There’s no doubt that digital marketing has taken the advertising world by storm in the past decade. Teams develop and implement new digital marketing ideas on a daily basis. In comparison, traditional advertising in the form of billboards, broadcast, and logo placement seems to be a dying art. However, many traditional marketing practices are holding their ground. Rather than fading out or attempting to hop on the digital bandwagon, traditional advertising practices have actually used this big shift to their advantage. Check out these ingenious ways that advertisers have succeeded offline.
Latching Onto Devices
Advertisers have recently discovered a new type of location-based marketing. Traditionally, location marketing involved placing brand logos and information where customers were geographically located. Since customers are tightly tied to their electronics, though, logo placement on or near devices has become prime real estate.
Many companies are opting for tech related promotional giveaways. Branded swag such as webcam covers and portable chargers are becoming popular for a few reasons. First, techie gadgets have a higher appeal and usability factor than traditional promos such as frisbees and water bottles. Contemporary swag also signals to potential customers that the company is creative and innovative. Finally, it’s an effective way to invade people’s screen time without buying a spot on their crowded social media feeds.
Another way brands are earning their spot in the limelight is by employing marketing influencers. Having a brand advocate allows companies to reach their larger market organically. It can give a face to a brand name and provide a sense of authenticity so that consumers can resonate more closely with the brand and its products. It also boosts the ethical appeal of brand by anchoring it to a well-known credible source.
At the same time, companies that engage in influencer marketing don’t necessarily have to be active online. They can avoid falling victim to pay-per-click advertising, email marketing, and even social media advertising. This method is useful for brands who want to maintain their traditional identity offline. Meanwhile, they can still capture any target audience members who may be hanging out online.
Likely due to the digital age, Generation Z and Millennials are accustomed to constant interaction. They’re used to interactive screens, online games, and constant communication with their peers via technology. As a result, these younger generations are more likely to covet experiences over physical “things”. They crave experience and interaction above consumerism.
Many brands are taking advantage of this with interactive stores. While we thought brick and mortar stores where a dying breed, many brands have found a strong foothold in pop-up shops. Pop-up stores are cheaper and less risky than traditional retail. Plus, they are a trendy way to test products, get feedback, and increase brand awareness.
Pop-ups, also called flash retail, while not a traditional form of advertising, are one of the most effective offline marketing tactics. They were made possible by the craze for experiential shopping brought on by the digital age, but they remain far from the digital realm. Because of this, they are a great way for brands to differentiate themselves from their online counterparts yet still reach the digital generations.
Event marketing is another way to go where the people are. And since people cherish experiences more than tangibles, event culture is booming. Event marketing is also a great opportunity to network. Nothing drives sales like face to face interaction. This is particularly true since in-person sales are so rare in the digital age. Events are the inbound marketing of the traditional advertising realm. They are less of a hassle than cold calls, yet they still provide valuable one on one time with potential customers to educate them about a brand and company mission.
Event marketing itself is non digital. However, there are opportunities to create an online presence at these events. For example, brands can incorporate digital aspects such as hashtags or photo booths and encourage visitors to post on social media. When companies take advantage of this event marketing tactic, they increase their reach. It’s a savvy way to accomplish positive word of mouth online without having to engage in more explicit forms of online advertising.
This example also illustrates how many marketers have adopted a hybrid approach that blends digital and traditional marketing techniques. For example, some companies manage to capture audiences on social media through events and influencers without having a page themselves. Or they gain traction with Instagram displays and print ads to gain organic exposure. When the two methods are used in conjunction, they can help differentiate a brand from other digital advertising.
Traditional marketing has always been successful at branding in plain sight. Decades ago, print advertisements and broadcasts crowded the daily lives of consumers. Nowadays, online is crowded with advertising. In fact, digital media is so saturated that consumers have found ways to mentally block out online advertising. As a result, it’s more difficult than ever before to engage online audiences.
On the other hand, since print advertisements are becoming the exception, they are more likely to receive attention and interest from consumers. As soon as people look away from their phones, they turn off their mental filters, making them more susceptible to marketing that is placed in their physical surroundings.
One way traditional advertisers can take advantage of this is by marketing where large groups of people are: on public transportation. In large cities, thousands, sometimes millions, of people take trains and buses to commute to work. Print advertisements in subway stations and on buses, trains, and cars reach large audiences. And since these spaces are far less crowded with brand names than before, traditional marketing is far more likely to engage its audience in these spaces than online.
Traditional marketing has survived not in spite of, but because of, the rise of digital marketing. Digital saturation has cleared the physical space so that traditional advertising has plenty of room to attract large audiences. In addition, the digital age has fostered a need for interaction and experiential buying among the digital generation, providing companies with opportunities to engage with consumers face to face. Finally, the influx of phone and screen related gadgets has offered traditional marketers new real estate to place their brand names and logos. Although traditional marketers have had to adapt a few of their techniques, they’ve managed to thrive without doing any digital overhauls.