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6 min read

Why Traditional Marketing Is STILL As Important as Digital Marketing

You may think we have gone mad, but we haven’t (honestly). Still, we firmly believe at LoudLocal that any genuinely effective strategy should take advantage of ALL of the channels at your disposal, including offline channels. We use traditional marketing ourselves, because we know it’s a channel that still delivers results.

What Is Traditional Marketing?

Traditional marketing refers to advertising that appears in newspapers, magazines, billboards and radio/TV. Before the internet was a crucial part of the customer journey, traditional advertising accounted for the bulk of any marketers spend to reach potential customers. As the internet started to grow, more and more marketers jumped ship and invested time and budget into online efforts. Some marketers ditched traditional marketing entirely!

Some of the main reasons for this included the diminishing reach of traditional campaigns, the inability to quantify/track results and the costs, which in most cases were a lot higher than digital.

Traditional marketing started to be seen by some as a great way to reach an older demographic. But if you wanted to engage with younger generations, then digital was the way to go.

Reinforcing Our Own Digital Efforts With Traditional Marketing

It’s Friday morning and we have just finished producing our advert for a print magazine, which is due to be distributed to 10,000 homes around the Kenilworth area. It’s our first foray into the world of traditional marketing since LoudLocal started, but it certainly won’t be the last.

Are We Running Print Ads To Reach an Older Demographic?

No. It is no longer 2006 where the only internet users are millennials and tech-savvy people from older generations. The internet is used by pretty much everyone, at least to some degree. Whether that is for online shopping, streaming the latest episode of Line of Duty or speaking to grandkids via Zoom, it is now widely adopted by people from all generations.

The pandemic has made the internet a lot more accessible to people of all ages. It is no longer just a place for younger people (and hasn't been for some time)

But if Everyone Now Uses the Internet, Why Bother With Traditional Marketing?

Traditional marketing is still just as powerful as it was 200 years ago. Whilst it may not have the reach it once had, it is still a great way to reach potential customers. Some people think you need to have either a traditional marketing strategy or a digital marketing strategy, but the truth is you should be considering both!

Taking an Integrated Approach Across Traditional and Digital Channels

The key to ensuring that all channels are performing and reaching their full potential is taking an integrated marketing approach. Integrated marketing is creating a seamless brand experience across multiple channels, both digital and traditional. 

So, for instance, you may run a campaign across direct mail, billboards, paid social media, on your website, email and in the local press. But each advert/placement carries the same (or very similar) messaging. You may think this is just repeating the messaging, which it does, but getting exposed to the same message multiple times reinforces what you are trying to say. And it pays dividends; campaigns across four channels or more outperform dual/single-channel campaigns by a whopping 300%

Despite this, I’ve lost count of the number of times I have worked with people focused entirely on just a single channel and wondering why they do not see the levels of growth they are expecting. Their gut reaction is to sink more cash into the basket they have put all their eggs in and still, the situation doesn’t improve. They wonder why their competitors outperform them, but the truth is their competitors are running campaigns across multiple channels, reinforcing the messaging at every step. 

Integrated marketing is creating a seamless brand experience across multiple channels, both digital and traditional.

Examples of Great Integrated Marketing Campaigns

There are many examples of campaigns fully integrated across multiple channels. Take “Compare the market”, their campaign with Oleg spanned many channels such as social media, TV, Radio, print, billboards. They were firing on all cylinders, but the level of brand awareness they gained from this was off the charts. You would be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t now associate meerkats with the brand. Now imagine if this campaign ran  on just social media or their website. Would it have been as effective? No, it most likely would have received quite a bit of engagement and then disappeared into the ether. Yet this campaign has now run an incredible nine years and shows no sign of coming to an end. 

You may think that taking an integrated approach is something only big businesses do, but that assumption is incorrect. I know of many smaller companies that run integrated campaigns and do a remarkable job of it too. And it doesn’t mean you need to quadruple your budget either. In some instances, you may save money as the costs you pay per new customer acquisition may reduce!

Wonder which brand springs to mind?

So How Can Your Business Take an Integrated Approach?

Running an integrated campaign is quite simple. It all boils down to planning. If you have an excellent idea for a social post, then at the planning stage, decide which other channels you could push this messaging out on (that may reach that particular audience).

So, for example, you may decide to write a blog, push this out via your social media channels, run an email campaign and then reinforce this with a press release and list an advert in a local magazine. You use the same images, messaging and content for each medium, simply adapting it for each individual channel’s intricacies. Ensure the message is consistent with no contradictions. If possible, link the campaign together, e.g. send email traffic to the blog page and retarget people who read the blog with social media because this will help you provide potential customers with a seamless experience across all channels.

Tracking and Monitoring the Success

Tracking your digital efforts is a breeze with the tools at your disposal, but trying to track traditional methods can be a little more complicated. The good news is that it is not impossible! Many brands use a tactic of sending people to a unique link (e.g. /campaign name) with some form of incentive. Allowing them to track how many people have visited that URL using analytics software such as Google Analytics. 

An essential thing to remember is that not every channel will produce direct conversions; it is all about exposure and reinforcing the messaging at each stage. A typical customer journey may look like the following: (hover over each title to see details on the stage)

The example above demonstrates why providing a customer with a seamless experience across all channels is critical. It also illustrates how using multiple channels helps take the customer from a prospect right to purchase. Removing a stage (such as the traditional marketing stages) could harm your conversions.

The above covers around eight interactions before the customer makes a purchase.  This may seem a lot but a well known and used model, the marketing rule of seven says that on average a customers will interact with your brand seven times, before making a purchase.  Many marketers argue that this rule is no longer relevant and the number of touchpoints is actually a LOT more, and we are inclined to agree.  In fact some marketers say that this number may be as big as seventy seven*! 

But regardless, if you are only using one channel then imagine how long it will take for a customer to be exposed to your branding this many times!

Why Traditional Marketing Is Still a Crucial Part of the Customer Journey – In Summary

So going back to our original introduction, we haven’t gone mad in recommending traditional marketing. It is still a critical part of the customer journey and will continue to be as more and more people start using the internet.  

If you are a business that focuses entirely on digital marketing, then it is maybe time to adjust your thinking and dip into the world of traditional marketing.  It can really help reinforce your digital efforts, and you will be surprised about how much of an impact it has on the success of your digital campaigns. 

But the above is reversed if you are only relying on traditional marketing efforts to promote your business. It is equally important that your business is also running online campaigns (regardless of the age of your target customers). If this is an area that you are yet to explore or need assistance with, then get in touch as we can help. We can align any digital marketing efforts to run simultaneously alongside your traditional marketing efforts, ensuring that your customers have a seamless customer experience at every step. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. If you found it interesting, please subscribe and you never know, you may see our own fully integrated marketing campaigns in action. 


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