What’s Included in Traditional Marketing? | Michael McVinney
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What’s Included in Traditional Marketing?

This post originally appeared on tBL member Joshua Lyon’s blog Joshua Lyons Marketing Blog and is republished with permission. Find out how to syndicate your content with theBrokerList.

If you are somehow involved in the marketing industry, you have likely heard about the many different types of marketing. The most well established forms of marketing fall under the category of “traditional marketing.” This is the classic form of marketing we have all been exposed to. If you aren’t familiar with the traditional forms of marketing, this blog post will help shed some light on the topic.

What is Traditional Marketing?

Traditional marketing is a category that encapsulates many different marketing tactics. Generally, these are the older tactics that you probably remember seeing. They have been around for a long time, and are still practiced today by many businesses. In fact, most colleges and universities still exclusively teach traditional marketing instead of online marketing.

Most traditional marketing tactics fall under the outbound marketing “umbrella.” Outbound marketing is where marketers contact potential clients first. They do this with the hope of gaining them as customers or clients. This was very popular before inbound marketing became possible. With that being said, traditional marketing is becoming less effective, which is why it is referred to as “traditional.” So, what are the traditional marketing tactics?

Forms of Traditional Marketing

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Print advertising for offline marketing

Print advertisements are the advertisements in newspapers and magazines. You may also come across print advertisements in brochures and newsletters. This marketing tactic is still very popular today and it continues to be pretty effective. The popularity of this tactic remains because of the large number of people who still get physical magazines and newspapers, rather than getting them digitally. Print advertising is very effective if you offer a coupon with your advertisement. You can also purchase an ad in a local newspaper or magazine, to let readers know of any important news worth sharing.

Direct Mail

Direct mail marketing is a very cost-efficient tactic and is easy to do. To put it simply, every piece of snail mail you receive from a company is direct mail. For example, a coupon for a department store that is mailed to you is a form of direct mail marketing. The mail you get from a local pool cleaner is a form of direct mail as well.

It is recommended that businesses today only use direct mail advertisements if they are a local business who provides services to its surrounding area. Sending an advertisement to people who live very far away may not be as effective. It can also get more expensive if you are sending mail to people who do not live in your local area. Similarly with print ads, the most effective way to use direct mail advertising is by providing a coupon or notifying people of a sale.

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Broadcast Marketing

Broadcast marketing consists of the advertisements on the radio and on television channels. You can also see this marketing tactic take place before watching a movie in theaters. This is still a very popular and relevant marketing tactic. Many people still listen to their favorite radio stations or tune in for TV shows. But, over the past couple of years, listening to the radio and watching TV has become less popular. With the creation of streaming apps like Spotify and Netflix, broadcast marketing is no longer as effective as it once was.

This marketing tactic can also be very expensive, due to the high prices charged by TV channels and radio stations. If you are going to practice this marketing tactic, be sure to only have your advertisements air locally so you are not wasting your marketing budget. If you wish to broadcast outside your local market, make sure you have a very good reason to do so.

Telemarketing as a means of traditional marketingTelemarketing

Remember the early 2000s when you would constantly receive calls from telemarketers? This tactic has become less popular due to the creation of the National Do Not Call Registry. The Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) requires telemarketers to check the National Do Not Call Registry every 31 days. Telemarketing may have been effective for a period of time, but many people take action to prevent getting calls now. Consumers want to be in the position where they reach out to companies, rather than companies calling them. With the creation of the TSR, it has become very difficult for businesses to see success with telemarketing.


Referral marketing, or word-of-mouth marketing, is the most traditional marketing tactic out there. This is because many businesses relied on it before inbound marketing. If you think about it, this is likely the very first marketing tactic to exist! Businesses should do as much as they can to encourage referral marketing. Anytime someone is speaking positively about your business, it’s valuable for your reputation.

This marketing tactic is completely free, but it is slightly out of your control. You are relying on other people to spread the word about your business and speak highly of it. One way to gain control over your referral marketing is to have a promotional deal where your customers invite their friends. There are many other ways you can encourage referrals for your business, such as simply providing great customer service.

Does Traditional Mean it’s Ineffective?

There are many traditional marketing tactics that are still effective today. Depending on your business’ industry and target audience, you may find that traditional marketing is the most effective type of marketing for you. So, traditional does not necessarily mean ineffective.

We hope this blog post helped explained the most common traditional marketing tactics. If you have any marketing related questions, please feel free to contact us by filling out the contact form below!

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