How is digital marketing different from traditional marketing?

The discussion about how digital marketing differs from traditional marketing arises from time to time since it is a kind of competition between spaces that involve investment for the success of brands, products and services.

Similarities and differences between digital marketing and traditional marketing

The media ecosystem in which companies rely on to communicate their value proposition is changing due not only to temporary but also structural reasons that allow the generation of traffic to our website, allowing the company that that lead can end the marketing funnel and finally make a purchase in our e-commerce.

Therefore, the digital age is expanding like wildfire and brand-consumer interaction is decisive for customer loyalty and even to make it an evangelizer of the brand, product or service, thus reducing costs and increasing profitability, extra point for digital marketing!

Here is a comparative list of why digital marketing is more profitable than traditional media:

Mechanism of action

Traditional marketing (also known as offline marketing) only focuses its mechanism of action on the product or service to incentivize sales.

On the other hand, digital marketing (or online marketing) uses its action to connect with the user and generate a conversion.


In the case of traditional marketing, the message is addressed to the masses and the segmentation is quite general, referring to sociodemographic groups. General aspects regarding age, sex, location, salary and studies of the audience are studied.

For its part, in digital marketing the approach is oriented towards the interests, behavior in social media, browsing habits, search intentionality and more specific sociodemographic characteristics of the audience.

Therefore, the message is aimed at select segments and in a much more specialized way, thus achieving greater effectiveness and performance of the digital marketing budget.


In traditional marketing, mass media or guerrilla marketing have to be used to reach the target audience, with the implications of the use of economic resources, time and money.

On the other hand, the penetration capacity of the internet and the profitability of advertising in digital media or generating content and influence on digital platforms facilitate the access of brands, products and services to people of almost any place and age. This helps to reach more and more people each time but in a practically personalized way.


While in traditional marketing brands pursue buyers to buy their products or to acquire their services, in digital marketing users can search and compare brands, products, and services at any time and place.

Directionality of communication

In general, traditional marketing is one-way and linear. This means that the user is passive and cannot generate a direct and immediate response to the company, brand or product. Promote a message through the mass media to influence the buying behavior of the public.

On the other hand, in digital marketing, communication is bi-directional and interactive, so it generates relationships a little more immediately between the company, brand or product and customers and even between the users themselves, so it promotes the interaction, reaches and credibility between users and consumers.

Democratization of media and positioning

The presence of a brand, product or service is due to the use of traditional channels such as the press, radio, television, events, exhibitions, conferences, advertisements or printed material. Therefore, the positioning and reach are exclusively subject to the budget of the big brands.

On the other hand, in digital marketing the pressure is significantly reduced: The presence of a brand, product or service is due to the effective and constant implementation of the digital marketing strategy and content marketing through digital channels such as social networks, e-mail marketing, a good website design, SEO, SEM, applications and online stores.

Return on investment

This is tied to the previous point. In digital marketing, the entrepreneur hires advertising space in the mass media, which involves large investments of money and time and not necessarily a good ROI. What’s more, it is much more difficult to measure.

But if the investment is made in digital media, the entrepreneur hires a digital marketing agency that generates proposals according to his business’s needs and budget. In addition, there are more effective mechanisms to optimize and measure the ROI of the investment.

Presence and effectiveness of advertising

In traditional marketing, ads have specific times and locations, so it takes time to generate customers and buyers.

In addition, advertising is invasive and reaches an audience that did not request the information of the brand, which usually generates rejection of the brand, product or service.

For its part, digital marketing is more empathetic, as it adapts to the habits, schedules and needs of users. Advertising is less invasive and reaches a specific audience that has confidence in the brand. Likewise, it is easier to generate purchases, as it reduces barriers, such as access to information, time and transfers: Everything is reduced to a single click.

Results measurement

For traditional marketing, the results are not always quantifiable because it is aimed at the masses and the media have inefficient tools to measure investment versus results, in addition to offering answers that usually take too long.

Another point in favor of digital marketing is the ability to measure immediately, precisely and concretely all types of impact, both quantitatively and qualitatively and immediately.

This allows optimizing many processes, redirecting actions, preventing crises, taking advantage of opportunities … and, of course, saving a lot of time, effort and money.

Loyalty and evangelization

Traditional marketing strategies and action plans are geared towards your sales. The brand, product, service or company is “above” its audience is difficult to access and is concerned with achieving results based on the decisions of executives, not consumers or users.

On the other hand, in digital marketing, the brand ceases to be “untouchable” and seeks to connect with the audience directly, immediately and effectively to solve their needs and address their claims and complaints.

In this way, it is also sought that the same users are not only loyal to the brand, product or service but also that they become evangelizers of it.


Traditional marketing actions are done constantly for specific campaigns, so the material generated and discarded is for single-use, which causes a lot of contamination in different aspects: From the production of promotional material to uniforms, mass emails, noise, etc.

While digital marketing produces much less pollution than traditional marketing, it is a fallacy to say that it does not pollute.

The impact is measured from the extraction and processing of materials for the production of digital devices and facilities for the use of the internet to the immense use of energy for the generation, storage and distribution of information.

Personalization and CRM

In both cases, you can customize and make use of CRM platforms. However, digital marketing implies automation and optimization of processes, as well as management and analysis of big data in real-time and in a much more efficient and effective way.

In reality, now there is more talk of management from omnichannel, so it is an integration of the channels and marketing mechanism working and leveraging together, as a true ecosystem.

Omnichannel, the interaction between both worlds

Although omnichannel is more responsive to digital marketing, without human interaction, the customer experience is not possible. Therefore, it is essential to consider making more and more the different media of the digital ecosystem available to users and customers to achieve better results.

Why invest in digital marketing?

Danielle Sacks said: “The Internet turned what used to be a controlled, one-way message into a real-time dialogue with millions of people.”

In this sense, it is not about making a dent in traditional marketing, but rather that it coexists with digital marketing. In a 2.0 and 3.0 world, your business must have a presence on the Internet, it must reach high standards in the online market at affordable prices.

Although we have already seen that there are substantial differences between both ways of doing marketing, the truth is that both complement each other. Even so, digital marketing will continue to occupy more and more spaces for interaction, whether in search engines, websites, e-commerce, blogs, e-mailing, social networks, apps and other media.

At IDX.Marketing we work every day so that the message of your brand, product or service has greater reach and profitability each because growing with you is our greatest dream. Contact us and let us show you how to become allies.