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Is the Traditional Marketing Approach Staging a Comeback?

For the past decade, the virtues of digital marketing have occupied the full attention of marketers. Digital communications have opened an entirely new opportunity for sellers to make very meaningful connections with potential customers over the internet and through numerous social media channels. With platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Shopify, and Pinterest, each site has carved a demographic niche and a stylistic specialty. More than 4.2 billion people are active across multiple platforms, each spending an average of 2 hours and 25 minutes per day on multiple channels, making social media the primary marketing pathway for global commerce.

The growth of digital marketing technology has come at the expense of what is referred to as traditional marketing. Print advertising, billboards, direct mail, television, radio, and special event promotion has been around for a millennia, but according to data from the 28th Edition of The CMO Survey, “on average, marketers reported an annual decrease in traditional advertising spending of -1.4% between February 2012 and 2022, compared to an annual increase of 7.8% for overall marketing budgets during this same period.”

The declining favor of traditional marketing tactics over the past decade has some media experts predicting that traditional approaches are “dead”, but statistics at the end of 2021 revealed that digital spending on advertising makes up 46 percent of marketing activity and traditional methods account for 56 percent of the total spending. The surprising results may be due, in part, to the lesser costs associated with the digital approach. However, evidence may be mounting that a shift in preference for traditional approaches is beginning to take place.

Despite the obvious benefits of the digital approach, traditional marketing still offers some important benefits. Social media channels often are not utilized by older, less tech-savvy consumers and those who don’t respond well to digital messaging. These prospects may respond better to direct mail, radio, television or print advertising. Traditional marketing tends to reach a wider audience to build brand awareness, establish credibility and attract potential customers at various locations when the target consumer is not interacting with digital communication devices. A MarketingSherpa survey found that consumers who spend more time on the internet become increasingly distracted, are less engaged, and are becoming less trusting of the medium. The survey also indicated that “the top five most trusted ad formats to drive purchases are all traditional: print ads (82 percent), TV ads (80 percent), direct mail ads (76 percent) and radio ads (71 percent).”

Digital marketing is more visible and can offer a brand more credibility with potential customers. Targeting is more precise, and most consumers report that they prefer to research brands online before making a purchasing decision. Digital campaigns can be easier to track and measure and can be modified and adapted easily to changes in the market environment. Traditional approaches are much less adaptable and can be expensive to alter once they are put into motion. With the suspension of third-party cookies, many digital-only marketers are shifting advertising spend to more traditional advertising vehicles to assist with market segmentation. A recent CMO Survey found that 19.8 percent of companies invested more in traditional ads as a result of Google and Apple’s changes in order to meet the new data regulations.

To get the most out of a marketing budget, implementing a combination of traditional and digital marketing tactics may be best. Regardless of the approach, every successful marketing effort begins with a plan of action, based on specific goals and objectives that can be monitored and measured for performance over the life of the campaign.

Junction Creative Solutions can help establish a comprehensive, blended marketing strategy that provides a results-driven approach to build brand awareness, engagement, and revenue across social media platforms and traditional marketing media. For more information, contact us today at 678-686-1125.