What Is The Difference Between Traditional Digital Advertising & Digital Performance Advertising?

As digital advertising continues to be leveraged by more and more brands, it’s important to understand the difference between traditional digital advertising and digital performance advertising. Although performance advertising can be a component of digital advertising, it offers unique benefits that traditional digital advertising does not offer. By focusing on ROI and measurability, digital performance advertising offers reliable results that are aligned with marketing objectives.

What Is Traditional Digital Advertising?

Traditional digital advertising is impression-based advertising that happens exclusively within the digital space. Consumers view traditional digital advertising via desktop computers, laptops, mobile phones and tablets. Traditional digital advertising encompasses all digital channels.

Here are three fast facts about traditional digital advertising:

  • Traditional digital advertising is often less expensive to execute than traditional offline advertising because campaign costs do not include hard production expenses, like printing. Similarly, traditional digital advertising campaigns can often launch faster than traditional offline advertising campaigns.
  • Traditional digital advertising can be superior to traditional offline advertising in its trackability. Although cross-channel attribution is the best way to track and optimize campaign performance, the easier-to-achieve last-click attribution can also be valuable at identifying what is working and what is not working within a traditional digital advertising campaign.
  • Traditional digital advertising can be cost-effective. Traditional digital advertising campaign budgets range from $0 to millions of dollars, with factors including budget, audience and objectives determining the media spend. Earned media such as email advertising, social media, SEO and content advertising, although requiring time investments, does not always require media investments, resulting in “free” advertising.

What Is Digital Performance Advertising?

Digital performance advertising is a type of digital advertising in which all campaigns are designed to achieve a specific objective and payment is based on those objectives being met. Digital performance advertising can include a long list of media channels, and objectives can include clicks, leads, calls, sales or any other action defined by the advertiser.

Here are four fast facts about digital performance advertising:

  • Digital performance advertising can include any and every digital channel. Paid search, email and social media are often leveraged to produce clicks, leads, calls or sales.
  • Digital performance advertising campaigns are built to achieve specific advertising objectives with advertiser fees aligned with those objectives.
  • Digital performance advertising is especially effective for advertisers with established and well-recognized brands, but all advertisers can see results with digital performance advertising, and all advertisers pay only for the results they desire, which means media spend is de-risked with digital performance advertising.


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About the author

Digital Media Solutions

Digital Media Solutions, Inc. (DMS) drives better business results by connecting high-intent consumers with advertisers across our core verticals; Insurance (auto, home, health), Education and Consumer/Ecommerce. Our innovative solutions help consumers shop and save, while helping our advertisers achieve above average return on ad spend. Learn more at https://digitalmediasolutions.com.