Is Traditional Advertising Dying?

1 year ago 7 minute read
Is Traditional Advertising Dying?

The idea of traditional advertising dying has been going around for many years. As social media marketing, SEM, and other forms of digital advertising continue to grow exponentially, marketers are worried about the success of traditional advertising channels. Many companies have already started to phase out their billboards, radio ads, and other forms of traditional advertising in exchange for modern advertising. But, is traditional advertising really going to die? Keep reading to find out. First, let’s go over some background information.

What is Traditional Advertising?

Traditional advertising is essentially advertisements that have been around for a long period of time. They are distribute a company’s message to a large, diverse audience. There are ways to project your message more directly to your target audience. Like, advertising during a sporting event. But, overall the audience that is consuming the advertisement is very broad compared to modern advertising. Forms of traditional advertising typically include TV commercials, radio ads, billboards, direct mail, and more. But, what are the key differences between traditional and modern advertising?

Traditional Advertising vs. Modern Advertising

There are a number of ways that traditional advertising and modern advertising differ. From the channel you use, to how you track the success of your campaign, the differences are almost endless. Not every company will have success with traditional advertising, but almost every company can use some type of modern advertising. In addition, in this day and age, most marketers are well-versed in modern advertising. While traditional advertising knowledge can fall short. Traditional advertising is usually thought of to be very expensive. While modern is more affordable and can be paused at any time. In reality, we could be here all day talking about the differences between traditional and modern advertising. But, what it comes down to is what you think your audience is going to respond the best to. Now that we have gone over a few definitions, we’re ready to jump into the concept of traditional advertising dying.

Is Traditional Advertising Dying?

In short, no. There will always be a place for traditional advertising in the market. Think of how boring Times Square would be with no billboards. But, over the years the billboards in Times Square have evolved to be fully digital. The image seen below is what Times Square looked like in the 60s. Obviously, in order for traditional advertising to continue to be effective, it must adapt to the environment. Although the digital billboards seen today are quite different, they have the same end goal. They are just relevant in today’s digital age. Keep reading for the best tips on how to keep your traditional advertisements up-to-date.

Is Traditional Advertising Dying?

How to Keep Your Traditional Advertisements Hip

It can be a lot of work to update your traditional forms of advertising. It’s much different than updating a piece of digital content like your social media ads, and has a much longer approval process and large price tag. Like I mentioned before, keeping your traditional advertisements up-to-date is essential to ensure they are successful and earn your company a respectable ROI. Each form of traditional advertising has its own specific way that it can keep up with the times. Next, we’re going to go through a few of the most popular forms of traditional advertising and how to keep them trendy.


Billboards are a very difficult form of traditional marketing to perfect. And, they’re even more difficult to track and measure the success of. This is why so many marketers are starting to back away from billboards and move towards digital banner ads. However, billboards can be used to drive a lot of awareness. When creating an effective billboard, you want it to be simple and get the message across. Social media has made our attention spans short, and few people are going to stand around reading your entire ad. The poster below is a great example of this by Zoho. You can read the message in a few seconds and fully understand that they are selling software that will help your business. If someone walks by who owns a business or works at a business that needs help in their software department, they will remember this ad. Even if they don’t go home and immediately Google Zoho, if they come across a digital ad down the road, they will be more likely to click on it than another company’s ad.

Is Traditional Advertising Dying?

Radio Ads

Radio ads are a whole different ball game when it comes to traditional advertising, and they definitely won’t work for every B2B company. The hard thing about creating radio ads is the listener can’t see what your product has to offer. You have to entice them with only words. Without the supporting imagery, it’s extremely difficult to stand out from other ads. Plus, listeners often switch the radio channel when an ad comes on. When creating a radio ad, you’ll need to support your information with something memorable. A catchy jingle, a funny pun, or a “can’t be beaten” discount can catch the listener’s attention. If your company is considering radio ads, you’ll have to research what times your ideal audience tends to listen to the radio. Keep in mind peak times, like in the morning when people are driving to work or in the evening driving home from work, are more expensive than off-peak times. Another option that is similar to radio ads is advertising on a streaming service like Spotify or Apple Podcasts. These streaming services are more popular for younger generations and can be a lot more effective depending on your message and target audience.

TV Commercials

As long as TV is around, there will be commercials. Events like the Super Bowl or the World Cup attract huge audiences around the world, which means they will have a large reach. Although expensive, TV commercials are a great form of traditional advertising. A few main ideas to keep in mind is to create a storyline for the commercial that is supported by a signature character. It’s best to keep commercials simple and easy to understand. GoDaddy is the perfect example of how to create a simple yet effective TV commercial for a B2B company. They have a storyline and want to help their target audience launch their dream business. If you’re interested in checking out GoDaddy’s commercial, watch here.


