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How to Measure Your Traditional Marketing & Media Campaign Performance

What is Traditional Marketing?

Traditional marketing describes your company’s combined offline efforts to promote the business and its services. While companies typically invest more of their advertising spend on digital marketing services, such as search engine optimization (SEO), traditional marketing is still important and can offer unique benefits you could not achieve with a digital marketing strategy.

What Are the Most Common Traditional Marketing Channels?

Traditional marketing can include any method for reaching potential customers not using a computer or smartphone. Typical examples of traditional marketing campaigns include:

  • Billboards
  • Brochures and flyers
  • Direct mail
  • Event marketing
  • Print advertisements
  • Press releases
  • Radio ads
  • Signage
  • Television commercials

What these marketing methods have in common is that they allow your company to establish connections with local customers. Many people prefer to do business with local organizations that they feel are part of the community and care about them as individuals. When your company places an ad in the city newspaper, for example, people often feel more connected to the business than they would to a company offering the same products or services several states away.

Sustainability is another big advantage of traditional marketing. With the speed at which information changes on the internet, it can be a full-time job for businesses to create and maintain an online presence. TV ads, radio ads, and billboards are just some examples of ads your company creates once and can use multiple times without needing to update.

How to Track Your Traditional Marketing Campaigns

Traditional marketing campaigns use a combination of online and offline resources to track performance and determine the return on investment (ROI). We highlight some of the most effective ones below.

Call Tracking

When your business receives a phone inquiry from a potential new customer, it is important to understand which advertisement led them to pick up the phone. Call tracking software allows you to do that by using dynamic number insertion and cookies to track the online journey the customer took before making the call. You can assign a unique telephone number to each advertising medium, such as one number for direct mail and one for local newspaper ads.

By tracking every phone call your company receives, you gain a greater understanding of which marketing methods are most effective and which could use some tweaking. Additionally, the software records the call and creates a transcript while also tracking every user interaction on your company website.

Coupon Codes

Offering discount coupons helps to attract new people to your business who might not have heard of it or purchased anything in the past. People love to save money, and an enticing offer can be hard to refuse.

Coupons are also a flexible marketing method since you can use them across several mediums. For example, your company can run an advertisement with a coupon in the local paper for one target group of customers and offer a coupon code online or on a smartphone to a different demographic. Other places to consider offering your company’s coupon codes include billboard ads, direct mail, events marketing, and TV commercials.

Traditional paper coupons have labels with codes for tracking purposes. With digital coupons, you can scan a promotional code to determine the source of the coupon, when the customer first obtained it, and how many days elapsed before the purchase. As one of the oldest forms of traditional marketing, coupons have a high trust factor among consumers.

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QR Codes

Short for quick response, QR codes are black-and-white square-shaped patterns businesses display to allow consumers to quickly obtain more information by scanning their smartphone over the code. Unlike a standard barcode that reads only top to bottom, QR codes can store significantly more information because they are two-dimensional and also scan left to right. Marketers have enthusiastically added QR codes to their tool bags because the codes provide exceptional convenience and flexibility.

For example, you could include a QR code in a direct mailer for this week’s sale items, and it would direct consumers to a specific item’s page for more details. You can also use QR codes in a more general way, such as creating signage for the front desk containing a code that provides people with a detailed history of your company. QR codes can be part of many traditional marketing campaigns, such as event marketing, business signage at eye level, and direct mail advertising.

Unique Email Addresses

This form of traditional marketing is much like call tracking but in the digital space. To use it, you would first set up an ad for each customer demographic and then assign a unique email address for customers to ask questions or place orders. As the emails come in, you can access helpful data about your company’s marketing decisions because each campaign has a different email assigned to it.

Like call tracking, you have the option to use each unique email address to track the entire customer journey. Having this data available makes it much easier to zero in your efforts on the most effective marketing campaigns. Some places you may want to consider using unique email addresses are Yellow Pages ads, signs, billboards, event marketing, brochures, and flyers.

Unique Landing Pages

Landing pages exist separately from the rest of the company’s website as a means to entice people to request more information. The term landing page is quite literal, meaning that customers land on the page after clicking a link in an email or advertisement. They can also type in the landing page URL when their inquiry with your company comes through more traditional marketing methods.

It is important to make your business landing page significantly different from its homepage when setting it up. The homepage is typically busier with a lot more information and several link options people can click to take them to the information they need. The landing page, on the other hand, has a much cleaner look and only one link that directs potential customers to call, email, download a free e-book, watch a video, or another typical call to action (CTA). Landing pages also rank much higher in terms of conversions than home pages do.

Your landing page URL should be short and memorable to allow people to snap a quick photo or write it down as they pass by. You can advertise unique landing pages with virtually any type of traditional marketing, such as telephone book ads, flyers, direct mail advertising, TV or radio commercials, or event marketing.

Vanity URLs

Speaking of short and memorable URLs, you can create your own with a vanity URL. For example, a trucking business in need of new drivers might create a vanity URL reading A leading benefit of vanity URLs is that they are unique to your company and strictly for marketing purposes.

Because they are short and catchy, vanity URLs tend to inspire greater trust in consumers that makes them more likely to check out the website. Random letters and numbers that do not correspond to what your business offers will only confuse the customer. These specialty URLs are also easier for people to share on social media, email, text, and offline methods as well.

Most of the leading search engines and social media sites give customers the opportunity to create a vanity URL at no charge. You can use your vanity URL on billboards, business cards, event flyers, direct mail advertising, and any other type of traditional marketing campaign. You can also redirect those vanity URLs to live pages on your website using URL tagging and can track that traffic in Google Analytics.

Visitor Surveys

Your business may do everything right in a traditional marketing campaign and still miss the mark. The only way to know for sure what customers think is to ask them. Not only are visitor surveys a simple way to do that, but you have three options for the type of survey you would like to use. These include:

  • Pop-up surveys appear on the screen when the user completes an event to trigger them. You can decide what that event is and have the survey appear at any point during the online visit.
  • A widget survey is a small box that people must click on for it to open. Widget surveys give more discretion to the consumer to complete them according to their own schedule and preferences.
  • Collapsible pop-up surveys combine these two methods. The survey still pops up after a triggering action but then converts to a small box in the corner of the website. Customers willing to complete the survey then click on the box when they are ready to do so.

Keeping the survey as short and simple as possible is the best way to encourage customers to complete them. Another thing to keep in mind is that surveys should not obstruct the user’s experience with your company website. You can also create the surveys in paper form. Along with the customer’s impression of your business, be sure to ask how they learned about it and store the data for future marketing purposes.

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About the author

Dan Kipp

Dan Kipp is the Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager guru at Marcel Digital. He loves traveling, cooking, sports, and spending spare time with friends and family.

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