With the growth in digital marketing, you may be wondering if traditional marketing is still relevant. The truth is that it really depends on your target audience and the purpose of your campaign.
Traditional marketing comprises all of the offline options i.e. those that are not delivered via the internet, such as print, billboards, leafleting, TV and radio advertising. The lead-times tend to be longer and the cost of offline marketing is often higher than digital. Effectiveness of these types of communications can be difficult to measure, especially if there is no call-to-action. However, print media is an essential ingredient in building brand identity. If you’re selling designer goods, for example, a quality, glossy brochure with strong images are tangible and will play an important role in your brand’s positioning too.
Digital marketing includes all online activities such as websites, social media, SEO, PPC and blogging. With comparatively short lead-times, digital marketing enables businesses to respond quickly to changing market conditions, announce new products or services, in addition to offers and incentives. Cost-effective, interactive and adaptable, digital marketing is increasingly measurable, showing real value and returns.
Do both options deliver?
In many ways, traditional marketing is still very effective when used correctly. For example, say you’re running a campaign to increase traffic to your website and your overall brand awareness. Using a traditional marketing tactic like a local print or radio ad can help generate that brand awareness as well as driving people to visit your website and buy your product or service.
Similarly, digital platforms can drive footfall into your store or premises. A free Google My Business listing helps local audiences to find you as well as those from further afield via Google Maps.
Is digital marketing replacing traditional?
Can traditional approaches to marketing really withstand the digital revolution?
When every penny of your marketing budget counts, knowing where to invest is key. But traditional marketing and digital marketing should not be seen as an either/or situation. They’re not adversaries and when both are integrated into the marketing mix and work in unison, businesses can maximise their ROI.
Today’s potential customers are better informed
These days, there’s a multitude of resources available to potential customers and they’ll often do research before getting in touch. The growth of online content has given them more power. They’re no longer passive when it comes to learning about products. Instead of waiting for you to tell them how great your products are, they’re checking things out themselves.
Two-thirds of us use more than one channel to make purchasing decisions. With all the online and offline opportunities to make an impression, consistency across all channels and touch points is more important than ever.
Your customer’s journey
Before making decisions on which marketing avenues are right for your business, it’s worth reviewing what collateral you already have in place.
Imagine your target customer’s exposure to your brand, from initial awareness through to point-of-purchase and beyond. Think of all the places along this journey where your brand has a presence. Each one is a building block for your brand’s identity.
- Press Ads
- Brochures & leaflets
- Direct Mail
- Radio & TV
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Social Media
- Pay per Click
- Banner Ads
- Google my Business Listings & Posts
Remember your premises too. Whether they’re retail, trade or offices, some or all of the following touch points also apply.
- Window display
- Sales counter
Don’t forget to review
Gathering and reviewing all of this marketing collateral is a valuable exercise. Take a careful look – is it all complimentary, are there any inconsistencies or gaps? In a nutshell, your brand is your most valuable asset. We all have brand preferences. Firm favourites we use often, others we’re following and may well try out next time, and those, for whatever reason, we dislike, or mistrust.
Successful brands connect. They have personality, inspire confidence, and are easy to recall. They’re distinctive, making good use of engaging, clear, consistent communication.
Inconsistent branding endangers that relationship. For a customer, it’s confusing and careless. After all, if the brand doesn’t care, why should its customers? Damaging your brand’s reputation can have a negative effect on not only your brand, but your bottom line too.
Consistency throughout your marketing helps to build that “know, like and trust” with your audience. If your efforts are haphazard then you’re probably not going to achieve this effectively.
John Lewis’ Never Knowingly Undersold (NKU) pricing promise has served them well for almost 100 years and played an integral role in driving loyalty and lifelong customers. As a consumer, if ease, choice, and fast delivery are top of your list, Amazon is likely to hit the spot. Meanwhile, Red Bull ticks all the boxes for speed loving thrill seekers. What these brands have in common is consistency and that does have a value.
Building brand loyalty involves the whole brand experience from start to finish and beyond. As business owners, we all want to attract new customers and a growing number of repeat customers over the longer term.
Combining both traditional and digital methods presents an opportunity that leading businesses are taking advantage of. Splitting budget between the two, with a weighting towards digital appears to be the optimum solution of late. Taking advantage of growing online trends while maintaining an offline presence could be the secret of success!
Guest post by Ros Birkett, Birkett Consultancy Advertising & Marketing
My career began during the 1970’s within full-service advertising agencies in the East Midlands. Gaining experience in a number of roles and departments resulted in an appreciation of all the aspects and processes involved. Progressing to Media Director, I thoroughly enjoyed planning and negotiating successful campaigns with the press, outdoor, cinema, radio and TV for a range of local and national clients.
By 1987, I wanted a new challenge and founded my own agency in Leicester. Since then, I’ve worked together with a mix of small business owners, national and international companies in the retail, manufacturing, trade & technical and business services sectors. The longevity of my company is in no small way, down to the fantastic support received from local suppliers and talented freelancers.
During this time, I’ve always aimed to combine traditional values with more than a dash of original thinking, a relish for problem-solving and sound reliability. Probably the most satisfying outcomes have been the 25th Anniversary celebratory events of two client’s businesses.
I enjoy spending my free time with my family, trying out new recipes, occasional fine dining, gardening and maintaining my (modern) classic car. It should come as no surprise then, that I also love following motorsport, especially the BTCC, Le Mans and F1.