Business owners and marketers often have strong opinions, if not clashes, when it comes to the question of what advertising and marketing looks like now. It’s hard to make blanket statements, but generally speaking you’ll probably find business owners touting the benefits of the tried and true methods of traditional advertising while marketers will have white papers evangelizing for all things digital. This sets the stage for arguments involving ROI, buyer personas, and “things that actually work.” It can all get very ugly.
The truth is, however, the two have to work together and the combination is actually quite successful. So, everyone can put the nearest blunt object in the boardroom down and agree that a successful advertising or marketing campaign leverages traditional means and new digital ones. Now that there is peace between the factions, how does traditional advertising stack up against digital marketing that rightfully focuses on our increasingly smartphone centered world?
Business owners and marketers need to think of the two disciplines as complementary. They target different niches and sometimes fill in the blanks left by the other. For example, strong custom lighted signs or other kinds of signage can be leveraged for the online component of the strategy as well by strengthening the brand, providing imagery for social channels, and influencing passerby to seek out more information about your business online.
Signage is just one of the timeless methods of traditional advertising that still holds real weight in a world of online shopping and social networks. Let’s take a look at why you’d be foolish to ignore traditional marketing and how it can complement your digital marketing efforts as well. People still leave the house and look at things other than their phones, so you have to reach them. Here is how it can work.
The Old Ways
“Signs? Newspaper ads? TV placements? Who just stepped out of their time machine?”
You’d be forgiven for having that kind of immediate reaction to so-called dying media or whatever else the current buzz says. The facts, however, continue to support investing in these traditional means of advertising. Let’s look at some statistics:
About 80% of consumers trust advertising they see in print and on television. This is most likely the “gatekeeper effect” that the internet largely doesn’t have. Pop-up ads and other forms of digital advertising are trusted the least. Around half of respondents say they engage with advertising that comes from traditional channels like television or newspaper flyers. Dig into the rest of the stats given, but the bottom line is that digital needs to support the traditional, not replace it. They should not be used in the same way, lest your pop-up ad be met with disdain.
The role signage plays
TV and mailers still work, but let’s talk about outdoor signs specifically. What do they convey to your customers or would be customers? Quite a bit, it turns out. Customers interact with signs more than you may realize.
Half of customers actually become aware of a business for the first time because of the outdoor sign. The closest competition is “word of mouth” referrals which makes up a third of customers. Over a third of people wouldn’t know a business is located where it is without outdoor signage being present. Signage also increases sales revenue. Monument signs in particular have been found to increase sales by almost 10%.
While TV and print ads also demonstrably help, they are more expensive than signage in the long run. You pay for a sign once and then reap the benefits over the lifespan of it. Clearly, traditional advertising is bringing in the customers.
Where the twain shall meet
Digital marketing is formidable, too, however. Remember, a third of customers discovered a new business thanks to word of mouth. You have to treat your digital marketing more like a conversation than as a replacement for traditional advertising. The same strategies simply don’t work. The perception of trust just isn’t there. Getting a good buzz brewing on social media thanks to unique signage or clever ads is the ideal way to leverage digital channels. Also, if your business is looking to target younger shoppers, you have to go to them and where they all live is online. Young shoppers expect brands to not only be online, but actively engage there as well.
Bold statement making signage like custom lighted signs, LED signs, or any of the other many styles are an essential part of any business’ advertising efforts. This is especially true for small to medium sized businesses that don’t have an entire marketing department to take over the world with. A small business needs to be strategic with what they’re willing to invest in. At Signdealz, we believe our custom signs are an investment well worth making that will bring great value to your business. Contact us today to learn more.