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Online Digital Marketing Malaysia – Traditional VS Digital Marketing Side-by-Side Comparisons (2024 Latest Update)

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As far as marketing tactics go, online digital marketing agency is seen as the more popular and efficient way to market your business. However, in most cases, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to marketing. 

Making the most of both traditional marketing and digital marketing will yield the best results for your business. Suppose you’re currently a brick-and-mortar company and engaging only in offline promotional activities. In that case, you’ll find that having digital channels will allow you to expand your business in ways that you never thought possible. 

All the Different Forms of Digital Marketing Channels | Traditional VS Digital Marketing | One Search Pro Digital Marketing
Online digital marketing offers various advantages in comparison to traditional marketing. Image source Pixabay.com

And if you’re selling purely digital goods, you’ll find the middle ground approach that uses both tactics will do a lot more to boost brand awareness.

This article will discuss both aspects of marketing and how you can implement them in your particular business goals.

What is the Difference? What is Online Marketing & Traditional Marketing?

Online marketing and traditional marketing are two sides of the same coin. Both exist to promote a business and create awareness, but each has its methods and approach to do it successfully. Below is a brief explanation of both strategies. 

Online Marketing

Online marketing, also known as internet marketing and web marketing, is the effort to create awareness and engagement to your business and product using the Internet. Elements involved in online marketing include content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, SEO, SEM, Pay Per Click, and Affiliate Marketing. Online marketing allows businesses to improve their brand awareness through a systematic and measurable approach. 

Types of Digital Marketing Channels

Social Media Marketing (SMM) 

Social Media Marketing is the process of promoting your brand over social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, and so on. This helps in creating brand awareness, drawing organic traffic, and generating leads.

Social Media Post by One Search Pro Marketing on Instagram | Traditional VS Digital Marketing | One Search Pro Digital Marketing
Social media marketing is the practice of using social media channels to promote your business and build an online community.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a form of advertising that sends customers emails about discounts, events, and new product updates. Perfectly executed email campaigns can direct traffic to your website and bring in quality conversions.

One Search Pro Marketing's Email Newsletter Campaign | Traditional VS Digital Marketing | One Search Pro Digital Marketing
Brands can make use of email newsletters to educate subscribers about the value of their brand while keeping them engaged.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing Malaysia is where you promote other companies’ goods and services and earn part of the profits in the form of sale percentages. Splendidly placed Call-To-Action hyperlinks and buy now buttons directing to the affiliate products are keys to this form of online marketing.

Shoppe Affiliate Program | Traditional VS Digital Marketing | One Search Pro Digital Marketing
Shopee is an online marketplace in Malaysia that allows sellers to earn commissions through affiliate sales. Source: Shopee

Content Marketing

Content marketing relies on creating, publishing, and sharing content related to your business or blog. It creates brand awareness, increases traffic, and leads. It can be a great way to reach new customers and form partnerships with other businesses in your industry.

One Search Pro Digital Marketing's Blog Section | Traditional VS Digital Marketing | One Search Pro Digital Marketing
Informative blog articles can be a great source of content to promote your business.


Pay-Per-Click marketing (known also as Google ads advertising) is exactly what it sounds like: you pay a certain rate per click. Every time someone clicks on your ad, you pay the publisher an agreed-upon fee. PPC ads are used to direct web traffic and are generally placed on relevant keywords and related content.

PPC Ads on Google SERPs | Traditional VS Digital Marketing | One Search Pro Digital Marketing
PPC ads help display your ads at the top of search queries.


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of optimizing your website to rank higher on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). This leads to more organic traffic and better business visibility online. Other SEO benefits include higher ROI, boosted website authority, targeted niche audience, and more.

SEO Results on Google SERPs | Traditional VS Digital Marketing | One Search Pro Digital Marketing
Ranking high on results pages organically without having to rely on paid ads help boost your brand’s credibility.

Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing reaches your target audience wherever they are with ads on smartphones, laptops, tablets, or any other electronic devices.

Mobile Marketing Ad by Burger King | Traditional VS Digital Marketing | One Search Pro Digital Marketing
When done right, mobile marketing can retain customers and increase their overall Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). Source: Burger King

Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing has been around ages ago before the existence of the Internet. It’s a conventional way of marketing to reach semi-targeted audiences using various advertising and promotional strategies. It may have evolved and progressed over the past decade, but the foundation has always been the same. Today’s marketing techniques rely on the four 4 Ps of marketing: product, price, promotion, and place. 

