Is traditional marketing dead? 

It’s no secret that digital marketing has grown significantly over the last decade. It now makes up the majority of businesses’ marketing budgets, with many marketers shifting ad placements away from radio and print to social media platforms and Google ads. Some marketers and consumers would even say that traditional marketing, such as television, radio, and newspaper, is dead. 

According to some experts, that is most definitely the case. A report recently published by The CMO Survey stated, on average, marketers reported an annual decrease in traditional advertising spending of -1.4% between 2012 and 2022, compared to an annual increase of 7.8% for overall marketing budgets during this same period. 

However, there might actually be a major shift occurring in the opposite direction, indicating that traditional media is alive and well. Recent studies have shown that traditional advertising spending increased by nearly 3% in 2022. 

As consumers spend more and more of their time online, many are becoming numb and annoyed by the amount of overwhelming digital advertisements. Users are frustrated with the number of ads they are bombarded with while trying to read an article or watch a video. For example, a HubSpot survey found that 57% of participants disliked ads that played before a video and 43% didn’t even watch them. As a result, marketers are looking for a way to cut through the noise. 

Trends are important — but it’s more important to have a wholistic marketing strategy, that encompasses all of the best mediums for your marketing goals. Traditional marketing has been and continues to be vitally important to any successful marketing campaign. Nowhere is this truer than in the Midwest region of the United States – the heartland of America. 

How is traditional marketing different in the Midwest? 

Traditional marketing is one of the oldest forms of marketing and involves using conventional methods such as print, TV, and radio advertising. While the principles of traditional marketing may be the same across different regions, the approach and techniques used may vary based on the cultural and societal norms of the area. In states like Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, and the rest of the Midwest, traditional marketing differs from that of other regions due to various reasons such as the cost to run ads, as well as the region’s history, economy, and values. 

Let’s discuss some of those ways that traditional marketing is different in the Midwest: 

  • CostCost-Per-Point (CPP) is a measure of cost efficiency which enables you to compare the cost of an advertisement or campaign schedule to other advertisements (for example, TV, versus radio, or versus out-of-home (OOH) or billboard advertising). CPP is calculated as Media Cost divided by Gross Rating Points. In the Midwest, the CPP is normally much lower than larger, coastal markets such as New York or Los Angeles. Additional research by Ebiquity suggests that traditional media channels outperform digital channels in terms of reach, attention, and engagement relative to costs. This performance differential is amplified as costs of online advertising have increased, especially when accounting for impression, click, and conversion fraud — whereas the costs of traditional media have fallen. Shifting some of the spending away from digital and into traditional advertising makes financial sense. 
  • Consumers’ TrustMarketingSherpa reports that more than half of consumers often or always watch traditional TV advertisements and read print advertisements that they receive in the mail, especially from familiar brands or brands they trust. The same survey found that the top five most trusted advertising formats are all traditional, with consumers trusting print, television, direct mail, and radio advertising more than social media advertising. Marketing using traditional advertising can build credibility with consumers, especially in places like the Midwest, where community and loyalty are at the forefront of peoples’ minds when it comes to purchasing decisions. 
  • Emphasis on CommunityIn the Midwest, there is a strong sense of community, and businesses often try to engage with their customers on a personal level. This means that traditional marketing techniques, such as word-of-mouth, events, and community sponsorships are highly effective in this region. Companies often invest in community events and sponsor local sports teams to build brand awareness and loyalty. 
  • Conservative ValuesThe Midwest is known for its conservative values, which can affect the types of marketing messages that resonate with its audience. Businesses often use messaging that aligns with the region’s values, such as family, hard work, and community. This can manifest in advertisements that focus on family values or products that are marketed at being locally sourced or American-made. 
  • Print Media is Still RelevantWhile digital marketing has become increasingly popular in recent years, traditional print media still has a strong presence in the Midwest. Local newspapers and magazines are still widely read, and businesses often advertise in these publications to reach a wider audience. This is especially true in smaller towns and rural areas, where digital media may not be as relevant. 
  • Personalized MarketingIn the Midwest, personal relationships are highly valued, and businesses often use personalized marketing techniques to build rapport with their customers. This can include sending handwritten notes, personalized emails, or offering product recommendations based on their previous purchases. 

Traditional marketing has an impact in the Midwest 

To sum things up, traditional marketing is not only alive and well, but it’s especially effective, both in terms of cost and impact, in the Midwest region of the United States. The region’s history, culture, and values continue to play a major part in the way advertising is perceived. Businesses that want to succeed in this region should consider these factors when developing their marketing strategies, and focus on building personal relationships with their customers, emphasizing community engagement and offering competitive pricing. By understanding the unique marketing landscape of the Midwest, businesses can create effective marketing campaigns that resonate with their target audience. 

When it comes to developing a marketing campaign in the Midwest, you need someone who understands the audience. At Arrow Marketing, Media & Consulting, LLC, we pride ourselves on not only being advertising experts, but our staff is made up entirely of Oklahomans, many of whom are originally from smaller, more rural areas. We understand the unique community and culture here in Oklahoma and the surrounding areas, and have helped our clients create successful, thriving campaigns and marketing efforts around the Midwest.

We also work with national accounts that have Oklahoma ties such as a contact, office, clinic or storefront in Oklahoma, to ensure that there is a local touch to their marketing, and to provide a unique local perspective. 

If you’re ready to get started on creating your campaign, reach out today.