Across the world, brands are implementing ever more effective digital marketing strategies. Some brands like Coca Cola are pushing the boundaries of advertising and promotion through traditional marketing.

What makes traditional boss in comparison to other forms of marketing is that it’s still able to draw on fundamental elements from digital efforts and vice versa. And, when done right, it can earn you great results, like in the campaign by General Motors (GM). This campaign was aimed at rewarding customers who had bought cars between 1998 to 2004 by sending close to five million coupons to their customers.

Now, one would think that’s a lot of paper but this was 2004 — before our world had become so deeply digitised. The big take from GM’s strategy is that it led to a massive US$15-million in profits from the mere $10 credit offered towards vehicle owners. Now that’s a return on investment.

Although it may come with high costs, if done cleverly, traditional really can give you the desired results. 

Here’s how traditional marketing has maintained its winning streak:  

1. Traditional marketing and the power of touch

Touching something evokes the feeling of connection towards a product and, in return, this plays a critical role in buying decisions. Touch and feel are powerful ways in which consumers are able to determine the quality of the offering and are able to build a sentimental connection with the product. 

Joann Peck, an associate professor of marketing at the Wisconsin School of Business, says that the importance of touch shouldn’t be taken for granted. Peck has found that a number of consumers become frustrated and end up discouraged when they are unable to feel what they want to purchase. 

At shopping malls, for example, car manufacturers have a knack for utilising free space inside public shopping centres and malls to set up exhibitions, giving consumers the opportunity to experience the cars in person, fiddle with cool features, touch to feel the quality of the car and engage with a sales representative who can brief the potential buyer with more details. Talk about brand experience!

Essentially, touching has a way of stimulating a consumer’s feeling to want to own a product. And that is something that will only be achievable through real-life experiences. 

2. Traditional marketing dominates radio and television 

Television and radio have been around for decades. Both have always been the go-to platforms for brands to advertise and promote their service or products. Both of these mediums are at the root of traditional marketing. 

TV is one mass medium that’s found in most households and in some homes, you’ll find more than one. Additionally, these televisions are accompanied by subscriptions, such as DStv, which come with multiple channels, which offers marketers various opportunities to buy advert space and time. 

So, what makes TV so special? Well, the great advantage of this medium is that these ads are not skippable as opposed to YouTube and other streaming apps. 

Televised ads can also be tracked using software such as TVSquared in order to measure the outcomes of your campaign. 

When it comes to radio, even more advertising methods are on offer, including live reads. On radio, you can even run brand competitions, which can achieve even more than an ad promotion. How? It builds brand engagement with consumers and audiences that are usually tuned into that particular radio station. If these methods were absolute then these stations would have a harder time striving in the media industry.  

All in all, radio and TV have proven to be strong machinery, allowing traditional marketing to flex its stuff. 

3. Traditional marketing is easy to comprehend 

The amazing thing about traditional marketing is that audiences are able to connect with something that is familiar and, to a certain extent, more realistic. Essentially, one finds it easier to familiarise with something when it’s easier for them to understand it. 

Let’s take, for example, branded freebies and samples. Handing these out to an audience creates a lasting memory that is associated with your brand. This is because the consumer (or potential consumer) can make a decision to buy your product based on the sample that you physically offered.

And if it’s a branded product that you gave them, like stationary, the constant presence of your logo — smiling at them as they use that free gift — will not let them forget you. It is quite likely that they will look forward to more engagement with your brand as a result. 

This is in comparison to digital marketing, which has disadvantages such as security, privacy issues and maintenance costs due to the rapid transformation of digital. On the other hand, traditional marketing efforts can reach local audiences and promotional material can always be reused or recycled. 

Be it on TV, radio, magazines, newspaper or even billboards, traditional marketing content will continue to enjoy its time in the spotlight.

Do you think traditional marketing will still be a leading form of marketing in the future? Let us know in the comments section below. 

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Want tips on how to thrive in the marketing sector? Then check out this Q&A with Silke Bucker on what it takes to succeed in marketing. 
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