The Power of Traditional Marketing in the Digital Age


Marketing Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for Marketing pros

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The majority of companies are now fully immersed within the digital marketing sphere, with businesses having to adapt as the marketing landscape evolves. However, traditional methods are powerful and they still have a place in this new age.

Article 4 Minutes

The customers’ judgement is paramount, and therefore: 

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself,” - Peter Drucker, management consultant.


With this is mind, businesses should find a way of working both traditional and digital marketing into their campaigns. Read on to find out:

  • The relevance of traditional marketing in a digital world
  • How you can utilize this in your own strategy

Traditional marketing

Billboards, magazines, newspapers, flyers and posters have become ingrained in our psych as marketing ploys. We still notice the adverts, we still like the feel of turning over the pages in a newspaper or magazine, and neuroscience seems to support this. These methods have an adaptable reach, from local towns to regions or nations, the audience can be spoken to specifically, making the marketing approach more personable.

Cinematic marketing reaches a large captive audience, which can be geographically targeted. The adverts are on a large screen and demands the concentration from viewers. Billboards and shopping center banners may seem more traditional, currently around 25% of OOH campaigns are digital. It has been predicted that this will increase to 40% within the next few years. One of the most effective being the BA ‘Magic of Flying’ campaign billboards placed around London, combining traditional marketing techniques with live flight tracking technology. This is a prime example of the two methods becoming interlaced.

The regeneration of traditional marketing

Who hasn’t heard the words, ‘print is dead’…. It’s not dead, it’s a utilized resource and there is still room for it in the marketing sphere. New magazine concepts continue to be released, it is therefore evident that there is still room for print in the digital age. However, the requirements of print have changed and rather than being replaced by the digital, it needs to stay relevant to clients’ needs and initiate the building of relationships between clients and the brand. The amalgamation of digital and print magazine works together to deliver brand interaction and creates a package of content available to offline or online users.

Eric Rasmussen, Vice-President of Consumer Insights at GroupOn, says that,

It all goes back to really knowing your customer and understanding the intersection of what you can offer and what they want – then delivering that in the best possible way. I think segmentation is the key ingredient to personalization and targeting.


Measuring ROI

Although the traditional methods of marketing have their uses, the results of digital are much easier to measure. Digital platforms are optimized through algorithms, directing specific marketing to consumers. Social media and Google advertising is also easy to track through analytical platforms. It’s not as localized as traditional marketing either as digital can identify core customers globally. Digital marketing is a more interactive and further reaching method of promotion than the traditional techniques, but to get the most out of marketing campaigns, all bases need to be covered. 

How to implement traditional marketing in the modern world

Traditional principles are still relevant in today’s digitally orientated environment; they need to be adopted to work in synchronization with the digital, to focus on the needs of the customer. One of the world’s leading marketing experts and author of over 55 books on the subject, Phil Kotler, says that,

Marketing is not the art of finding clever ways to dispose of what you make. Marketing is the art of creating genuine customer value. It is the art of helping your customers become better off.


It is becoming evident that it’s not all about ‘digital marketing’ anymore, but instead about how to market in a digital world effectively. The traditional principles of marketing are still applicable in the 2016 digitally oriented environment. While communication technologies such as social media revolutionize the marketing landscape and the tools and communication channels we use keep evolving, the core concepts remain the same.

The next step for marketers

With this in mind, and taking into consideration the new digital technologies marketers now have at their disposal; companies need to understand the customer and develop their marketing strategy around what they want, why, when and where. The tactical execution of the campaign can then be developed with traditional and digital platforms working together to optimize output and retention. Marketing has been around for a long time and continues to offer powerful methods for understanding the audience and establishing the services or the products that people require.

Successful marketing ensures that you are able to deliver these products at the right time, place and for the right price. Progress can be measured and interaction can be tracked. Whilst strategies might have altered, the principles of marketing are not disparate today as they were 40 years ago.

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