Don’t Believe the Hype: Physical Advertising Isn’t Dead

In our digital age, every business has learned to adapt to rapid change, especially where marketing and advertising are concerned. Many of today’s consumers rely almost exclusively on digital channels to research and choose the products and services they want to spend their money on.

And while we have previously discussed the fact that digital marketing is vital to the success of a small business, that doesn’t mean digital should be your only advertising plan.

Rumors regarding the inevitable “death” of traditional marketing have been circulating within the industry for years, yet human interaction remains immensely relevant when it comes to your company’s promotional strategy. Thus, physical forms of advertising should not be overlooked.


Here are some considerations to keep in mind as you navigate today’s complex consumer market, where digital may be king but traditional advertising is alive and well.


“Traditional” isn’t a bad word in the advertising world

When we talk of traditional marketing methods, we’re typically referring to advertising and research conducted using non-digital channels. Physical marketing encompasses everything from newspaper, radio and TV ads to direct mail campaigns and outdoor signage.


But traditional marketing also provides an opportunity to decipher the needs of your market in order to help your business grow. Conducting direct market research, whether in the form of a paper questionnaire or face-to-face interview, can give your company valuable insight into consumer behavior and industry trends.


And it may seem ironic, but one of the best ways to successfully implement a traditional advertising campaign within your company’s marketing plan is by doing some online research.


By searching through marketing-based and academic websites, you’ll uncover all sorts of useful information regarding the ins and outs of marketing research, which will help you determine the best practices to employ within your company’s physical marketing campaign.


Visual-based marketing can expand your company’s reach

No matter the nature of your company or industry, you have plenty of opportunity to attract consumer attention using physical forms of advertising. Using “old-fashioned” advertising tactics offers several benefits.


First, you can reach a wider audience.

For instance, a social media marketing campaign will only reach a small subset of your potential client base  — those who access that particular platform. A tangible, physical form of promotion, however, such as a bus stop advertisement or billboard, doesn’t discriminate among individuals of differing ages, genders, and income levels, as it’s visible to everyone passing by.


Another advantage to physical advertising is the diversification of your choices: From storefront billboards promoting your new product line to a branded logo painted on personal vehicles, you have the opportunity to think outside the box when brainstorming your company’s marketing campaign.


Many city bus companies rent out the sides of buses for advertising purposes, and the general public may also provide an avenue for this unique form of physical advertising. There are plenty of consumers out there who are looking to pad their income using their vehicle, and these individuals serve as an ideal starting point for localized, vehicle-based marketing.


Further, modern technology has even merged digital advertising with traditional marketing. Billboards can now be digitized, as exemplified in major urban centers, such as New York’s Times Square and Piccadilly Circus in London.


The last word on physical advertising

It would be a mistake for any business to brand physical advertising as old fashioned or irrelevant. As we have seen, tangible forms of marketing and research give you more control over your target audience and often lead to a better understanding of consumer needs. What’s more, physical advertising provides a unique way to connect with a diverse array of potential customers.