What Is A Traditional Marketing | Definition | Strategies

“Marketers overestimate the attraction of new things and underestimate the power of traditional consumer behavior.” Ad Contrarian Bob Hoffman, Retired chairman and CEO, Hoffman and Lewis Advertising

Mr. Hoffman took us in an opposite direction, proving the marketers have not changed that much just because the potential customers do not change over time; they still rely on the typical outbound marketing, including TV advertising, outdoor advertising like billboards, radio, newspapers, direct mail, event sponsorships, etc. For instance, Pepsi lost dramatically the sales figure, and its market share also declined when it shifted its whole ad spending from TV to social media.

traditional marketing definition

Digital Traditional Definition

The main objectives of the digital marketing should be to reach the potential decision makers with the information on the products and services in order to drive profitable customer action. And to do that, the basic marketing drive would never change since it is telling a brand story to people at large at minimum cost. Therefore, socio-economic weather, demography, psychographic orientation, statistical analysis, etc., are part of digital marketing endeavors.

Surprisingly, in most of the cases, the digital marketers generally have no experience in traditional marketing definition, and sometime, when in any digital marketing conference the idea of 4Ps was mentioned, you will probably get blank gazes in reply. It is very much important to know that to reach the potential audience, the traditional marketing definition moves have resorted first, or in other words, we can say digital marketing stands fundamentally on the traditional marketing definition approaches; the traditional marketing strategies used in the early twentieth century can be still applicable today in some degrees and cases.

Therefore, a concise look at the traditional marketing definition is required. Some relevant questions or points would be cleared in this analytical search-work:

  • The difference between marketing and communications
  • Traditional Marketing definition Mix or 4Ps of marketing
  • The communications or promotions mix and the corresponding connection of 4Ps and the promotion mix
  • An integrated view of marketing communications
  • A relation between inbound (The functions of SEO, social media marketing, content marketing, relevant link generating, and growth hacking) and outbound marketing

So many marketing gurus proclaim “inbound marketing is the future,” “social media is the ultimate work,” and “advertising is dead.” But one must not forget same marketing strategy may not be effective for all circumstances: sometimes, modern inbound marketing is the best, and marketers should think and work more on this tactics, while sometimes it is not that much successful. Then common outbound marketing channels, such as TV, radio, or newspaper, could be used. And those must be the part of the promotional mix. For different purposes, product, brand, or industry, different channels are to be utilized. Therefore, a balance must take place while choosing channels.

Marketing communication (MARCOM) workflow

This is a basic workflow that every MARCOM specialist usually follows.

  1. All the external audience your company corresponds on a daily basis
  2. The potential customers are from among these external audiences
  3. Be ready with the messages that have been set aside for different customer segmentation on the basis of the customer behaviors and personalities
  4. Get prepared for the right product to deliver to the market
  5. Fix a sound pricing strategy
  6. Determine the ways to set up a specific promotional mix (including direct marketing, personal selling, sales promotion, advertising, and publicity), and distribute the resources
  7. Create an effective strategy to use the online and offline channels in the promotional mix, and work on allocating the resources
  8. Work on the sales promotional content, creative briefs, and marketing collaterals
  9. Pass on the marketing materials over the channels to be used to reach the audience
  10. Make an audit of the results
  11. Review and re-work on the steps described above from 3 to 8 points and capitalize on the sales revenue, sales, ROI (return on investment), or other metrics based on your marketing and business objectives

Marketing vs. Communications

Previously, in every company, marketing and communications had separate departments. While marketing is focused on issues, such as sales, customers, and brands, communications – frequently reckoned as public relations or external relationships – hold all the outside communications, e.g., community, government, media, customers, financial analysts, and internal communications, i.e., employees and internal stakeholders.

And for each of these groups of stakeholders, the communication messages were different. Now many companies bring together marketing and communication under the single banner of “marketing communications” or “MARCOM.” The reason behind putting these two big departments into one single entity is to emit the same messages to everyone so that there would be no difference of opinions, and a unified message is circulated. In practice, an integrated and combined message is disseminated through all the online and offline channels, such as websites, social networks, advertising and promotional campaigns, online content, blogs, news releases, brochures, and sales catalogs.

