Old School Marketing Platforms That Still Resonate in Our Digital World

In the frenzy to master online marketing, don't forget people still watch TV, listen to radio and read billboards.

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By Rohan Ayyar

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In the last few years, digital marketing has given traditional marketing platforms a run for its money.

Marketing budgets once heavily skewed toward traditional media are moving online. Ecommerce is booming, brands are opening up stores on Facebook, social commerce is rising, mobile commerce is getting hotter. The digital juggernaut seems ready to flatten out the old guard and take over marketing as a whole.

According to a study by ThinkVine, 25% of senior level marketers report that digital has already overtaken traditional media in their marketing budgets. About 55% of them believe that this transition will take place in a matter of two to five years.

If this is the beginning of the end for traditional media, how long before it is dead? Not so soon, if you take a look at the numbers.

Not all offline platforms are turning obsolete. Studies and surveys by various organizations repeatedly affirm the longevity and effectiveness of traditional marketing media. Some offline marketing tools will continue making a difference to your brand for the foreseeable future.

Television. Television is still numero uno among all marketing platforms, online or offline. It commands about one-third of all marketing budgets.

According to data from Experian Marketing / Simmons Connect, US consumers spend about 27 hours per week watching television. That is nearly four hours of TV per day. If you afford it, get on TV. If national television is too expensive, give local cable a chance.

Related: What Return to Expect on Your TV Ad Dollar

Billboards and events. Outdoor advertising and event marketing are small, but significant, platforms that have managed to maintain their own niches in marketers' budgets. They get to your audience where TV, Internet and radio cannot. They often work out to be cheaper than these mediums and are easier to work with.

Public Relations. Remember that selfie the Ellen DeGeneres took with a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 during the Oscars this year? That's PR. Remember how Felix Baumgartner skydived out of space onto the Earth for Red Bull? That's some PR. Remember how Taco Bell claimed to have bought the Liberty Bell and were renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell? That's PR again!

That these stunts stick in people's minds years after they were carried demonstrates the power of PR. You don't need to launch anyone into space for your brand to be remembered by your audience. Think of something outrageous, not negative, you can do with your brand that will connect with your audience and do it.

Besides pulling publicity stunts, build a genuine relationship with local and national journalists. They will appreciate help with industry contacts and industry news. Mix that with information about your brand, new product launches and innovations to put your brand in the news without you paying a penny.

Radio. A legacy medium that still draws in the numbers. According to Nielsen, radio reach 91% of Americans aged 12 or older. That grasp has only grown in the last five years. Tap into this old favorite and get the attention of your audiences at a fraction of the cost that TV commands.

Related: 4 Keys to Radio Advertising

Sponsor local events and clubs. Another great way to get your brand as close to your target audience as possible is to sponsor events that the local community cares about. Back the annual Christmas ball at the church, fund the local Little League team, sponsor events at the local public school.

There are umpteen cost effective opportunities available for the enterprising marketer. If sponsoring somebody else's events is not your cup of tea, take a leaf from Red Bull's marketing strategy and create your own at local malls, department stores or wherever is the right venue.

With your own events you can mold the entire customer experience from end-to-end. Events with a strong connection to your brand can attract hundreds of curious members of your target audience.

Mix your marketing platforms. Every marketing platform has its own unique strengths. Newspapers are portable and let the user access your marketing message anytime, anywhere. The audio-visual charm of television works its magic on customers' purse strings. Direct mail and its tempting offers create a sense of urgency in the customer.

However, no single platform can do all of these as effectively using them in concert. Use multiple channels in conjunction to prevent any leakage or loss in the communication process. One medium plugs the gaps that the other one leaves behind.

Related: Managing and Organizing an Effective PR Strategy on a Budget

Rohan Ayyar

Regional Marketing Manager

Rohan Ayyar is the  Regional Marketing Manager India, SEMrush. He is an avid blogger, with posts featured on MarketingProfs, Social Media Today and Business Insider, among other places.

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