Traditional marketing methods – why ruling them out is a mistake

Contrary to popular belief, social media and online marketing didn’t replace traditional marketing methods. In fact, they’re still incredibly relevant in your business. But perhaps we did sweep them to the side-lines, in favour of the newer, easier options available to us. Social media gave us a simple and fast way to interact with our target audience. It enabled a business of any size, to reach a global market and to create laser-focused, targeted advertising.

Social media has changed the landscape

However, over time the social media platforms have changed. With the evolution of Facebook and its latest round of changes, we lost the ability to have everything easy and free. And, as with any Facebook algorithm change, a lot of small business owners weren’t happy about that.

But social media also made us lazy. We liked the idea of minimum effort for maximum return, something traditional marketing methods didn’t give us. However, with so many businesses vying for attention, it’s so easy now, for smaller businesses to get lost in the crowd. And with our ideal customers getting (understandably) fed up with being inundated with advertising and salesy based statuses, the effectiveness of those adverts is waning.

Marketing, like most things, is cyclic

But now, marketing has kind of gone full circle. We’ve realised that social media has made everything too impersonal and too crowded. To receive a personalised letter or brochure via snail mail, is a rarity. And that’s why lots of savvy business owners are now jumping back to traditional marketing methods – because they allow us to stand out from the crowd.

This is why, those marketing methods that are considered ‘old school’, still have an important place in the modern business toolkit. Marketing is cyclic, but it’s also a toolkit that can be filled with a variety of modern and traditional marketing methods – because we need to be combining both, if we want to be memorable.

Traditional and modern marketing are built on the same principles

Interestingly, both types of marketing need the same principles, to be effective. You need to know who your target audience is, plus you need a way to reach and segment them. Once you have those things in place, you need a way to build a relationship and rapport with them, so they learn to know, like and trust you. Finally, you also need to stand out from the crowd and be where your audience are. And yes, online marketing can get you those things, but so can traditional marketing methods – and some of them can do so more effectively too.

So, what kind of marketing methods are we talking about?

Trade shows

Yes, trade shows are hard work, but they get you noticed AND put you in front of many targeted prospects. They also help raise your expertise levels, as you’re associated with whomever is running the show. By their definition, trade shows are niched for specific interests and, if they’re aligned to what your business provides – they’re a great tool to have.

Print materials and direct marketing

As mentioned earlier, receiving a personalised, physical letter or brochure via the postal service, is a rarity. Not only does it stand out, it makes you memorable too, as so few businesses are still doing this. Printed material is something that suits tactile and sensory people too – it can look great, smell great and have real substance to it. Plus, it can be pinned up on a board, serving as a permanent reminder of you and your business!

Branded merchandise

This is one type of traditional marketing that isn’t going anywhere! People love receiving useful gifts, whether it’s a pen, mug, calendar, to-do list notepad or a notebook. Not only that, they’re a cost-effective way to stay at the forefront of your ideal customers mind.  Think about the Be Awesome To Do List pad that I give away at Trade Shows.

Getting on the phone

People love to talk but, with online businesses getting more and more automated, it’s getting harder to actually speak to someone. Yet often, it’s so much quicker and easier to pick up the phone and have a conversation, as opposed to sending a load of emails! Not only does it come across as more customer friendly, it also helps get faster results.  Often in those calls, opportunities get mentioned that you would never have known about without talking to the person at the other end.


Finally, conferences give you an opportunity to mingle with others. Whether they’re your ideal clients or your peers, conferences allow you to raise your profile, network and start building relationships with those people you meet.

So, what are your thoughts about traditional marketing? Do you believe it’s still relevant in today’s business toolkit or is it something that you feel should be relegated to the archives? Do you use any of the above mentioned traditional marketing methods and, if so, what kind of results are you seeing? Why not leave your thoughts and opinions on today’s post, in the comments box below!

Read our blog: “Has traditional networking died as a result of social media?” –