Some conventional marketing channels include:

  • Outdoor billboards and posters
  • TV and radio broadcasting
  • Direct mail
  • Telemarketing
  • Window signs and displays
  • Physical prints
  • and more.

How to Determine Which Methods To Use?

A good and robust marketing strategy will help boost your business. Below are the key factors that you should consider when determining which methods to use based on your business classification. If you factor in these points, it will help you bring in more profits and traffic in the long run. 


Depending on your business’s nature, the marketing budget between online and offline marketing could be varied. However, it has been proven that online marketing requires a lower marketing budget but has a better return on investment (ROI). Usually, it can involve search ads, email marketing, and social media platforms for online marketing. In contrast, offline marketing requires budgets for print advertising, flyers, or posters. Prepare your business’s finances for the marketing strategy your company can afford. 

Your Target Audience

Although you might think that your business is suitable for a large segment of users, it doesn’t make sense to market to everyone. It’ll be less effective and a waste of resources. Before you decide on a method to use, it’s vital to identify the target audience that wants what you’re selling. Research the audience type, demographics, and other information that attributes your business to your target audience. 

Brand Identity or Brand Marketing

Whether you’re planning an online or offline marketing campaign, it’s vital to establish your business’s vision. For example, do you want your business to be recognized as a modern and urban brand or something that presents success and happiness? It would be best if you were consistent with the vision you’ve created and portrayed to your target audiences. If you want to build up your brand identity, it’s best to choose a familiar and trusted marketing and advertising formula. 

Type of Products/Service

Your product can help you determine the type of marketing strategies to choose from. You need to ensure that the product you design aligns with the consumer’s needs. People don’t just buy things just because they can; they want the product to help solve their problems. Ask yourself how your product can improve their lives. Understanding these questions will help to decide which type of marketing method to choose for your business. 


Your marketing methods need to be strategic and on point. You can’t expect your marketing strategy to come out with perfect results all the time. Have a contingency plan and track the results from your reports so you can learn from it.

Online Vs. Offline Brand Marketing — Which Is Best for You?

Online Marketing | Traditional VS Digital Marketing | One Search Pro Digital Marketing
Online marketing generally focuses on content.

When deciding between traditional marketing and digital marketing, there is a lot to consider. In the table below, we’ll share the purpose of each strategy, its pros, cons, and cost estimation. This helps you understand both methods and decide which one is the best for your business. 

Physical Store vs. Ecommerce Site

Traditional MarketingVSOnline Marketing

Physical Store

Website or E-Commerce Store

– A physical location for traditional shopping activities.

– Buyers need to physically attend a store location to purchase goods or conduct a transaction. 

– A website or e-commerce store is a non-physical online platform to sell physical or digital products or services to customers.

– A physical store would strategically place products to enhance visitors’ experience.

– Will have multiple locations in all shapes and sizes. 

– Physical stores will have clear branding and personal interaction with a customer by a representative or salesperson working for the store. 

– An e-commerce site can typically reach customers all over the world.

– Transactions are done online using secure payment gateways and operate 24/7 without the need for manual or physical interaction.

– Physical stores offer customers tangible products that they can compare and evaluate.

– Customer concerns can be addressed in person, which increases the chances of making a sale.

– Provide a unique and personal experience to shoppers, which can foster brand loyalty. 

– Startup costs can be minimal.

– A higher level of tracking features is available to measure marketing results.

-Marketing results are real-time and can be adjusted instantaneously. 

– Finding the right location can be a problem. Costs are significantly higher.

– Need to train and manage staff, keep up with mortgage payments, repairs and maintenance, and utility bills.

– A low barrier to entry may mean that sites get abandoned prematurely.

– Requires a higher level of technical knowledge.

– The inability for customers to experience the products before purchasing.

– Costs will vary depending on the type of retail business, store size, design, location, and loan repayments. 

– A typical bank loan in Malaysia can be anywhere from 150,000 up to 3 million ringgit with a 5% interest rate in a three-year tenure.

Estimation Costing

– Depending on the business model, startup costs will involve a domain name and hosting.

– Can cost between RM 200 to thousands of Ringgit per annum.

– If there’s a need to store physical goods before delivering the products, the cost will increase.

