How are digital marketing campaigns different from traditional offline campaigns?

What makes digital marketing stand out from traditional advertising like a magazine, newspaper, and TV adverts? There are many advantages that digital marketing has over traditional, but also a few downfalls.

These days, digital marketing has essentially overtaken traditional, real-world campaigns. Lower costs and new technologies mean that even the smallest businesses can compete with international brands, with the right marketing strategy.

All in all, though, digital marketing is quite versatile and has many applications.

Today we’re going to be taking a closer look at how digital marketing is different from traditional marketing. Specifically, we’ll cover how they differ in terms of aims, approaches, and indicators of success.

Differences between traditional and digital marketing campaings featured

First though, let’s start with the basics.

What are Digital Marketing Campaigns?

Digital marketing campaigns encompass a number of different methods that you can use to build up your following and get your business noticed by as many people as possible.

Some of the most common digital marketing channels include:

  • Social media,
  • Email campaigns,
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) ads,
  • Affiliate marketing,
  • Content marketing and strategy,
  • Influencer marketing.

There are even more methods constantly being created thanks to the ever-changing nature of the digital marketing space. Here are some of the primary characteristics of digital marketing, along with their benefits and disadvantages.

You’ll also need a range of digital marketing tools for each of these channels, in order to run effective campaigns.

Digital marketing campaigns channels pie chart
There are a number of different kinds of digital marketing campaigns. Image credit: MarketingGuru

What are the Differences Between Traditional Marketing and Digital Marketing?

There are a number of crucial differences between traditional marketing and digital marketing campaigns. Many of these weigh in the favour of newer techniques and strategies. All the same, digital marketing also presents some unique challenges.

Let’s take a look at some of the key differences between traditional marketing and digital marketing.

1. Results of Digital Marketing Campaigns Are Easily Measured

Individual actions, or entire campaigns, are easily measured to determine if they were effective. What makes digital marketing more efficient than traditional offline marketing is that it’s very easy to measure the results of a campaign.

For instance, you can’t tell how often people saw an advert on the train and whether it encouraged them to buy your product or not. With a digital marketing campaign, however, there is little mystery regarding performance.

You can see how many people opened an email then clicked links, and how many impressions your social media and pay-per-click ads generated as well as their click-through rate.

Depending on how robust and sophisticated your data analytics tools are, you can also determine what types of marketing an individual customer is most responsive to and what items they are most likely to purchase.

It is extremely difficult to do this with offline marketing methods, other than an ad campaign being particularly responsive or unresponsive.

2. Understand Customer Behaviour

With digital marketing, you can measure the lifetime value (LTV) of an individual customer to create more targeted campaigns.

It’s virtually impossible to get an idea of how often an individual has seen your billboards, TV placement, or newspaper and magazine inserts let alone when they became a paying customer.

But with digital marketing campaigns, LTV is the measure of how much revenue that individual customer has earned your business ever since they first began purchasing from you.

Related metrics include how often a customer purchases, what marketing technique they are the most responsive to, average spend per order, and other relevant information to create more targeted campaigns.

3. Audience Segmentation

Digital marketing makes it easy to personalize email campaigns and segment your customers by different criteria.

It isn’t that difficult to divide your customer base into segments according to whatever criteria you set like location, average spend per order, or the product lines they typically purchase among other things.

Segmentation can make digital marketing campaigns more effective because if only a certain subset of your customers would be interested in a new product, you won’t need to risk losing engagement by notifying your entire email list.

Because segmentation data is easy to measure, this enables you to create as many or few segments of customers as needed.

Segmentation for marketing campaigns
There are a number of ways to segment your audience. Image credit: Modyo

4. Digital Marketing is More Interactive Than Offline Marketing

You can easily test different versions of your content for free or very little cost.

A/B testing, also called split testing, entails dividing up groups such as your email list sign ups and social media followers and sending the groups different versions of the same content.

It can be an email message with different logos and colour schemes or a social media post advertising the same product but using a different image.

