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Digital marketing has surpassed traditional marketing in many sectors today. Proponents cite the ability to target specific groups and ease of analysing results. Promotional materials can be refined based on results from social media, email campaigns and your website. And yes, while digital marketing can be very successful, it can also be a laborious process. Constantly posting new content can take time, particularly for smaller companies with fewer staff. Creating fresh content for your website and social media several times a week really requires a dedicated resource.
While digital marketing has its place, businesses should not neglect traditional marketing channels to focus solely on it. Traditional marketing, such as advertising, telemarketing, and direct mail, can reach different audiences from digital channels to help your business grow.
Types of traditional marketing
Through advertising in magazines or newspapers, you can potentially reach a more mature audience than online. Newspapers are still frequently read by older generations, and specific papers will reach a more affluent audience than you might find online. Newspapers also allow you to target a local audience through local publications.
Through specialist magazines, you can reach specific target markets that might suit your business; for instance, fishing magazines will be read by the fishing community. Billboard advertising, whilst not the cheapest form of marketing, can reach a very wide audience.
Advertising has the benefit of sustainability. It will always exist in the magazine you target, so it will be around a lot longer than social media posts. In addition, it will give your business kudos – the perception that you are doing well and can afford to advertise in the press or on billboards.
Direct selling can be a very effective form of marketing. You can target specific businesses that might be interested in your products. Whilst it can be challenging to get to talk to the person you want to, once successful, it can be followed up by a meeting that is much more likely to convert to a sale than online posts. People are much more likely to buy in a face-to-face setting, and telemarketing enables you to set this up. Telemarketing has the following benefits:
- You can provide a more interactive and personal sales advice.
- Create an immediate rapport with prospects.
- The ability to explain technical issues more clearly.
- Generate leads and appointments.
- Increase your sales territory.
- Cost-effective marketing channel.
Exhibiting at appropriate events and trade shows is another form of direct selling that can be very successful. Nowhere else will you find a room full of hundreds, or possibly thousands, of people all in buying mode, looking to source new products. Exhibiting can bring the following benefits to a business:
- Lead generation – most attendees have buying authority and are looking for new products; therefore, you have the potential to gather qualified leads.
- Brand awareness – being at an exhibition where all your competitors are will show that you are a serious player in the industry.
- Networking – trade shows bring people together from far and wide. All the main players in your industry will be there, allowing you to mingle with them.
- Learn about industry trends – the presentations and seminars will enable you to learn about all the latest developments in the industry, potentially giving you ideas about where to take your business.
- Assess the competition – find out what your competitors are up to. If they are launching new products or developments, you will be able to see if they go down well with visitors.
- Source new partners or suppliers – who may be able to help your business grow.
- Meet clients face-to-face – potentially enabling direct selling.
Exhibition stand contractor, Quadrant2Design, sees the benefits exhibiting brings to businesses every day. MD Alan Jenkins said, “When done properly, no other form of marketing can match the ROI that an exhibition brings. You are in a room full of people who want to buy new products; if you have an eye-catching stand and decent staff on it, you will see great results”.
4. Direct mail
Sending out information to select people can be an effective form of marketing. For instance, if you are a business, like a landscaper, who wants to target people in a certain area, a leaflet through the door can bring several enquiries. You can include photos of your products or previous work and recommendations.
People are more likely to pay attention to direct mail than an email that gets lost amongst the hundreds of others received every day. Direct mail also potentially has the advantage of longevity, customers may not want your services immediately, but they may keep your brochure for future reference. It is also cost-effective, especially if you already have brochures printed. And you can track performance by including a redeemable offer code within it.
Getting articles published in newspapers or magazines is another traditional form of marketing that can be effective. Issuing press releases about your achievements or new developments can lead to publications printing them, which will bring you publicity. PR can:
- Increase your brand’s credibility. Publicity through public relations gives credibility to your business as the content is more authentic and informative.
- Attract your target market – particularly through specialist publications
- Bring short and long-term lead generation.
- Build your brand image.
6. TV and radio advertising
These are the most expensive forms of marketing, so they are only an option for those with a substantial budget. However, they are probably the most effective form of marketing. TV advertising displays greater success with key performance indicators (KPIs) than any media source. According to recent data, adults spend 13 times as many minutes watching video on television than through the internet and 23 times as much as on their mobile devices.
Multiple studies have shown that combining radio and television can help advertisers reach audiences not achievable with only one medium. Customers who were exposed to ads on both TV and radio had a 35% higher ad recall than those who only saw it on TV.
Digital marketing is undoubtedly effective if done consistently and should form part of every company’s marketing strategy. But there should also be a place for traditional forms of marketing too. These often offer greater longevity and will allow you to reach different and specialist audiences.
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