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Traditional Marketing Definition Mix or 4Ps of marketing

The next step in setting up potential traditional marketing strategies to reach the potential customers is to zero in the marketing mix. Provided the specific marketing objectives and goals, the target segments, and market position needs to be secured, and tools of different marketing plan have to be built properly. The successful marketers depend on the number of marketing instruments that are known as
marketing mix.

Instruments of marketing or the marketing mix

Product Strategy

In the run of marketing, this is necessary to have a product-market fit, which is called as the extent to which a product or service that is able to satisfy the market demand. And to do this, we need to understand the inherent pictures of the core product, tangible product, and augmented product. Basis the unique benefit marketed, the core product features are established. Some qualitative aspects, availability options, design, and packaging are transforming the core product into the tangible products.

The augmented product adds more values, options, and appeals (i.e., timely delivery, installation service, post-sales service, and good administration of complaints) to the customers. It basically adds the ‘service layer’ on the tangible products. In the contemporary inbound marketing, the product strategy is known as the Growth Hacking. The following Growth Hacking Marketing principles have been layered by Ryan Holiday:

  1. Produce a minimum viable product (MVP) that was conventionally named as a prototype.
  2. Introduce the product-market fit to some testers on how the MVP performs to be able to ensure their likes, dislikes, product usability, and need to deduct the unwanted attributes. Review the product, and get more feedback to have the intended product that is continuously improving.
  3. Integrate logically the product sharing and augmentation by promoting the products with a good amount of discount. Deploy the social sharing initiatives to make an effective viral marketing.
  4. Use different promotional techniques, including advertising, sales promotions, organic traffic, e-mail marketing, media coverage, or any other impending marketing strategy, to get majority users at the lowest cost.

After setting up the product-market fit, the next step is to make sure how this can be converted into the online and offline marketing channels, comprising a website, social media, content marketing, SEO, advertising campaigns, outlets, news releases, product brochures, and sales catalogs.

So, we see the product strategy consists of putting an emphasis on the creation of product features as per different customer needs and then on sharing the product information and reviewing and modifying the products.

Pricing Strategy

Price does not cost anything but provides the resources to spend on marketing and production movements. The list price that is known as the official price of a product can be made more attractive if there is a discount. But a brand image does not depend on the regular price-cut or discount or promotional offers. Moreover, the margin or profit needs to be sacrificed if there is a discount. The customers might be habituated to purchase only when there is any offer or price-cut. Therefore, the regular use of price instrument is not good for building the strong position in
the market.

If a company wants to earn $1000 revenue, it can sell a product at $1000 or sell 1000 products at $1 each. Every move demands a detailed marketing strategy. While a high price denotes good quality and secluded attributes, the low prices refer the reasonability and availability.

Some effective factors play decisive roles for any pricing strategy to take shape: Market size, cost of production, competition level, the financial side of the target market, and the quality or value-based marketing. In accordance with all these factors, a digital marketer must effectively use the offline and online channels to reach the potential customers.

Placement and distribution strategy

Place or distribution generally refers to bringing the product from production to the potential customers by using the several distribution channels. And it consists of the transportation of the product, arranging an inventory, working with the wholesalers and retailers, selection of outlets, and allocation of products in these selected outlets. A thorough co-operation between the company and distribution channels would ultimately infomercials (promotion and selling) and e-commerce.

Promotional Strategy

Known as the most observable instrument, the promotion or marketing communications communicates to the target groups or stakeholders to promote the product or the company. It actually increases the awareness of a product or a brand, breeding sales and building brand loyalty.

It has five important parts: direct marketing, sales promotion, publicity, advertising, and personal selling. As per the industry, marketing goals and objectives, target, and product, each of these facets get due importance.