This type of testing can show you the differences in clicks and conversions so that you can get an idea of what your customers are more likely to click on and therefore, purchase.

With traditional advertising, it is often expensive and time-consuming getting feedback from existing and potential customers on how they react to different print or TV ads.

5. Better Customer Relationships

The digital world we live in today has opened up communications between businesses and customers.

Social media is often a very public way of doing customer service if an unhappy customer wants to tell the world about their experience, or when a customer simply wants to make a suggestion.

Running an ad campaign through social media using both your own followers and paid placement often results in immediate engagement.

People will leave comments and ask questions which are just what you need for a product launch that you hope will be lucrative. Traditional adverts may result in receiving feedback from

6. Local Marketing Can Be Made Easier or More Difficult

Digital marketing campaigns can be localized easily. Digital marketing is quite versatile in that you can tailor your campaigns for global, national, or local audiences. It is easy to segment your customers by postcode to county, or country or the entire region.

When it comes to optimizing your website and content for local SEO, you can use the name of the area you are targeting and its variations as keywords for ultimate efficacy.

There are other actions you can take like registering for local business directories and getting placed on Google Maps. If you desire a more global presence, you’ll want to focus more on SEO, content, and social media as a means to appeal to potential customers around the world.

Traditional offline marketing can have the advantage of repetition. When you use traditional methods such as newspapers or billboards that only a local audience is seeing, this isn’t great if your goal is to attain an enhanced global reach.

However, if your goal is to get a local audience it can end up being more effective than a digital campaign by itself.

Seeing your billboard or other sponsored placement several times in person can get people to remember your business more easily.

7. Getting Traffic to Your Ads, Content, or Social Media Pages Presents Challenges

Your website and other pages need traffic in order to be effective. When you buy a newspaper, magazine, billboard, or TV advert space or you have a reporter write about you, there is more or less a guarantee that many people are going to hear about your business.

When it comes to digital PPC ads, you can measure the results of the campaign but you might not see the kind of results that you were hoping for if your business is new and doesn’t have much of a presence yet (online or offline).

This is where traditional offline methods have an advantage if you don’t have much of a following. This is particularly true from an SEO standpoint if your site is not SEO-optimized and if people just aren’t searching online for what you are offering.

Methods like affiliate and influencer marketing meet traditional marketing in the middle to help increase your visibility.

Because generating traffic organically is a major challenge, other methods like affiliate and influencer marketing are a combination of digital and traditional marketing to help you get the exposure that you need.


Top traffic driving channels stats
Different channels are more effective than others for driving traffic. Image credit: DataBox

By setting up your own affiliate portal or using an existing network, bloggers and other website owners looking to make money online are happy to get affiliate links to earn passive income while you capitalize off of their pre-existing followings.

Influencer marketing works similarly to getting press mentions in that an influencer’s massive following is introduced to your business because they genuinely like what you are offering.

Conversely, you can also sponsor a blog post through an influencer to overcome the challenge of not having enough traffic.

How Digital Marketing is Different from Traditional Marketing

In summary, our world has become more digital and investing in digital marketing campaigns is simply what makes sense.

The digital marketing landscape has taken a lot of guesswork out of marketing campaigns given how easy it is to measure results of both actual campaigns and how responsive customers are over their lifetimes.

Digital marketing campaigns offer more immediate reactions than traditional advertising and can increase engagement with customers.

However, the major drawback with digital marketing is that building up the following and generating enough traffic to make digital marketing techniques incredibly effective can take a long time.

Offline methods like placing adverts in newspapers and magazines only require paying fees to be seen by all of the publication’s subscribers and can be more effective in getting your name out there, at least in the beginning.

Overall, digital marketing can be both fun and challenging in growing your online presence.

Gaining followers and keeping them engaged is key to succeeding in digital marketing campaigns, and it definitely can’t hurt to use a mixture of digital and offline marketing methods together.

If you’d like to learn more about creating incredible digital marketing campaigns, contact ProfileTree today.

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