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How Does Digital Marketing Differ from Traditional Marketing?

How different can digital marketing be from traditional marketing? After all, don’t both forms of marketing use pretty much the same techniques and have the same aims? It would be fair to assume that digital marketing is the new subsection of traditional marketing. As digital marketing has become the main focus of marketers, it is clear that digital marketing is not just a subsection of traditional marketing but a unique and valuable enterprise in itself.

What is Traditional Marketing?

To understand how digital marketing and traditional marketing differ, one first needs to understand how both forms of marketing are defined. Traditional marketing has been around for quite a while. The term describes any form of marketing that does not use digital platforms to display marketing efforts. Traditional marketing can include physical items, such as posters, newspaper ads, or business cards. It can also include word-of-mouth referrals, TV, radio, and billboard ads.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is a relatively new and quickly evolving form of marketing. Digital marketing aims to improve the visibility of a business for relevant audiences and to draw this relevant traffic to a website. This can be done ‘organically’ or by paid advertisements. Forms of digital marketing include search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertisements, social media marketing, website design, and video or written digital content.

How Does Digital Marketing Differ from Traditional Marketing?

Digital and traditional marketing don’t only differ in that they work on different platforms; they have very different practices and aims. The list below outlines just some of the ways digital marketing and traditional marketing are different.

1. Targeting

One of the distinct benefits of digital marketing is the level of targeting that it offers. As Made By Factory demonstrates, businesses have the potential to target only the most appropriate and relevant users. This means that digital marketing can be much more cost-effective. To understand this, compare a billboard and a pay-per-click ad. A billboard is going to be seen by all passers-by, only a small percentage of whom are likely to be interested in what is being advertised. In contrast, a pay-per-click ad will only be seen by internet users with an expressed interest in your market niche. The high level of targeting means that digital marketing can be much more effective than traditional marketing for the majority of businesses.

2. Analytics

Digital marketing happens online, and one of the real benefits of the online world for marketers is that people leave a digital footprint. For traditional marketing, you cannot track how many times a person saw your billboard, where they were going before they saw it, or what they did after seeing it. In digital marketing, you can gather all relevant information to understand how your marketing efforts affected consumer behavior. Being able to understand how and when your digital marketing efforts were effective enables marketers to continuously learn from this data to create more effective campaigns.

3. Organic Marketing

Digital marketing increases the possibilities of traditional marketing. Practices like search engine optimization enable businesses to increase their visibility without having to use paid promotions. This enables businesses to connect with customers more organically, which is not possible with traditional marketing, which relies more heavily on paid advertisements.

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