Why Is Digital Marketing More Effective Than Traditional Marketing?

What is digital marketing? It’s the use of several strategies, platforms, and channels, such as email marketing, websites, blogs, or SEO to promote a business and convert potential customers.

What is traditional marketing? It’s the conventional method of gaining exposure for a brand and includes things like radio, newspaper, television, billboards, mailers, networking events, and even cold calling that had been the primary way to market before the birth of digital.

Is one better than the other? While there is still merit to certain traditional strategies based on your brand goals, digital has some serious advantages and shouldn’t be ignored. How does digital measure up? Let’s take a look.

1. Digital marketing levels the playing field

Once upon a time, brands with small wallets had a very hard time getting exposure. Companies now have opportunities to reach and connect with new audiences that they never could have in years past.

This is amazing news for new and emerging brands! Inbound methodology, social media marketing, and other digital strategies can give you big opportunities for exposure that were previously only available to established companies who could pay to play.

2. Digital marketing is less expensive

Big businesses don’t have any problem spending millions on marketing and advertisements. Before digital marketing, small brands simply couldn’t compete. Digital marketing is a cheaper alternative for small business because they can educate themselves on inbound strategies like SEO and social media marketing and bring in new customers based on their efforts.

Not only can brands execute on their on inbound marketing strategies, these strategies are more effective because they create connection and trust between consumers and brands. More effective marketing means it costs less to make a sale.

3. Digital marketing is easier to measure

Traditional marketing is more of a guessing game, which no one in business really appreciates as a strategy. Because traditional marketing doesn’t usually create trust or connection, creating conversions is a great deal more difficult. You’ll have to assume that the platform (so radio, TV, etc.) is correct in its understanding of its own demographics. Then you’ll have to guess how many of those ideal customers you’ll actually be able to intrigue enough to take next steps. For those who do, it’s incredibly difficult to track those conversions back to the original marketing effort. You’ll have to wait several weeks or months to get results, if you’re able to track the data at all.

However, with digital marketing, you can watch your campaigns unfold in real time. Granted, you’ll still need to give your digital marketing efforts time to unfold so you can gather data, but with the right tools, the data you gather will be so rich, you’ll be able to track all of your efforts clearly and make adjustments to optimize each campaign.

4. Digital marketing can be quickly optimized

Traditional marketing methods are more often than not pay-to-play options. Once they are in effect, you can’t pull back and try something else. Radio spots, mailers, magazine ads…. There’s no switching up your strategy once you’ve handed over your credit card.

Digital marketing provides more flexibility. As the data rolls inㅡand it will do so quicklyㅡyou can adjust or pivot altogether so you’re not wasting time or money on a strategy or campaign that hasn’t quite hit the mark.


We live in a world that’s gone digital, and this switch is the key to building a brand successfully. Consumers all over the world are actively finding answers to their challenges online and head to the internet to learn, be informed, and create connections with like-minded people. Traditional marketing is disruptive; it prevents consumers from getting the right messages at the right time. Digital marketing has changed all that. With the right strategies, digital marketing allows us to reach more people, find the right people, and then optimize our campaigns quickly and easily so we can build brands faster and more affordably than ever.

Meet the Author: Shauna Armitage

Shauna is a Marketing Director or Fractional CMO helping early-stage startups scale with effective strategies, creative solutions, and unparalleled integrity by making the most of small budgets for maximum impact.

As a vocal advocate for women in business, Shauna is on a mission to redefine what it looks like to be a working woman and to support other women doing the same. She spends her free time traveling with her husband and four kids while drinking Coca-Colas. Connect with her on Instagram at @shauna.armitage.

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