Is Traditional Advertising Still Important in a Pandemic?

Illustration by Emilia Sausse via Dribbble
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When the pandemic hit us in March last year, the rest of the world fell into a panic mode. Every business you can think of stopped its advertising budget from flowing out of the pockets. Projects were halted. Expenses reconsidered.

What happened was the virtual stoppage of every known marketing and advertising on traditional platforms like TV, radio, and print. Digital advertising became the norm. Even companies that did not do digital ads until before the pandemic suddenly had to learn how to market themselves digitally to their audience.

But once the dust settled and companies realized this might be the norm for a while, they regained their footing and looked into advertising methods they can employ once more. For years, traditional media is on the verge of oblivion.

They have to survive digitization—transferring traditional business operations to online and digital. The competition got tougher because of social media. If you cannot keep up with such a rapid pace in development, you’re going to lose in this arena.

As much as the pandemic did not help, it also did not make the situation worse for traditional media. In fact, it regained its power and credibility during the pandemic. Consumers have the highest interaction with what they believe to be credible and legitimate sources during the height of the pandemic. They became more dissecting of the information they consume.

In terms of small businesses, a survey found that two-thirds of small businesses still use traditional marketing and advertising during the pandemic. The reason is palpable: they want to build a personal connection with their clients. That does not mean they don’t use digital media. It only means that they use a combination of both and have rejected the notion that traditional media is dead.

#1. Print

Small businesses are still giving away flyers and sending direct mail to their consumers. This is a more personalized approach to advertising to your market. They also put up streamers, banners, and billboards when they can.

Another effective print ad is the use of magnetic car signs by Signazon. Installing these on company cars reaches more audiences. Just imagine how many people (in traffic) will look at the company car and read the sign from the sticker? Make sure that it has the necessary information about your business, such as the contact information and website.

#2. Word-of-mouth

Word-of-mouth marketing
Illustration by Gyöngyi Balogh via Dribbble

Do not underestimate the power of word-of-mouth recommendations. If you have ever been asked to make a recommendation or a review on social media, remember that this is patterned after an actual word-of-mouth recommendation—the one wherein a consumer tells a friend or neighbor about a brand or product. Word-of-mouth is cheap, easy, and more modern than marketers think.

One thing is for sure with people, and that’s they’ll never stop gossiping. As a brand, you want them to gossip about you—how good your products are and how much fun they had interacting with you. Encourage them to talk about your brand with their friends. This is the cheapest way you can market your business.

#3. In-store Advertising

Many businesses don’t take advantage of the opportunity to advertise to customers who walk into their stores. This is a terrible mistake because you should want your brick-and-mortar store to be memorable to them. You want to give them the best experience possible. Since they took the time to actually enter your store or dine-in in your restaurant, make sure not to waste this opportunity.

They are more receptive to advertisements when they take the time to enter your store. So receptive are consumers at this point that they will even share with their friends where they are, what they bought, and how much they like to return there with them. Some in-store advertising examples are mannequins, neon signs, quirky interiors, Instagrammable designs, and many more.

#4. Direct Mail

Email marketing is a great strategy, but so is direct mail. If you want to target older people, direct mail still works wonders. Although you are essentially targeting a small group of consumers with direct mail, studies showed a high return on investment than most digital campaigns.

Even if the customers throw away the postcards and coupons, they’ve already been exposed to the message. Whether they like it or not, they know about your offers. When they pass by your store on their way to work, they’ll think about the offers they read about and maybe check out what you have. This is opposite to emails, where the recipients can junk them without ever reading them.

The digital age brought with it so many wonderful ways to advertise a business. However, the worst thing that a business can do is neglect the ideals and effectiveness of traditional ads. Combining these two is the most powerful thing you can do for your business.

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