Billboard vs. Google Display Ads

Traditional MarketingVSOnline Marketing

Billboard Display

Google Display Ads

– Billboards are large-scale print advertising in targeted locations.

– It’s designed to capture interest and market a company’s products and services. 

– Google display ads are part of the Google Ads network.

– Uses images or rich media for advertising on Google’s network of advertising-supported sites. 

– Billboards are usually placed where there is a lot of traffic, driving people’s and pedestrians’ attention.

– Companies may also utilize digital billboards, which display digital images that change after a duration to reflect their messages, products, and services. 

– Google’s display network can reach over 2 million sites and 90% of global Internet users.

– It’s a form of passive marketing, while still highly visible because they are shown to customers who’ve shown interest in your product and services.
– Able to capture a broader range of audiences.

– A cheaper form of mass marketing.

– Full control over ad space.


– Images can be customized with various layouts, animations, and interactive elements.

– A massive reach where you can practically target any demographic.

– Robust reporting via Google Analytics.

– Results can only be measured after a reasonable amount of time with limited amounts of data.

– Unable to target a specific demographic.

– Limited information on what your products and services are about.

– Ad blindness might cause a lower click-through rate.

– Adblocking tools or browsers may prevent your ad from showing.

– Requires you to design your own display ads, which requires some creativity and time on your part, unless you outsource it.

– In populated cities like Kuala Lumpur, billboard advertising can cost RM 900,000 a year. 

– It can cost anywhere from RM 250,000 to 500,000 annually in less dense areas depending on the location and traffic.

Estimation Costing
– It can cost anywhere from RM 2000 to five figures a month, including designing the ads, whether it comes from purchasing or utilizing design software, or hiring a professional.

– The cost of bidding and running the ads can be based on cost per click (CPC), or cost per thousand impressions. (CPM)

TV Ads vs. Youtube Ads

Traditional MarketingVSOnline Marketing

TV Ads

Youtube Ads

– TV ads are promotional messages or media content sent to program viewers, which may last from 10 to 60 seconds, or more on filmlets.

– YouTube ads are part of the Google Ads network and allows advertisers to display video content to a specific demographic or audience.
– TV ads can be either a classic TV ad or a sponsoring campaign.

– Traditional TV ads will usually mean advertisers will need to book for a time slot between sponsor programs or the station break. 


– YouTube ads can show in another user’s video content, or within YouTube’s search results.

– Advertisers can choose to show the video before or during another YouTube video.

-There are five types of video ads: skippable in-stream ads, video discovery ads, non-video ads, and-skippable in-stream ads.

– TV ads have an incredible reach. Hundreds of channels or networks to advertise.

– Full-screen TV ads capture the viewer’s full attention without sharing ad space.

– Highly measurable metrics. Audiences can be targeted at a particular level.

– More cost-effective than TV ads.

– TV ads can be costly. Results or engagement can be hard to measure.

– Difficult to make changes once an ad campaign is running. 


– The steep learning curve to understand the results and how to bid on the auction properly.

– The small amount of time to hook the interest of your audience. 

– Rm 400 gives advertisers a 10-second slot for a television station like TV3. 

– Short films or filmlets can cost up to RM3000.

Estimation Costing

– Costs will vary depending on whether your ad is viewed and clicked.

– On average, rates start from as low as four cents per click up to RM 1 when it comes to cost per view.

Seminar vs. Webinar

Traditional MarketingVSOnline Marketing



– A seminar is a form of training, or specific studies held within a particular location or venue. 

– Speakers are invited to give talks, be in a public place, or hotels or a theater. 

– A webinar is held virtually online and is exclusively attended by an online audience on a scheduled date. 

– A seminar will usually feature a good speaker who can directly engage with their audience on their interest topics. 

– A charismatic speaker will drive enthusiasm from the crowds and get them excited about the proposed solutions. 

– A webinar allows a speaker or presenter to reach a worldwide audience, making the venue and transportation costs irrelevant. 

– A webinar solution will enable presenters to record, talk with audiences, share the desktop screen or a video presentation via the webinar software itself. 

– Firsthand knowledge from an expert.

– More focused attention based on consolidated blocks of time.

– An engaging experience from trusted and well-known speakers.

– Transportation cost to get to the seminar is no longer an issue.

– Opportunity for customer re-engagement in subsequent seminars. 

