Old-School Marketing Vs. Modern-Day Marketing

The concept of marketing is nothing new. Businesses have always been doing their best to get their product or service in front of their customers, in one way or another, even if the formal term of marketing was only started to be widely used in the 20th century. Throughout the past decades, marketing methods have gone through a lot of development.

The difference between old-school and new-school marketing, however, does not only lie in the shift towards digital, though that certainly is one of the most conspicuous changes. There is also a shift in approach. Here are a few things you should know about old and new marketing methods if you are to get the best of both worlds.

The shift from outbound to inbound marketing

The first notable shift that should be mentioned is modern businesses’ tendency to prefer inbound marketing to outbound strategies. Outbound marketing refers to actively reaching out to customers in order to inform them about your product or service.

Such would be old-school marketing methods like cold-calling and direct mailers, but also still popular methods like billboards and TV ads. Inbound marketing, on the other hand, focuses on guiding customers to your business in subtler ways. Content marketing and other strategies that provide value to customers are good examples.

While one should not be completely disregarded in favor of the other, it is true that today’s audience can be more effectively enticed via “pull” strategies as opposed to the “push” strategies often utilized in old-school marketing.

Existing customers just as important as new

Customer Experience Made Simple

The next contrast between old and new marketing approaches pertains to the marketing funnel. Oftentimes, old-school marketing focused on achieving the widest possible reach. Getting their message across to the highest number of people was the goal, and once the conversion was successfully carried out, little attention was devoted to the converted customers.

While reach is still a very significant factor, modern-day marketing places a lot of importance on nurturing the brand’s relationship with its existing customers. Indeed, according to statistics, repeat business is extremely valuable. Retaining customers is also more cost-efficient than lead generation, so this approach should not be disregarded.

Interruption to permission

Another way in which marketing developed in the modern day would be in its tendency to shift towards permission from the once ever-present interruptive approach. While this does not apply to all old-school methods, push marketing usually involved the message appearing in front of the customer when the marketer wanted it to, interrupting the customer.

Needless to say, this method is not only ineffective but can be outright counterproductive. Modern marketing, on the other hand, prioritizes permission, and thereby delivers its message to the right people more effectively and even in a more affordable way.

Instead of sending unwanted spam, obtaining the consent of the customer (by having them subscribe to your newsletter, for instance) will nurture a more positive relationship between the two parties.

In-person marketing still beats virtual

marketing in future

While some old-school marketing methods may be considered obsolete today, the fact of the matter is that others can hardly be substituted with a digitized approach for the same effect. While web cameras may bring us closer to each other, still, nothing can replace in-person interaction, which is a benchmark of marketing.

Be it building relationships with your customers face-to-face or establishing connections with other professionals, nothing will be more genuine than being there in person. This is why trade shows are still a very much relevant old-school tradition you should not skip. In certain industries, such as real estate, giving a phone call to a client is also preferred to just sending an e-mail that can easily be ignored or even discarded.

Another old-school method that still works for a similar reason is branded items since everyone likes free gifts. Finally, in terms of ads, it might be worth mentioning that physical, printed ads prove to be more engaging and memorable than those seen on screens. Magazine ads, banner printing, and billboards are not going anywhere anytime soon.

Mind the customers base

Finally, another important factor in the debate between old-school and modern-day marketing is the customer base. While the general public is certainly much more tech-savvy these days, it does not mean that a digital approach will benefit every company out there.

Certain demographics can be reached much more effectively “the old way.” While some believe that switching TV and radio ads to Youtube ads is the only sensible way to go today, it might not be necessarily so if your target demographic is partly or entirely senior citizens.

Similarly, just because a social media platform is popular at the moment, it does not mean that all demographics use it equally. At the end of the day, your approach should be chosen based on your specific needs rather than the current trends.

Ultimately, the answer to the question of whether old or new marketing strategies would work better for your business is not that straightforward. However, it is clear that marketing has developed immensely and modern approaches that focus on building trust pays off in the long run. Combining old and new methods with a modern approach would be the most beneficial for any business today.

Harrison Buckley is a business consultant. He has a deep passion for technology and on days when he is not busy at the office, he writes to share his knowledge with the world.