All advertisers must make the decision to allocate a limited marketing budget to selected communication channels that they believe will drive sales in the most effective way. But in order to make such a decision, it is important to know well the advantages and disadvantages of all potential options. Below we bring you everything you need to know about the basic differences between traditional and digital marketing channels to make this decision as easy and smart as possible.

What is digital marketing?

Simply said, digital marketing is the use of digital channels like websites and social networks for marketing communication and advertising.

If you use Facebook or Instagram, you’ve probably noticed the sponsored posts that appear on the homepage. This is an example of one of the basic forms of digital marketing. This group also includes e-mail marketing, newsletters, advertising through search engines such as Google (Google Ads), but also less obvious forms of marketing for end users, such as SEO, or website optimization for search engines.

What is traditional marketing?

Traditional marketing uses traditional channels of communication, such as TV, posters and printed materials, such as newspapers, magazines, but also leaflets, brochures and the like.

Until the advent of the internet in the 90s, traditional marketing was the only form of marketing, but things have changed drastically in the last few decades.

What’s the difference?

The difference is really a lot, although the basic one comes down to the medium through which the target audience comes into contact with the marketing message. Traditional marketing uses media such as magazines, newspapers and other publications, while digital marketing communicates through digital channels such as websites, search engines and social networks.

Of course, despite the availability of new technologies, traditional marketing still plays a role in communication and advertising. The creativity of TV commercials and the tactile nature of print advertising can leave a strong mark on the memory of a communicated message, just as it did 30 years ago. But the key change is in potential reach – fewer and fewer people are buying newspapers and magazines, and watching classic TV shows is also declining with the advent of streaming platforms like Netflix. On the other hand, the number of Internet and social network users has been growing unstoppably for decades.

In addition to the huge, and still growing, number of users, digital marketing uses every opportunity to reach users, when searching on search engines, reading news on portals, scrolling on Facebook or watching videos on YouTube. And it does so in a smart way, so that the right message reaches the right user.

If a user searches for ideas for an upcoming trip via Google, chances are high that they will start running related ads on all online platforms that day. This is the main advantage of digital marketing – it allows very precise targeting of messages to the desired target groups, which results in its greater effectiveness.

A rented poster in the city center will be seen by all demographic groups, including those who are unlikely to be interested in your product at all. In digital marketing, the chances of this are drastically reduced due to artificial intelligence, so there is a “better” spending of the marketing budget, because your message will reach only those users who have already shown interest in the topic.

Traditional marketing: advantages and disadvantages


With the advent of social media, traditional marketing has somewhat fallen into the background from an advertiser’s perspective, although it still plays a relatively important role in consumers ’daily lives. If you have budgets that allow you to run campaigns in prime-time TV, this is certainly not a bad decision and you could achieve your business goals.

Traditional marketing channels include:

  • Outdoor channels: posters, billboards, posters, digital advertising screens
  • TV and radio
  • Press: magazines and newspapers
  • Direct mail: catalogs
  • Telemarketing: telephone
  • Showcases


  • Impressiveness and ease of understanding

Billboards and TV commercials have become part of everyday consumer life. Although there are many of them, it is possible to stand out from the competition with a creative approach.

  • Durability of printed materials

The ad in the magazine will remain in the same place until it is recycled. Magazines that are available in places like waiting rooms or hair salons there can circulate for a longer period of time, which means that a large number of people will potentially come into contact with the ad.

  • Memorability

You are slightly more likely to remember something you saw live compared to the content displayed on your mobile phone. A beautiful showcase can be a lot more memorable than an Instagram ad you saw for just a few seconds.


  • Difficult to monitor performance

Although there are certain ways to monitor the effectiveness of traditional marketing, they are not nearly as accurate and effective as the tools available for digital marketing. This means you can’t be sure if your marketing budget has been wasted.

  • High price

It is very difficult for small companies to afford a TV ad on one of the most watched programs, a campaign on digital screens in the city center or a large ad in a daily newspaper. Most forms of traditional marketing will require very high investments.

  • Lack of interaction with consumers

Unlike social media marketing, traditional marketing makes it difficult to find out consumer reactions to your communication.

Digital marketing: advantages and disadvantages


As striking as traditional marketing may be, we cannot ignore the fact that we live in a digital world. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Messenger, TikTok, YouTube, Google etc. These giants certainly shaping up today’s reality and we are quite sure that they do not need to be presented in details. We all know who they are and what they are capable of.

If we want to be successful in modern business environment, we must by no means neglect digital marketing. The starting idea of marketing is to convey a message to the consumer, and the only way to effectively convey a message and reach consumers is by using the channels they regularly come in contact with. 30 years ago, it was TV and magazines, today it is social networks and websites. Period.

Digital marketing channels include:

  • Search Engines – Google Ads
  • Social networks: Facebook, Instagram and the like
  • Web pages
  • Email marketing
  • SEM (Search Engine Marketing) Search engine marketing
  • Content marketing
  • PPC (Pay per click)


  • More options for interaction

On channels like social networks, it is directly visible what the public thinks about your brand and the way you communicate. If your Facebook posts get a lot of likes, positive comments, or shares, you know you’re going in the right direction.

  • Simple and reliable performance monitoring

Unlike traditional marketing, digital channels allow in-depth and detailed monitoring of campaign performance. Based on this knowledge, it is possible to achieve better results in each upcoming campaign because you will know exactly in which areas changes need to be made.

  • Easy access to target groups

Communication on digital channels can be presented to very narrow demographic groups based on age, location, interests, and patterns of behavior. This enables significantly more economical spending of the marketing budget.


  • Digital ads can be potentially repulsive

You want to watch a specific video on YouTube, but you must watch 5 seconds of video ads beforehand. This situation can be irritating for users, especially if it is a completely missed target group. But the situation is similar in traditional media, for example on TV.

  • Short-lived

Efforts invested in digital marketing channels such as Google ads, banners, promotional emails and social media ads are very short-lived and will be displayed for just a few seconds before the user continues to use a particular channel.

  • Continuous changes

In order to achieve the best results, it is inevitable to constantly learn about the development and new possibilities of digital channels. Each channel requires a separate specialist who is well versed in a specific area, from search engines to social media.

Find out what works best for you

Both types of marketing have their advantages and disadvantages. To choose the best channels, it is important to take into account your marketing needs, available budget and the specifics of the target group.

Traditional marketing is most often effective in communicating with the older generations, who have spent most of their lives only with these types of media, while its effectiveness with the younger generations is declining. When it comes to digital marketing, it is proving to be very effective for reaching almost all generations, not just millennials and Generation Z, especially when it comes to marketing through Google and Facebook.

But one thing is for sure – digital channels are the present, but also the future of marketing. In order to achieve good results and optimal spending of funds invested in marketing, it is important to know well the specifics of individual digital media. If you do not have experts in various areas of digital marketing within your organization, the safest, and ultimately the most cost-effective, are digital marketing agencies. Equus Group LLC team of professionals has been successfully following trends and innovations in these areas for years.

Feel free to contact us for personalized advice and discover how your company can benefit from engaging in new digital communication channels.

Your Digital Partner – Equus Group LLC