– A wide array of webinar software tools to choose from.
– It needs more preparation and a good avenue to hold the event. 

– Scheduling conflicts might happen between individual speakers.

– Unrealistic expectations from attendees. 


– The conversion rate might be affected since there is no in-person experience.

– The retention rate might be lower in a webinar.Technical issues might prevent a webinar from going smoothly. 

– An event in a typical hotel can cost from RM 500 for half a day, or RM 800 to RM 1000 for a full day to rent a hall.

– Individual speakers will also charge varying rates for their time.

Estimation Costing
– Depending on the type of software used, a webinar can be free or cost from RM200 or more. 

– Costs are based on how many features you need and the kind of package you choose.

Flyers vs. Posting in Social Media

Traditional MarketingVSOnline Marketing


Social Media

– A flyer is a printed advertisement on a page or leaflet that is physically distributed to an audience.

– Social media is a virtual platform for users to share ideas, thoughts, and information through a network of communities.

– Flyers serve as a type of announcement for a company’s products, services, or promotions to drum up interest.

– Flyers can be distributed in a number of ways, from handing it directly to passersby or keeping a stack of flyers where there is heavy foot traffic.

– Distributing flyers will involve coordinated efforts by a team to make it reach the widest distribution possible.

– Social media allows users to engage and interact with your content.

– Content can be in the form of documents, photos, videos, or any other type of digital content.

– Social media platforms are free to use and post your content, but will require paid advertisements to widen the reach.

– Flyers can be designed and printed out at a low cost.

– An audience can easily understand the purpose and message of the flyer and take advantage of the offers.

– Distribution can be targeted. Hence, maximising the results.

– The ability to expand your followers and have brand awareness.

– Robust advertising platform with granular targeting capabilities.

– Direct engagement and feedback with the content that you produce.
– The design needs to be eye-catching to be effective.

– It can be labor-intensive, depending on methods of distribution.

– Limited space to put your marketing messages.


– Lacks face-to-face interaction.

– Negative comments might hurt a business’s reputation.

– People might miss your ads, since you’re competing for ad space.

– Costs will depend on the size, quantity per design, the type of printing color used, paper type, and the duration to process the order. 

– It can cost several hundred ringgit but usually won’t number in the thousands.

Estimation Costing
– Social media advertising can cost between RM 1500 to RM 30,000 a month, depending on the type of services you’re using and your campaign duration.

How to Merge Online and Offline Brand Marketing

SEO is a method of optimizing online content and is part of online marketing. Image sourced from pixabay.com

Depending on your mission and your target audience, your marketing methods could include both traditional and online digital marketing tactics. 

Here are some ideas of how you can integrate online and offline marketing to maximise your business’ goals.

1. Boost Online-to-Offline (O2O)

In an age where brands or companies stress the importance of having an online presence, marketers might forget that both channels offer better results when combined. Synergy is shown when customers respond better to making purchases after Online-to-Offline (O2O) is implemented.

Marketing channels should complement instead of competing with each other. If you have an online store, you can ask your customers to collect them in-store after making a purchase. And if they visit your physical store, have an online portal ready so that they can browse and make purchases online besides offline purchases.

2. Promote Offline Promotions with Online Call-to-Actions or vice versa

When you utilize offline and online marketing channels, you’ll find that you can usually do promotions on one medium to support another.

When you have an upcoming event or seminar, you can generate interest via online promotions, such as using Facebook groups or ads to tell people about it. Conversely, you can also use your offline promotional pieces to funnel leads to an online lead nurturing sequence, by directing people from your brochures or flyers to an email autoresponder series. 

People love being rewarded! So why not offer future discounts or a reward for user engagement? In your offline ads, encourage them to share testimonials, photos, images, or selfies to your Instagram account with the promise of getting exclusive offers once they have done so.

3. Support Offline Brand Marketing with Online Data

Online data can give you a wealth of information and insight into how your customers respond to marketing messages, or the product and services you offer. When you know your customers’ behaviour, you can use that information in your offline promotional efforts since you know which products to highlight or which trending items are currently in demand.

4. Encourage Online Social Media Followers to Help Offline

You might have heard about brands holding a contest for designers to create a logo as part of a rebranding campaign or a new product. You can take that to the next level by using online-generated content for your next marketing campaign. Use the images or slogans submitted by users in your magazines or TV commercials that positively responded online.

