Traditional Marketing Methods that Still Work in the Digital Age

Traditional Marketing

Although we live in a digital world where e-commerce seems to be the dominant method for making sales, traditional marketing methods are still an effective way of reaching customers and achieving business success.

Traditional marketing has been around for ages and consumers are familiar with it. Methods such as using signs and billboards, attending industry events and even phone calls harness the power of human interaction to close a sale. Tangible, physical marketing methods evoke a sensation and a lasting memory and that is why they remain so effective; they are certainly much more memorable than logging onto a web storefront or using a digital calling card online.

Following are some examples of traditional marketing methods that still effective.

Expos and Trade Shows

There is no better way of reaching an engaged and interested customer base than a trade show or expo where businesses and customers come together to network, discover and assess new products and services and conduct business with their peers. Businesses continue to attend these events because they see direct results from them, not only through sales and networking but also as a means of finding out what customers want and creating high-quality leads.

Attendees are all involved in the same industry sector and represent a focused group to pitch to. Having a stand at these events helps to establish and promote a business, boosts brand awareness and puts a face on the employees of a business which helps to create a personal relationship and makes future contact much easier. When conducted effectively these events can provide significant leads for future follow-up.

Billboards and Other Signage

One of the oldest forms of marketing is still around today and for a very simple reason: it works. Billboards and other forms of signage serve to get a business brand seen by a large number of people. Today’s billboards are much more sophisticated than hand-painted text and images on wood and canvas. Today’s billboards tend to display images that are a compelling way to raise brand awareness. It is also a method that will never go out of style or become obsolete because of its huge reach and the way it encompasses all social classes across geographical boundaries.

Direct Mail

Receiving physical mail is almost a novelty these days compared with the old days of letterboxes being stuffed with ‘junk mail’ that was discarded as soon as it was received. Today this has moved online with junk emails (or spam) filling InBoxes while, with fewer items being delivered to mailboxes, letters have become more noticeable. Ironically, this means that they are more likely to be opened, especially if they contain personalized discount coupons or promotional offers. This means that a direct mail white-label campaign that features a compelling message, high information and a clear value proposition for the consumer is likely to be more effective than a corresponding email campaign.

Phone Calls

As far as back to basics marketing goes, there is no more traditional method than picking up the phone and calling a prospect. Studies show that despite the overwhelming rise of digital forms of communication consumers still prefer a phone call to emails and websites when finding out about businesses. Business owners report that they have seen revenue growth after investing in outbound calls and a majority consider it an important aspect of their marketing strategy.

Telemarketing remains a staple of the marketing industry and is still regarded as the best business-to-business lead generation method. While digital channels (such as emails, social media and chat) are a necessary part of modern outbound marketing, phone calls remain one of the best ways for businesses to develop personal client relationships that yield dividends in the long term.

Promotional Products

Promotional products are useful items that have the name of an advertiser printed on them as well as a logo or message which is designed to increase brand awareness. Promotional products remain a powerful marketing tool because they allow a brand to connect with consumers in a physical way and by engaging their senses, which can create a more memorable brand experience, and which is reinforced each time the item is used. According to some metrics over 80% of promotional item recipients enjoy receiving them, remember the name of the advertiser and make a future purchase from them.

Promotional products come in all shapes, sizes and types.  It can sometimes be worth sourcing custom items that aren’t traditional promotional products to provide something unique, memorable and useful. Through careful planning, a business can customize a marketing campaign so that it’s relevant to a specific demographic and target consumer that they are trying to reach.

With today’s consumers wanting brands to reach them on a personal level, promotional products are one of the best ways to connect with consumers and to maintain that connection for as long as they use them. Promotions Warehouse wrote an article about the best ways to use promotional products, and other items, to advertise your business.

Print Advertising

It is common knowledge that ‘print is dead’ in the digital age. For marketers, however, print advertising still has some distinct advantages. Studies have shown that physical advertisements result in better brand recall and recognition and operate across multiple age groups. Compared with the digital fatigue that consumers suffer when looking at online advertising and the increasing popularity of ad blockers, print advertising still has some life left in it with estimates showing over half of people will read print advertising compared to digital equivalents.

While its effectiveness will vary depending on the specific campaign, how it is targeted and other considerations, the fact remains that print advertising can be just as, if not more, effective than equivalent forms of digital advertising. Business magazines and branded magazines are an example of how they can be used; they enable brands to advertise their products or services through sharing their success stories and the unique features of their products. They can also reach a large audience because of the longevity of a printed product and the likelihood it will be passed on and viewed by others.


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