Promotional Mix and the corresponding connection of 4Ps and the promotion mix

Let’s focus on the different poles of a promotional mix as these would undoubtedly come time after time irrespective of offline or online marketing dynamics.

Direct marketing

Direct marketing is “straight connections with cautiously targeted individual consumers to both attain an instant reaction and develop permanent customer relationships.” Direct marketing includes “direct mailing, telemarketing, catalogs, telephone marketing, kiosks, the Internet, mobile marketing, and personalized brochures and leaflets.”


Advertising is non-personal mass communications utilizing mass media (e.g., TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, billboards, etc.) the content of which is selected and paid for by an evidently identified sponsor (the company).

Personal selling

Personal selling is “personal presentation by the firm’s sales team for making sales and creating customer relationships.” Personal selling “involves sales presentations, trade shows, and incentive programs.”

Point-of-purchase (PoP) communications

PoP or the point-of-sales (at shops) that includes displays, advertising within the shop, merchandising, article presentations, store layout, etc., are also vital. Trade fairs or shows are basically B2B communications at an organized trade fair for industrial markets. It is important in connecting with the prospects, users, and purchasers.

Sales promotion

Sales promotion is “temporary incentives to support the purchase or sale of a product or service.” Sales promotion “encompasses discounts, coupons, displays, loyalty programs, price cuts, free samples, competitions, and demonstrations.”

Public Relations

A company generally uses all forms of communications to motivate the target audience or the stakeholders with whom the company wants to build a long-lasting relationship. Press releases and conference are some vital tools that create publicity considered as the impersonal mass communication that is unpaid and written by the journalists.


This is a new way of representing your products and services to the potential buyers through the internet. It has got several factors: mobile marketing (sound, video, and text interaction), interactive communications on TV, etc.

The traditional marketing strategies Having studied the communication or promotion mix, now the question is to decide what promotion mix should work best for you and why. What channels must be selected for your promotion mix would be answered in the following manner:

  1. Can your audience be best reached online and offline?
  2. Basis the answer to the previous question, which channels for each category should we use? (The offline channels of TV, radio, newspapers, or magazines, or the online channels of advertising networks, social media, or online communities)

Here are some traditional marketing strategies examples based on the different promotion mix options:

  • Advertising: The advertising audits are done to check the ROI of the traditional offline advertisements. While some may think the online advertising is easy to track, some people resort to the unethical practices. So many people are using ad blockers.
  • Direct Marketing: Always be ready with the e-mail list of people to be communicated or searched for intended customers in Twitter or Facebook to send the product information and sales catalogs, and track the real output. But for a different audience, the results would become different and a digital marketer must take a note of this aspect.
  • Personal Selling: For selling expensive articles, such as diamonds, personal laptops, or costly enterprise software, you must meet the customers in person. They might not respond to the Pinterest campaign in the same manner.
  • Sales Promotion: If you offer a prompt discount, your potential buyers might respond immediately following that offer. For instance, mobile marketing is more effective than the snail-mail.
  • Publicity: The conventional PR and today’s digital PR are very different. The past forms of publicity comprised of writing pitches, building media lists, and pitching reporters and bloggers on a story. The modern PR consists of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media networks chiefly to make sure a creative campaign.

The below chart would give a rough idea of which promotional instruments should be used and in what percentage to have an effective marketing strategy. This chart defines the utilities, advantages, and loopholes of each element of the promotional mix.

Best Promotion Mix

The below questionnaire would narrate the usages of each of the instruments of the promotion mix.

Cases Use
For new product introduction Advertising
For an existing product in competition with other brands of the same product category and to retain the present customer base Sales Promotion
For specialized, technical, or costly product Personal Selling
For countering false allegations and impressions Publicity; then Re-image building Ad Campaigns
For spreading greater brand awareness Advertising
For communicating the potential audience about the added new features of the product Direct Marketing
For a product that enjoys a long sale scale Personal Selling
For creating more buzz and word-of-mouth business about a product Sales Promotion or Publicity
For creating a new image and re-positioning Advertising

Questionnaire to select the right promotion mix instruments

Companies will give subsequent emphasis after carefully exercising the above questionnaire. Edward Lowe Foundation

An integrated view of marketing communications

Integrated marketing communications (IMC) can be defined as, “a new way of looking at the whole, where once we saw only parts such as advertising, public relations, sales promotion, purchasing, employee communication, and so forth, to look at it the way the consumer sees it – as a flow of information from indistinguishable sources.”

