Online Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing

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As you ensure your brand dishes out the best products, it is vital to equate all the hard work with effective marketing. I mean, what’s the point of doing business if people don’t know you’re offering?

Mastering how to continually reach more people and turn them into lifelong customers will keep your business running successfully—this is what marketing is all about.

Before communication gadgets and Internet connection became so affordable, the world relied on traditional methods to carry out marketing.

Now that we have the Internet and all it’s social flexibility at our fingertips, we are faced with two types of marketing.

These two types of marketing — Internet and traditional, are constantly the subject of debate as to which is more effective. Technically, both channels can efficiently be used for marketing and there is no need to rank one above the other.

The powerful influence of the Internet can tempt you to rule out traditional marketing, but don’t be so quick to do so.

If you’re just starting a business and wondering which of these options will give you the best result, take a good look at the analysis below and you’ll find the answers you seek.

Your business will do so much better when you understand how to use the uniqueness of both methods to your advantage.

Traditional Marketing

This type of marketing involves all the promotional strategies that were used before the Internet took over. Examples include radio and TV commercials, billboard adverts, wall posters, handbills, newspapers and other forms of printed advertising.

Traditional marketing really pushed businesses from unknown startups to household names, so their effectiveness cannot be questioned.

You shouldn’t get so carried away buy the Internet that you forget how valuable offline marketing can be to your business.

Upsides to Traditional Marketing

  • No one is new to this marketing style, so people will understand your brand and product quickly, no matter their age or level of education.
  • If your product is meant for a particular group of people, offline marketing helps you to really streamline your advertisement and reach those you care about. A good example is placing a billboard advert of baby products close to a maternity clinic.
  • Traditional marketing allows you to advertise your business in person. You can support your words with demonstrations to validate the claims of what your product or service can do.
  • People don’t need a charged phone or Internet connection to see your advert. They can see something like a billboard whenever they’re taking a walk, same goes for wall posters and other forms of printed media.

Downsides to Traditional Marketing

  • You always need outside help from people like graphic designers, copywriters, scriptwriters, etc.
  • You just can’t track how well people are responding to your adverts with this method. All you do is place ads and expect it to yield fruits.
  • This form of marketing is expensive. As a start-up, you will find it hard to keep up with the bills. Television advertising is especially costly, so you might want to stay away from it till your business grows.
  • There is hardly any interaction between you and your target market in traditional marketing. It’s one-way, and this adds to why you can’t measure the success of the advert placed.

Online Marketing

If you call it Internet marketing or digital marketing—you’re still correct. It is the modern way of advertising and involves every marketing strategy used on the Internet. Examples include a business website and social media advertisements.

Twitter promotions and Facebook advertising are two of the most used examples of digital marketing. The beauty of this type of marketing is that it makes up for all the limitations of it’s traditional counterpart.

Online marketing is so effective that there are businesses today, like blogs and e-commerce stores that are 100% online based.

These businesses thrive on Internet marketing, but it’s not meant for only them. You can also use the Internet to show the world what you’re selling, even if it’s sticks and sand.

Upsides to Online Marketing

  • Advertising online is very affordable, so as a starter, this is where your eyes and efforts should be.
  • You can track how many people are viewing your adverts and how well they are responding. This will tell you if you need to change a strategy or maximize it.
  • You can build a good relationship with your leads on social media platforms. This will give them a sense of trust towards your brand…very good for business!
  • You get immediate feedback on your adverts. You don’t have to wait long after your ads start running before getting results. It’s right there on your screen, and if you feel it’s not doing well, you can always cancel it and save money.
  • Your adverts can get viral. For example, if you’re using Facebook ads, and a user likes your post, it means that user’s friends will automatically see the advert as well. And an average Facebook user has at least 155 friends.

Downsides to Online Marketing

  • You will spend a lot of time creating and editing content every now and then. These contents also need to be in sync with trends for you to remain relevant.
  • You need your target market to be online at the time your ads are running.
  • Internet users can easily block adverts from showing on their timelines. This isn’t good for online marketing, let’s just hope your target market doesn’t block your advert.
  • The Internet offers a level playing field to all businesses. So the possibility of your target market viewing ads from your competitors is VERY HIGH. You have no control over ads of your competitors.

How to Use Both Types of Marketing to Your Advantage.

You’ve seen pros and cons of online and traditional marketing, and we’ve said no to choosing one over the other.

So the question here is, how do you use both of them in a way that you enjoy all the advantages and avoid all the downsides?

Here is the answer, just…

Use one to support the other

This is about making one a primary method, as you make the other a secondary method of marketing. The primary method will be the one you spend more money and efforts on.

If your business is based online like an e-commerce store, you can make digital marketing your primary marketing method, while you support it with traditional to make up for all the downsides of online marketing

As you use online methods to promote your website, a billboard advert of your business will show those people who have blocked ads on their timelines. See, it’s a win-win for you!

For an offline-based business like a restaurant or event planning, make traditional marketing your primary method and support it with digital marketing.

For example, your billboard adverts will be far more effective when you support it with a Twitter handle that displays captivating photos of your work.

Those who aren’t on Twitter will see the billboard advert you’ve placed at strategic locations. While the social media addicts who may have missed the former will see it on Twitter.


  1. Digital marketing ain’t effective in this 3rd world country like Nigeria where we are still battling for 3G network while top countries are already on 5G.Those 1st world country expend digital marketing due to their environment
    Traditional marketing remains rudimentary here in Africa while online may be viewed as secondary to it, maybe till we get there.

  2. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer traditional methods where I know if people are buying or not. Not just liking my post. Na like I go chop?

    1. It is not a matter of old fashion .Digital works but you need to know how it work .

      Digital is far much better than traditional, although we still need Traditional method ..

      I will advice you learn how it works .Sharing or posting of your product or services you offer does not give you costumers.

      Apply the 80/20 rules, people buy from you when you build connection, relationship .


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