How to Use Traditional Media to Cut Through the Noise in 2019

January 17, 2019 - 12 minutes read

A guide to leveraging traditional media to boost profits and brand awareness.



There’s no doubt about it: the eCommerce industry is going from strength to strength, with more people turning to the convenience and value of online shopping with the passing of every year. In fact, last year, the UK alone recorded a total of $743.8 billion in eCommerce revenue, with a total of $453.46 billion of online takings reported in the US.

But, despite its exponential growth, the increasing accessibility of setting up an online store coupled with a rise in the choice of consumer shopping platforms has made the eCommerce industry somewhat saturated. Essentially, this means that to cut through the noise and get noticed, you need to amp up the creativity more than ever before – particularly when it comes to your digital marketing efforts.

At present, around 281 billion marketing emails are sent to consumers per day. Plus, around 3.3 million Facebook posts are published and 500 YouTube videos are uploaded every 60 seconds. And although social media, video content and marketing emails should form essential pillars of your digital marketing strategy (and can prove particularly fruitful when executed correctly), if you really want to get noticed, it might be time to look backwards.

To cut through the noise in 2019 and offer an additional level of value to a wider target audience, you should try out a few analogue approaches as a supplement to your digital marketing efforts. Yes, we’re literally going back in time.

Direct mail, signage, billboards, print-based content, good old fashioned face-to-face networking and other forms of traditional marketing are all excellent ways of standing out from your competitors in a crowded digital environment. This seems to have been forgotten as digital tactics have taken over during the last decade.

Here we’re going to explore the best ways to use traditional marketing techniques to your advantage in addition to offering you an insight on the best tactics or mediums to explore.

Let’s get moving!


Refine your buyer personas


Before you start conjuring up ideas for print content or signing up for a 20-foot wide billboard, you should stop and reconsider what the key demographics within your target audience are looking for – and what they need the most.

That said, before you start rolling out your traditional marketing strategy, you should take the time to refine your existing buyer personas or add new ones to the mix, using both digital data as well as insights gathered from research and surveys to determine who would best benefit, engage with and ultimately convert as a result of your traditional marketing efforts. In doing so, you will ensure a better overall response and in turn, a far healthier ROI.

To help you on your quest, here’s our step by step guide to creating effective buyer personas for your business.


Segment your audience


Once you’ve refined your buyer personas, gaining a clearer understanding of how to develop your traditional marketing initiatives, you should drill down further by segmenting your audience.

By dividing your wider audience into smaller segments of people who have similar needs, values or characteristics, you will be able to assign different strategies to specific groups which will help you get the most from every one of your traditional marketing activities.

Audience segmentation should be carried out collaboratively in a small group and to help get you started, here’s a guide we’ve sourced especially for you:

Traditional marketing methods you should try


Now that we’ve covered the strategic preparation required for optimum traditional marketing success, we’re going to take a look at the most powerful forms of analog promotion to use in today’s digital world.


Direct mail


While direct mail (DM) may seem like an antiquated means of communicating with your customers, if you get it right, a piece of DM literature could entice a great deal of traffic to your website or online store.

Studies suggest that an average of 57.1% of recipients take the time to read a direct mailer, and this number rises to 60.5% when a second is delivered in a timely fashion.

While there is no exact science to creating a direct mail communication that yields impressive results, if you make your communications visually-striking, digestible, inspiring, conversational, and provide your prospects with a clear-cut incentive to visit you online, you should be onto a winner.

An excellent example of direct mail marketing in the modern age comes from online restaurant delivery service, Bite Squad.

Usually, the brand communicates with its audience via social media, email and mobile app, but with a view to enhancing its retention marketing efforts, the brand’s senior marketing manager, Mike Black, decided to send a direct mailer in the form of a promotional postcard.

Bite Squad sent out 20,000 appetizing postcards to a segment of its audience that hadn’t placed an order in over two months offering them a coupon for a free meal.


By asking its customers to redeem their free meal by using a digital coupon code, Bite Squad was able to track the results of its campaign, which saw 3,600 of the 20,000 mail recipients enjoy the offer – a healthy 18% redemption rate and far better outcome than Mike Black expected.


Face-to-Face networking


Another overlooked traditional marketing approach to marketing is good old-fashioned face-to-face networking. When you consider the number of cold calls, emails and communications people receive each day, heading to an expo to showcase your services or products in person could help you win some valuable new custom.

72% of people state they view brands that provide great experiences in a positive light. Although you’re an eCommerce business, try heading to expos in your niche and connecting with your consumers in the flesh, or heading out on the street to talk to people or organizing members of staff to go to offices or other places of work to provide demonstrations, presentations or in-house competitions. It’s an excellent way of forging new relationships while boosting brand awareness.


Event marketing


Following on from our previous point, if you want to take your face-to-face communications to new heights, event or experiential marketing is an avenue worth exploring.

According to a recent survey, 84% of business leaders feel that in-person events are a vital element of their company’s success. By developing and organizing an engaging, inspiring and immersive in-person event aimed at a specific segment of your target audience, you stand an excellent chance of growing your customer base, encouraging brand loyalty and boosting your profitability.

There have been a number of inspiring feats of event marketing in recent years, from Guinness’ VR-based beer tasting zones through to HR service platform Namely’s 24-hour hackathon and Kia’s interactive ‘Dream Chute’ event in London’s Westfield Shopping Center. What each of these campaigns have in common is the fact that they bridged the gap between the physical and digital realm to create an experience that reached out and spoke to their audience on a personal level. Face-to-face marketing is an excellent and cost-effective means of regularly getting out there and gaining new customers but if you really want to make your mark, innovative event marketing is worth the extra time and investment.


Signage and billboards


Once upon a time, a sign alone was enough to encourage droves of people into a business or storefront. As society migrated towards a more hyper-connected digital world and online shopping became all the more sophisticated, signage has become less popular – but in 2019, signs and billboards will make excellent additions to your digital marketing campaigns or strategies.

As technology has evolved, promotional signs are now more immersive than ever before with the opportunity to move, light up and even capture user data through interactive functionality. And in a time where digital is all around us, even a visually appealing static sign or billboard with a strong call to action can help you drive the right people online.

Bus shelter adverts reach 92% of the population every single week, and 71% of consumers frequently take the time to look at the roadside billboards, so it might be something worth your investment.


“You can never go wrong by investing in communities and the human beings within them.” – Pam Moore


It’s plain to see that by using more traditional promotional mediums in conjunction with your current digital marketing efforts, and measuring your results for future success, you will be able to offer your prospects a greater level of value today, tomorrow and long into the future. By using a seamless mix of old and new, you will stand out from the crowd and you will become the glistening needle in an that giant digital haystack.

Now you know what to do, get out there and make 2019 your year. And for more inspiration, check out these incredible examples of viral marketing.