What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is the act of marketing that utilises the internet and online-based technology, such as phones, computers and other digital media to promote products or services.


How is this different from Traditional Marketing?

The main difference between the two is that traditional Marketing refers to any type of marketing that is NOT online, such as print, broadcast, mail, phone and outdoor advertising.

Digital Marketing has become extremely popular over recent years, there has been a major increase in digital marketing search terms such as digital marketing apprenticeships, digital marketing jobs, digital marketing services and strategies, plus digital marketing blogs, plans and news. The search term interest has gradually increased since 2004 and finally hit its highest search peak in January 2021. Compare this to the search trend of traditional marketing which has had a big dip in searches in the last 17 years since it hit its highest search peak in March 2004.

Research by Sierra Six Media, SEO agency Essex
Search trend for Digital Marketing since 2004
Research by Sierra Six Media, SEO Agency Essex
Search trend for Traditional Marketing since 2004

There is a staggering number of searches for digital marketing in 2021 compared to those searching for traditional marketing and forms of traditional marketing such as print, mail and radio. The main factor that has affected these figures is the increased usage of digital devices and the evolution of technology since 2004. Businesses have found that you can reach a much larger audience using digital marketing than any other form as the number of people online is astronomical.

Research by Sierra Six Media, SEO Agency Essex
Search trend for Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing, Print Marketing, Email Marketing and Radio Marketing since 2004.

It’s clear that you can reach a huge target market using social media platforms (social media marketing), you can advertise your brand, products and services all in one place at the click of your fingers, as well as having more lines of communication from business to the consumer than you would have with the traditional marketing avenues. This also allows you the opportunity to increase your relationship marketing as social media is more personal to each individual than for example a radio broadcast and other old media.

So why do we still need traditional marketing?

Traditional Marketing plays an important part in reaching local audiences, this is generally most useful for small and independent businesses, as it allows them to advertise their brand, products and services with individuals in their local area. For example, a poster in a high street shop window, leaflets through doors or a banner on the road-side railings, these traditional marketing forms could generate a lot of interest for local businesses. However, as we know from our previous blog local businesses are now benefiting from digital marketing via VSO and SEO with terms such as ‘near me’ becoming popular searches.

The need for traditional marketing still exists but is quickly becoming obsolete with the growing use of technology and digital media.


Alice Baker, Digital Marketing Executive, Sierra Six Media