Old School Marketing in the Digital Age

Old School Marketing in the Digital Age By The Marketing Shack

Do Traditional Marketing Strategies still have a Role in The Digital Marketing Age?

The world of marketing has changed drastically in recent years with the introduction of digital marketing, but traditional marketing tactics still have an important role to play. This article will discuss five traditional strategies for promoting a product or service: print advertising, TV and radio ads, direct mail, public relations, and word of mouth. We’ll discuss some strategies that work for traditional marketing and discuss how to measure their return on investment (ROI).

Strategy 1: Print Advertising

Print advertising has been a staple in marketing for decades. However, with the advent of digital marketing, many have questioned its relevance in today’s world. One way print advertising has adapted to the digital age is through the use of QR codes. These codes allow consumers to quickly access digital content related to the ad by scanning it with their smartphone.

A great example of effective print advertising with QR codes is Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign. The campaign featured personalised cans and bottles with people’s names on them, encouraging consumers to share a Coke with someone they know. Each bottle also had a unique QR code that led consumers to a website where they could personalise their own virtual Coke can and share it on social media.

Measuring ROI on print advertising can be tricky but not impossible. One way is through tracking coupon redemptions or website visits from the specific ad campaign. Using a bit.ly address can help with tracking from printed advertising.

Strategy 2: TV & Radio Ads

TV and radio advertising can still be highly effective when executed properly. There are many things to consider when doing a video or radio advert but here are some things you should do or consider. Firstly, humour or emotion can really help to connect with your audience. Most people talk about a funny advert they saw. Secondly, make sure your call to action is clear. Tell viewers or listeners what you want them to do, whether it’s visiting your website, calling your business, or buying your product. And finally, test your ad before you launch it. Get feedback from friends, family, or colleagues to see how they react to your ad. Try and get people with different personalities to you, someone might pick out the offensiveness in your humour for example. This will help you identify any areas that need improvement. 

One example of a good advert is the “Compare the Meerkat” campaign by Comparethemarket.com. The campaign uses anthropomorphic meerkats that have become synonymous with the brand. The playful and humorous take on insurance has made it one of the most recognisable campaigns in recent years, with spin-offs including books, merchandise, and even a movie trailer parody. The advert works well over TV  and radio as the voices are so recognisable.

When measuring ROI on TV advertising, it is important to track website traffic, phone calls generated from ads, social media engagement related to the ad campaign, and ultimately sales conversions. Offering Promotional codes can help you see who has seen or heard your adverts.

Strategy 3: Direct Mail

Direct mail advertising is a tried and true method of reaching customers, even in the age of digital marketing. By targeting specific demographics and using eye-catching designs, direct mail can have a significant impact on brand recognition and sales growth. A successful example of this was a campaign by H&M, which sent out personalised catalogues to their customers based on their previous shopping habits. This resulted in a 20% increase in sales and an ROI of $2.62 for every dollar spent on the campaign.

Measuring ROI for direct mail advertising can be done through various methods such as tracking response rates, conversion rates, and lifetime customer value. Response rates refer to how many people responded to the mailing by purchasing or taking another desired action. Conversion rates measure how many recipients actually became paying customers after receiving the mailing.

Strategy 4: Public Relations

Public relations marketing is a cost-effective way to create brand awareness and build trust with your target audience. PR allows you to communicate your company’s message through various media outlets, such as newspapers, TV, radio or online platforms. In addition to generating positive press coverage, PR can help you manage negative publicity and crisis communications.

A great example of good PR was the Dove “Real Beauty” campaign that launched in 2004. The campaign featured real women of different ages, shapes and sizes instead of models, which helped challenge traditional beauty standards. The campaign generated widespread coverage in mainstream media outlets around the world and became one of the most successful campaigns in advertising history.

To measure ROI on PR marketing efforts, companies can track metrics such as website traffic, social media engagement and sales conversions before and after the launch of a PR campaign.

Strategy 5: Word of Mouth

Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool that can greatly influence consumer behaviour. It is the process of information spreading from person to person through oral communication, and it has been around since the beginning of time. A good example of word-of-mouth marketing is when a friend recommends a product or service to you based on their personal experience. This type of referral can be incredibly powerful because people trust recommendations from those they know personally. In fact, studies have shown that 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family over all other forms of advertising. As a marketing tool, recommend-a-friend offers typically involve giving discounts or other incentives to existing customers who refer their friends and family members to your business. This not only encourages your existing customers to spread the word about your products or services, but it also attracts new customers who are more likely to trust recommendations from their peers.

Measuring ROI on word of mouth can be challenging because it is difficult to track where the recommendation originated from and how many people were influenced by it. Asking customers to complete a short questionnaire can help you understand how they heard of you. However, with the integration of digital strategies, such as Facebook, measuring ROI has become easier. By using social media analytics tools, businesses can track shares, likes, comments and reviews related to their brand or product. These metrics help determine the reach and impact that word-of-mouth recommendations have on potential customers.


In conclusion, utilising these five traditional marketing strategies can help any business reach its target audience and become a success in the digital age. Print advertising is an effective way to get your message out there, TV and radio ads allow for more expansive reach, direct mail allows for more personalisation to make customers feel connected, public relations helps build relationships with the media, and word of mouth can help foster a sense of trust among potential customers.

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