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Digital Marketing vs Online Marketing

Titelbild Blogbeitrag Digital Marketing vs Online Marketing
Maurice – October 1, 2023 – 10 min read

Marketing, digital marketing, online marketing, marketing mix, … who is supposed to keep track of it all? By now, it is probably clear to every manager that marketing is an important part of any successful business. Without a good marketing strategy, success usually fails to materialize in the long run.

Social media marketing, TV advertising and other marketing measures play important roles in marketing strategy. But where is which strategy classified? What are the differences in digital marketing vs online marketing? In this article, you’ll learn how the terms are differentiated and when which marketing techniques should be used.

After reading this article, you will be able to better distinguish between the terms digital marketing and online and thus be able to react more purposefully to certain situations in your company’s everyday life.

Anyone who doesn’t practice digital marketing these days will be left behind by the competition – that’s as sure as eggs is eggs. It is therefore all the more important to be well versed in terms such as digital marketing and online marketing. Read on to learn what the difference is and what both areas have in common.

What is marketing?

First, let’s get to the basics. What is marketing anyway and how exactly is the term defined?

By definition, marketing is the area of a company that is concerned with designing and offering the products or services that the company produces in such a way that they are attractive to the target audience.

Marketing therefore ensures that the company aligns itself with market needs and serves them in the best possible way.

So marketing is not just advertising, as many people mistakenly believe. While this is an important part of almost any marketing strategy, marketing itself consists of much more than just advertising.

Analyzing the market and consumers is as much a part of marketing as price management and branding measures. The marketing department is also involved in product development, as it has the tools needed to discover strengths and weaknesses.

Now that this foundation has been clarified, let’s take a closer look at online as well as digital marketing.

What is Online Marketing?

Online marketing is also called internet marketing. Defining the terms online marketing and internet marketing is quite simple: all communication measures applied by companies on the internet are called internet or online marketing.

Definition Online Marketing

Mankind is using the Internet more excessively than ever before – and the trend is rising. This creates countless opportunities for companies to reach potential customers and capture data with unprecedented measurability and accuracy.

Online marketing is an umbrella term for numerous marketing strategies. Terms like the following come up regularly in the context of online marketing:

  • Content marketing
  • Search Engine Advertising (SEA)
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Social Media Marketing
  • E Mail Marketing
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Website marketing
  • Display Advertising
  • And many more …

Now that we know what online marketing is, the question is what are the differences with digital marketing. So let’s take a look.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is an even broader term than online marketing. Online marketing itself, along with other marketing channels, is only one part of digital marketing.

Definition Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is thus the umbrella term for all marketing activities that are carried out digitally. This includes not only online channels such as social media, email marketing and search engine advertising, but also other digital channels such as SMS, digital TV and electronic billboards.

Other possible digital marketing channels include:

  1. Digital Advertising: Television Advertising, Programmatic Ads
  2. Digital Audio Marketing: Podcasts, Internet Radios
  3. SMS and MMS marketing: text messages, multimedia messages
  4. In-Game Advertising: Advertising in video games

So now that we’ve cleared up the basics, let’s take a closer look at the differences in the online and digital marketing landscape.

What is the difference between online marketing and digital marketing?

Digital marketing is an umbrella term that encompasses not only online marketing or Internet marketing, but also other marketing strategies and channels such as TV, radio and video games.

Unlike online marketing, which deals specifically with marketing on the Internet, the term “digital marketing” is much broader. TV commercials, telephone, radio, video games or e-books are all digital channels. Nevertheless, online marketing is also part of digital marketing and the terms are used synonymously by many people, although this is not entirely correct.

Overview: Similarities and differences


  • Targeted marketing: Both aim to reach the right target group.
  • Measurability: Performance indicators such as clicks, impressions and conversions are easily measurable in both cases.
  • Flexibility: Quick adaptation of strategies possible.


  • Reach: Digital marketing encompasses more than just online channels.
  • Cost: Online marketing can often be more cost effective.
  • Tools and platforms: Different tools for different channels.

Online marketing is a subset of the broader field of digital marketing. Both aim to promote brands and products, but they do so through different channels and strategies. It’s like comparing apples to fruit; all apples are fruit, but not all fruit are apples.

Having outlined the differences and similarities between digital marketing and online marketing, let’s ask ourselves: is the distinction between these two terms even relevant anymore?

