It’s tempting to focus entirely on digital marketing, but you shouldn’t neglect traditional methods!

Do you put your marketing dollars in to digital marketing to support your website, hoping for big bang for your buck? Or do you stretch the budget to try to reach your local audience through traditional marketing? The answer is both. This might surprise you, given your small budget. Here’s how to make it work and why it’s important…

While some forms of traditional marketing might not be beneficial for a screen printing business – few people receive phone books with yellow page ads anymore – many forms of traditional marketing are necessary to grow your business’s brand within your community and attract new customers. Without traditional marketing supporting your digital efforts, you can’t fully reach your target market. In fact, one study showed that roughly 75 percent of people find traditional marketing methods to be more trustworthy than digital advertising.

With the barrage of advertising in the digital space, traditional marketing methods can best reach your local target audience. Physical advertising, such as brochures, postcards and print ads, give people something tangible to hold and look at, which helps them retain your message better. One study found that people who received a direct mail advertisement could recall the company’s name 75 percent of the time, compared with 44 percent of people who viewed a digital advertisement.

Additionally, traditional advertising can help you target more focused demographics. While the internet casts a wide net, traditional advertising allows you to advertise within a certain geographical area, to professionals in a particular industry or different segments of the community. For example, a radio ad might play in one geographic area. Or a flyer can be delivered to the mailboxes of a specific demographic.

Traditional Advertising Methods

Print advertising

Print ads can appear anywhere from local newspapers to trade journals to magazines. With print, you can target your message to a precise group of people; a sales representative from a typical publication should be able to give you information on the publication’s readership. By choosing local publications, you can target a geographical area; by choosing trade publications you can target businesses within a certain industry; and by choosing newsletters, you can target people within a certain club or group.

Direct mail

Direct mail can be an extremely effective way to market your business. By sending out postcards or brochures, you can put information about your business, along with promotions and product information, in the hands of people within a certain geographic area. While direct mail campaigns can be expensive, you can typically tailor the size of your campaign to your budget.

Flyers and brochures

Flyers and brochures are an economical way to spread the word about your company within your community. You can attach flyers to public boards, leave brochures in gathering places and hand brochures to the people you talk to about your business.


If you’re looking to grow support for your screen printing shop by emphasizing your role as a local business, sponsorships provide the perfect opportunity. Whether it’s sponsoring a local sports team or a community event, sponsorships draw a direct link between your business and the community. Screen printers also are uniquely positioned to provide goods, like t-shirts, to the events or teams they sponsor. That means in addition to establishing your business as a supporter of the community, a sponsorship also provides you with the opportunity to show off your wares.

Networking and cold calling

If there’s one form of traditional marketing no business should ignore, it’s networking and cold calling. You and your team are the most effective advocates of your business. Join community groups to connect with other business leaders and community members who are likely to use your services. Find your target customers within the community, whether that’s businesses in need of promotional goods or coaches in need of athletic apparel, and talk to them about how you can provide what they’re looking for.

Trade shows

If you’re marketing to a particular niche, setting up space at a trade show can be a fail-proof way to grow your business. Studies show that people who hear about a business at a trade show are 34 percent more likely to make a purchase than people who hear about a company in other ways. The trick is to look for trade shows, community fairs or other events with vendor space that are likely to be attended by your target market.

Broadcast ads and billboards

Television, radio and billboard ads have long been a mainstay of advertising. While they are an effective way to grow your brand recognition, they generally are so costly that only the largest local businesses will include them in their marketing plans.

Your Traditional Marketing Message

In the end, your marketing strategy should include both traditional marketing strategies and new digital marketing media. Just remember that you won’t be spreading the same message across all of your different marketing platforms. Marketing messages are never one size fits all, and it’s important to put thought into the message you’re spreading via each marketing channel.

When it comes to messages sent via traditional marketing media, space is usually the biggest constraint. Your message has to be concise because you don’t have an unlimited amount of space or time to share that message. Only so much information fits on a postcard, and you only have a few seconds to grab someone’s attention with your pitch on a cold call or at a trade show.

One failsafe way to create a traditional marketing message is to focus on your unique selling proposition. When you began drafting your marketing strategy, you already should have been thinking about your unique selling proposition: What is it that your business does that sets you apart from other businesses? Or, how are you uniquely suited to solve your customers’ problems? When introducing your business to a new customer, whether in person, on a flyer or in an ad, presenting your unique selling proposition clearly and concisely provides a quick impression of your business that will have your target customers considering how they could benefit by doing business with you.

Another difference between new media and traditional media: You can focus on selling your sales and specials more directly. While overt calls to action and constant advertisement of sales via social media platforms can turn customers off, traditional marketing materials are generally sent less often, and customers are accustomed to seeing sales and specials offered in newspapers or in their mailboxes. That means you don’t have to be afraid to put together an advertising campaign related to a big sales promotion that includes sales and specials.

In the end, the biggest mistake you can make with traditional marketing techniques is to ignore them. From direct mail to sponsorship to networking, traditional marketing techniques help you to establish your business’s space within your community and your target marketing. You’re missing a big opportunity to grow your business if you neglect traditional marketing methods. As you draft your marketing strategy, be sure to integrate both new and traditional marketing methods to meet your marketing goals and drive your business growth.

Interested in some more tips on marketing your screen printing business? Check out these blog posts:

How to Effectively Market Your Screen Printing Business Online

Increase Your Screen Printing Business’s Visibility with Social Media Marketing

7 Ways to Grow Your Screen Printing Business

Or download our eBook: A Guide to Successfully Marketing Your Screen Printing Business