10 Differences between Traditional and Digital Marketing

Surely the usual readers of this blog are totally familiar with digital marketing. Moreover, you may not even have known the pre-Google era. But there was a time when there was no Analytics, we were not talking about web positioning, there was not even Facebook! Today we want to make a comparison and determine some of the differences between traditional marketing and digital marketing today.

Differences between traditional marketing and digital marketing

content marketingEmergence of content marketing

With the advent of the Internet, the proliferation of personal authorship blogs or YouTube channels, a great volume of information began to be generated . Hand in hand with the creation of these contents, searches in search engines emerged.

The brands responded, once again to social behavior and took advantage of it to their advantage. This is how content marketing was born: companies started to create blogs and have been introducing all kinds of formats (images, videos, audio).

The contents have become the meeting point between brands and consumers, between supply and demand. The contents cover everything, including the one generated by the users themselves. See the case of Amazon, a brand that knows how to take advantage of and perfectly incentivize all the recommendations of its customers to sell more.


search intentThe demand and the intention to search

Although traditional marketing used several resources to measure demand, the way we search the Internet today speaks volumes not only about the volume of demand , but also about user characteristics .

Although in the past we used to resort to surveys and other studies, today’s user queries allow us to draw a fairly accurate map of our potential clients. Beyond whether women or men buy us, their ages and other habitual characteristics, Google queries allow us to obtain a more defined image:

  • From where they buy
  • When they buy
  • What information are you looking for before buying
  • How they search (what their language is, how they express themselves)

According to Google, there are 4 main criteria of search intent : The informative, the Investigation, the Transactional and the Navigational. In principle, brands make a study of keywords or keyword research  as part of the optimization of their SEO strategy. However it is a great way to get to know our users and the way of the demand.

The tools we often use to measure the search volume of a specific term can give us a lot of insight into what the demand related to that term is like.


seo positioningVisibility and SEO Positioning

If they asked me to cite a single difference between the new marketing and the traditional one, I would say: “SEO” .

The visibility of a brand has always been a matter to be prioritized by traditional marketing specialists. A brand that is not visible, is doomed to settle for a very small number of customers.

If the phrase “If you’re not on the Internet, you do not exist” was created with the appearance of the Internet, with the devastating introduction of search engines and Google as the main one, it emerged: “If you’re not in Google, you do not exist . ” Not in vain there is a classic SEO joke that says: “The best place to hide a corpse is the second page of Google.”

Not in vain, the companies invest infinity of resources to appear in the first positions of the star search engine. And is that much of the traffic that generates a good position often ends up becoming sales or other types of conversions.


The new user vs old user

Goodbye to controllable and manageable users who were easily influenced by advertising. The new user is very informed, is very critical and knows very well what he wants.

This factor directly affects marketing strategies, as brands are increasingly exposed, more defenseless and have to opt for a more transparent policy.

The consumer is increasingly aware of the news, knows better the products and services he hires. Through forums, opinions of other users, reviews on blogs or YouTube channels, people make a clear opinion of what they will buy before going to the store. Moreover, consumers often know more about a product than the sellers themselves.


the new userNew advertising figures: influencers and ambassadors

Users no longer believe in brands , they are not interested in their speech. This reality has made credible figures flourish: real people who give their opinion or testimony. Two of these cases are the well-known influencersand brand ambassadors. Although they are different concepts coincide in something: they are real people with whom the rest of users identifies.


  • The influencers 

Although in traditional marketing it uses relevant figures such as film artists or athletes, current marketing goes to the influencers’ market . They are people who have some credibility on a specific issue and who also has a community that follows them.

Currently there are many brands that come to these influencers to make a review of their products, describe and give their opinion. It works for many sectors, from fashion to cameras, books, cosmetics, childcare … to niche products.

So great has been the impact of these popular figures that the ” Marketing of Influencers ” has been born as a denomination. There is a lot of literature on this subject. Currently many of the best marketing and advertising books dedicate a space to influencers. This is the case of “Marca busca a egoblogger”, “Influencers” or many others.

  • The brand ambassadors:

Brand ambassadors are another concept, they are not exactly influencers, although they can issue opinions on their blogs or on their social networks, including reviews on YouTube.

Although they are less popular than influencers, they are more credible and therefore generate more benefits for brands. That is to say, the recommendations of the ambassadors have more acceptance.