This is flawless and through-the-line communication. Mainly, it is an integration of particular communication earlier functioned with altering degrees of autonomy. In the words of The American Association of the Advertising Agency,

“IMC is a concept of marketing communication planning that recognizes the added value of a comprehensive plan that evaluates the strategic roles of a variety of communication disciplines, e.g., general advertising, direct response, sales promotion and public relations – and combines these disciplines to provide clarity, consistency and maximum communication impact.”

The point behind giving different definitions of IMC is to substantiate the idea of making a synergy among all the instruments of the promotion mix previously used separately. This would, resultantly, create ‘seamless’ or homogeneous marketing. A consistent set of messages is transmitted to all the target audience through all available forms of contact and message channels. Communication would have become more effective and efficient.

Communication as per IMC happens at the consumer or perceiver’s level. The communicator aids this integration at the consumer level by showcasing the message in an integrated manner. And IMC does not occur automatically. All the factors of communication must be properly and strategically planned that they form a reliable and rational IMC plan. In the classic communications, the different parts of promotions are separately used in sila o. But the integrated communication calls for integrating all of them for a single objective of delivering messages to the target audience. Unlike traditional marketing definition communications that usually relied on the mass-media for transmitting universal transaction-oriented messages, the IMC has more personal touches in the interactive, customer-centric, and long-lasting communications.

Inbound and outbound marketing

Marketers like both Outbound and Inbound marketing.

Outbound marketing attempts to reach consumers by means of general media advertising and personal contact. The approach can be very broad (TV advertising), systematically personal (face-to-face meetings), or “remotely personal” (cold-calling or blanket emails). Each outbound method creates sales leads and it is followed by in-house sales representatives. This is also called as interruption marketing.

Inbound marketing denotes marketing activities that get visitors in, rather than marketers having to find prospects’ attraction. Inbound marketing wins the customer’s mention, makes the company easy to be searched for, and takes customers to the website by creating engaging content.

There are five broad steps how inbound marketing works on:

Traditional Marketing

Inbound marketing approaches

The comparative analysis of inbound and outbound marketing is presented below. This would finally depend on the digital marketers to make a harmony in applying the different facets of both these marketing concepts and make a steady sale without compromising the goodwill of the company this is the traditional marketing definition.

Inbound vs outbound marketing

Comparative analysis of inbound and outbound marketing

Digital & Traditional Marketing Definition

So, we find that whatever we do digitally are actually based on the traditional marketing definition or the improved version of a the ventional marketing exercise. The Internet age has added convenience, makes things prompt and sometimes easier, has mass appeals (and therefore cost-effectiveness), creates systematic and on-time delivery, and so forth. But we should not forget all these add-ons (content marketing, viral marketing, social media marketing, SEO, etc.) are associated with the basic functions of traditional marketing definition. A few people will totally disown the conventional traditional marketing strategies approaches because they do not know the different sides of it and its uses; they even do not have a clear idea on some areas of digital marketing as well since traditional marketing definition, when properly integrated into digital forms, will be beneficial. Therefore, if someone claims to be a digital marketing expert without even knowing the traditional marketing definition moves, he is wrong. He would be successful only when there resides a balance in his attitude to welcome both traditional marketing definition and digital marketing, and integrate the qualities of both of them.

He is only working on the next version of marketing that is digital. Hence, all his attempts are to reach the potential customers either by being traditional or digital or through amalgamated attributes of digital and traditional marketing definition. Sooner he understands this innate truth, better it would be for his company.

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Here are some articles that will help you to get more detail about the Traditional Marketing so just go through the link.

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