The huge shift towards digital marketing in recent years has taken most companies’ marketing budgets. This came with the rise of online shopping, and it makes sense for companies to invest in digital over traditional marketing methods, as that’s where most of the money is made. Digital marketing is the most precise, targeted form of marketing there is because various analytics and metrics help you identify and quantify exactly how many people you’re reaching and how they respond to your marketing methods. Digital marketing is here to stay, but it wasn’t created in a vacuum; there are many practises we use today that draw from traditional marketing techniques. Understanding how the old influences the new could help you plan your current digital strategy.

From flyers to email marketing

Printing out flyers can be an effective way of marketing your company, and as so many flyers are immediately thrown away or discarded, you usually must print off a lot to make it worth your while. This can cost a lot to print and there are labour costs related to distribution. Email marketing cuts these costs out significantly, as there are no printing or distribution costs. Flyers and emailing marketing are very similar, as both techniques are a numbers game, where you send out thousands in the hope that a few find the right person. Email marketing is a cheaper, easier application of this same principle. Ultimately, flyers and email marketing will never be the backbone of any campaign, but it can be a viable supplement if utilised effectively.

From billboards to Facebook

In some sectors, the new technology renders the old obsolete, but this is not the case with marketing. Take billboards, for example. Their primary function is to put a product or service in front of their target audience. Different areas have different demographics (age, income, interests etc.) and have different types of billboards, bus shelter ads, etc.

Facebook ads, as well Twitter and many other social media platforms, work very similarly, except they can transcend location; instead of walking past a billboard near your home, you are swiping past it on your phone, and the ad is aimed specifically at you. Social media ads took the basic principle of billboard ads and refined it masterfully.

Victorian Plumbing is a good example of a company that is using the billboard principle well on its Facebook page. Ultimately it’s about something being visually appealing. Look through Victorian Plumbing’s Facebook page and you’ll see regular photographs of beautiful looking kitchens and bathrooms. If you click on the different images you’ll see that people often share and like rooms they like most. This is where social media transforms billboard advertising into something special.

Victorian Plumbing can also target people in their late 20s and early 30s, tapping into the first-time buyers’ market. Interior decorating companies have a real advantage in this area, as their products are highly visual and aspirational – allowing them to grab people’s attention with a beautiful image. Look at an effective billboard near you and consider how you could make the idea work on social media. You might be surprised.

There are many other traditional marketing techniques that have been adapted or completely revolutionised for the digital world. Try looking at each facet of the digital marketing world and considering its traditional marketing counterpart. Ultimately, it’s all about getting noticed by potential customers; that fact has never changed, and it never will.


By Peter Wright, copywriter at Ascent Group

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