Many people are quick to assume that digital marketing is the ideal method to deliver their content and reach their customers, and they have a point—to a degree.
Statistics show that 70% of consumers prefer to learn about products through content as opposed to conventional ads. Preferring content may be due to conventional-ad overload, or a simple desire to combine advertising with actionable information that you can find in marketing videos, blog posts, or other media.
However, this doesn’t mean that traditional advertising doesn’t have its perks. 79% of customers say that they read direct mail ads, which means the market penetration is still there. Also, a sizable chunk of customers still consider print advertising the most trustworthy type of advertising, and many will head to your company website after looking at traditional advertising.
So, perhaps the best way to look at traditional advertising is by thinking about it not as something to be replaced, but rather, as something that can upgrade and integrate into other things while taking advantage of its pros and mitigating its cons.
How Is Traditional Advertising Purchased Today?
The greater traditional marketing umbrella includes the most common advertising methods that we’ve seen all our lives, including:
- Print (newspaper, magazines)
- Broadcast (TV, radio)
- Direct Mail
How you go about purchasing advertising space is likely to vary depending on the medium. For example, if you were to look into advertising in a print magazine, you would generally reach out to the sales team there and discuss a package. In this case, a package may include the size of the ad you want, the frequency for running the ad, and the ideal placement for your ad.
If you were looking to advertise your dietary supplement in a health magazine, you would likely place your ad in or near an article about supplements. Many magazines will give you a frequency benefit, where you buy ads over a given period for a discount or feature you in a special section.
However, this isn’t the same for every type of traditional media. If you were running a direct mail advertising campaign, for example, your price would be determined by how many mailers you wanted to send. The type of paper you wanted them printed on and the radius you were looking to see covered also play significant factors in total cost.
For broadcast advertising on cable, you would make your ad buy based on the channels you want to appear on and your timing. Every traditional advertising method has a different purchasing style, which can be a shock to digital-only marketers who are typically using pay-per-click, impression, and programmatic buying techniques.
For those interested in using multiple methods or transitioning from digital-only to a digital/traditional hybrid, working with an agency is best. Agencies generally already have media partnerships with magazines, radio, and television, among others, and receive discounted rates. So, rather than doing the research and dealing with multiple media reps and processes, the agency does the work for you. If you want to handle it internally, be wary about bundled options that benefit the media companies more than you. Even with tracking, if you don’t have a strategic plan for capturing and converting leads, it can be difficult to determine success or failure.
Better Ways To Track Campaigns
Choosing the preferred marketing vehicle or vehicles is only the beginning of putting together a successful campaign. Strong marketing often ebbs and flows: you make shifts as your audience changes or responds to what you are putting out. The only way to do this effectively is by getting plenty of marketing data, understanding it, and capitalizing on it. Data is one area where traditional marketing has historically fallen short of digital. However, that’s changed. Integrated marketing strategies have made it a lot easier to track data through traditional marketing. Here are a few examples.
A vanity URL is a branded web address for your pages, generally designed for easy memorability. However, these are also useful when it comes to traditional marketing integration. It’s a lot easier to put a vanity URL on a mailer or other physical piece of advertising than a traditional address. If you use a tracking cookie with the vanity URL, you can quickly determine how many customers are accessing your site, engaging, and converting.
Call Tracking Numbers
Call tracking entails putting a unique phone number on a piece of marketing. Adaptive for any form of messaging, call tracking can be used with traditional and digital. When a customer or client calls that number, you immediately see the engagement, and they can be put into the next stage of the sales funnel and credited to that particular piece of advertising. You can also record the phone conversation to determine if messaging is on point and help train your sales team. Split testing with two different numbers is a great way to see if one piece of advertising is helping more with conversions than others. For example, if you have two billboards on different sides of town, call tracking can help you determine which one is more effective.
Customizing your content based on different neighborhoods can be useful for those looking into direct mail, but generally only for hyper-local businesses. However, it does enable you to test your messaging in real-time. If one style of content gets better traction in one neighborhood, you may want to make that the message you use for other neighborhoods also.
New Technology Across The Industry
There are also other pieces of new technology that are modernizing traditional marketing across the board. Many of these are focused on either better integration with digital marketing channels or trying to close the gap in areas where digital has an advantage. Customization is a good example of this. Here are some of the innovations we’ve noted in this area.
This unique service, currently being tested by the USPS, allows people to digitally preview the mail they are going to get before it’s delivered. Previewing means that customers will see your content far earlier in the process than usual and can allow them to build curiosity. It also means that your physical mail will be in the digital realm from the start and have the ability to be viewed on people’s computers or smartphones.
Digital Codes on Print Ads/Sales Flyers
Integrating both digital and traditional is a major goal for modern marketers. Utilizing Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality is a great way to integrate this approach along with QR coding. Adding one of these digital stamps allows users to activate a story or offer with smartphones that can instantly take them to a website or landing page to get them started in your sales funnel.
Video Ads For Apps/Streaming Services
Cable advertising is more affordable than broadcast advertising, but it’s still has a high barrier to entry for many companies. However, the advent of channels coming up with custom content on their streaming apps to try and retain audiences creates an opportunity for advertisers. By and large, apps and YouTube channels still put you in front of similar audiences as cable television, but for a lower cost per view. Thinking of video in this way will provide higher value by allowing you to take a traditional 30-second spot and chop and edit it into smaller segments for custom integration into any digital format.
Even as digital marketing becomes the flagship of many company campaigns, the fact is that a multifaceted plan of attack is always going to be the ideal one. Traditional marketing is always going to have its uses, even if the way it’s purchased and utilized isn’t the same as it was in the past.
If you need help integrating these new methods and technologies into classic strategies, a veteran marketing agency like Glint Advertising can help you figure out what options are best for you.