Traditional Advertising Strategies that Still Hold True in the Digital Age

Law at Deakin Uni - Tram Advertising

Law at Deakin Uni – Tram Advertising

The internet has revolutionized advertising in many ways. Never before has such a global audience been so easily accessible, and it’s easier than ever for small businesses to get their name out there through social media and website promotion.

Online advertising has risen 16 percent in 2013, and Google’s business department believes that 50 percent of all advertising will be online in the next 5 years. But it’s still a relatively small percentage of a company’s budget, and it’s had much less impact on the general state of company promotion than you might think.

Traditional Advertising

Traditional advertising is far from dead, and there’s no substitute for offline advertising such as billboards, television commercials, and print ads. What does that mean for small business? Simply, that you shouldn’t discount traditional advertising when you’re looking for ways to build your brand, because methods like these hold up best of all.

brashCreative Advertising Club at The Art Institute of Portland

brashCreative Advertising Club at The Art Institute of Portland

1. Freebies

Handing out promotional items is a tried and true way of generating buzz about your business, and if you’re willing to put the time and money into creating these products, the results you see will be well worth it.

Pencils, stationary, stickers, and other small items with your business logo on them will increase your yearly revenue and skyrocket brand awareness.

You can hand them out at a trade show, college campus, or business convention, or you could also combine them with other methods of offline advertising.

Door-to-door promotion works much better when the pitch is accompanied with a free gift. And customer appreciation days always yield great results when people who walk into your store or place of business can walk out with free items. If these items include bumper stickers, decals, pins, or t-shirts, there’s a huge chance for exposure.

2. Outdoor Banners

Fuzzy's Yellow 15' advertising flag

If you can afford to rent a billboard, it’s naturally one of the most effective ways to advertise your business. But billboard can cost hundreds of dollars a month, and eye-catching, professional outdoor banners can give you the same effect for much less money.

If you can develop a precise, brightly-colored logo with the most pertinent information about your business, you can set up banners in high-traffic areas that will capture the attention of drivers.

In order to run a successful banner campaign, you need to have the right artwork and message for your banners. But if they’re durable and easily rolled up, you can use them in many different locations, including street corners, trade shows, and special events. Billboard may be bigger, but they’re much less portable.

3. Car Magnets

Have you seen those vehicles driving around with a business advertised on the side? Those are car magnets, a cheap and effective way of turning your car into a moving advertisement. Car magnets are different from banners in that you can usually fit a lot more information onto them, and anyone who is stopped next to you in traffic can easily find a phone number and address printed for them to see.

Like banners, keeping the message simple will increase visibility. Remember, even though this is offline advertising, all a customer has to do is see your company name and they can Google for more information. A colorful, high-quality sign is much more helpful when it comes to attracting customers. Before you order your car magnets, make sure to measure your car and get the right size for it to be noticed.

4. Radio

2009 07 05 - 7171 - Barnegat Light - Advertising Airplane

Barnegat Light – Advertising Airplane

It’s easy to assume most people stream music or listen to their iPod these days, but you might be surprised how popular radio still remains.

The research group Arbitron recently showed that 93 percent of Americans tune into broadcast radio at least once a week, so investing money in a radio ad is actually a wise advertising strategy.

Even if you can’t afford primetime ads, many people listen to the radio when they’re on the road late at night. Developing a clear, concise, and memorable pitch for the airwaves might take some time, but this is one traditional advertising method that hasn’t gone away, and it’s guaranteed to increase the amount of traffic coming through your door.

The ideal advertising strategy is a mix of offline and online methods which will reach all kinds of consumers across many different mediums. The goal with advertising is to build word of mouth, and sometimes that’s easier to do when a customer has seen, heard, or interacted with your business slogan, not just clicked on a computer screen.

Online ads might be slowly taken over, but it’s doubtful that they can ever really replace the human side of running a company.

Amy Chandler is a blogger for , one of the UK’s leading providers of banners, vehicle graphics and posters. Follow her on Twitter @DBPamy.


  1. I need to say I am totally agree with the point in this article.Too many digital marketing person say Traditional Advertising way will not work today!It is out-of-date. bababa…..But according my observation,many internet company still use the Traditional Advertising to promote their business.Like Freebies,outdoor banner,and all of these ways works good.

  2. I think when you advertise it is very important that you should make unique and strong content who attract people and in today time outside media is a most ideal route for commercial.

  3. outdoor media is a best way for advertisement in today time….not all the people know about internet or facebook. outdoor media is well visible in each locations and it gives many leads to you business
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  4. I really appreciate your way of thinking. no doubt how nicely you share some great tips regarding Traditional Advertising Strategies that Still Hold True in the Digital Age.

