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Traditional Marketing: Will it Be Replaced with Digital Marketing

A picture containing people, magnet, bullhorn, and office furniture.You may be wondering if investing your advertising budget into traditional types of marketing is worth it. And you may want to know if digital marketing has replaced traditional marketing as the only way to draw customers.

Traditional marketing won’t be replaced by digital marketing any time soon. The reason is that traditional marketing is still a viable way to advertise your business. There are effective forms of traditional marketing relevant to customers who are used to consuming information through digital formats.

You may ask what types of traditional marketing methods are still useful in an increasingly digital world. There is more information about viable traditional marketing methods in the guide below.

Will Digital Marketing Replace Traditional Marketing?

Digital marketing won’t replace traditional marketing any time soon. Although there are increasing numbers of online consumers who receive most of their information via digital means there are still groups of consumers who prefer more traditional methods.

Some viable traditional methods of advertising are

  • Print magazine advertising
  • Billboards
  • TV commercials
  • Radio ads
  • Direct mail marketing

These forms of advertising can be very effective, depending on your target audience. The trick is to decide which groups of consumers prefer print media over digital and who will most likely respond to the traditional methods of advertising, as this may be the only way to reach them.

You need to ask yourself:

Who is my target audience? 

How do they prefer to consume information?

How many people will see the billboards and hear the radio ads?

If your target audience is baby boomers, then you’ll want to continue to utilize these traditional forms of marketing. Such as:

  • Through magazines and newspapers
  • TV commercials
  • Direct mail marketing

According to a study done in 2018, for every dollar advertisers invested in traditional forms of marketing, they received back between four to six dollars in profit.


Method of advertising    ROI for every dollar spent
TV ads    $6.50
Radio  ads    $4.95
Out of home – such as billboards    $5.95
Print    $4.12
Digital Display    $4.83
Digital Search    $11.05


While digital marketing is continuing to escalate in popularity and will continue to be more and more relevant, traditional marketing is still a profitable way to advertise.

Can Traditional and Digital Marketing be Combined?

Traditional marketing techniques can be combined with digital marketing and be profitable. Companies that combine their traditional and digital marketing to form hybrid strategies will be very successful in reaching their target audiences.

Utilizing hybrid marketing strategies allows companies to take advantage of digital marketing tools such as

  • Data collection
  • Targeted advertising
  • Purchasing preferences
  • Viewing preferences

How to Combine Digital and Traditional Marketing

There are ways for advertisers to combine digital and traditional marketing techniques and be relevant in the current market. Most consumers today will head directly to the internet to get information on what they want to buy. But they may prefer a face to face interaction for service or to examine the product in person.

No matter the method, the goal of every advertiser is to fulfill the four Ps of marketing:

  • Product –This is what your company is offering to the consumer. It should be the best of it’s kind out there.
  • Price –This is how much your customer is willing to pay for the item, and several factors come into play. Such as materials cost and supply and demand.
  • Place –This is how you get your product in front of the customer. It doesn’t have to be a physical location, and it’s a passive marketing strategy.
  • Promotion – This is the active communication your company engages in with the customer to get the product in front of them. It could be through a radio advertisement or sponsoring a live event.

Advertisers are competing with multiple outlets and devices for a customer’s attention. So, to get the biggest return on their investment; advertisers must put the customer’s needs at the core of their advertising campaigns.

Traditional marketing tries to meet consumers where they are at physically. Such as

  • Grocery store
  • At home
  • Driving down the road
  • At work

Some advantages of traditional marketing techniques are that

  • It can produce quicker results. Depending on the location and how well targeted the ad is for the audience, it can produce immediate results rather than a digital ad taking weeks to show results.
  • Brick and mortar stores are more likely to stick around rather than a website offering a product. This builds trust with the customer.
  • Face to face interactions builds trust. Consumers may feel more comfortable dealing with a person and not worry about being deceived.

