Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Is traditional marketing relevant in a digital age?

In a whirlwind of the digital age where hashtags reign supreme and algorithms determine what we see and when, it’s easy to think that traditional advertising is a relic of the past.

But is it really? Technology is advancing but paradoxically, businesses commonly opt for older methods because they’ve always worked – ultimately, it comes down to time and place!

A timeless appeal and unavoidability

The humble billboard continues to be one of the fastest-growing advertising channels, especially in regional areas. Outdoor advertising marketing has been forecasted to grow from $65.45 billion to $67.8 billion by the end of 2023. 

And simply put, billboards are unavoidable.

Millions of people have their cursor positioned on the skip button of video advertisements or install advertisement-blocking browser extensions – suddenly, your hard work doesn’t exist.

But billboards can’t be blocked and maintain a strong appeal because of their credibility. 

Many times, we view digital ads and think of them as spam. We question its legitimacy because of how easily anyone can have their digital ad placed in a publication or some website.

But traditional marketing such as billboards have kept their trust factor throughout the many evolving years of advertising. Businesses can also make them more captivating by selecting a digital billboard instead since the same rule applies – you can’t block them.

Demographic relevance

You need the right-sized shoe for every foot.

Digital marketing undoubtedly has greater appeal amongst the younger generation because of their technology uptake, but it doesn’t work everywhere.

Outdoor advertising agency Gawk has proven this by increasing organic market share through purely static and digital billboard advertisements in regional Victoria, Australia. 

I am blown away by the amount of locals who are able to tell you who the current advertiser is on our billboards in town. Comparatively, if digital ads are being noticed (most don’t), the proliferation of advertising means brand or product recall is very low.”

The outdoor agency that recently accomplished a milestone of 100 billboards now owns more than 50% of the digital sites in regional Victoria, and the correlation of demographic relevance becomes very apparent in this case. 

Traditional marketing channels live stronger in certain areas of the world and these communities believe in its amplification more than others. For Gawk, 70% of their revenue comes from partnerships with businesses in regional Victoria.

However, shifting from static to digital billboards is quickly becoming more prominent in central business district areas as a method for appealing to dwindling attention spans. The real-time change in content works better amongst the younger generation and usually costs less than a large static billboard positioned on a highway.

The chance for creativity to shine

Outdoor advertising is perhaps the best channel for letting your creativity take charge.

Because static and digital billboards are harder to ignore, they also present an opportunity for outlandish ideas to succeed. There is an avenue to entertain, inform and stimulate the senses of your audience in a way that the smartphone screen can’t achieve.

Albeit designer brands have far more marketing funding, we can take their creative examples as inspiration for maximizing traditional outdoor advertising capabilities.

Or take the billboard above as an example. Simple, funny and captivating.

Creative designs as such are far more likely to engage your audience than a sea of digital advertisements. Sometimes, all it takes is one creative marketing campaign for things to take off.

Digital still matters

Don’t take it the wrong way.
Digital advertisements still matter and are arguably the most cost-efficient method. Businesses can ensure they don’t spend a dollar over their budget, review performance statistics, learn and improve from them.
Better yet, it’s the best option for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Not everyone can afford a giant billboard on a major highway and it’s why we emphasize the importance of analyzing your channel selection.
Ultimately, it depends on the intention of your advertisement and that’s why you should categorize the campaign from one of the three types of advertising.

ATL: Above the line (ATL) marketing refers to a very broad campaign that has minimal or no targeting at all. 

Think of a radio, television or billboard advertisement. They reach the most amount of audience possible, but the ability to target specific people is limited. Brand awareness is the primary function for above the line marketing and it can be a powerful strategy.

BTL: Below the line (BTL) marketing targets specific people through techniques such as Google Adwords campaigns or handing out laptop pamphlets to people who visit tech stores. Businesses commonly select this style of advertising for conversions.
TTL: Through the line (TTL) marketing is a combined approach of ATL and BTL, which makes it the most commonly sought strategy. For example, an office space company could launch several YouTube ads across the globe to different users based off where they live.
Each office location could feature a unique discount code, and through this we’ve combined the widespread nature of ATL and specificity of BTL.

The final decision of selecting traditional or digital depends on various factors such as your budget, goals, demographics and more. Ultimately, having a mixture of both and measuring success will lead to the most development for your market goals.

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