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All About Traditional Advertising

By: Matthew Strawbridge - Updated: 7 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Advertising Traditional Campaign

Advertising is all about being noticed. Although it’s easy to get carried away with the marketing opportunities that the Internet offers, don’t forget there is also an established marketing industry in the traditional media.

This article brushes aside the sexy new technology and goes back to advertising basics. It will talk you through the options available to you so that you can plan an effective advertising campaign.

Printed Media

When you think about traditional advertising, the first thing to come to mind is probably some form of printed material. There are all manner of ways to get your message across in printed form.

One straightforward method of advertising in print is to take out an advert in a commercial telephone directory. For some small businesses, this is all the marketing they do. If potential customers are likely to look for a local source for the product or service you provide, this can be a cheap and effective method of increasing your sales.

A step up from this is taking out advertisements in your local newspaper. If you do this, don’t be afraid to haggle, as the sales team usually has flexibility regarding their pricing. At the very least, expect a good discount if you run a series of ads.

A more direct approach is to print fliers and get them delivered door-to-door in your neighbourhood. This tactic is popular with restaurants because they can deliver menus and take orders by phone, but there is no reason that other businesses cannot take advantage of this form of marketing.

Direct Marketing

It is possible to be more personal (some would say aggressive) in your marketing, and contact potential customers in their homes or businesses using direct marketing. This could include calling them on the telephone (cold calling) or sending them marketing materials by post or fax.

There are pros and cons to this approach, and it forms the subject of an article in its own right.


Although television advertising is likely to be beyond your budget, local radio stations can provide a cost-effective way to reach people if you intend to sell your products and services locally. It’s worth pointing out the extra dimension that sound can bring to your marketing campaign: a good jingle can stick in people’s minds much more effectively than printed advertising copy. You may also create a sense of community by sponsoring some local aspect of the station’s output such as the sport or travel.

Innovation in Traditional Advertising

Just because the basic structure of your market plan follows a tried and tested formula, there’s no need for your marketing materials to be dull. In fact, your campaign is likely to be much more successful if you can manage to innovate within the framework you have decided on.

For example, if you have chosen to send direct mail to potential customers in your area advertising your fish and chip shop, you could order a batch of coloured wooden chip forks and attach one to each of your fliers, stating that you will give a ten per cent discount to customers that hand them in with their order. Not only does this twist generate some buzz, it also gives you feedback about how successful the campaign is: how many chip forks do you get back?

The moral is that traditional advertising need not be boring. On the contrary, the established practices of the industry “pre-Web” can be very effective, and you should find the prospect of your small business making money very exciting.

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