Use the foun­da­tions of tra­di­tion­al mar­ket­ing to expand your dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy.

If you do a quick Google search of “tra­di­tion­al mar­ket­ing,” it’s easy to notice the approach is on the decline. Arti­cles ques­tion if tra­di­tion­al mar­ket­ing is still alive, sug­gest your busi­ness should ditch it for dig­i­tal or con­tent mar­ket­ing, share the dis­ad­van­tages, etc.

Should you scrap tra­di­tion­al mar­ket­ing tac­tics and beliefs now that we reach con­sumers through screens? Because social media con­nects near­ly every­one, is it time to for­get the prin­ci­ples of tra­di­tion­al mar­ket­ing? Tra­di­tion­al mar­ket­ing has launched some of the biggest com­pa­nies in the world, all house­hold names today. So, instead of leav­ing tra­di­tion­al mar­ket­ing out to dry, prin­ci­ples and strate­gies should be updat­ed and inte­grat­ed into our dig­i­tal strate­gies of the present.

Marketing: In Practice Since the Beginning of Time

When humans in ancient civ­i­liza­tion began to trade and sell items, mar­ket­ing was unknow­ing­ly born; one could argue it has lit­er­al­ly been around for thou­sands of years. It was the incred­i­ble growth and inno­va­tion of the Indus­tri­al Rev­o­lu­tion in the 18th cen­tu­ry that result­ed in the con­cept of mar­ket­ing we think of today.

Through­out the years, mar­ket­ing adapt­ed as tech­nol­o­gy advanced rapid­ly. In the ear­ly days, it was all about mag­a­zines, news­pa­pers and bill­boards, all gain­ing pop­u­lar­i­ty and read­er­ship through the 1900s. Radio adver­tis­ing came into play in the 1920s, and the era of 1900s mar­ket­ing revolved around the radio, tele­vi­sion and phone calls.

The Since then, it has been a whirl­wind of com­put­ers, lap­tops, smart phones, the inter­net and social media. It’s easy to get wrapped up in cre­at­ing new strate­gies for new tech­nolo­gies, but let’s look at what we can learn from these 5 tra­di­tion­al mar­ket­ing approach­es.

Modern Lessons from 5 Traditional Marketing Techniques

Direct Mail

Direct mail mar­ket­ing is using print mate­ri­als such as post­cards, mag­a­zines, let­ters cat­a­logs and brochures to reach a geo­graph­i­cal­ly tar­get­ed audi­ence. Think of the pro­mo­tion­al post­cards you receive in your mail­box – espe­cial­ly when elec­tions draw near. These are exam­ples of direct mail mar­ket­ing. By using this approach, a busi­ness was able to take a less intru­sive, decent­ly cost-effec­tive approach while reach­ing its intend­ed audi­ence.
Con­sid­er run­ning an email mar­ket­ing cam­paign for a high return on invest­ment.

While send­ing direct mail can seem like an unnec­es­sary cost with a low­er return on invest­ment that’s hard to mea­sure, con­sid­er mod­ern­iz­ing the tac­tic by send­ing e‑newsletters via email. By cre­at­ing a month­ly or quar­ter­ly newslet­ter, you can direct­ly reach your cus­tomers, and future cus­tomers, while pro­mot­ing orig­i­nal con­tent, and hav­ing a lit­tle fun – plus you won’t have to pay postage!

If you’re not sure you have enough to include for a month­ly edi­tion of a newslet­ter, think again! You can include recent blog posts you wrote, spe­cial announce­ments for your busi­ness, reminders of upcom­ing events, pro­mo­tions of any deals cur­rent­ly run­ning or even news arti­cles relat­ed to your indus­try.

How­ev­er you decide to run the cam­paign, your email newslet­ter should con­tain these 5 ele­ments:

  • An entic­ing sub­ject line – arguably the most impor­tant ele­ment. If recip­i­ents aren’t com­pelled to open it, they won’t read the rest of your email!
  • A strong visu­al appear­ance – choose col­ors that are and add in high-res­o­lu­tion pho­tos to cap­ture and keep atten­tion.
  • Con­cise, help­ful con­tent – ensure your newslet­ter is easy to read and offers val­ue to read­ers. Con­sid­er adding an intro­duc­tion where you can show­case your brand’s per­son­al­i­ty in a fun way, and pro­vide a teas­er of the newsletter’s con­tent, entic­ing the recip­i­ent to keep read­ing.
  • Clean text with­out typos or gram­mat­i­cal errors – have anoth­er set of eyes proof­read before click­ing send to guar­an­tee a read­able and pro­fes­sion­al email.
  • A call to action – what do you want your read­ers to do after read­ing your newslet­ter? Share it with their friends? Con­tact you to for a free con­sul­ta­tion? Make it clear how you’d like them to respond.