    Thanks for sharing such an excellent post.

  5. Well, I can see that you have done with the awesomeness of post which is still prevailed. I appreciate that.
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  6. When you buy a car, I suggest you to wrap your car with your creative own design. This is totally great.
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  7. Digital marketing campaign is something that companies need to keep their focus on but the traditional ways are still on and they still work very effectively.
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  8. In all honesty, no one pays attention to the marketing happening online. What people pay attention to is the ads they see when they’re out in about. The ones on billboards, on buses, etc. These make a much more lasting impression than ones that you can quickly exit out of online without even reading.

  9. Hey Amy – you forgot to fill out your ‘bio’ at the bottom of the post, just FYI :-)

    Anyways, GREAT post – and traditioanl advertising methods are DEFINITELY alive and well in todays “modern” digital marketing age.

    WallCoverings, Car Wraps, even full building wraps are just getting MORE popular – and more impressive each year.

  10. Yes you are right, the traditional marketing and advertising is one of the best effective way in the present situation. The ‘Mouth talk’ is the best example for traditional advertisement, based on this strategy most of the business people are getting the more deals of a business.

  11. Thank you for this post. People just love to look at online promotions and forget about traditional advertising. People are everywhere and not just in the internet, unless your business is an online shop, traditional advertising would still be a lot more useful. Also, just think about this, trade shows aren’t done online. The conventional way of promoting products and services, IMO, will always be there.

    • Hi Barry,

      Even online only businesses can benefit from offline marketing. I keep trying to get online businesses to create a strong local presence, but few understand the usefulness. Search traffic will continue to get harder and harder to keep and businesses need to get serious about building other markets and using additional channels.
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      • That’s good to hear. In some way, offline marketing does help online businesses. There are signs with ads along with the website addresses indicated as well. I see how that makes sense. Also, there are automobiles that sort of like have stickers or decals in them showing off URLs of particular sites. That sure is a way of promoting businesses online.

  12. Good list here. As always, content is the most important part of your marketing strategy and there is no substitute for high quality content. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Michael Glovre says:

    I always prefer outdoor advertising. Because it will helps to reach customers more. Last month I made a campaign for my garment business in Toronto via outdoor advertising methods

  14. Michael Glover says:

    Last month I made a campaign for my garment business in Toronto via outdoor advertising methods such as Vehicle graphics. I t seems to be good way to promote your ad. Reach any digital printing services nearby and do vehicle wrapping for your business.

  15. Everyone loves freebies and it’s still a great way to get your branding out there. Direct mail is another tried and true advertising strategy.
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  16. I love finding a post that talks about something I myself have been thinking about recently… I’ve been asking friends recently what they thought about “print”. Print ads, books, magazines, whatever it may be, just not reading on the internet.I believe print will slowly start making a come back in the next couple years. I myself grow tired of reading things online and would gladly pay money to read things printed up. Growing up my family owned a roofing company and all the trucks were equipped with company magnets on them. It occasionally brought in a job or two, and even just bringing in 1 job in the lifetime of the magnet means it would have paid for itself and than some. Magnet advertising is one of the cheapest ways to advertise that can still have an effect. Low risk, high reward.

  17. From the top 4 types of traditional advertising, I believe banner displays and radio advertising both are most effective marketing promotion. Why? In my opinion, both of them capable to deliver your message effectively which will generate a massive of targeted customers/clients.
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  18. Hello !
    Yeah that’s true that traditional advertising is still working. I really like car magnets. I still remember that when samsung galaxy y was interoduced they uses this kind of advertisement too. That was looking so attractive, indeed.

  19. Hello Amy !
    Topic is interesting. It’s amazing that in this era of technology people use to adopt traditional methods of advertising which are still effective. People still use to listen radio just like television that’s why this kind of advertisement is still working efficiently.
    Thanks for posting this article. It was good to read about traditional advertising.

  20. Awesome article I really enjoyed reading your post Thanks for sharing 😀
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    • Hi Mariem,

      I approved your comment because I believe it is sincere. But I need to tell you that generic comments like this almost always get deleted because bloggers can’t tell if they’re from spammers or someone who actually read the post. If you make a comment that makes it clear you did read it your comments are more likely to be approved.

  21. Very nice, I like this blog. Traditional Advertising ways are still very cheap and effective way to advertise and get popularity among the offline audience.

  22. it does’nt depends on how much one is popular in the digital world ! but Traditional Advertising ways are still very cheap and effective way to advertise and get popularity among the offline audience !

