Traditional vs. Non-Traditional Marketing: Explained for Millennials.

Traditional or non-traditional marketing? That is a question a lot of businesses ask when considering how best to market their product/service. Millennials who are considering opening their own business or already own one need to be well versed in both in order to make the right, most budget friendly marketing decisions. Luckily growing up in the 90’s and the 2000’s has given us millennials the exposure to all kinds of marketing, both traditional and non-traditional. Even if you are simply a consumer it is helpful to know how brands are reaching you these days and converting you into a customer. So without further delay let us jump into some basic definitions and examples of traditional and non-traditional marketing.

Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing means using traditional media that has been around for some time. As millennials most of us have grown up with a Television set and a radio in the house. We have all seen our grandparents reading the newspaper and looking through magazines. How about those large billboards on the side of the highway? These are just some examples of traditional media used to market products and services. They have been tested over time and proven to be successful avenues to reach consumers. Traditional media is still very popular these days. There are some costs involved with bigger projects such as Television ads, magazine ads and billboards. But radio, newspaper ads, flyers and mail are just some cost effective traditional media that millennials can still utilize today. Just remember that the focus will always be on your customer! So make sure to choose the right media outlets for your marketing efforts that your target market (your #1 customer group) actually views and uses. For example do not place ads in the newspaper if your target consumers are teens because teens do not read the newspaper and therefore will never see your ads.

Example of Traditional Marketing
Example of Traditional Marketing: Billboards

Non-Traditional Marketing

Non-traditional marketing involves the use of newer media such as social media, e-mail, online advertising, interactive and experiential marketing. Companies with a limited budget may choose to use non-traditional media such as the Internet to promote themselves. It is really easy to learn how to utilize social media and other online advertising to your advantage. Millennials are technologically savvy and as business owners should definitely use digital media to advertise. It is inexpensive and effective if done correctly. Avoid talking about your business and product/ service too much. Rather post relevant content and solutions to your customers’ problems. Think of creative ideas that can go viral. Allow your customers to interact with you online to increase their engagement with your company. Consider experiential marketing because it is new and hot. Experiential marketing helps your customers experience your brand. Sometimes companies set up a pop-up shop. These are temporary physical structures, events and social experiences that allow people to experience your products and brand first hand. People respond very well to this kind of advertising. Non-traditional marketing avenues are expanding and growing every day. There is really no limit to what you can do. There is some risk involved because non-traditional media is newer and less tested. However, it is proving to be quite popular among business owners.

Non-Traditional Marketing
Example of Non-Traditional Marketing: Social Media

The Take Away

Whether you choose traditional or non-traditional marketing it just has to align with your target consumer. Make sure to use the media that your customers actually use and view. And you don’t have to choose one or the other.  In reality, most businesses today use some kind of combination of both. Businesses with limited marketing budgets can go more non-traditional in their media selection and businesses with large marketing budgets can use a heavy mix of both traditional and non-traditional marketing to reach their customers from all angles.


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