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Why Physical Marketing Shouldn’t Be Overlooked

The modern marketing landscape is dominated by digital delivery channels, and these are highly prioritised when it comes to developing a marketing campaign. With a younger workforce you’d be forgiven for thinking that traditional means of advertising would dwindle away and become obsolete - but this has proven not to be the case. Physical marketing still pulls a massive punch, offering a different way to get your message across, as well as accounting for older parts of your demographic. It’s surprising how many marketers consider physical materials to be an optional part of their campaign, and it is a major mistake to discount its effectiveness. In tandem with digital these traditional methods can be a powerful part of any strategy. Here are some tips to optimise your approach. 

Is physical marketing still effective?

The short answer is yes. While digital delivery channels such as video, user generated content, and email campaigns are undoubtedly effective - especially given the ubiquity of mobile devices - the sheer amount of information we are bombarded with on our smartphones and tablets can be overwhelming. Physical marketing gets the message across in different ways. Think about all the time we spend commuting - we see printed advertisements on subway trains and buses and billboards as we drive past. These are messages that are more likely to be read in full as they can’t be clicked away from in a second. 


Outdoor advertising is iconic - there are billboard campaigns from way back that are still part of popular culture today. Placing a billboard means direct and targeted engagement, and can be placed in the most appropriate spot for your brand. Take inspiration from the classics - billboards should be provocative and bold. Repeated exposure to outdoor advertising implants your brand’s message in the mind of the passerby and can drive up ROIs. 


Nowadays people receive much less physical mail, so pamphlets and other literature are much more likely to be read in full than in times gone by. Well designed printed materials - good paper, excellent print quality - have proven to still be one of the best ways to promote your brand or company. The longer a potential customer spends reading a message the more likely subsequent engagement becomes. And don’t forget that copy is king - make sure your communication is succinct and concise. 

Business cards

Still a powerful tool when it comes to physical marketing, business cards are a cost effective way to spread awareness of your company - but they have to be done right. You should think of your card as an extension of your brand (and yourself), so if they are flimsy, cheaply printed or generic, that's the impression your potential customer will get. Good quality paper and printing with clear information is essential. Many business cards now come with blank space to write a message for each person you hand one to, offering a personal touch and a reminder of your conversation, meaning your card won’t simply float to the bottom of a desk drawer, or worse, a trash can.


Want somewhere to hand out your business cards apart from at trade shows? Organising events is a great way to reach people in your local community and boost brand awareness. Getting involved in local causes - tree planting, urban gardening, social issues - not only helps your company with visibility but also associates your brand with positive action (and is a lot of rewarding fun). Other event ideas include public presentations (often webinars in the time of coronavirus) and product demonstrations. If you haven't got the means or personnel to organise your own thing consider sponsoring a local event such as a marathon or concert. Getting out there and meeting your customer base face to face is one of the most potent forms of offline advertising. 

Guerilla advertising 

Guerilla marketing refers to creative, unconventional and innovative tactics which are often inexpensive or even free. It ranges from creative street level advertising - sponsored bus stops, cross walks etc, through to simple, cheap but highly effective things like sticker campaigns. Guerilla marketing is one way that traditional marketing methods are being bent into cutting edge tactics to boost brand awareness. 

Physical advertising is far from obsolete. Rather than an adversary to digital methods, it should be regarded as a powerful ally, and one that your campaign can’t do without.

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