  23. There may be just a whole lot you can do on the web sometimes you need to get a tone of voice observed the favorable previous means. At this time there can be bedroom with regard to a lot more traditional advertising.

  24. I prefer auto magnets pertaining to marketing advertising pertaining to my organization. I prefer these people because these may have alot of home elevators these people.

  25. I totally agree with you, freebies is most useful way to advertise the business because it always deliver. Don’t matter what the time people still love free things. Whenever I held giveaway on my blog I get huge traffic.

  26. Flyers do all the work , I like sticking poster of website name behind my car. I give away so many stickers to my friends and they have them on their car. All the ways which you have mentioned are so cool , Out door banners are also cool , Thanks for sharing this tip with us, ;)Keep up the good work :)Thanks
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  27. Although online marketing is growing day by day but we can’t decline offline advertising techniques as these techniques are useful to capture the local market. Adverting through mobile message is one of the best and cheapest way of advertisement.

  28. Jake May says:

    Very Nice article. Though these are basic things that everyone is supposed to know and follow but its these that we so often miss or neglect and that’s what, i suppose, differentiates a good blogger from a great one! Thank you for this lovely piece of information.

  29. I believe that online advertisement is more effective than any old techniques.

  30. Online advertising is rising rapidly, but we cannot ignore the fact that some old strategies of marketing are still golden for many. Many business owners still avoid online marketing, and go for direct marketing techniques like approaching outside banners and all other stuff. Freebies is the most effective way to gain more spotlight by community, but only when you are seeding a valuable product.
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  31. thank you for this good, useful article. I liked the car magnets parts most. Thanks for sharing :)
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  32. And I thought the radio belonged to the past. I’m surprised to know that a lot of people still listen to radio. Thanks for sharing this.
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  33. I have ni=ot tried the offline advertising before, but i am planning on pasting banners on cars and buses and see how it goes. i still believe that offline advertising still holds great value in developing traffic to our blogs. Thanks for this lovely post and do have a lovely weekend ahead…

  34. There is only so much you can do online sometimes you have to get your voice heard the good old ways. There will always be room for more traditional advertising.
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  35. In my country, some people are so eager to put advertisements on their own car. Because it is a good way to earn money without doing much efforts. Private transport advertisement has become the latest trend in my country. But not every body succeed as there are very strict requirements to have ads on a private vehicle.
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  36. cool and well writen post thanks for sharing
    have anice day 😀
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  37. nice article dud now i really want to try to car magnets method for my business after reading this posts. thanks for share article.
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  38. very nice article, i like this post , thanks for sharing this information, very nice content and marketing one of the major part of marketing, i like this post.
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  39. These are some of the old ways but still they are the best ways for advertisement.Some of these advertising methods are very much effective even in this digital world.Car magnets is one such way.Thanks for sharing :)
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  40. Something I have been seeing with increased regularity are billboard advertisements and car wraps. The key is to combine traditional, online, and out-of-the-box advertising to maximize opportunities to be seen by the buying public.

    • Welcome to GrowMap, Anita. As Google makes it harder to get traffic both organically and paid or even penalizes quality small businesses for having used strategies that were acceptable in prior years, it is essential to get serious about using all other methods.

      I encourage them to use email marketing and study how to grow their lists and improve their messages. MarketingSherpa is a good source for that type of information: SMB Marketing in 2013: 85% of SMBs to increase use of email.

      Being able to grow your list is a priority before using social media and content marketing, because many only visit one time and you need a compelling reason and method to bring them back again. Otherwise businesses are wasting valuable resources.

  41. Pramod

    As long the Radio will survive so will this be utilized as a marketing medium..The car magnets strategy is new to me …I’ve never seen people using this strategy in our Country.
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    • Hello Pramod,

      They are a really excellent method of raising awareness, because anywhere the car goes or is parked it becomes a portable billboard reaching a new audience. By using a magnet instead of having the vehicle painted you can easily remove it as needed (but the paint does stay darker under the magnet if you leave it on for a long time).

      Businesses should always have their contact info on their vehicles. I suggested to the local propane company that their trucks should have their toll free number in big letters and maybe even the price per gallon the way a gas station does. Then when we see the truck in our area we can have propane delivered immediately and greatly increase their revenue.

  42. Digital marketing campaigns are certainly one of the most important parts of a company’s advertising strategy in today’s day and age, however, I agree with the article that many of the older traditional means still hold true and are very effective and should still be incorporated into the marketing budget, maybe just on a smaller scale.

  43. World News says:

    I use car magnets for marketing ads for my business. I like them as these can have alot of information on them

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