Traditional versus digital marketing: are the old ways dead?

A simple search on Google and you’ll find that the topic of discussion, among all those involved in the marketing world, is whether or not traditional marketing is dead because of digital marketing.

Why anyone thinks one cannot survive while the other one lives is a mystery, as both forms of marketing can still be used (and still are used) to sell a brand. Digital marketing was not created because traditional marketing stopped having an effect; it was simply born from a world that is advancing its technological ability at a rapid rate.

Traditional marketing is not dead, nor is it dying, it has simply just made room for the many other platforms that now exist. There might be less time and money being allocated to traditional marketing than there once was, but this is only because time and money are now being divided across more areas. Let’s remind ourselves why traditional marketing should not be ignored…

Proven track record

Traditional marketing has always had success, which is unsurprising as it has been around for centuries in some form or another.

While occasionally digital marketing will be chosen over traditional marketing to push a particular campaign, when traditional marketing is used, fantastic results are still achieved and it has a high success rate. Just think of the number of people who read papers and notice banners, posters and billboards when they’re not looking at their phones…

Reaches customers where digital marketing cannot

Digital marketing is great for engaging people when they are online. It can be used to reach customers via their email when they are at work, their mobile phones and on social media, where the majority of us spend most of our spare time.

But, how can digital marketing campaigns reach their targets when we lose signal? On the tube when phones and tablets pretty much become useless without it, how will brands reach us? Enter: traditional marketing. Papers, magazines, posters on the tube, in the tube stations and on the platforms are all forms of traditional marketing and all reach us where digital marketing cannot.

Can be discreet

Digital marketing campaigns can be used to target an audience indirectly, by starting trends on social media or creating videos that end up going viral, something that many believe traditional marketing is too indiscreet to do. However, promotional marketing can be used to connect the audience to the brand when they don’t expect it, by giving away products, such as mugs, that will be used and the message noticed when the customer is relaxed and enjoying a cup of tea. When your brain is relaxed you are more susceptible to ideas.

Traditional platforms still exist

The only way traditional marketing would be totally disregarded is if we no longer relied on receiving our mail by post, watched television, read the papers, or took any notice of the posters on every other building. While we still do all of those things, there will always be room for traditional marketing.

There is no reason why traditional marketing should be forgotten when it comes to creating your marketing strategy, It is easy for a business to become overwhelmed by new digital marketing opportunities and focus their time only on them, but it is important that all marketing channels be considered.

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Ian is the founder of Opportunity Marketing marketing, with over 18 years of experience in successfully setting up marketing departments, creating marketing strategies and implementing these strategies across a wide number of SME companies in both the B2B and B2C sectors through a variety of channels.
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