Traditional Marketing is Dead! (Is It?)

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Hi Folks,

Today, whenever you access Facebook, you will see tons of declarations about traditional marketing being dead and digital marketing being the only way forward, with hundreds of "masterclass" being offered to help you jump onto the social media or digital marketing train, or, they claim, you're going to be obsolete and lose out.

In the past 20 years of coaching business owners in 31 different industries, I've seen a new "revolution" taking place every few years, causing mass hysteria, creating a new generation of “gurus” and businesses jumping on the bandwagon unprepared, for fear of losing out, without proper evaluation...

... from the beginning of the 'dotcom' madness in the mid 90s to the transition from desktops & laptops to smart mobile devices in mid 00s and finally, to the all digital, social media & big data age today...  (of course, there are those who took no action and completely miss the boat, but that is a story for another day.)

... however, in every era, the same EVERGREEN principle remains for successful businesses with longevity:

Do what is most effective and most profitable for your business, which is usually a combination of what works traditionally for your business and is still working, while systematically learning, adapting and integrating the new, continuously doing more of what works, while discarding what doesn't.

This means…

  • Choosing the medium that is most profitable.
  • Picking a strategy that has the best reach.
  • Using a platform that gives you the tangible, almost direct, response.
  • Combining different platforms, ‘old’ & ‘new’, for maximum results.

It all depends on the nature of your business and your target market. It is not always true in 2019 & the immediate future, that in every industry, including yours, traditional marketing is “dead”.

This is the reason you see "online only" or "mobile only" businesses like shopee, lazada, grab, etc, putting themselves on billboards, buses, print and broadcast (TV & Radio).


They do it because they realize traditional media drives people online while digital strategies keep people there & help the message spread... this is just one way the traditional & the digital work in synergy, there's many more ways to combine both, again, depending on your business and your target market.

In fact, there's only 2 types of businesses that benefit from pushing the belief traditional marketing is dead:

1. The digital marketing agencies.

2. The gurus selling "how to get rich online" programs.

Take the direct mail we're doing for example. Direct mail was declared 'dead' like most 'traditional' strategies years ago by digital marketers, but the number of responses remained consistent until today. In the US, response rates in fact increased since 2006, averaging 5% last year, while response rates for social media and paid search average 1% today.

So we continue to run this strategy, together with the newer digital strategies, until the response rates say we should stop.

And you should do the same for your businesses.

Continue running what works, using that as your baseline, continuously learn, add, adapt & discard strategies, changing the mix as you go along.

As I post this we're entering the last quarter of 2019. Finish the year strong!

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