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Advantages and disadvantages of digital marketing

Advantages and disadvantages of digital marketing

This article aims to explore some of the advantages and disadvantages of digital marketing. It also investigates the definitions of digital marketing and its different types. Certainly, in an era of advanced technologies, digital marketing is more important for organisations than ever.

Definitions of digital marketing

According to Patel (2020) digital marketing refers to advertising delivered through digital channels. It is about marketing products/services with electronic devices.

According to Financial Times (n.d.) digital marketing refers to the marketing of products or services using digital channels to reach consumers.

Some people may think that digital marketing must include the Internet. While a lot of marketing campaigns are conducted over the Internet, digital marketing does not always require the Internet. For instance, SMS, MMS, and display advertising can be done without the Internet. Indeed, digital marketing can be done both online and offline.

Advantages of digital marketing

Digital marketing helps organisations and individuals reach a gigantic audience swiftly. As it occurs online very often, it can be accessible to the global audience regardless of the geographical boundaries. Time and time variations are not barriers to online digital marketing. Customers may enter a website or log into their social media pages anytime they want, and they do not have to worry about the closing hours.

Digital marketing campaigns, particularly when conducted online, can impact on the purchase decisions of consumers. Often people share stories and information online, and many people consider them as unbiased recommendations.

Unlike some other types of traditional advertising, digital marketing allows organisations to have a two-way conversation with their customers and prospects. It is also easily measurable and therefore, many businesses find it effective to determine their advertising budgets. For instance, how many people have visited a website can be easily found out from Google Analytics. Interestingly, Google Analytics is a service provided free by Google.

Digital advertising is more environmentally friendly than traditional methods of advertising. Likewise, it produces a limited level of waste, as organisations can approach highly targeted prospects.  Unlike TV or traditional print media, it allows them to approach their customers and prospects with personalised messages.

Digital marketing can help organisations drive visitors to their websites thereby generating sales leads. It can also help them garner a lasting relationship with their customers.

One of the biggest advantages of digital marketing is the cost-effectiveness. It can save money for organisations as they can reach more targets for less money when compared with traditional methods of advertising. For instance, an ad campaign can be run on Facebook with as little as £5 a week (Facebook, 2021).

Disadvantages of digital marketing

If customers had a poor experience with a business, they may decide to share it with others online, potentially creating a bad brand image. A single negative comment, tweet, or suggestion from them may decimate the reputation of a company.

Digital marketing may sometimes be very time-consuming. Developing marketing content materials can take up a lot of time. Likewise, due to GDPR (The General Data Protection Regulation), many people may opt out to watch any advertising materials.

Though digital marketing can be cost effective, and organisations can reach a global audience with it, it also means that they are going to be up against a number of competitors who are also targeting the same audience. In fact, global reach comes up with global competition.

Google is replacing third-party cookies in its Chrome web browser soon and some other search engines have already done do. This will make the life of advertisers difficult as many of their marketing messages may not address a visitor’s needs.

Digital marketing’s overall reliance on technology is a problem. Website downtime, slow page loading, and site designs may be some of the reasons making a company’s online digital marketing ineffective as many people may move out of their site to explore the next. Similarly, security and privacy issues may be challenging for most organisations as well.

Types/examples of online digital marketing

Online digital marketing campaigns can be conducted in different ways with different methods e.g. search engine optimisation (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), CPC/CPM campaigns, mobile apps, email marketing, content marketing, affiliate marketing, influencer marketing, and many more.

Types/examples of offline digital marketing

Examples of offline digital marketing include but not limited to electronic billboards, SMS/MMS, and tele-shopping.

We hope the article ‘Advantages and disadvantages of digital marketing’ has been helpful. We also hope that the definitions of digital marketing are clear to you. You may also like reading Advantages and disadvantages of video advertising. Other relevant articles for you are:

Advantages and disadvantages of word-of-mouth marketing

Advantages and disadvantages of branding

Advantages and disadvantages of franchising

If you liked any of these articles, please feel free to share with others by clicking on the social sharing icons.

Last update: 05 April 2021


Facebook (2021) Buy Facebook ads on any budget, available at:  (accessed 05 April 2021)

Financial Times (n.d.) Definition of digital marketing, available at: (accessed 05 April 2021)

Patel, N. (2020) Digital Marketing Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide, available at: (accessed 25 January 2020)

Author: Joe David

Joe David has years of teaching experience both in the UK and abroad. He writes regularly online on a variety of topics. He has a keen interest in business, hospitality, and tourism management. He holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies and a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing Management.

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