There Is Something Comfortable About Traditional Advertising Methods

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Everyone who is in business realizes at one point or another that advertising is necessary. So as a business owner or manager you think about what kind of advertising techniques and strategies work best to convince your consumers to buy your product. Going back not too long there were fewer options for your campaign than today. Typically the focus was on direct mail, magazine advertising, newspaper ads, billboards, radio, TV and telemarketing. Let’s face it the goal of any advertising technique is to convince your target customer that your product or service is what he or she needs.

So, a solid traditional advertising strategy is pretty straight forward for many businesses. You advertise and then you wait for the masses to come. As a matter of fact 62% of people still like to receive mail telling them about new offers. 56% of consumers welcome mail that gives them useful information. In fact catalogs are one of the most cost-effective marketing tools.

Distribution numbers of circular magazines for example are quite impressive. A well trained account executive can be very convincing when she/he mentions that your advertising will be seen by at least 23,000+ households in your immediate area. Great! This sounds like a winner, how can you go wrong with that many eyes looking at your ad? On top of this you might also be convinced that a postcard is a great addition to the package. But did you think about your message, better yet the call-to-action, or how to calculate your ROI? Most of the time we hear disappointing reports as to the business generated from this type of advertisement. Sadly many times business owners don’t really have any idea of how much attention the advertisement got or about its results. So, after one or two times they decide to change their approach and switch over to another method of advertising.

So why is it that these businesses seem to spend so much money on advertising that doesn’t bring them the results they hoped for?

First of all any advertising is an ongoing project and it must be done with a plan in mind. It is also important that you incorporate some sort of system so you can measure the return of your investment. For billboards why not have a dedicated phone number for example? Let’s face it, direct mail marketing is alive and well and remains a significant marketing channel. 80% of marketers are still using direct mail according to this year’s survey even though we hear that the United States Postal Service is on decline.

So as advertisers we have to look at our complete marketing package and be willing to stick to it. Unfortunately success doesn’t happen overnight. It is advisable and quite necessary to sit down and work on a short term and long term marketing plan. So here are some thoughts of what to consider when you are developing this plan:

Know your customer

You want to make sure you direct your primary advertising efforts to your target audience. Think about it… it doesn’t make any sense to invest your time and dollars into social media marketing when your audience does not have a computer. On the other hand don’t underestimate your target audience either. Many grandparents spend a lot of time on the internet these days.

Don’t focus on just one type of advertising outlet

Advertising comes in many flavors. The trick is to select the best and combine it into a strategy that works for you. So make sure that on any print advertising you have your website address and phone number. If you are using QR codes make sure you have a dedicated landing page to drive your message home. This also helps to measure the success of the campaign. Combine your print advertising with telemarketing and digital marketing. Integrate your traditional advertising with your website and social media outlets and talk about it when and wherever you can.

Be consistent with your message and brand

Make sure you have a professionally designed logo that is the same throughout all your advertising. This should include your business card, letterhead, website, social media and print ads. Consistency shows your audience that you are serious and that you are a professional business. Remember the first impression is the most important one. Think about it? Would Nike or Coca Cola have different colors and messages throughout their advertising? Learn from the big guys they know what they are doing and being consistent with color, logo and message definitely helps your brand.

Know your numbers

Granted it may take a little money to make more money but make sure that you invest wisely and that you have a way of measuring the return. Just a little tweak in your message can make it or break it. Learn what audience you attract with your advertising campaign. Is it the one you thought it would be? There are many ways to measure your results. Facebook, for example, has “Insights” that give you absolutely fabulous information about your audience. Make sure to sign up to Google’s Analytics another great tool that is available at no cost. For mailers, why not dedicate a specific phone number. Dedicated phone numbers are easily available today and don’t cost too much.

Do your homework

Checking what your competition is doing is not a bad thing. Find out what they are up to and use this as a guide for your success. Talk to your clients and find out how they found you in the first place. Do some A/B testing to find out which of your marketing messages are more powerful. You may want to consult with a qualified professional that can ask the right questions and help point you in the right direction.

So here you have it.  Advertising has been changing tremendously in the last few years. Personally, I think it would be a mistake to totally ignore traditional advertising methods, however combining them with new strategies will help your success and save you some marketing dollars in the long run. Yes, it is still a numbers game but today there are many options to be more educated about the results and since we are living in a world that is so fast we have the option to tweak any message in a heartbeat.
So have some fun and develop an effective business marketing strategy and stick to it.


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