There was a time when hard copy ads (printed) were still ubiquitous even as digital marketing grew stronger and more effective by the day. Now, of course, things have changed, and the latter has become the norm for big and small businesses alike. But there are still some voices out there championing traditional marketing strategies as effective compliments to your campaigns. Does this mean that non-digital marketing is still worth your small business’ time and money?
The short answer is yes-ish. While missing all the modern advantages of data tracking and the like, small businesses can still put an original twist on traditional marketing strategies. Down below we’ll go over some of the pros and cons of using traditional ads on today’s advertising climate so you can decide if that’s the road for you. Let’s see what they are!
What are they exactly?
First of all, you need to know exactly what these “traditional strategies” refer to. The most common tactics are direct sales (from booths at trade shows to cold calling), direct mail (letters, flyers, brochures, coupons, etc.), print ads (billboards, newspaper and magazine ads), and broadcast ads (radio and TV).
Now, it might be a cultural thing, but some studies have shown that when making a purchase decision, about 80% of customers trust print and television ads, with direct mail ads at 76%. Now, for all the advantages that digital marketing offers, it still has a big issue to deal with: People just find online ads annoying and intrusive. A HubSpot study found that 73% of respondents dislike pop-up ads, 57% dislike pre-video ads, 43% for banner ads, and well, you can see a trend here.
Pulling new results from old tactics
There are a few non-digital marketing techniques so tried-and-true that they’re still working out today. Let’s go over some of them and the reasons they’re still effective.
- Billboards: We all know how common they are, and there’s gotta be a reason for it, right? Well, one of those reasons is that billboards have to catch your eye fast, because of their large size and locations, so they rely more heavily on images than on words. Also, they have a wide reach across most social classes and geographical locations, which makes them all the better for small, local businesses.
- Flyers and brochures: These are still the preferred method to find out special discounts and offers for a lot of people, and personally handing them out give you the added value of face-to-face interaction with your customer base. Why do you think live transmissions are so effective in digital marketing? People miss putting a face to their transactions, whether they realize it or not.
- Print ads: As we said above, most people trust printed ads when making a purchasing decision, and that’s only because print media is more distinctive and visible, especially with mobile penetration making them accessible to smartphones.
- Event presence: While generating hype for a new product or service is the name of the game today, that doesn’t mean it’s all exclusive to online marketing. Networking at live events can attract more eyes than you think, and having a physical presence lends some valuable legitimacy to your brand.
- One-on-one customer service: Yes, having a cutting-edge automated digital platform to take care of all your customer service need is easier for you, but as a buyer, nothing beats the feeling of having an actual person dedicated to your satisfaction when you have a complaint or are looking for more information. It humanizes your brand and helps people stay loyal to it.
While having overall better numbers when it comes to reaching, engagement is a whole different story for traditional marketing. There is little interaction between the medium and the customers. They provide the message intact but measuring how many of them are actual potential buyers, with the same degree of certainty that digital marketing offers, is out of the question.
Also, when it comes down to cost, you can bet dollars to donuts that having your brand advertised in a publication or broadcast with any degree of notoriety will be more expensive than using digital tools. Overall, traditional marketing still has that blind spot that relies on hope and lends itself to slaphappy campaigns.
In conclusion, how much you can benefit from traditional marketing depends on both the size of your business as it does on the digital side of your marketing budget. Nowadays, you can’t really build a brand without the internet, but once you have that covered, planting your feet on the advertisement ground can be refreshing for both you and your potential customers.