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Is Traditional Marketing Dying?

Many consumers (especially baby boomers) become instantly irritated and defensive when people start to go off about how print and traditional advertising and marketing techniques are dying out. Newer aggressive digital campaigns seem to be all the hoopla nowadays. So is traditional marketing really dying? Instead of immediately taking such a bold statement as fact, let’s investigate why this could be true.

Point 1 – Lifespan

In general, digital marketing and online marketing lasts longer. Although there are many exceptions such as product placement in syndicated television or famous print ads published in books, digital ads forever preserve their right to exist via a unique searchable domain online. Unfortunately, all billboards, signs, banners, and fliers are eventually taken down and thrown out. Digital ads and TV spots could be preserved on blogs or YouTube and last forever.

Point 2 – Informed Consumers

Long gone are the days when a consumer would view an advertisement and take the statement in bold red font at face value. In a newfound age of consumer skepticism and caution, the average consumer now executes far more research and fact checking than ever before. Albeit there are still lapses in judgment on the part of the buyer, but most consumers (especially millennials’) take to the Internet or social media to research companies, products, values and deals. This unfortunately creates an extra layer of defense that marketing must penetrate to obtain a purchase. This is why we advise all companies to beat consumers to the punch. Encourage customers to do research, write reviews and be vocal about their opinions of your company and products. If you truly do produce the fantastic product or service that all your advertising claims you do, there is nothing to neither hide nor worry about.

Point 3 – Traditional Marketing is Too Broad

Speaking both in terms of audience targeted and product advertised, traditional marketing will never be as specific and specialized as digital. For example, you could have a billboard up on the side of the highway. Although many people could see it, you have no control over the demographic of people who view and consider the campaign other than people who are old enough to drive and commute through that highway. However, a digital banner or email can target specific micro pockets of consumers about not only a single product but also a time sensitive deal for a single product or service. You will never see a billboard say “act in the next three hours and get your next purchase free” as that would be a colossal waste of money.

Point 4 – Market For The Consumer Not To Them

Among the plethora of consumer changes, demand for respect is a top contender. Customers no longer tolerate being yelled at by marketing campaigns. Instead, they demand to be listened to and understood. Only after the company has earned the customer’s trust, will the two parties do business on most occasions. “What have you done for me lately?” or “How will your company/deal/product/promotion make MY life easier” is more so the tone of today’s customer than ever before. Companies must adapt to this new way of doing business if they wish to survive.

In conclusion, we firmly believe that digital marketing is the future. Although some traditional campaigns may continue to be effective today, investing in digital marketing and the implications it has for the future is essential.


Also published on Medium.

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