The Nivea brand, for example, very well use the figure of its ambassadors. The strategy is promoted from their social networks and from their email marketing. They do not limit themselves to testing their products and recommending them, but they also hold events for their ambassadors and have a whole program around this figure.

The impact of networkssocial networksocial

Social networks represent a before and after in the history of marketing and communication in general. Brands have been making their way into social platforms, some with more success than others.

Not all social networks work the same: they do not follow the same guidelines and users make different uses of each one. This forces brands to follow each other’s rules of the game if they want to succeed. It is not the users or the platforms who will adapt to the brands, but vice versa.

For companies, the appearance of these communication channels with consumers has meant a total change in the orientation of their marketing. Beyond the fact of being more exposed than ever, they have the opportunity to communicate directly with their actual or potential clients , to develop an active listening and adjust their actions.

They have even become customer service channels and many brands have opted to open parallel profiles with which to manage the demands of their customers. For example, many have opened an official Twitter account from which to transmit their brand message and another to manage complaints or doubts from their customers.

If you are evaluating which social network is most convenient for your company, I recommend you read this Selection of the most interesting Social Networks for brands,companies and Online Marketing


new advertising formatsNew advertising formats

The technological changes have supposed immediate modifications in the publicity throughout history. The appearance of television or radio had a high impact on their day and they are still valid today. The birth of photography meant the death of the drawing and the photographers displaced the cartoonists (creatives).

The same has happened with the emergence of the Internet and the gradual introduction of digital marketing. Many new advertising formats have appeared, some more aggressive than others: skyscraper, advertorial, robapáginas, reminders … Different formats of banners that are launched on the web.

Computer and brands have joined hands to create new formulas to place ads compatible with navigation. Among the most important are ads on social networks ( social ads ), search engines or the retargeting technique:

  • Social Ads

As soon as the brands perceived that social networks were a perfect showcase to promote themselves, more and more options began to appear to publish social announcements. In fact, these platforms do not stop reinventing each day to offer marketers better options, better metrics and tools to ensure the performance of their ads.

Each platform offers an ad system and each of them has its strengths or weaknesses. So when opting for one or the other, consider what traffic you can generate, where your target audience is, what segmentation it offers, etc. Keep in mind especially what type of campaign you want to develop, maybe a social network is better for a branding campaign and is not as effective for what conversions you are interested in.

Facebook Ads:  Let’s start with the most well-known of all, a network that is constantly evolving and adapting. Your ad manager is increasingly powerful and offers better possibilities.

Right now they are very focused on the ads in video format, which are so successful. In fact, Facebook has just modified its Pre-roll and Mid-roll ad policy , which the company calls “Ad Breaks.” The new conditions mark new times for the videos and in some cases will depend on the number of followers of your FanPage.

Knowing in depth how campaigns work on this platform is not a simple matter, so I recommend you read this Guide of Faceboook Ads with video included by Elena Charameli.

In addition to these three platforms, I want to mention the Ads on YouTube.Pre-roll ads are the closest thing to traditional TV advertising, which is the basic way to place ads on YouTube.

Certainly they are the most elaborate because they have certain technical requirements, however the company makes it easier for you every time. The latest YouTube toolkitoffers a very specific segmentation and by combining Director Mix with Video Ad Sequencing you can generate a unique experience for your followers.

Here are a couple of interesting links:

  • 20 tricks to improve your Video Marketing and SEO on YouTube
  • The 25 best campaigns in social media and social networks


  • SEM: Search Engine Advertising

The creation of advertising campaigns in search engines is one of the most basic forms of online advertising. These campaigns are aimed at responding to the queries that users make in the most important search engines from the establishment of keywords.

The most powerful search engines have their own platforms, as is the case with Bing Ads. However, Google is the search engine par excellence, which makes AdWords the best choice when making SEM campaigns.

If you want to optimize your campaign in Google AdWords, you should organize your ad groups very well , work very well on your keywords and their concordances and try several ad options to see which works best. Here I leave you an updated SEM and Google Adwords Guide, which brings together a lot of recommendations and tricks so you do not fail in your campaigns.

  • Retargeting

The retargeting is an increasingly common technique that consists of creating an ad that breaks out from information connected to a code, usually a cookie . It is a system apparently less aggressive because it is based on a user’s intention that shows some interest.

