Don't Throw Away Those Flyers. Traditional Advertising Still Has a Place.

Courtney Myers's picture
Courtney Myers
Courtney Myers wrote:

In today's digital era, it can be easy to assume that paper-based, traditional marketing initiatives have taken a backseat. If you consider the research, that appears to be true. In fact, studies show that companies will spend nearly $120 billion on digital marketing by 2021. Yet, as marketing managers and C-suite executives around the world prepare their companies to compete in this uber-competitive sphere, it's important to remember that for many businesses, it might make more sense operationally and economically to focus their efforts elsewhere.

Let's explore a few scenarios in which traditional advertising still has a (very important) place.

Small-to-Medium Businesses

If you're just starting out, it can be tempting to throw all of your resources toward slick, smart digital marketing endeavors. If you have the startup capital to do so, that's a great route to take. However, most SMBs are still budgeting to the cent well into their first few years. When this is the case, it can be wise to stick with lower-cost marketing collateral, such as flyers and promotional products. In many cases, "getting your name out there" just means getting in front of the customer in whatever way possible. If you can pass out a few pens at a trade show and impact some influential business leaders, that might be all the foot in the door you need.

Locally-Based Companies

Sure, the coffee shop in your hometown might benefit from a snazzy web design, but unless the people who see it are within a driving radius, they'll be impressed, but they won't patronize it. For companies that focus primarily on a small, local population to drive the majority of their business, they'll be better served by sticking to paper-based advertisements such as business cards, which they can tack up on community bulletin boards and catch as many eyes as possible.

Of course, in these situations, don't forget the most important and long-lasting form of traditional advertising available: word-of-mouth marketing! Studies show that 92% of consumers trust public opinion and recommendations from their friends and family more than any other form of outreach. If your company is local and you want to grow your brand community, get people talking and build that profitable buzz you need -- no internet login required.

Companies in a Competitive Digital Space

Though it sounds counterintuitive, if your company is web-based and you're seeking to crack into a highly digitized and tightly competitive space, you may benefit more from paper-based advertising than by trying to fit your name into a sea of similar online offerings. Of course, you'll need a dynamic web presence and active social media channels in the event that a prospect does find you on the internet, but don't discount the power of community outreach as well.

Attend trade shows in your niche and pass out white papers and marketing slicks. Create beautiful brochures and mail them to everyone on your email marketing list. Get your data in their hands rather than counting on them to find you in the tangled World Wide Web.

Standing Out and Getting Heard

The Digital Age is here to stay and shows no sign of slowing down. Yet, if you're feeling the pressure to build your online presence, think twice and consider if you're simply following the trend or if you'll actually benefit from the money, time, and effort it takes to enter the online marketing sphere.

If you're just starting out, start small with more traditional marketing initiatives and watch your community grow. As it does, you'll build the funds required to take your outreach efforts to the next step.

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1 Responses

Tarsha Polk's picture
Tarsha Polk
Tarsha Polk wrote:

It's funny that I just came across this post. An hour ago I was coaching a start-up carpet cleaning company on their marketing strategy. One of the questions the owner asked was, does mailing postcards still work? My response was, do you still get them in the mail? She said yes. I said have you acted on one in the last 12 months, she said yes. Then it still works. For that type of business, mailing to a residental community or current customer list is a good option to the marketing mix. 

Thanks for sharing.