Hands holding up newspapers

As a digital marketing agency, we focus a lot of our blog posts on how you can successfully market your brand or business in the digital world. But today we wanted to discuss traditional marketing strategies—what they are, how they work, and how you can use traditional marketing to grow your business and to enhance your digital marketing initiatives!

What is traditional marketing?

Traditional marketing is essentially any type of marketing that isn’t online. This includes:

  • Print (newspapers, magazines)
  • Broadcast (television, radio)
  • Direct Mail (postcards, flyers, letters)
  • Outdoor Advertising (billboards, yard signs)
  • And more…

Traditional marketing can be used for both mass-marketing (by sending postcards to every resident of a certain zip code or having a billboard on a busy highway) and niche-marketing (by running an ad in a magazine that reaches a niche market of readers, such as auto enthusiasts, sports fans, or home improvement lovers).

Traditional marketing is one of the oldest forms of marketing, and because it is tried and true, many brands and businesses tend to lean towards this method. 

How is traditional marketing effective?

The process of creating and employing traditional marketing strategies is similar to digital marketing. Marketers identify their audience and put advertisements in places that will reach that audience. While in the digital space we place ads on platforms and in search queries relevant to the audience, traditional marketing uses channels and avenues most relevant to the target market.

  • If your goal is to increase foot traffic to your store or restaurant, broadcasting an ad on your local radio station or local television news network can help you reach individuals in your area.
  • If you’re selling a product or offering a service in a niche industry, printing an ad in an industry-specific magazine or in a relevant section of your local paper can put your brand in front of consumers that are interested in that specific niche.
  • If you’re having a special sale for the end of a season, a holiday, or a special event, send a jumbo postcard or flyer in the mail to previous customers or to potential customers in specific demographics, with sale announcement or a coupon for them to use.

Traditional marketing is a great way to reach specific audiences at home, on their daily commutes, or while they’re already exploring a specific industry. And, it’s an especially useful way to reach individuals who seldomly explore the internet, may never use a smartphone, or are in areas demographics and communities that digital marketing fails to fully reach.

However, there are a few disadvantages to traditional marketing in the digital age. With physical ads (print, mail) or broadcasting (pre-recorded radio or television ads), businesses have little to no interaction with their audience in real time. A prospective customer can engage with ads on Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms by liking, commenting, or sharing them, and they can also interact with the brand through direct message if they have questions about a mentioned product or service. Customers can also reach brands and businesses through their local SEO listings or their website by simply clicking the phone number to make a call or by filling out a quick contact form. This type of immediate interaction and engagement is lost with traditional marketing, where any sort of contact requires a bit more intention and effort from the customer.

Other disadvantages to traditional marketing is that it can be unreliable and difficult to measure. If a mistake or error in an ad was overlooked until it was printed, you can’t easily edit or revise it. Or, if an ad is performing well, there is little to no way to measure that success or further boost those ads. Digital marketing has an advantage here, as metrics are trackable and ads can (in most cases and on most platforms) be edited and/or boosted as needed.

Despite these disadvantages and the rise of digital marketing, traditional marketing is still a valid and vital way to market certain businesses.

How can traditional and digital marketing work together?

Traditional marketing and digital marketing absolutely can and should work together. There is a time and place for both marketing approaches in any industry, and they should both receive adequate investment and attention.

Marketing your brand or business on social media will typically help you reach teenagers and young adults who may be interested in your products, while jumbo postcards and flyers in the mail will help you reach the middle aged and elderly consumers. You’re presenting the same information to two different audiences in two different forms, potentially doubling your chances of conversion.

You can also use traditional marketing to drive more traffic and attention to your digital marketing. In a print ad, mail, broadcasting, or outdoor ad you might include “For more information, visit our website…” or “like us on Facebook for updates”. This approach gives you a greater opportunity to reach your audience through multiple channels while also increasing your online engagement.

Instead of choosing between traditional marketing and digital marketing, evaluate your target audiences and determine how you can use both strategies effectively. 

Get the most out of your marketing initiatives.

Our team is mad passionate about digital marketing, but we understand the value and effect of traditional marketing, too. If you’re ready to take your marketing to the next level, we’d love to discuss your goals and help you develop custom marketing strategies to help you reach your target audiences and increase your revenue. Contact us today and let us help you achieve marketing success.