A Marketing Forget-Me-Not
Author: Melody Edwards and Tracey Hofmann

Traditions become traditions because they keep on working. 

They may not be new or trendy, but some things just keep working like mom’s green bean casserole that nicely covers up your aunt’s traditional dry Thanksgiving turkey.  

Whether it’s a marketing tool or family dish, when something proves itself reliable, you’ve got a solution you want to keep using.

A Deeper Connection

Traditional marketing tools include print collateral, signage, trade show displays, direct mail, billboard display, radio & TV ads down to the magnet on your refrigerator. Despite our steady climb to a digital world, people remain tactile creatures.Traditional tools feed our need to touch things. They want to see things — not just on a screen — but as they truly are.

A neuroscience case study from Millard Brown found that marketing messages placed on a card left a bigger mark on the brain than those on a screen. That same study found “physical material involves more emotional processing which is important for memory and brand associations.” 

Traditional marketing tools are still very much in play and tap quite nicely into our senses. 

Digital vs. Traditional

Who will prevail?

We all know there are huge benefits to digital media.  You can reach large audiences for less cost. You can more easily track the benefit of digital marketing efforts.  What could be the downside? 

Well, for one, understanding and keeping up with the digital world (email, social media, websites, images, and video) takes enormous time and resources. For busy businesses, it’s an area of struggle and can undo all those easy benefits.

Traditional methods, although proven worthy, can be more costly and harder to track success. So, who wins the battle?

Digital | Traditional Mash-Up 

A winning combination

Many well-rounded marketing efforts contain a clever combination of digital and traditional forms of marketing.  Before your thoughts drift to the millennials you feel you can’t reach with traditional methods, consider these findings from USPS that show how incorporating digital tools (QR codes, links to video) into a direct mail piece can engage a younger audience. 

For A.M. Botte Mechanical’s Grand Opening campaign, we employed an integrated marketing communication approach that considered targeted audience reach and ROI. It’s steeped in tradition with direct mail, branded swag, signage, and radio ads but with a healthy side of social media support (digital!).  When strategizing how best to reach an active audience in a specified area, direct mail revealed itself to be the best option. Adding in a QR code to register for a heating and air conditioning unit sweepstake, ensures we capture the interest of digital-friendly folks on the receiving end — a perfect example of a digital | traditional win-win. 

Traditions become traditions for a reason. As Simplylearn simply explains, “Though these methods may seem ‘old,’ the reality is that they’ve stuck around for a reason. They work!”

Traditional Methods
Proven techniques with high success rate
Long-standing methods that are recognizable (familiar)
Metrics for measuring success
Broad audience 
Cost-effective (cheaper but less personal)
Large audience reach
Direct response from intended audience 
Flyers/ Brochure
Business Cards
Social Media
Yard Signs 
Digital Billboards
Promotional Materials
Signage, Table Covers,

 Caption: Check out this chart for a breakdown of traditional and digital marketing communication tools.