The right marketing strategy can make or break a business. It’s important to pour energy and money in the right direction that best represents the brand. However, when it comes to implementing the best marketing plan, it can be quite a challenge There are many questions that a marketing team finds themselves asking. A problem arises between which type of marketing is the shining path to take. In a digital world, most businesses are favoring the styles that come with digital marketing. However, traditional marketing has been the standard for years and is still successful today. A dilemma between the two types of marketing can form traditional vs digital marketing. Is one better? Is one going to produce more success than the other? The answer can be a little complicated. 

What Is Traditional Marketing? 

Before diving into the debate about which marketing style is better, it’s important to have an understanding of what traditional marketing encompasses. As previously stated, traditional marketing is nothing new. That’s why it’s referred to as traditional. These methods include: 

  • Print (Newspapers, magazines, etc.) 
  • Media ( TV, radio, etc.)
  • Telephone ( Cold calls, SMS marketing, etc.)
  • Direct Mail (catalogs, postcards, etc.) 
  • Outdoor ( Flyers, Billboards, etc.) 

What Is Digital Marketing? 

Learning what digital marketing encompasses is essential to understanding the impact it can have on a business. Digital marketing is much newer and has emerged over the last decade. Many businesses have adopted this form of marketing and it continues to grow throughout the marketing industry. There are many different methods that fall under this form of marketing. These methods include:

  • Social Media Marketing ( Videos, pictures, statuses shared via social media) 
  • Email Marketing ( promotional emails, newsletters, etc.) 
  • Search Engine Optimization (a strategy that places websites at the top of search results)
  • Paid Search ( sponsored content that appears at the top of search results)
  • Content Marketing ( informational blogs – like this!) 

Get To The Stats 

Most people believed that digital marketing is the way to go. This is due to the ever-growing digital world that consumes our daily lives. It’s reported that more than a quarter of U.S adults report being online “almost constantly”. This means the audience is there for digital marketing. Additionally, a 2019 poll by Marist College and National Public Radio found that 76% of adults in the United States shopped online. These numbers show that digital marketing is an effective way to reach an audience of consumers. If people are always online that means there is a higher chance for customers to see your emails, social posts, and websites. Given the past year, these numbers have likely increased with the global pandemic. Digital marketing is a very effective way to market to consumers. But, how does it compare to traditional marketing? Traditional vs Digital Marketing

Traditional marketing has seen some slack in the past few years. Many marketers believe there is no value in marketing this way. In contrast, that is not true. It’s reported that 10% of American adults do not use the internet at all. While that might mean a small percentage of people, it’s actually an abundant amount. For example, let’s say the American population is 1,000,000 people. This means 10% of that population is 100,000 people. That means if a business doesn’t utilize traditional marketing they are missing an opportunity to reach 100,000 customers. Not to mention, only 10% of all US consumer spending is done online. This means most spending is still happening in physical stores despite the emergence of many online stores. 

Let’s Debate, Traditional vs Digital Marketing 

As mentioned earlier, deciding the answer to this question isn’t as straightforward as it may seem. It’s no surprise that investing in digital marketing is a great idea for many businesses alike. Avoiding digital content entirely presents a missed opportunity for reaching a wide array of consumers. The same can be said for traditional marketing. Many people still buy products from stores based on traditional marketing techniques. 

So, it sounds like both options provide opportunities. That’s true. When it comes to deciding which method is best for your business, the best place to start is to look at your industry and customer base. If a business is targeting a younger audience it makes more sense to take a digital route. The flip side of this if an older demographic would respond better to traditional marketing. The main takeaway is that both marketing styles have positive and negatives. One, necessarily, isn’t better than the other.  In fact, many businesses incorporate methods of both marketing styles. Many brands send out mail offers while posting on their social media accounts. Incorporating both styles covers all the bases in terms of customers. 


When it comes to this common debate, there isn’t a clear defined answer when it comes to traditional vs. digital marketing.  Both styles of marketing can greatly benefit a business. Major businesses incorporate both. This allows them to reach a high number of customers. Smaller businesses can learn from this and learn to integrate both sides of marketing into their companies. It’s important to note, that a small business doesn’t have to incorporate every aspect of traditional and digital marketing. For instance, a business takes pieces of both. This means a business can have an established social media presence while also places ads on the radio or billboards. Traditional and digital marketing can both positively impact a business. To put it simply, one isn’t better than the other. There are advantages to both it’s just deciding which styles work best for your business. 

Learn More About QuoteNerd’s Marketing Services 

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