Does the distinction even matter?

Since there are hardly any marketing campaigns nowadays that do not involve some kind of digital medium or the Internet, there is even a debate these days about whether it is even necessary to differentiate between the terms marketing, online marketing and digital marketing.

Some experts, on the other hand, still argue that a distinction continues to make sense because digital marketing is expanding into areas that online marketing, strictly by definition, does not reach.

The same applies to traditional marketing, which theoretically also works via newspapers, advertising pillars, posters or word of mouth.

Each brand should therefore decide for itself whether it is still appropriate to distinguish between the terms. Internal demarcation can be especially handy in large companies, where multiple teams deal with different areas of marketing.

Having addressed the question of the relevance of the terms, let’s now look at the advantages of online and digital marketing compared to traditional marketing methods.

Advantages of Online Marketing and Digital Marketing

Overview of the connection between online marketing and digital marketing

Digital marketing in general and online marketing in particular offer numerous advantages over non-digital marketing strategies. Below we present you some of these advantages.

High interactivity

Let’s take social media marketing as an example. If you work in marketing, you’ve probably already published a post on a social network and have a basic understanding of what advantages social media marketing offers over other forms of marketing.

The biggest plus is the interactivity and the accompanying measurability of the success of a campaign. Clicks, likes, views, and other customer interactions with your brand are great indicators of how a product or marketing campaign is resonating with your target audience.

Data & measurability

Social networks offer many tools to measure the success of a campaign. Other digital marketing channels also offer opportunities to collect data that can help your business adapt to the desires of its target audience. For example, Google has many tools up its sleeve to create, monitor and evaluate advertising campaigns.

Simple targeting

Thanks to social media, marketers can run ads that target just the right people. Your ideal buyer persona is a 24-year-old accountant named Andrea who likes listening to Bon Jovi and reading Stephen King books? Then, thanks to digital marketing, you can target them directly with targeted marketing campaigns and convert them into a customer of your brand.

Enormous range

Thanks to online marketing, the world is your oyster. Where companies were geographically limited until just a few years ago, today you can reach customers all over the world. Your marketing plan can focus on people in Australia as much as residents of Patagonia. Your business and your brand have the potential to spread like wildfire across the Internet – keyword viral marketing. With the right strategy and the right content, there are no limits to your success.

Effective remarketing

The days of potential customers driving by your billboard on the highway and forgetting about your product or a service within seconds are over. Thanks to the power of digital marketing, and especially online marketing, you can virtually track your potential customers with your ads.

A user gets lost on your website or reads your content on social media? Then you should do everything to make him come back and become a customer. If they leave your site without buying anything, for example, Facebook can customize the user’s content to instantly remind them of products they may have liked. This sometimes significantly increases the probability of a conversion.

Uncomplicated budgeting

Online marketing tools allow for much more accurate budgeting than non-digital marketing tools. Whereas in the past the success of TV ads or newspaper ads was often uncertain and difficult to measure, nowadays you can use comparatively simple tools to determine how high your Return on Advertising Spent (ROAS) or how much money you want to spend on ads per day.

Your data will then allow you to make a lightning-fast adjustment.

With these tools and capabilities in your marketing arsenal, you’ll be better equipped to not only survive, but thrive in the modern business world.

Online and digital marketing have revolutionized the game. Interactivity lets us measure what works and what doesn’t in real time. The data tells us not only who our customers are, but also what they want:

  • Targeting? More accurate than a sniper.
  • Range? The world is your playground.
  • Remarketing and budgeting? As flexible as a yoga master.

In short, if you’re not digital, you’re not only playing an outdated game, but you also risk losing the game entirely.


Data is incredibly valuable to businesses. Digital marketing makes it possible to use data to build, adapt and constantly improve strategies. This allows companies to target their audience more accurately, expand more easily, and encourage them to stay loyal to their brand with less effort.

The distinction between online marketing and digital marketing is almost superfluous these days. Although digital marketing is seen as an umbrella term and online marketing is strictly speaking only a part of digital marketing, the overlaps are now strong, making a demarcation rather pointed.

Either way, digital marketing is the future. If your business isn’t yet using digital media to its advantage, it’s high time. Above all, a presence in social networks is absolutely indispensable nowadays and a prerequisite for not being overtaken by the competition.


8+ years of Growth Marketing
Published October 1, 2023


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