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How digital marketing differs to traditional marketing

The digital revolution has transformed so many things, and marketing is no exception.

Many staples of yesteryear, while still having their time and place, feel archaic compared to what modern marketers have at their fingertips.

Traditional marketing vs digital marketing isn’t always a straightforward comparison, as many channels can overlap and some digital methods are arguably just evolutions of traditional ones.

However, utilising modern tech demonstrably increases reach and efficacy, so let’s take a look at the differences between each.


What is traditional marketing?

Traditional marketing is a self-explanatory term, yet the methods that fall under ‘traditional’ marketing are separated by being offline rather than non-technological.

This means that TV and radio adverts would be considered traditional marketing channels, despite being much more technologically advanced than billboards and leaflets.

Traditional marketing includes:

  • Radio and TV adverts
  • Physical mail
  • Print adverts, leaflets, and brochures
  • Billboards and outside displays
  • Event marketing
  • Merchandise, branding, and logos on packaging


What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing concerns all the channels that make use of technology platforms, and principally the internet. This includes social media posts, adverts on YouTube and podcasts, and many more forms.

Targeting users of computers and smartphones, digital marketing is able to integrate analytics and software tools that can give marketers a strong competitive edge.

Digital marketing includes:


Traditional marketing vs digital marketing

Despite the comparison we’re making, a marketing campaign doesn’t need to choose one over the other. Indeed, many marketers use a considered blend of both approaches to get the best results.

This is because there are some demographics and contexts within which traditional marketing still triumphs over digital marketing. Traditional methods are often better at reaching people ‘out in the world’, and they can be used to target audiences based on physical location like in the case of billboards and print adverts.

Traditional marketing can reach people without the need for a device or internet connection, but in many ways it can be easily avoided. A billboard grabs attention and can be seen by many people in busy urban areas, but marketing letters are easily discarded and the vast majority of marketing call recipients won’t entertain the call once they realise they’re being sold to.

Traditional marketing cannot target its audience with as much precision as digital marketing, which can use highly specific parameters to find the exact people that comprise an ideal audience.

Digital marketing has an vast potential audience, with a smartphone in every pocket capable—in theory—of receiving your content. Using analytics, market research, and the tools available to digital marketers, you can push your marketing to individuals that fit the profile of your ideal customer.

Furthermore, digital marketing can often be woven around other forms of content, and reach your audience without disrupting their entertainment.

Digital marketing also allows for more measurement and reflection on your efforts. You can monitor conversions and engagement as a campaign unfolds, reassessing and tweaking as necessary, learning all the while.

Digital marketing can’t reach those who eschew technology such as smartphones and laptops, and that’s where traditional marketing can smooth over the potential gaps in your campaign.


How can traditional and digital marketing work together?

Two people sat next to each other might see the same billboard, but it’s possible that neither will be interested in what it’s selling.

Using geotargeting and demographic data that is both harvested and utilised by digital marketing, those same two people can receive different adverts on their phones, tailored towards their interests and values.

One form of marketing can act as an inlet for the other. For instance, a piece of physical marketing or a outdoor advert could display a QR code directing customers to a website or app, perhaps to claim an offer as an incentive.

Ultimately, traditional approaches mixed into your marketing campaigns will likely lead customers to the digital marketing-based side of things, as this is where the most data gathering and analysis can take place.

In that regard, traditional marketing loses out to digital marketing because the latter can utilise a huge bag of tricks and build a rich customer profile with no limit of refinements.


The right marketing approach for you

At Aqueous Digital, our expertise is firmly in digital marketing, and we know how to get the best results for your business.

Our SEO expertise boosts search rankings in Liverpool, Manchester, London—anywhere you need to shout about your work and be heard.

To find out more about the results we get, contact us today.


Further reading on SEO

How to conduct a thorough digital marketing audit of your website

Why digital marketing is important to business owners

Digital marketing trends to get ahead of the curve

Short-form vs. long-form content: Which is better for your website?

Digital marketing channels: Which one should you choose?

Content Optimisation: How to improve existing content on your website

How AI is becoming more prominent in digital marketing

How to create a results-driven digital marketing campaign

SEO for YouTube: How to optimise YouTube videos for search

How to boost your website’s domain authority

What is Evergreen Content and why does it matters for SEO?

Why we build backlinks to your website

How to develop a content strategy for SEO

Content is King. What is content marketing?

Creating great content: How to write for SEO

How digital marketing has changed over the years

How video content can elevate your website

Top 20 Facts about Manchester You Never Knew

SEO for Manchester Companies

Aqueous Digital’s Ultimate Guide to the cost of SEO in the UK

Aqueous Digital’s Guide to the Top 501 SEO and Digital Marketing Terms

How video content can elevate your business

How long does SEO take to work?

Beginners Guide To SEO

What is Technical SEO?

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