These campaigns usually offer a good CTR and there are different ways to carry them out. They can be triggered from a newsletter or a social network.


digital marketing costsChanges in the cost structure

We just talked about the advertising options offered by the digital media. Another point that has the new marketing in its favor is that many of these channels are quite cheaper than the traditional ones.

Developing a campaign on social networks or in Adwords is within the reach of any small or medium business. However, traditional media such as television, the written press and even radio (the cheapest), were only options for large companies with large budget items for this purpose.


online marketing campaignsMore reaction capacity in less time

Successful or not, once an advertising campaign was launched or a strategy was launched, there was a time when brands could not react quickly enough if it did not work.

The structure, the traditional marketing protocols required longer times from start-up to feedback collection. Now, however, the times of each process are much shorter, making brands can react urgently if the situation demands it.

This applies to almost all types of campaigns. For example, a PPC campaign in Google AdWords is quick and easily modifiable. If you notice that something is not working, you can stop it without further ado. Another option is to modify its configuration and start it again with the new changes. Social Ads can also be interrupted, modified or canceled when you wish.


digital marketing segmentationSegmentation: The key to success

There is no doubt that segmentation is the basis of the success of any sales strategy. This is one of the basic keys of traditional marketing that digital marketing has been able to optimize.

The platforms know this and they do not stop including more and more specific filters by which to adjust our campaign. The general criteria such as age, gender, professional profile, location, etc., are today only a small part of the segmentation. Of course, they are still used, but now we can fine-tune the segment of the population to which we can go.

AdWords for example, allows a segmentation by audience (which is the closest thing to traditional segmentation), but you can also segment by language, by location, by device and most importantly: by keywords. With a remarketing list, for example, you can target advertising to visitors who have seen certain pages of a website. Which is a very precise segmentation.

Segmentation is the key to traditional marketing that digital marketing has been able to optimize

The Social Ads , also have very interesting proposals that have been increasing. In addition to the traditional variables, they include the interests or declared tastes of the user. From the publications that users make, social platforms detect behaviors with which they then configure their filters.

The marketing inbound , meanwhile, has introduced the figure of the buyer person , which is a more evolved concept target usual. At the time of configuring the description of your “person”, many characteristics emerge that are also useful when segmenting. It is no longer a “45-year-old man from Madrid”, but takes into account his goals and other characteristics as an individual.


bidirectional marketingThe new marketing is bidirectional

In traditional marketing, advertising messages were issued in only one direction: from the brand to the consumer. In digital marketing communication is bidirectional and there is interaction between brands and users . This is unprecedented, because never before the channels were so open and transparent.

Greater reach, greater exposure to advertising.

No matter how big the scope of traditional marketing is, it is far from what online strategies achieve. The mobile devices are fully established in society and brands have taken advantage.

The time in which individuals are exposed to advertising is now much greater. Not only are the usual channels still active, such as TV, radio and posters in general. Now also the brands are in the pockets of consumers, on the screen of your mobile.

Every time is greater the time that we spend in Internet from our computers, tablets, smartphones … with which increases the probability of receiving a message from a brand.


big data web analyticsBig Data: more data than ever

We could dedicate a whole post to talk about the metrics, data and all the information that we currently have on hand. The Big Data surrounds the management marketera today.

In all processes we can find a set of variables that offer us data with which we can analyze our performance.

The market studies that we once did, right now, would seem rudimentary. Today we can make an analysis of the competition and the market very solid without getting up from the computer. A lot of tools have been developed that facilitate this work.

Normally the platforms from which we launch our campaigns provide us with valuable reports on their impact. Google, for example, allows us to have control of the cost of each of our actions in AdWords. Its Analytics tool offers a lot of statistics about traffic, bounce rates, origin of visits , etc. The tools that you have created for YouTube, each time integrate new metrics and allow a more comprehensive control of the performance of the channel.

The introduction of Inbound Marketing means that metrics such as Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) or the Customer Life Cycle Ratio (LTV Life Time Value) have another connotation. The introduction of the sales funnel has modified the way we measure customer acquisition. Each of the stages of the funnel are perfectly measurable.


I am sure that throughout this post you have been going through many other differences between traditional marketing and digital marketing today. We could be talking about this topic for hours, right? I invite you to use the comments area to tell me what changes you have noticed in the way you do marketing.

Author: Sandeep Shinde