How Digital Marketing is more efficient than Traditional Marketing?

Aug 13, 2017





Which method of marketing will give me the best reach and best return on investment for the money I spend? This is the question marketers are tackling every day.

Traditional marketing Vs Digital marketing is still one of the major debates in most corporates when making their marketing strategy! But definitely digital marketing is gaining its share of importance.

Well, one of the famous marketing experts Regis McKenna defines marketing as “Marketing is everything.” Adapting to what he say’s we have to do everything to reach our customers and today’s customer is spending a great time on the internet!

Currently the Share of Indian Population on internet is: 34.8 % of our overall population.

It is in fact said that India will have over 500 million mobile internet users by 2017.

Adding to the internet penetration fact as per a study on smart phone users done by Internet and Mobile Association of India and Times Internet Limited: Pre-paid Smartphone users spend nearly 72% of their time to access online content while merely 15% of their time is spent on making voice calls.

The fact is Internet usage in India is rising due to the mobile phone revolution. There are 105 crore wireless connections (TRAI; September 30, 2016) for a population of 133 crore (World Bank; October 6, 2016). But, the number of internet subscriptions is only a third of the total number of mobile phone users.

If we put the subscribers figures in conjunction to the projected population of India (World Bank; October 6, 2016), there are approximately 96 crore citizens without access to the internet. The rural picture, where 67% of India lives, is bleaker. Thus, giving a great opportunity for internet penetration in the coming years.

Marketers will have to reach this new set of everyday growing number of users on the web. Thus, marketing budget is shifting to digital media from traditional media. Currently, the ration of traditional marketing VS Digital marketing would be approx 80VS 20. In some industries it could also be 90: 10.

But definitely marketers will be shifting and should shift budgets to digital because we can no more ignore the fact that we have to be where our customers are!

Let’s dive deeper to understand why marketers are shifting from traditional marketing to digital marketing.

So basically what different mediums are used for traditional marketing and digital marketing?

What is Traditional Marketing
Traditional methods of marketing involve advertising and reaching target audience through newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, OOH.  These ads are typically placed for a fee which corresponds to the size of the ad, as well as the medium in which it is published. For better understanding traditional marketing has been categorized into two major categories “Above the line “& “Below the line”.

  • ATL (Above the line) – ATL included using mass media like OOH, TV, Radio, Newspaper etc.
  • BTL (Below the line) – BTL includes using direct channels like catalogues, telemarketing, events, magazines, exhibitions & sponsorships etc.

What is Digital Marketing
Digital Marketing is all about engaging with the audience, receives all necessary inputs about the target audience, understands their need, develop the right solution and promote the solution by constant communication with the audience and constantly updating the product or service based on the reviews and feedback.

Definition of Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is an umbrella term for the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, mainly on the Internet, but also including mobile phones, display advertising, and any other digital medium.

Advantages of Digital Marketing

Let’s look at the Advantages of Digital Marketing so that we can adopt and allocate our budgets to this mode of advertising and marketing.

  1. You can target a greater audience, be local audience, niche or global audience targeting.
  2. Demographic targeting is possible based on the user behaviour on the internet. So marketers get a great opportunity to target based on demographics, such as gender, location, age and interests. Thus, making our campaigns even more effective.
  3. Online audience has the option to opt in and opt out Whereas, traditional marketing doesn’t give the audience a choice. Segment users based on their preference.
  4. Interaction with your audience is smooth and more effective. You can encourage your audience, clients to take action, visit your website, read about your products and services, rate them, buy them and provide feedback.
  5. Digital marketing is cost-efficient.We do invest on paid mediums like google ads and facebook ads. However, the cost is still cheaper compared to traditional marketing activities like television and radio ads.
  6. Deep data mining and customer study is possible. All major social media platforms give us the opportunity to understand our audience better through the platform specific insights. Even Google analytics gives us the access and opportunity to understand what is the user behaviour like on our portals. These results can be used to measure our overall digital marketing performance.
  7. In traditional marketing campaign efforts can not lead to virality. How often do you think newspapers, flyers get passed around instantly by your customers and prospects?  However online, because of social media a good campaign can get spread quickly.  If you consider the average Facebook user has 190 friends of which an average of 12% see their liked posts – your one message has actually been seen by 15 new prospects. Now imagine a number of them also like and share your message and their friends do the same?  Hence making marketers focus on more quality content. 

Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing
Let’s understand even better with a  Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing through an example:
A real estate brand advertising through Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing


  • Targeting Method – Newspaper
  • Reach – 8 to 9 lakh people will see the ad
  • Cost – 7 to 10  lakh
  • Duration –  1 day
  • Targeting option – overall broad
  • ROI – Low, can expect 5% to 7% ROI depending on the product category

However, a repetitive spend on traditional marketing is also necessary to actually create a brand and product awareness or it will lead to even more no results.


  • Targeting Method – paid advertisement / Free  ( But free advertising won’t reach a larger audience )
  • Reach – High
  • Cost – 0 to unlimited
  • Duration –  Self Define ( depending on our budget, we can spread the budget as per our requirement and burst needed )
  • Targeting option –  High, can target ads all over India or Overseas, Demographic and location targeting is possible, affinity targeting is also doable. Making it give marketers opportunity to niche target and also target a defined interested audience.
  • ROI – High return on investment is possible because ads are and spends are targeted to the right potential audience.

Thus, when we try to strategize and understand what is an effective way to advertise and reach our customers a thorough study needs to be done on traditional marketing vs. digital marketing.  Let’s keep in mind –  What is attracting new age marketers about digital marketing is the control and measurement on spends and the customization and targeting feature it brings. And thus helps in reaching right audience at the right time and on the right platform.

Hope this blog post has helped you to understand why digital marketing needs a fair budget allocation and focus when making marketing strategies.

Post by sapience

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