Is Traditional Marketing Dead?

A Shift is Being Made

Since 2002, there’s been a generational shift that has caused a 50% decrease in broadcast TV audience ratings. Younger viewers are moving away from traditional advertisements like cable or satellite services and towards wireless services like the Internet, that allow them to view on tablets, mobile phones, and laptops. Thus, advertisers are being forced to change their strategies to fit  the “new age of consumer engagement” which centers around web interaction, information, education, and choice. But first, how do you distinguish between the two?

Traditional marketing

  • Television commercials
  • Magazine and newspaper ads
  • Broad advertisements meant for mass appeal and wide distribution.

New age of consumer engagement

  • Social media
  • Peer influence and word of mouth
  • The seller needs to be present and engaged in places and at times that their buyers are.

What’s happening today?

Advertisers have to anticipate the needs of their consumers and provide the content to meet them. So, if businesses add a social aspect to their strategy, it will facilitate a more open, engaged, and collaborative foundation. Consumers are looking for just the right product or service to satisfy their unique desires at the precise moment online. Whereas traditional advertising is more of a one way street that focuses on a broad approach centered on mass appeal and wide distribution.


Now, the web has become a place for consumers to both browse and buy. Companies need to restore this idea of community marketing by replicating a “word of mouth” style of advertising online. For example, by adding social media sites to their business strategy, companies will be able to set up “Pages” on Facebook where consumers can advocate for products their purchase. They can also set up a Twitter account to keep their customers up-to-date on the latest deals and changes.

By getting consumers attention quickly on those social media sites, it will allow peer influences to develop and enhance customer satisfaction and brand resonance.  It will also allow companies to bring their product directly to the consumers.

My Opinion

I’ve been arguing with myself over the past few days on whether or not traditional marketing is dead. And what I’ve come up with is this — it’s situational — I don’t think you can look a global brand like Coca-Cola and say it should use the same strategies as a the company shops market (co-op) in Burlington, NC. However, I do think in today’s age that buyers are relying less on what the brands/services are telling them and more on word of mouth recommendations.

For example, this past weekend I went to Best Buy with the intention of buying some speakers for my apartment. I knew of a few brands based on their traditional forms of marketing, like TV commercials and ads in magazines. So, when entering the store I asked one of the employees to tell me about some of their speaker selections. They immediately brought up Bose, Beats, and JawBone, three companies I am familiar with based on both traditional adverting and this new age of consumer engagement. While, I stood there contemplating my decision, my friend began looking up customer reviews to provide more information. This is an example of how this new consumer engagement is driving transactions and enhancing experiences through relevant channels. So, after I read a couple of the customer reviews and based off my previous knowledge of the brands, I made a decision and purchased a speaker.

So, I think traditional marketing is a brand’s or service’s way of getting their foot in the door. Initially, by using TV, magazine, and newspaper ads, you get consumers to recognize your brand. And then, by adding a the social aspect to business strategies, it allows consumers to make their own choices based on what is provided on wireless devices that allow for web interaction, information, and education. Essentially, more content by the advertiser will drive action by the consumer.

The information was provided from articles by:

Imaged used by Flickr user linkedmediagrp