Digital marketing strategies strive to meet consumers where they are at on the internet. Some digital marketing strategies utilize

  • Social Media preferences
  • Search Engine Optimization techniques
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Brand awareness
  • Sponsored content
  • Email marketing
  • Pay per click advertising
  • Paid search advertising

Digital marketing allows the advertiser to specifically target their intended audience using data analytics. This makes the return on their investment much more valuable rather than the traditional shotgun method. Which was a “spray and pray” way of targeting the audience.

Some advantages in digital marketing include

  • More cost-effective. There are free advertising methods that can help a small business get their brand out on the internet and extend the reach.
  • Content-rich environment. A company can offer extensive educational information on their website that draws consumers in and builds loyalty.
  • Data metrics are available for advertisers to analyze and personalize their ads for the target consumer.
  • It’s easy to gauge the return on your advertising investment based on data gathered during a consumer’s search and purchasing process.
  • The product is available at the consumer leisure. The internet is available 24/7 and lets the customer buys what they want when they want it.
  • It has a worldwide reach and expands the audience for the advertiser to target.

Both traditional marketing and digital marketing have strong strategies that can be used to target their intended audience. By blending these strategies, marketers can produce advertising that takes advantage of the best of both worlds. Some common techniques that work well in both traditional and digital marketing settings are

  • Using digital data in your traditional marketing strategies, which can be very effective when used correctly.
  • Experiential marketing – Customers need significant and dependable experiences to anchor their loyalty to a brand.
  • Sponsored content –This is an excellent way to introduce your product or brand in a natural way without intruding on the customers’ experience.

Diagram, infographicsUsing Digital Data in Your Traditional Marketing Strategy

Using digital data in your traditional marketing strategies is a good idea. Traditional marketing is still relevant today because consumers are used to receiving advertising via traditional means, as this has been ingrained in them for decades.

Since today’s digital consumers are used to being able to research information immediately, their behavior reinforces both the traditional and digital marketing strategies simultaneously.

According to a study done in 2017, 59 percent of adults say their primary way of watching tv is through cable connections. Even though the younger generations are accustomed to consuming information via digital media, they still stream their shows through streaming services via the internet on their TV.

Advertisers can take advantage of that by

  • Utilizing TV commercials to get their message across to consumers.
  • Take advantage of the fact that these streaming services track viewer’s viewing preferences.
  • Tailor their ads accordingly. If the consumer sees something that peaks their interest, they can look up something instantly.
  • This is because most consumers will usually have their mobile devices on hand while watching tv

Another way traditional marketing can take advantage of digital data is through magazine advertising. Since 2014, magazine readership has grown at least 24 percent across all platforms. For those traditionally print magazines that have maintained an internet presence, their readership has increased dramatically because of the high-quality content they’ve consistently produced in both mediums.

Though print readership is down overall, magazines who’ve stay relevant by providing content across multiple platforms, continue to influence readers in both the print and the digital forms.

One of the most powerful forms of advertising is through word of mouth. This is true for both traditional and digital marketing. People will be more likely to purchase an item because a trusted source recommended it to them.

How this manifests in digital marketing is through a trend called research online, buy offline.

  • Fifty-six percent of online shoppers read reviews before purchasing an item
  • Forty-five percent of brick and mortar shoppers read reviews on an item, in the store, before they purchase it.
  • Consumers read reviews for almost every purchasing decision from where they’ll eat dinner to where they buy gas.

Traditional retailers who recognize that their consumers are shifting to online and maintain a healthy online presence can thrive in both environments.

Using Experiential Marketing in Your Marketing Strategy

You can use experiential marketing in your marketing strategy, in both a traditional and digital setting.

Experiential marketing

  • Provides relevant information to the consumer about a specific topic.
  • You build trust with your audience because of your relevant information
  • The relevant information provided about the topic directly correlates with your products.
  • There are relationships built between you and your customers through their emotional investment in your company.
  • Relationships drive revenue.

By providing information for your customers before they need it, they’ll rely on your brand because they trust your relevance in their life.