Broad­cast mar­ket­ing began in the 1920s when the first adver­tise­ment was sent over the radio waves, and con­tin­ues to be an inte­gral part of mar­ket­ing to this day (remem­ber how much we love ads?). Broad­cast mar­ket­ing cer­tain­ly under­went changes with the inven­tion of the tele­vi­sion, giv­ing mar­keters an excit­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty to uti­lize visu­als along­side audio. This strat­e­gy is def­i­nite­ly more expen­sive, but instead of aban­don­ing it, it could be inno­vat­ed for new forms of media chan­nels: videos and pod­casts, more specif­i­cal­ly con­nect­ing with influ­encers on these plat­forms.

When pitch­ing to a pod­cast show or a video cre­ator, remem­ber it’s going to be a lot like a pitch to a jour­nal­ist,

Cre­ators on both YouTube and var­i­ous pod­cast plat­forms have built audi­ences of hun­dreds of thou­sands and mil­lions! Whether your com­pa­ny sells a gourmet snack, fun acces­sories or con­sult­ing ser­vices, there is prob­a­bly some­one talk­ing about it in a video or a pod­cast. Con­sid­er send­ing pitch­es or sam­ples to these , and in return your busi­ness could be pro­mot­ed to a huge audi­ence with shared inter­ests, or a pos­i­tive review from a cred­i­ble source.

Send­ing pitch­es and sam­ples to an influ­encer is very sim­i­lar to dis­trib­ut­ing media pitch­es to jour­nal­ists writ­ing for tra­di­tion­al out­lets, and comes with a sim­i­lar approach:
Pitch to the right per­son: While you want to direct­ly con­tact the per­son who will review or talk about your prod­uct or ser­vice, many times they are not the most effec­tive per­son to con­tact. Instead, look to see if there is an agent or pro­duc­er for such inquires.
Make a strong con­nec­tion: Show the val­ue of your pitch by explain­ing why their audi­ence would care. Include a brief sum­ma­ry at the begin­ning of the pitch to catch their atten­tion.
Include addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion about the prod­uct, com­pa­ny or ser­vice – but not too much! You want to give the writer enough infor­ma­tion to decide if this is some­thing they might cov­er, although you also need to keep it short. A good rule of thumb is to keep the entire pitch to 2–3 short para­graphs, so it fits on one com­put­er screen or can be read eas­i­ly on their mobile devices.
Remem­ber links: Add a URL to your company’s elec­tron­ic press kit, about page or any products/services you men­tion so the recip­i­ent can eas­i­ly learn more about you and your busi­ness.

Printed Handouts

Instead of plas­ter­ing mate­ri­als around town (which only works for brands seek­ing hyper-local busi­ness), cre­ate dif­fer­ent types of visu­al con­tent to be shared on your var­i­ous social media chan­nels. As an alter­na­tive of leav­ing hand­bills at the library, or post­ing fly­er in restau­rants, con­sid­er upload­ing an info­graph­ic on Face­book or a video on Insta­gram.

With var­i­ous plat­forms, edit­ing soft­ware and media types, the visu­als you choose can be a dif­fi­cult deci­sion. Here is a break­down of what kind of visu­al con­tent you can cre­ate, and how to most effec­tive­ly uti­lize them:


Images are your best bet on Face­book and Twit­ter, and are absolute­ly nec­es­sary for a pres­ence on Insta­gram. The big­ger and brighter the pho­to, the more allur­ing and engag­ing it is to who­ev­er is scrolling through. When you can, include faces in your pho­tos, too! They do not have to be celebri­ties, but these types of images are more click­able, and per­form bet­ter on some social media sites’ algo­rithms. Depend­ing on how many images you plan on post­ing or cre­at­ing in a week, it might be worth­while to invest in a mem­ber­ship with a pre­mi­um stock pho­to web­site, like 123RF.


Videos are a big deal right now.

  • Come up with con­tent – take inspi­ra­tion from blog posts you have already cre­at­ed and don’t be afraid to recy­cle con­tent.
  • Cre­ate notes – a script or list of bul­let points will keep you focused and is an easy refresh­er while you’re film­ing.
  • Prac­tice – Run through it a few times before record­ing so you sound relaxed and nat­ur­al.
  • Record – Use a cam­era, web­cam, or phone with a high qual­i­ty cam­era for best results! Record a few takes so you can choose the best of the bunch.
  • Upload and share – Upload the video to YouTube and share it to all your social chan­nels.