or a TV Commercial, it will continue to display, but as soon as you stop paying, it will disappear, and the memory will eventually fade over time.  

7. Measuring Profitability 

The seventh characteristic that differs both marketing methods is the ability to track results and measure user engagement.  

Digital marketing is far more measurable than traditional marketing. Nowadays, all social media and business websites use tools and plugins to track visitors and see what they came for and their actions. 

Google also provides a tool called Google Analytics for tracking overall customer behavior. Digital marketing will provide you with enough data to understand your customer by measuring the impact of a particular ad or marketing tactic.  

On the other hand, tracking the impact of traditional ads could be very difficult as they mostly rely on guesswork. It can be challenging to figure out the actual reason for a customer to come up to your business. It could be because of a TV Ad, a referral, a magazine ad, or another reason. 


Ultimately, it is clear that Digital Marketing has the edge over traditional marketing. Traditional marketing is a more generic concept that targets a larger audience but with a lesser targeted impact. In contrast, digital marketing aims to cater specific audience based on various factors like sex, age, demographics, salary, etc. 

Traditional marketing is costlier and time-bound, whereas digital marketing is cheaper and will remain forever as an online advertisement. Also, one important point to highlight is that Traditional marketing is helpful if you target an older audience who doesn't use much technology. In contrast, digital marketing is best for the audience which is younger and uses online platforms more frequently. 

This post was submitted by a TNS experts. Check out our Contributor page for details about how you can share your ideas on digital marketing, SEO, social media, growth hacking and content marketing with our audience.

PosterMyWall Review 2023: The Best Graphics & Videos Design Tool

Whether you wish to take your marketing efforts to...

5 mins read

6 Tips to Write Emails that Convert Based on the Consumer Psychology?

As a marketer, all your efforts spent into writing...

4 mins read