Upside-Down Thinking by Patric Fransko
by Patric Fransko
September 18th, 2019

Does Traditional Marketing Still Make Sense in 2019?

In a day and age when all of the discussion is around digital and social media marketing, is there still a place for a small business to use traditional marketing? You might be surprised to learn that I, the owner of a digital and social media marketing agency, would say there is a place for it. Continue reading to understand my thoughts on this and to see if traditional marketing might still be a fit for you.

First, I think it makes sense to define what “traditional” marketing actually is. I define it as anything that’s not occurring on the internet. This would include things like radio, mailers, billboards, cable TV, etc. It would also include things like lawn signs, door hangers, wrapped vehicles and tangible things associated with your daily business. The picture to the right is of a local mailer I just received while I was writing this piece. This is one example that many small businesses are still engaged in.

So, now that we understand what traditional marketing is, what types can still be effective? The answer to this is not so clear cut, but I’ll give you three things to consider when determining if traditional marketing should be part of your strategy.

  • Are Eyes Looking There? – The very first thing to ask is if this platform is something people are paying attention to. There’s no easy answer. Every market is a little different. In some markets, mailers like this still get a decent amount of attention. In other markets, AM radio is still something people spend time listening to. You would be the best person to determine which particular strategies might work in your area. What works in New York City may not work in a Midwestern suburban setting and vice versa. The key is to understand where the eyes are looking in your market. If eyes are there, it is worth considering adding to your marketing strategy.
  • What is the Return on Investment? – Many forms of marketing will work. The question is which ones work best. Which ones offer you the best return on the investment you are making? To determine this, you need a mechanism to determine which activity is driving the leads, call, emails, etc. (conversion). You have to know where the activity is coming from. Otherwise, you have no way to determine if a marketing strategy is working or not. You can do this by using unique phone numbers / emails on specific marketing so that you can determine where any conversion might have been driven from. Then, you can determine how much business you received from conversions versus how much you spent for that marketing activity.
  • What is Your Budget? – Once you understand which activities are leading to desired conversion results, you can make the next decision. But first, how much money do you have to spend on marketing? In my experience, you are better to do a small number of things well than to spread your marketing budget so thin that you do not give any of the activities a real chance to succeed. Obviously, based on your return on investment analysis above, you should engage in the activity with the highest return first. Do that activity properly based on your budget and then move on to the next best activity. If you have a higher budget, you might be able to engage in numerous activities and do them all well. On a more limited budget, you do not want to sacrifice doing something properly in order to do a greater variety of activities.

I hope this makes sense and gives you some ideas on how to determine if a traditional marketing strategy might be a good fit for you.

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