Besides creating a considerable buzz, you’ll also have better responses towards your offline marketing campaigns since you already have feedback on it. 

Online Marketing vs. Offline Marketing: Advantages and Disadvantages

Every marketing strategy has its strong points. While online marketing is an effective and popular way to market your brand, traditional forms of marketing still have their merits. Check out the advantages and disadvantages of both marketing methods.

Offline Marketing

1. Trust – People trust more when the product is tangible. 1. Costly – Marketing tools like posters, billboards, and newspapers can add significantly to expenses. 
2. Wider Reach – A wide variety of distribution options are available. 2. Untargeted Reach – Harder to segment consumers compared to online advertising. 
3. Face-to-Face Interaction – An expo event or exhibition allows the consumer to get to know the brand in person.3. Takes Time to See Results – Some marketing strategies will take a long time to finalize and see the result.
4. Ownership of Hard Copies – Customers can save newspaper and magazine advertisements in a hard copy form to refer to later when they want to purchase that product or service.4. Low Engagement and Slow Conversion – Audiences won’t have the means to engage via traditional marketing channels.
5. Easily Recognizable – People are used to the impact that conventional ads bring.5. One-Way Communication – Using printed ads to share your marketing messages doesn’t earn you feedback on your campaign.

Online Marketing

1. Low cost – Online marketing provides more affordable alternatives. 1. Security – Security and privacy issues may arise. 
2. Easy to Measure – You can track your marketing progress using Google Analytics and Facebook Ads Manager. 2. Unforeseen Cost – Costs and fees due to a continually advancing environment. 
3. Easy to Edit – You can edit your marketing plan when it does not meet your expectations.3. Competitive – You’ve to compete with other marketers globally.
4. Precise Targeting – You can create specific ads based on your target audiences. 4. Technical Errors  – Advertising software or CMS platforms can have issues and is harder to diagnose. 
5. High Engagement and Fast Fonversion – You target only prospects who are most likely to subscribe to your products or services.5. Varied User Experience – Improper placement and high frequency of ads can be deemed irritating or irrelevant to some.
6. Easy-to-Measure Investment Returns – Online tracking tools make follow-ups on campaign performance easy.6. Less Permanent – The online marketing landscape is constantly changing.
7. Two-Way Communication – Brands can establish a dialogue with their followers, customers, or leads.

Frequently Asked Questions on Traditional VS Online Marketing

What Is Better Digital or Traditional Marketing?

Digital marketing is more cost-effective and can be better tailored to fit specific audiences, while traditional marketing may be able to reach a larger audience at once.

The better form of marketing depends on what you’re looking for.

What Is The Difference Between Traditional Versus Online Marketing in Terms of Price?

Traditional marketing is more expensive than digital marketing as it involves printing and broadcasting on the radio or TV. 

With digital marketing, all the effort is on the internet, so businesses can save money. It’s much cheaper to post or tweet a message than paying for newspaper ads or billboards. The cost of social media pages is also zero – there are no advertisements and everything (well, almost everything) can be free!

Can Digital Marketing Replace Traditional Marketing?

Digital marketing has taken a huge portion of the marketing industry for good reasons. 

It drives traffic, saves money and resources, and provides an overall excellent customer experience. However, it will likely not replace conventional marketing entirely as the latter still has a solid place in the industry.

What Is The Best Digital Marketing Strategy in Malaysia?

There is no universal “best” digital marketing strategy for every business in Malaysia. It largely depends on what you want to focus on, be it SEO, PPC, or content marketing.

That said, Google and Facebook marketing are among the two most popular strategies employed by digital marketers worldwide.


As you can see from the above article, combining two different marketing strategies allows for more exposure to your brand and products. Most business owners might already know how traditional marketing works and the expenses that go with it.

But for businesses, they are entering the world of digital marketing; it may seem daunting to learn the various skills needed. 

With digital marketing having different learning aspects, it might seem complicated and unapproachable to some business owners. Digital Marketing can involve analyzing data, clicks, visits, impressions, and understanding the various platform’s advertising policies. 

If you feel the need to consult a social media expert to bring more business to your brand, and get all the benefits of social media marketing, look no further. One Search Pro is your all-in-one solution for online marketing Malaysia.

Integrating offline to online marketing can bring more benefits to both businesses and consumers. 

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