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Traditional Marketing: Is It Worth Your Budget?

Is there still a use for traditional marketing? Learn more about using both digital and traditional marketing to build a better marketing strategy for your business.

The term “marketing” dates all the way back to the 19th century, but marketing as we know it didn’t begin until the 1950s. For several decades, marketing was strictly done through print, including newspapers, magazines, flyers, and other written ads. It wasn’t until radio and television became popular that marketing started branching out to other platforms, which led to the advertising boom of the 1950s.

Over the years, marketing has changed and grown into one of the world’s largest industries, with the internet and cell phones creating new avenues for advertising. In today’s world, it seems like you can’t go anywhere or do anything without running into an ad of some sort, whether you’re driving, watching a video, or reading a news story online.

With the increase in competition and the growing popularity of the internet and smartphones, investing in digital marketing is more important than ever. You can reach billions of potential customers online, and you can do it without spending a fortune if you have the right marketing strategy.

What is traditional marketing?

Traditional marketing refers to all of the marketing techniques that predate what we now call digital marketing. Traditional marketing is any form of marketing that uses offline media to reach an audience. Basic examples of traditional marketing include things like newspaper ads and other print ads, but there are also billboards, mail advertisements, and TV and radio advertisements.

What we now know as traditional marketing is largely a result of the advertising boom of the 1950s. This rising popularity in marketing happened as a result of the massive popularity of television during the 1950s. Up until this point, people had to read a newspaper, magazine, or billboard to see advertisements. Although radio advertising did exist, those ads couldn’t reach the same kind of audience. With television, advertisers could reach a massive audience in the comfort of their homes, transforming the way that businesses used advertising.

While digital marketing has become a larger part of the marketing strategy for most businesses, there’s still a place for direct mail and other forms of traditional marketing. Understanding which marketing avenues are right for your business is a crucial part of getting the most out of your marketing budget.

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Pros and cons of traditional marketing strategies

Just because digital marketing has become the primary focus doesn’t mean there’s no place for traditional marketing. A combination of digital and traditional marketing can help you reach a wide and diverse audience, and the right balance of the two depends on your company and product. In fact, some businesses can operate almost entirely on traditional marketing, so it really depends on your situation.

As long as you consider the 7 Ps of marketing and take best practices into account, you can potentially get great results from a wide range of marketing efforts. While the advertising medium you choose is important, it’s just as important to make sure you’re marketing your products or services the right way.

In the next sections, we’ll talk about some of the pros and cons of traditional marketing as it compares to digital marketing. If you’re having trouble figuring out what type of marketing is right for your business, we’ll give you a little bit of insight below.

Traditional marketing advantages

Despite the fact that some forms of traditional marketing have existed for centuries, there are still benefits to integrating traditional marketing into your modern strategy.

One of the biggest benefits of traditional marketing is the fact that it allows you to have a presence pretty much everywhere. You can use traditional marketing avenues to reach potential customers when they’re at home on their couch, riding the bus, walking down the street, or driving to work in the morning. This multimedia advertising helps you advertise to as many people as possible, which means you have more chances to convert leads to sales and increase profits.

Traditional marketing can also be a simpler route if your team isn’t familiar with digital marketing and the tools that make it happen. There’s a lot to learn when it comes to mastering marketing, so your digital marketing campaign may take a while to succeed even if your team is dedicated to learning digital marketing. For some businesses, focusing primarily on traditional marketing may be a better financial move.

It’s also important to consider the type of audience you want to reach. Digital marketing is great if you want to reach a younger audience that uses smartphones and computers, but you can alienate some of your target audience if you focus too much on the digital side of things. Traditional marketing may be better suited for an older audience, as well as any potential customers who don’t spend a lot of time on their computers or smartphones.

Because digital marketing is unfamiliar territory for many businesses, traditional marketing may offer a safer alternative. You might consider focusing on traditional marketing if you don’t want to spend money making the switch to digital marketing or training your marketing team.

Drawbacks of traditional marketing

Traditional marketing may have its benefits, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any negatives. There are several reasons why digital marketing has become a major competitor of traditional marketing, and weighing the pros and cons of each type of marketing can help you decide on the right strategy for your business.

For starters, traditional marketing is often more expensive than digital marketing. Rates for traditional advertising spaces can be very expensive, especially if you’re trying to land a commercial during a highly watched event or secure a billboard in one of the most populated parts of a big city.

With digital marketing, you can advertise across several sites and other avenues without spending as much. Your ads can be played at the start of Twitch streams and YouTube videos, show up as banners on news websites, and more.

In many cases, the results of traditional marketing are harder to measure than the results of digital marketing. You can quantify the number of people who clicked on a link or watched a video, but there’s no guarantee a viewer sees your television ad just because they’re watching TV. In fact, some viewers may be counted despite falling asleep with the TV on or leaving the TV on for their dog while they’re at work. With digital marketing, you get more accurate metrics that you can use to make decisions.

Your traditional marketing campaign may also take longer than a digital marketing campaign because of all the potential red tape. It takes time for advertisements to be approved and added to billboards and television, and that time can cost you money.

Traditional marketing vs the rise of digital marketing

Traditional marketing was a powerhouse for several decades, but that all changed when the internet became popular. Just like the growing popularity of TV in the ‘50s helped advertising grow, the internet has given advertisers a whole new way to reach a worldwide audience without spending a fortune.

In the early days of digital marketing, banner advertisements reigned supreme. These banner ads are displayed right within the layout of a website, whether they’re at the top of the site, on one of the sides, or at the very bottom of the page. Over time, these ads have developed to the point where they may also be embedded into the middle of news stories and other central content.

With the massive boom in the popularity of video websites such as YouTube, online advertising in the form of videos also became a staple of digital marketing. In exchange for free access to massive libraries of videos, users watch a short ad or two at the beginning of their video every now and then. These video ads became even more popular when Twitch and other live streaming services started to become more popular, with the most popular streams commanding hundreds of thousands of viewers simultaneously.

Of course, digital marketing also includes other avenues such as email marketing, search engine optimization, social media marketing, and more. This diverse offering coupled with the potential to reach a worldwide audience has made digital marketing a staple in modern marketing strategies.

Which marketing strategy is better?

As a business owner, choosing the right marketing strategy is crucial if you want to get the most out of your marketing budget. The truth is that there’s a good chance both digital and traditional marketing have a place in your marketing strategy.

Traditional marketing still offers a lot of benefits, particularly for businesses that have a lot of older or less tech-savvy customers. Customers who don’t respond to digital marketing may respond to direct mail marketing or TV advertising, and some people may only hear your ads on the radio. The marketing strategy that’s right for you has a lot to do with the audience you want to reach.

Of course, it’s also important to consider what kind of marketing strategy you’re equipped to handle. Digital marketing training may be a necessary first step if you’re planning on making the switch from print and TV advertising to YouTube and social media ads.

Combining digital and traditional marketing to work toward the same goal is a practice known as integrated marketing. You can do this by using a consistent call to action across all of your marketing materials. A cohesive marketing strategy can help make your brand more unique and identifiable.

Harness the power of both marketing avenues

If you want to get the most out of your marketing budget, chances are you should be utilizing a combination of traditional and digital marketing. By diversifying your marketing efforts, you can reach a larger audience and see how different marketing tactics perform versus each other.

Do you need help with your marketing strategy? With Mailchimp, email marketing is easier than ever. Mailchimp has email automation and marketing tools that make it easy to connect with your audience and build your brand, plus we’ve got time-saving templates to help you write great emails. Give Mailchimp a try today and transform your next marketing campaign.

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