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Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing

Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing

Hi guys! I’m back to you with a new important post about Digital Marketing. Today we’re gonna see the differences between Traditional Marketing and Digital Marketing.

I already know someone could say now. “Sorry, Christian. But why do you compare them as they were different things? Isn’t Digital Marketing simply Marketing?”

Yes, you’re right, I agree with you. This is the way it should be considered: as a part of the whole Marketing strategy, not something quite separated. But you just have to know that many companies and many entrepreneurs still think that Marketing is just everything they’re used to do everyday. This is why I define it Traditional Marketing. They do banners on Sheikh Zayed Road, TV advertising, radio and so on.

And when the Digital Marketing came many years ago, they told me: “Ah, this is not real marketing, it’s just a game!” Are you sure? Now they see business going down, Traditional Marketing doesn’t work, they don’t get results and they ask me: “Christian, explain me how Digital Marketing works. Which are the differences between this and what we know?”

Ok, now this is the purpose of this post: to explain the differences between Traditional and Digital Marketing.

Digital Marketing is a revolution.

You have to be ready to change your approach. Let’s see why.

Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing is based on broadcast

One-way communication. Push. The company speaks and everyone listen.

Traditional marketing is message driven

It’s brand focused: it is always “We, we, we. Our product, our market, our brand, our company. We are, we are.” It’s about features and benefits: “Our product is the best. We are the best in this nation.”

Traditional marketing is didactic

It tells, it explains, it elaborates, it teaches people how good is the product, how to use it, how well is the product.

Traditional marketing is constrained

It’s about fit with programming and print schedules and geographic boundaries. In magazine in GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council), can be seen by only the people in GCC. And also is time constraint: if I want to put a banner they say: “No, the banner is booked for the next five months. There’s no space, you cannot.”

Traditional marketing is calendar and budget bound

There are limits and start and end points. You know that a banner costs that much, you cannot say: “Give me only a half of it, give me only 10% of that banner.” It is not gonna work.

Traditional marketing is power

The power is obtained by the media owner and the advertiser. If Pepsi goes with a big contract they can force the advertiser to say: “Okay, so this year I give you much money, so give me the guarantee that Coca-Cola’s not gonna be there.” And if the advertiser – the media owner – says yes, that’s it! The Coca-Cola cannot put a banner the entire year or any advertising in TV or whatever it is.

Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing has an approach based on openness, transparency and engagement with the consumer. It’s completely different.

Digital marketing is interactive

When we talk about digital marketing instead of traditional then we’re gonna be interactive and it’s a many to many communications. This is why the Social Network came handy.

Digital marketing is costumer driven

Consumer driven in terms of interests and preferences, so the consumer choose and decide. Not us.

Digital marketing is about listening

This is the difficult part. When we talk about digital transformation, the first thing is listening. “No, no, no… I need to tell my customer what they need to buy, because if not they will say that my product is bad and they will let negative comments.”

First of all, you know that your product is bad. You listen and then find a way to change the perception or assess the problem of your customers. Then eventually the bad one you move them away from the general public. You move them in a specific channel, which is for customer support.

Now big corporates start opening a second Social Media page for customer care. That is a page where people are complaining and is allowed to do that, but where there will be people also that are helping handly the unhappy people, it is like the customer service.

Digital Marketing is un-constrained

When you do Digital Marketing you’re free! Not constrained by schedules and boundaries.

Digital Marketing is open ended

This is the first crazy concept that digital marketing is iterative: it’s about launch, review, adjust and re-launch. On and on and on an on. It’s not “The February promotion is gonna be like this.” Digital Marketing is “we start now and we never end”. We adjust but we keep going on and on and on. Sometimes we mix together with traditional marketing, which has the February promotion, but in digital you keep continuing. Sometimes you accelerate, then you use more budget, sometimes you reduce a little bit, based on your sales fluctuation, but you just keep going on and on and on. 

Digital Marketing is power to the consumer

Another big difference between Traditional Marketing and Digital Marketing is that control and influence is with the consumers. The consumers decide what they want, when they want and where you have to stop. And if you are clever enough to listen, you will have a bright future.

The balance of power: digital technologies are transformative and disruptive and characterized by a shift in power to the consumer. Everyone pretend that they know what their customer want, but there is no way.

Big companies are investing 100% in Digital Marketing!

You are all aware about Cityscape, right? The biggest property show in Dubai organizers confirm EMAAR no-show this year. Dubai developer says it has moved its complete marketing strategy to digital platforms.

Do you realize that? Yes, you got it right, the Giant EMAAR, developer of icons such as the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Marina and many others is not going to be in Cityscape Real Estate Exhibition.

Why do you think is that? EMAAR is going to be 100% Digital!!! Yes, you got it right, digital only!

Are they stupid? Are they crazy? They haven’t missed a beat yet. Come on, think about it.

If EMAAR do this, no more excuses for you: 100% Digital!

So, how are you gonna launch yourself
into Digital Revolution?


Tell me your story and your experience. I’m waiting for your comments.

Prof.Christian Farioli About the author

CEO, Digital Marketing Lecturer & Best Selling Book Author. Digital marketing pioneer since 2003, Digital Lecturer for the Digital Marketing Institute, Informa and PwC. He has spoken at more than 130 international conferences, including GOOGLE, NASA & Davos, trained and advised more than 16000 executives in 4 continents, from Armani, Bayer, Jumeirah Burj Al Arab, Etisalat, Huawei, ADNOC, Ferrari, just to name a few. He has formerly worked with Oracle in Italy, Spain and Ireland. He owns several businesses and advise clients on Digital Marketing Strategy, Performance, Inbound Marketing, Web Analytics and AI Digital Transformation. After 12 Awards, including Oracle Innovation Award, a Microsoft AI competition, and launching Digital Campaigns for major Banks, Events, Media, Telco, Hospitality, Real Estate, Healthcare and Pharma, his Digital Agency in Dubai has been awarded Agency of the Future. His book become a best seller in just one month.