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Traditional Marketing Tactics: Are They Still Effective in the Digital Age?

traditional marketing

Traditional marketing has gone the way of the dodo.

At least that’s what anyone trying to sell you digital marketing consultation, services, or software is going to tell you.

The truth is actually a lot less black and white than that. If you’re running a brick-and-mortar business you absolutely should be engaged in digital marketing but it might not be time to drop all of the traditional methods just yet.

Read on and we’ll show you if your business should keep going with their old-school methods or just commit to a digital future.

Defining Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing techniques are probably best defined as… well, anything which isn’t digital.

You’ve got TV and radio advertisements, flyers, brochures, print advertisements. Word-of-mouth could also be considered traditional marketing although the advent of social media has changed that quite a bit.

For our purposes, it’s easiest to define traditional marketing techniques as anything which doesn’t require the internet.

So, is it dead?

Not quite. In fact, if you’re looking then you’ll actually find out that there are a lot of opportunities which have opened up because of the rise of digital marketing.

Lower Demand, Lower Prices

There have long been two big problems with traditional advertising.

The lack of analytical data is the biggest one. When you run an advertisement on TV or in a newspaper there are only a few ways to keep track of your metrics.

Most of those involve giving the customer a discount, such as a code, a call-in, or coupons.

It makes it hard to calculate your actual ROI and you just kind of hope that your ad works. Unfortunately, that problem isn’t quite solved just yet. If someone sees an ad for your store on TV and happens to wander there’s no flashing number to let you know it’s happening unlike when someone clicks a Facebook or AdWords ad.

The other problem is that prices were traditionally high. There are only so many time slots on television and limited space on the pages of a magazine or newspaper.

With many companies switching all or most of their advertisements to keep up with the digital age, however, the prices of traditional advertising have fallen quite a bit.

That lowers the barriers to entry quite a bit.

Tracking Metrics for Traditional Advertising

If you’re going to engage in traditional advertising you’ll want to figure out some way to track at least a portion of the conversions you’re bringing in.

Indeed, one of the biggest advantages of digital marketing comes through all of the tracking and data that’s built-in thanks to the way the internet works.

The easiest way to do this is to give the customer some value for responding to your advertisement.

If they call in the number from the TV ad they get a free inspection and estimate, if they bring in your flier then you’ll cut prices by a couple percentage points. From there you can keep track a lot more easily and determine your ROI.

Digital advertising’s two biggest advantages are reach and analytics. Being able to change advertisements easily is also a big plus since it allows for split testing in real time.

If you can get a good ROI on your traditional advertising and know you’re doing it then your mind will be more at ease when you’re using these seemingly dated methods.

Is it going to last forever?

We couldn’t tell you. Traditional advertising seems to be in a decline but it hasn’t been doing so long enough to call it a trend just yet.

Worrying about the industry at large is just going to give you analysis paralysis. Your focus should be on if you can attain a positive return-on-income through the use of traditional advertising.

How to Use Traditional Marketing in the Modern World

If you’re looking to expand your marketing into meatspace, then there are a few options which are low-cost and can help you get ahead rapidly.

Fliers are still going strong. Add a discount code or a special offer if the customer brings in the flier and they’re also among the easiest methods of traditional advertising to track.

Likewise for brochures and other hard-copy advertising materials which you can distribute.

If you don’t want to offer discounts there are a few other methods you can try. One of the quickest and most painless is to use a secondary URL for your website and make a redirect.

You need some sort of tracking for your advertisements. Data is the key to running an effective marketing campaign.

There are even companies out there who can help you keep track of your TV advertisements if you choose to go down that route.

The real key to making traditional marketing work for you in a world which is becoming increasingly online is counter-intuitive. You need to figure out a way to make it more like digital marketing, at least when it comes to analytical data.

Techniques adapted from digital marketing but not using the internet, like text marketing instead of e-mail marketing, are also making a pretty big splash and are something to look forward to for many business owners.

Not Dead, Just Different

Traditional marketing is unlikely to die off entirely anytime soon and the methods which have been in place for a long time are there for a reason.

They work.

The main problem that you’ll be facing are challenges which have plagued traditional advertising since it’s inception. The lack of analytical data can be surmounted and the costs for high-profile advertisements are still pretty steep.

You shouldn’t overlook any channel in your campaigns, however, and if you can afford it and come up with a good plan of action then you absolutely should utilize all of the mediums available to you.

Of course, it’s still most effective when you align it with digital advertising so you have an approach which hits the most people possible.

If you’re ready to start learning the information you need to take things to the next level then check out our blog and start planning your next foray into marketing.