Traditional Marketing: Still Relevant in an Online World?

2nd August 2017

Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing is a broad and general term. It is often used interchangeably with offline marketing and refers to those tried and tested techniques that have been with us for years. Traditional marketing can be traced back to the Ancient Egyptians who used papyrus posters to convey sales messages. Today it usually encompasses print marketing such as newspaper and magazine copy, broadcasting on TV and radio, direct mail and telephone marketing. We tend to use the term to differentiate these methods from newer digital and content marketing techniques. But is it still relevant today? The answer is a resounding yes.

For organisations with a substantial marketing budget, traditional marketing can be extremely lucrative. Check out this infographic to look at the results and impact of Super Bowl marketing.

Super Bowl Advertising Statistics [INFOGRAPHIC] | AYTM Market Research

Infographic by: AYTM Market Research

Of course not everyone has a Super Bowl budget but there are still ways you can incorporate these techniques into your own marketing campaigns.

Newspapers and Magazines

The first step with any marketing campaign is to look at your intended audience. Which newspapers and magazines are they reading? Industry magazines can be a rich source of generating leads. Instead of opting for a large one-off ad, think about smaller ads that can be repeated over time.

And it’s not all about taking out ad space. Look for innovative ways to get your brand mentioned. Have you been active in the local community? Consider approaching your local paper with the story. Are you involved in something topical? Put together a press release and contact the editors directly. Most newspapers and magazines will have an imprint with the names and contact details of the relevant editors. They can often be found on Twitter so make sure you’re following and engaging with them. HARO (Help A Reporter Out) is a useful service that will send reporter requests direct to your inbox so you can respond with a story or quote quickly.

Direct Mail

How does direct mail compete with email marketing? Kiss Metrics has analysed the results and noted that consumers who received direct mail were able to recall the brand 75% of the time, compared 44% of consumers who only received digital versions. The Direct Marketing Association published a report that notes that direct marketing has a 15% to 17% ROI.


One of the most important aspects of any marketing campaign is targeting. You need to target the right person in the right place at the right time. This comes down to knowing your audience and their tastes and behaviours.

Is Traditional Marketing Just For Big Businesses With Big Budgets?

Traditional marketing is often associated with big corporates with big budgets. However, smaller companies can also get in on the act. You just need to be innovative and responsive.

  • Newspapers and magazines need to fill their pages. Find ways of creating or generating content that could be a good fit. Keep up to date with their features and articles. For example, some newspapers have a dedicated business section where local businesses mention new members of staff.
  • If you’re undertaking a direct marketing campaign, shop around to find the most cost-effective print companies. Combine your campaign with email marketing to increase your ROI.
  • You may not have the budget for TV commercials, but what about offering your services as an expert? News channels often seek expert opinions on a range of different subjects. This provides great exposure. Could you be that expert?

An Integrated Approach

Integrated marketing is about unifying and bringing together all types of marketing. It combines traditional, offline and online tactics. The best results and ROI can be achieved when you integrate your marketing efforts. Read our article on how to accomplish this.

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