For example, some ways to apply experiential marketing in a traditional method is through

  • Providing samples of your product. This can be done by offering a free product if someone gives you their information. Or perhaps a taste of your food product.
  • Give a demonstration of your product. Show the customer how it works and all the of its possibilities. Let them try it out for themselves. Customers want to drive the car before they commit to buying it.
  • Let the customer experience your product by engaging their five physical senses.

Some ways to apply experiential marketing in the digital world are

  • Providing relevant educational content on your website to create branded content. Make it thought-provoking and informative. You want your customers to come back again and again for the answers to their questions. This can be either through blog articles or video content.
  • Let the customers engage with the company through personalized responses on social media sites like Twitter and Instagram. You can do this through polls or surveys. Ask their opinion on a certain product and offer them two choices.
  • Helping your customer have a positive view of your brand through live sponsored events. Join with other companies that you may not normally associate your product with. This is also an excellent way time to sponsor a charity event or fundraiser.
  • Utilize popular trends on social media to bring awareness to your product. Maybe there is a dance craze happening that you can tie in with your marketing campaign.
  • Turn your product into a video game experience. Gamifying your product means that you add a point-scoring system or a competition to get consumers to engage with you.

Building brand awareness for your customer is important because it builds loyalty. They’ll return to your website, or brick and mortar store, time after time because they trust what you have to deliver.

Using Sponsored Content in Your Marketing Strategy

Companies who provide sponsored content, via print and digital means, in their marketing strategies can reach their target audiences using traditional methods, as well as digitally.

When you sponsor content, you are paying a publisher or social influencer to host your content rather than hosting it yourself, which is branded content. It looks and feels natural on the site like it was meant to be there.

The advantages of providing sponsored content are

  • It adds credibility to your product and company because the user trusts the publisher of your content.
  • It enhances the users’ experience instead of disturbing It’s a very subtle and natural form of advertising that doesn’t upset or intrude on the target audience.
  • It’s mutually beneficial for the publisher as well as the advertiser. The publisher is creating content to help produce the audience and gets funding from the advertiser. And the advertiser needs an audience to buy their product.
  • It can appear in any form or means. It can be a product the publisher promotes or a software they use or a food they consume.

Some examples on how sponsored content can be used traditional marketing strategies are

  • Sponsoring a live event, alongside other brands, to enhance your company and product. This takes advantage of the marketing already done by the promoters of the event. And also helps market your product, especially if you are a smaller company with a limited advertising budget.
  • Sponsoring a sports team or social club. This helps to promote your company image in addition to exposing your brand.
  • Sponsoring content in a print publication that reads like and resembles an editorial article, but promotes your brand at the same time.

How you can apply sponsored content to your digital marketing strategies are

  • Sponsoring a video for social influencers via YouTube. There are YouTube channels that attract thousands and millions of subscribers. And they heavily depend on sponsors to maintain their channel. By sponsoring a video, that social influencers will promote your product in front of their audience. It’s a win-win for both parties.
  • Provide an educational or informative written article for a publisher to host on their website. Providing content that helps the consumer gives the website host helpful information to offer their users. It also exposes your brand to the audience.
  • Provide sponsored content in the form of videos or photos for the publisher to host on their social media site.

The beauty of sponsoring content is that it can show up in any form, making this one of the most useful and cost-effective digital marketing methods. A study done in 2018 showed that

  • Three out of four people who responded to the study said they used sponsored content on social media.
  • Providing paid social content was the top method used by advertisers to get their brand known.
  • A third of the responders also used social content on other websites other than their own. Meaning they accessed other publishers’ social content outside of their own published website.

Consumers are more likely to click on paid social content that feels like a natural part of their experience and are more likely to ignore banner ads that feel intrusive and disrupt their flow. This is an excellent advertising method that works in both traditional and digital settings.

Digital Marketing Won’t Take Over Traditional Marketing

Despite the enormous growth that digital marketing has seen in the last few years, it won’t be taking over traditional marketing any time soon. This is because traditional marketing methods are still viable and can have an impact on the consumer.

 Companies that combine both digital and traditional marketing methods will have a much stronger and more effective marketing campaign.

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Tracy Jackson

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