Is Traditional Advertising Dead? Not by a Long Shot

Traditional advertising is dead, they say. They’ve been saying it for years. Who, exactly, are they? Of course, they are the people that are doing things like digital marketing and inbound marketing so they want you to think that you need them to succeed.

In many ways, they’re right. It all depends though as some traditional forms of advertising are not going to give you the same ROI as online. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s dead.

It all depends on your market and what you’re selling. 

For instance, if your market is in the Toronto, NYC or Chicago area then something like Grassroots Advertising’s wild postings which uses some adapted traditional advertising methods can really get through the advertising clutter. 

In this article, we will take a look at how some traditional advertising methods are working so you can determine if you should look there for your business. 

Sporting event ads

If traditional advertising were dead then companies wouldn’t spend millions of dollars for a 30 second ad during the Superbowl. Those ads do actually work. People end up buying the things they see advertised during sporting matches and a brand can be developed. Even locally they can gain a loyal audience from spending most of their ad budget strictly on sporting events. 

It does seem to depend on the type of product or service that you are selling that will determine if it is worth it to spend your ad money on commercials or even just billboards in the event itself. 

However, keep in mind that Citgo gas made millions just by having a sign that could be seen during the Red Sox broadcasts from Fenway Park. The sign itself became a local landmark and even remained after the Citgo station that was outside the park had long since closed. 

Radio ads 

Think about the people that still listen to the radio a lot. Commuters sitting in traffic come to mind immediately. They are a captive audience and are likely going to hear the same ad several times per day every day. Eventually, they will recognize your brand and when searching out the type of product or service that you sell will probably check you out online first. 

Even if they aren’t listening to the radio, they are likely listening to something. Apps like Spotify and Pandora are overtaking radio as the preferred way to listen to music, but the ad system is exactly the same. 

Direct mail

One of the oldest forms of traditional advertising is still alive and well. Direct mail is still viable and does provide a good ROI. especially since you can really drill down and target exactly the people that are most willing to choose your service or product.

What makes it perfectly effective is to tie it in with an online or digital offer. For instance, everybody loves coupons so a direct mail ad could utilize a QR code with a discount if they scan it.

Using digital strategies can also help you track the leads from your direct mail campaign. For instance, if you are sending people to a landing page, then you can set up a special URL for the people that got the mailing and can track it. Likewise, if you need them to call you and have a special number then you know how they got the number.

There’s also a lot less competition when it comes to mailing. Which means that your offer is less likely to be thrown in the recycle bin than in the years past. And it will also cost a lot less than previously. 

Building brand awareness

Sometimes traditional advertising is not going to be making you money in the short term. The long term gain is by building brand awareness. People hearing your name, your catchy jingle or seeing your brand colors and logo will think of you when they are in the market for whatever your offer is.

By recognizing your brand, it instills trust in them so they won’t do too much research when they are in need. Usually, they will immediately think of your brand and seek you out rather than contemplate for too long. 

If your advertising strategy uses a lot of different formats, then you can generally tie in traditional advertising to great effect. 

There is no doubt that traditional advertising does not bring in the sort of measurable ROI that you get from digital. But it all depends on your goals. If branding is one then you could hit a home run with the right ad on the right platform for the right audience. 

Heron Nelson

Heron is a business blogger with a focus on personal finance and wealth management. With over 7 years of experience writing about financial topics, Heron has established herself as a trusted voice in the personal finance space. She has a deep understanding of financial concepts and strategies, and is able to explain them in a relatable and actionable way for her readers.