Old School vs. New School Marketing: Choosing the Marketing Approach to Help Reach Your End Goal

April 2019
 minute read
heinz memorial chapel home page on phone and laptop

Every business owner knows that marketing is key to ensuring your business continues to grow and remains successful. There is no business that is too big to fail, which is why we continue to see ads for companies like Facebook, hospitals, and Apple. As a small business, it can be even more difficult to pin down the marketing strategy that best fits your business, its objective, and your budget. At Responsival - the experts of digital marketing in Pittsburgh - we believe that your unique business needs a specialized approach to marketing, which is why we’re taking the time to break down and compare the pros and cons of old school marketing tactics with contemporary, digital approaches. We’ll take the time to compare:

  • Email Marketing vs. Direct Mail Campaigns
  • Television Commercials vs. Facebook Ads
  • Newspaper Print Ads vs. Social Media Posts

As we compare these marketing mediums, we look to understand how different businesses can benefit from each marketing approach. Before we begin, however, we’ll break down considerations that must be made when choosing your marketing approach.

Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing Your Medium

Important Considerations to be Made when Creating a Marketing Plan

marketing planning meeting white board

When approaching a decision on the type of marketing that’s right for your business, it’s important to pay close attention to the business-dependent variables that can help shape your decision, including:

  • Consider your costs: as a small business looking to grow, we understand that you want to make the most out of every dollar spent on marketing. Consider which tactic will give you the most bang for your buck.
  • Consider your demographics: the medium you choose should be very dependent on the demographic you are trying to reach. How many college students are reading a print newspaper, and how many grandparents are on Instagram? You may want to know this before making a decision.
  • Consider your assets: keep in mind assets and production budgets for each type of marketing. You may have the ability to take photos of your business, but do you have the budget to create a nationally-aired commercial?
  • Consider your measurement of success: decide how important it is for you to be able to see your results. Do you want to be able to see what parts of your marketing work and what doesn’t, or would you prefer to cross your fingers and hope for the best?

Email Marketing vs. Direct Mail Campaigns

Can Snail Mail Deliver You the Results Your Business Needs?

workflow strategy drawn on a white board

Before email became a staple to many business’s marketing campaigns, direct mail campaigns were integral to the marketing tactics of retailers large and small. As we continue to make a transition into an even more elaborate digital age, should direct mail campaigns be left behind, or are they still a valuable marketing tactic in a variety or sectors?

Trusted resource in the digital marketing field Neil Patel argues that direct mail marketing is far from dead. Although we are continuously moving towards a digitized medium, there are valuable aspects of direct mail marketing that cannot be ignored. Direct mail has a surprisingly high ROI of 29%, coming in third behind social media marketing and -- you guessed it -- email marketing (which reigns supreme at 124% ROI). Email marketing averages about 7-8% response rate (depending on the industry) with direct mail close behind at 5.3%.

While email marketing holds a superior spot over direct mail, it’s important to note that the effects of a solid direct mail campaign should not be minimized. There is something intrinsically personal about receiving a letter in the mail, and advanced technologies allow you to personalize and target these direct mail efforts more than ever before.

For your business, this means you must take the time to consider your customers and what they would value. Are your customers likely to be responsive to a digital marketing campaign? Do you have the money to put into reaching the number of people you need to be successful?

As the experts of digital marketing in Pittsburgh, here’s Responsival’s suggestion: focus your efforts on low-cost, high-ROI email campaigns, but keep direct mail campaigns in your bag of tricks. Whichever medium you choose, Responsival is equipped with a team of marketers and designers who can assist you in both your digital and print marketing efforts.

Television Commercials vs. Facebook Ads

The Experts of digital Marketing in Pittsburgh Weigh-In on Digital Ads

facebook ads

Television ads reigned supreme for several years of digital marketing efforts across a variety of sectors. Taking up on average 30% of the time allotted per television program, companies swarmed at the opportunity for their ads to be seen by thousands of viewers in short 30-second intervals. But in the age of social media becoming an increasingly important aspect of our day to day lives, can television commercials compete?

television ads price
Chart Source:

When deciding between Facebook ads and TV commercials, one of the most important considerations that need to be made is centered around the cost to produce and air your ad. Your business can expect to spend $200 to $1500 for a 30-second local commercial. To broadcast that same commercial nationally, you’re looking to spend upward of $130,000. These numbers vary based on location, with populated metropolitan areas having higher CPM, or cost per 1,000 views (reflected in the chart above). These high number values do not reflect production costs, either.

Facebook Ads, however, involve minimal production costs and average $7.34 CPM across all marketing objectives. Think about that -- it costs less than $8 a day to show your add to 1,000 potential customers. Facebook Ad Manager has super in-depth reporting and targeting tools, allowing you to create ads that reach your most engaged, highest-converting audiences while spending the smallest amount of money possible. TV commercials, however, only allow you to target based on locality and preexisting network demographics that you have no control over.

As the experts of digital marketing in Pittsburgh and well-seasoned Facebook marketers, Responsival suggests that sticking to Facebook ads is more than likely the correct route for your business. With low startup costs, low costs to run your ad, comprehensive demographic targeting, and user-friendly analytics reports, Facebook ads are the perfect solution for a business looking for affordable, effective advertising.

Looking to make your digital ads as effective as possible? Get in touch with Responsival and see how we can take your digital marketing efforts to the next level.

Newspaper Print Ads vs. Social Media Posts

Black and White and Read All Over, or Instant Delivery of Information to Highly Engaged Audiences?


You wake up in the morning, turn off your alarm, and get ready to start your day. Where do you reach to find your daily news? If you’re like nearly 40% of Americans, your primary news source is online or on your phone -- nearly twice as many as Americans who reach for the newspaper. And 74% of millenials - who are soon to be the centerpiece of our consumer market - recieve news from an online source, which is frequently social media.

When deciding between print newspaper ads and social media posts, it’s important to keep these important statistics in mind. Newspaper ads have their benefits: you can easily reach new local audiences, can target highly-engaged customers, and can print coupons for readers to capitalize on and drive traffic into your business. But it’s important to note the demographic restrictions of print newspaper ads and the difficulty in measuring the success of your spending on ads.

There are a variety of directions that print newspaper ads are predicted to go in the coming years, but when comparing this uncertainty to the unbelievable power of social media posts, it’s difficult to justify taking the risk on newspaper ads. Nearly 90% of marketers claim that social media marketing has increased exposure for their business, and studies show that nearly 1 in 3 people look to social media to gain more information about a product or business before buying.

What this boils down to most is the audience you are trying to reach. While older demographics are more likely to use a newspaper to get their news - and subsequently see your ad - these older demographics are quickly leaving the highest converting consumer audience. This combined with the no-cost efforts of posting on social media makes social media an extremely valuable source for informing the masses about your business.

At Responsival, we ascertain that businesses not utilizing social media in marketing efforts are quick to fall behind. As the experts of digital marketing in Pittsburgh, Responsival will work with your business to help you create a social media marketing strategy that not only reaches new audiences, but completes your online presence as a brand.

Take it from us - the trusted name in digital marketing in Pittsburgh - your marketing efforts are key to maintaining and growing your business. If you’re contemplating which marketing efforts are best for your business, get in touch with Responsival. We’ll work with you to create a custom marketing plan to help your brand reach its full potential.

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