Mailed flyers are difficult to master. A lot of people tend to immediately throw flyers in the trash without reading the content. And, flyers tend to get a negative reputation because they are wasteful and can seem annoying. In order to be successful using flyers, you have to be very creative. Put the most enticing information, deal, or promotion front and center. As a B2B company, you can easily find business addresses or names of individuals that work there so you can try to target them directly. We’re going to talk about how you can find this information a bit later. It can be helpful to have a few different variations of your flyers to ensure all of the companies receive the best version for their needs. Although this may be more time-consuming than remarketing or other forms of digital advertising, the personalized touch may give you an advantage.

How To Measure the Success of Traditional Advertising

The thing about modern advertising, like social media ads or SEM, is that it’s easily measurable. In other words, you know almost immediately if they are successful. And, if they are not successful, it’s quick and painless to change them. On the other hand, imagine having to change a TV commercial. It happens all the time where a commercial or billboard’s message is taken out of context and offends a group of people. We remember the whole Kendall Jenner Pepsi commercial, don’t we? Fortunately, there are a few ways that you can measure the success of your traditional advertising campaigns.

Track Discount Codes

If you are including a discount or promotional code in your marketing, it makes it very easy to track who’s using it. Especially if you use a direct mail flyer and include a personalized code for each company. Then, you’ll be able to see the exact company that used the code. However, not every company has the time to invest in giving out personalized codes. You are still able to easily track the number of codes that you gave out and compare it to the number of codes that were used on your website to get the promotion. Use this number and compare it to the next time you advertise in the same way but with new visuals, and see which results in the most conversions. 

We enable B2B companies to identify the anonymous businesses that visit their website and personalize their experience. Your sales team can now follow up with the visitors that don’t convert, while marketing can personalize your website based on firmographic information to drive up conversion rate. Start your 14-day free trial today!

Ask How They Heard of You

Most of us have seen a survey that asks how we have heard about the company. This is a great tactic that will help your marketing team track where your conversions are coming from. You can include traditional and modern forms of advertising to get a better idea. Just remember this type of data isn’t always accurate, as users sometimes don’t click the correct response. But, it can be a good starting point. Below is an example of how Hubspot gathers this information and includes both traditional and modern forms of advertising.

Is Traditional Advertising Dying?

Track the Increase of Customers or Sales

If you’re running a new campaign, you’re hopefully going to increase the number of sales that you receive. Prior to starting the new campaign, predict your sales for the next month. Take into consideration what you made last year in that month, and estimate how much you would have grown compared to the past few months. Ensure you keep all other forms of marketing the same or at least very similar to ensure this measurement is as accurate as possible. Once you have your estimate, start your new campaign. After a month of running the advertisement, compare your predicted revenue with the revenue that you made while running your campaign. If your actual revenue exceeded your prediction, there is a good chance that your campaign is successful. You can also use this to track sales in a few months, a quarter, or another time period. Although this metric isn’t exact, it can help your team decide whether your campaign is worth the investment.

Track Website Traffic

If you’re running a new campaign, whether it’s traditional or modern, there is a good chance your website traffic is going to increase. Seeing your website traffic increase in your Google Analytics account can be encouraging, but there’s not much you can do with that information. But, with the help of Visitor Queue, you can see the possibilities are endless. We are a B2B lead generation software that can identify the anonymous companies that visit your website. Along with company information (including its mailing address), we can also identify the key employees that work at those companies including their contact information like their email address, phone number, and LinkedIn channel. Use their visit information, including page views, time on page, and how they were acquired to better frame your pitch. Start your free trial today and see for yourself how we can help you generate 10-20% more traffic.

Combine Traditional and Modern Advertising Techniques

Like I mentioned above, there is a good chance that your website traffic will increase when you implement a new advertisement. Because of this, you want to make it as easy as possible for searchers to find your website and optimize their experience while on your site. By combining search engine marketing and website personalization with your traditional ad, you are going to be able to provide your website visitors with an amazing experience and increase their conversion rate. If you use a catchy tagline, it can be useful to include that or any other specific content in your search engine ad to ensure searchers click on your ad over one of your competitor’s ads.

Final Words

Traditional advertising is not dying. Just like anything else, traditional advertising just needs to be updated to keep up with marketing trends. And, as you can see, there are a ton of different ways to keep them up-to-date. My best advice is if you’re going to invest in traditional forms of advertising, is to complement those ads with digital ads. This way your team can track results better and hopefully drive more conversions.

While you're here!

98% of your website visitors leave without converting. Visitor Queue allows you to identify who they were, and personalize their website experience based on their needs. Your sales team can now connect with them to close the deal, while marketing can provide a personalized version of your website based on visitor firmographics to increase conversion rate. All of this starting at $39 USD per month. Start your 14-day free trial now!

Written by

Taylor Hamilton

I am the Marketing Coordinator at Visitor Queue, overseeing the implementation of both traditional and digital marketing efforts. I love spending my spare time outside with my dog Peach! I am a firm believer that there are no secrets to success, only preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.