what is marketing understanding traditional marketing strategies

What is Marketing?: Understanding the Basics of Traditional Marketing

What goes through your mind when you think of marketing? Someone cold-calling and attempting to make a sale? Maybe a commercial on T.V.? There’s so much that goes into marketing but don’t worry, we’ll break it down for you!

What is marketing?

Marketing is the process of connecting a product or service with potential customers who may need or want it. It involves figuring out and predicting customers’ wants and needs, then coming up with a marketing strategy to address and fulfill them.

Businesses and the way they communicate with customers are constantly changing. As a result, two types of marketing have emerged: traditional marketing and digital marketing.

What is Traditional Marketing?

You get into your Uber, and the radio is playing. What comes on after the song ends? Radio ads. 

You go to Walgreens and the cashier hands over your receipt, what comes with it? Coupons.

You head outside to pick up your package. What’s on your door handle? A menu pamphlet for the new restaurant in the neighborhood.

Traditional marketing refers to using traditional offline media channels such as radio, television, print, and billboards to promote a product or service. Although many things are now turning digital, traditional marketing can still be seen across any city or town.

Implementing The 4 P’s in a Marketing Strategy

In the world of marketing, there is a core principle that has been around for decades: the 4 Ps. These Ps represent the fundamental pillars of any successful marketing strategy.

  1. Product: This relates to what businesses are actually selling which could be a physical item or a service.
  2. Price: This refers to how much consumers are willing to pay for a product or service. In traditional marketing, pricing strategies often consider factors like production cost, competition, market conditions, and quality of the product.
  3. Placement: This pertains to where and how a product is sold and distributed. Traditional marketing might involve selling in a physical store, through direct mail, or by phone.
  4. Promotion: This involves all the ways businesses communicate with their customers to inform, persuade, and remind them about their products or services. In traditional marketing, promotion might include tactics like advertising, sales promotions, public relations, and personal selling.
four p's in marketing strategy

The 4 P’s provide a framework for businesses to think critically about how they can optimize each aspect of their marketing strategy for maximum success.

Types of Traditional Marketing Strategies

Traditional marketing techniques have been used for decades and have proven to be effective in reaching a large number of people.

Traditional marketing still has some advantages:

  • Allows for widespread exposure, reaching a larger audience quickly.
  • It can build brand recognition and trust with potential customers.
  • Longer shelf life, allowing your message to stay visible for longer than digital channels.

Despite the widespread use of the internet, some customers either lack access or choose not to use it. Reaching these prospective customers needs more innovative offline marketing techniques.

Print Marketing

Print and direct mail marketing offers businesses a unique opportunity to engage customers in a direct and personal way.

With print marketing, businesses can showcase their creativity and leave a lasting impression on potential customers. This includes a wide range of options like brochures, flyers, business cards, newspaper ads, and produce packaging.

Direct Mail Marketing

Direct mail offers a distinctive way to engage with recipients, delivering messages directly through postcards, newsletters, and catalogs. This personalized approach allows for tailored communication that captivates the reader’s attention.

TV Advertising

TV advertising is a powerful and engaging way to promote products and services through commercials. It’s a great way to reach a wide audience of all ages and demographics. They tend to spend a large amount of time watching TV (and on streaming services).

TV commercials can leave a lasting impression on viewers. The most popular time for new commercials and when they’re most talked about is during the Super Bowl. The 2023 Super Bowl was watched by an estimated 200 million people!

Rescue Marketing shared their thoughts on the 2023 Super Bowl commercials.

The most talked about commercial after the 2023 Super Bowl was Tubi. Viewers were led to assume that the commercial break ended and the game would resume when sportscasters, Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen appeared.

Tubi made it appear as though someone was looking through the movies on the Tubi streaming service, definielty causing some commotion with fans at home!

QR Codes: Traditional and Digital Marketing Mix

TV advertising and digital marketing campaigns are becoming closely interlinked. Businesses can close the gap between physical advertisements and online shopping by using tools such as QR codes.

marketing mix to reach target audience with qr codes
InstaCart and Michelob Ultra partner for Super Bowl LVII commercial

Consumers can now scan a QR code from their TV screen and be immediately directed to a link that allows them to purchase products or find out more information about a service. This means that businesses can target potential customers who are already interested and those who have only recently become aware of it.


Radio advertising is the promotion of a company or product through the channel of radio. It involves producing a commercial or a series of ads that are played at a set time on radio stations. You’re more likely to hear jingles and voiceovers on the radio.

Outdoor Advertising

Outdoor advertising is any form of marketing message that is visible to the general public and is displayed outside. This can apply to bus shelters, billboards, posters, and even vehicle wraps.

Time Square is one of New York City’s most iconic and popular tourist destinations, making it an ideal location for outdoor advertising. It is an international symbol of entertainment and commerce, an average of 225,000 people walk throughout Time Square.

traditional advertising in new york times square
Image by Wallula from Pixabay

To advertise in Times Square you will need quite a marketing budget. A billboard can range from $5,000 to $50,000, if you want it to last for a day or two, with an estimated 1.5 million impressions a day. Depending on the length and form of advertising in Times Square, ad placements can go up to $4 million dollars.

The Power of Branding and Traditional Marketing Methods

Unmissable and impactful, giant billboards and vibrant bus shelters in busy streets are powerful tools to increase brand awareness.

On July 21, 2023, a live-action Barbie movie was released. It’s safe to say that Mattel, owner of the Barbie franchise, nailed its marketing campaigns, from online marketing to traditional marketing efforts.

This campaign contained placements of a single-colored billboard with only a release date displayed – simplicity at its finest! Since its debut in 1959, Barbie has stayed true to her iconic pink color, embodying consistent and timeless branding. It’s all they needed to captivate audiences.

Differences in Traditional and Digital Marketing

Traditional marketing has long been the standard approach to reach target audiences, but with the rise of digital marketing, businesses can now explore new, more effective avenues to reach their customers.

Traditional marketing strategies like print ads, brochures, and banners may still have a place in today’s market, but they’re quickly being overshadowed by the convenience, reach, and cost-effectiveness of digital marketing.

traditional marketing vs digital marketing

From search engine optimization and social media marketing to email marketing and content marketing, digital marketing encompasses a wide range of strategies offering tangible and measurable results.

Reaching The Target Audience

It’s important for businesses to understand the differences between traditional marketing and digital marketing as they work through their marketing strategy and select the one that best suits their goals.

Traditional marketing is more static, relying on print, radio, and television advertisements. They are fixed messages that can not be updated or adjusted, and costly. They provide few opportunities for businesses to engage with potential customers.

Digital marketing enables more dynamic and personalized customer engagement and connection. Businesses can use online behaviors to target customers and track engagement over time. This data is used to adjust marketing campaigns. Businesses can cut marketing costs by reaching a more targeted audience with the right message at the right time.

Digital marketing strengthens customer relationships, increases brand loyalty, and improves customer experiences across multiple channels.

Looking to Learn More about Digital Marketing?

Marketing is a fundamental part of any business, big or small, and it’s essential for success.

With the right strategies in place, businesses can attract more customers, increase sales, and build brand loyalty. This can be done through traditional or digital marketing – or even a marketing mix of both!

Looking to learn more about digital marketing and how we can help? Explore the basics of digital marketing, from defining the term to analyzing its impact on businesses!

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