Traditional marketing may overcome digital marketing this year due to online ad overload and other factors.

That’s really big news for a population that spends most of its waking hours online.

About 50 percent of U.S. companies surveyed say they are returning to traditional, offline marketing tools such as promotional items. Small businesses expect to increase spending on traditional marketing by 4.2 percent this year.

It all makes sense to me but I’m a bit biased; I work for a promotional products company. I do know, based on customer feedback, that giving promotional items to customers remains one of the most reliable ways to market your business.

So, for a little insight, look how nearly 3,000 U.S. marketing leaders plan to spend their advertising dollars next year and why. Their responses were tallied in Duke University’s bi-annual CMO Survey, which was published in September 2022 as Marketing in a Post-Covid Era.

Traditional marketing vs. digital marketing

customized retractable banner stand outside of a business

First, let’s discuss the difference between traditional and digital marketing.

Traditional marketing is any type of offline advertising. This includes print, direct mail, broadcast such as TV and radio, phone, billboards, banners, newspapers and promotional products.

Digital marketing involves all advertising on the Internet and other forms of digital communication. This online method includes social media, email, text, live stream, podcasts, multimedia messaging, and all web-based advertising and digital channels such as TikTok.

Most companies today use a combination of traditional marketing and digital marketing methods to reach their target audience. According to the recent CMA Survey, 65.1 percent of marketing leaders in the past three years have expanded the number of marketing channels they use.

Why traditional marketing is on the rise

woman browsing a sale on a laptop

Reason #1

One of the biggest reasons traditional marketing is preferred by consumers is the insane amount of online advertising we face each day. Most people spend much of their day on the Internet and are fed up with annoying ads.

Sponsored advertisements are strategically placed everywhere we click online. Want to watch a video? First you must watch an ad. It’s frustrating.

These irritating online ads aren’t as effective as they used to be either. A recent survey by HubSpot revealed that 64 percent of participants found online ads annoying and intrusive, 54 percent said they disrupted their search and 43 percent simply ignored them.

man and woman wearing customized t-shirts outside

Reason #2

Consumers won’t ignore a branded item they can use. When you put your company logo on a useful branded giveaway item such as a custom pen or bulk custom T-shirt, there’s a good chance it will be kept and used frequently for a long time.

The same concept works with direct mailing. Sending consumers product samples or including QR codes that provide options to learn more, doesn’t overwhelm recipients. It’s an efficient way to get your name into the home of customers who will gain a positive perspective toward your brand.

Giving prospective customers items they want without pushing ads in their face is marketing genius.

customized banner outside of a school

Reason #3

Digital marketing costs continue to climb. Small businesses on average must budget between $20,000 to $100,000 per year for services such as SEO, social media and Pay-Per-Click digital advertising.

It’s true that some digital marketing methods such as social media are cheaper than traditional channels. However, others such as TV advertising are expensive, particularly when broadcasting on big networks. A 30-second spot on a national network can run more than $104,000.

Many traditional marketing tools are considered budget friendly, especially when you calculate the number of impressions they make. A recent study showed highway billboards cost up to $2,000 per month in midsize cities and seven times that in larger markets. But they are viewed by thousands and sometimes millions of people, which magnifies their reach and value.

Why promotional products work with less investment

Promotional products, on average, cost $1 each and are kept for a year. A business can purchase 300 customized water bottles for about $1 each. The entire investment is about $300, but the company logo printed on each has the potential to be seen by thousands of people at fitness centers, sporting events and vacations.

And there’s more: 86 percent of consumers recall the name of the company that gave them a promotional gift. Consumers view personalized items and printed products as their favorite type of advertising. That speaks volumes for the worth of promotional products.

woman carrying a personalized tote bag around town

Reason #4

Many traditional marketing options give businesses long-term exposure at low costs. As stated earlier, promotional merchandise is often kept for a year or more. Some items such as custom hats and personalized tote bags are used for several years before being passed along to others.

Smart businesses must consider how durable the effects of their company’s marketing strategy is on customers. Is your brand getting exposure for a few hours, a day, a week, a month or longer?

To sum it up …

You need a marketing strategy that consumers will happily embrace, gives long-term exposure for your brand and doesn’t drain your budget.

Traditional marketing options are worth looking into. Our team of experts at Totally Promotional can help make promotional products a part of your successful 2023 advertising plan.

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Shelley Grieshop is a former newspaper journalist who earned more than a dozen Associated Press awards for her in-depth research and writing skills. In May 2016, she joined Totally Promotional as a creative writer. She currently writes company blogs about branding, marketing, logos, wedding planning and much more. One of her life goals is to teach people when to use hyphens and apostrophes.

1 Comment

  1. Kendra Schemmel Reply

    Thank you for bringing attention to customized business products and how much of an impact they can make with little effort!

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