Traditional Marketing Vs Digital In Kenya: Strike a Balance!

Digital and Traditional marketing both play a role in the success of a business


Businesses that employ both digital and traditional methods of marketing are on the right path to success. To realise its full marketing potential, a business must make both strategies work hand in hand.

For those new to these terms, ads on print media, billboards, flyers, TV and radio are good examples of traditional marketing. Digital marketing on the other hand, involves the use of a website, social media and platforms like YouTube to advertise. Think about the ads you see on blog posts…

There are businesses that have achieved marketing success using only one of the two methods. A healthy establishment however, should constantly strive to stretch it’s limits. Imagine how much more profitable such businesses would be if their means of advertising were diversified!

Some may argue that digital marketing has obvious advantages over ‘conventional’ marketing, especially on major aspects like cost and coverage. But we must consider that a decent portion of the Kenyan population has limited access to the internet. I am certain you know people who either don’t have or won’t use computers and smartphones.

While digital marketing reaches a wider target market over a shorter period, traditional marketing on print media has been proven by psychologists to be more memorable and appealing to the brain. Human beings connect more to physical material they can touch.

Having said that, there are businesses which cater to a specific online market. A good number depend on a huge Instagram and Facebook following to attract sales. It is completely incorrect to assume all potential customers will have social media accounts. I, for instance, did not have an Instagram account till recently.

Jumia advertises both on social media and TV
An ad by Jumia on its Facebook page

Despite the increasing popularity of online marketing, a study conducted by the University of Nairobi shows 97.4% of Kenyans obtain advertising messages on radio. Hard to believe right? Consider though the semi urban and rural population. Most people living in such areas will own a radio before buying a smartphone.

Let’s examine some of the advantages of each form of marketing;

Pros Of Digital Marketing 

1. Digital marketing is not only fast but also reaches a huge audience. You can advertise your product to the entire universe! Think about how extensive an ad posted on a Facebook page with 50 million followers would be.

2. It is much cheaper to advertise online than on TV for instance. Sometimes it costs nothing.

3. Let’s not forget, digital marketing provides instant data regarding the success of an advertisement. Accessing such data via Google will enable a business make informed future decisions.

Pros Of Traditional Marketing 

1. Traditional Marketing is able to reach populations not exposed to digital media.

2. The audience can keep copies of print media such as flyers for future reference.

3. As i mentioned earlier, this means of advertising fulfills the human need to ‘physically connect’. When a business markets ‘on the ground’, first hand feedback is acquired and good relations established.


When it comes to marketing, a wise business would choose to skin the cat both ways. 


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