Traditional Marketing Is Not Dead

by | Jul 17, 2023

In marketing, there’s a lot of different forms of marketing as it keeps evolving. However, traditional marketing is not going away.

Following is a guest post from our friends over at Long & Short of It, masters of ideation, customer insights and market research. They like to say they “dig and find lots of data and then turn it into actionable insights.” Following is their guest post. 

Traditional marketing is not dead. Take for instance something a bit old-school such as a plane pulling a banner through the sky. If you are ever in Cleveland over the summer, you will more than likely spot one flying over Progressive Field during a Guardians game. This past summer it was Geico.

Given the shot-gun approach of aerial advertising, we may not have been the target audience, but some definitely were. According to ESPN, the average estimated crowd size during an Indians (at that time) home game in 2019 was about 21,000 (that’s a bit sad in itself). 77% of auto insurance customers were either actively shopping or experienced an adverse event that triggered shopping (e.g., poor service or a rate increase) in 2020 according to . J.D. Power. It’s a good assumption then that Geico is reaching at least 6,300 people that may be their target at each game, plus the much larger number in the city that will also see the sign.


Prior to World War II, aviation pioneer Arnold Sidney Butler, the owner and operator of Daniel Webster Airport in New Hampshire, created banner towing. That was then, and in our digital world today, it almost seems quaint and somehow out of place. However, in this example, the medium is a smart decision for Geico if their objective was to increase brand awareness and potential consideration. Plus, they didn’t have to pay for the naming rights to the stadium like their competitor. In the increasing world of digital marketing, it’s important not to decide on your tactic (your medium) before you first define your objective and understand your target audience.


As digital continues to grow and in some cases dominates access to certain target audiences, it has also created an equal need to better understand your target audience. It’s more imperative than ever to know how they consume content and to deliver an authentic, on brand message that is relevant. Surprisingly, not many companies do a good enough job at understanding who their target audience is or their purchase decision journey (why they buy from you). It’s not just about demographics (see our other amazing article on this topic, Demographics Are Outdated).


If you don’t have the internal resources to conduct your own research, then find a reputable agency that has a clear and solid process to conduct the research first and not just sell you a solution. Don’t let them sway you with just secondary data either. It’s a good start, but those are often generalities of a market or segment. Conduct your own primary research that is tailored to your company. Think of it as an investment that will provide you better returns down the road through improved campaign performance.

So, don’t just settle for a tactic, traditional or digital unless you do your homework first. Remember it’s not the medium or the platform, it’s your objective that comes first. Understand who is buying from you, why, and what matters to them. Who knows, maybe you will be flying a banner behind a plane in addition to that digital banner across the screen.

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