Are you ready for the return of non-digital marketing?

Are you ready for the return of non-digital marketing?

The return of non-digital marketing.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, marketing had become more and more digital. Budgets shifted to spending more on digital than print. Companies wondered if the amount of money they were spending on in-person events was truly worth it.

The pandemic simply accelerated this shift to moving most marketing online, bombarding buyers with emails, social posts, and digital ads.

Today, people receive so many emails that they ignore anything unimportant to them. They glance at the sender’s name and many decide before reading the subject line. They’ve also learned to ignore digital ads unless they must click on them to read desired content.

In addition, data privacy laws make it harder and harder for marketers to send emails. As one VP of Marketing I recently spoke with put it, “As a consumer, I love data privacy laws, but as a marketer, I hate them.”

Lastly, I’m seeing signs in other industries that people desire a return to previously popular non-digital items. The resurgence in sales of vinyl records is one data point that supports this theory. I’ve even been listening to some DJs on Twitch who only spin vinyl – rvrchicago and Subculture_Postpunk.

So what’s a marketer to do? I’m speaking to more and more clients and peers about the return of different types of marketing. Instead of relying solely on digital marketing – emails, social posts, and online ads – marketers are rethinking direct mail, events, and even billboards.

Ensure all marketing content stays true to your Message Map

Regardless of where you choose to display your marketing content, always stay true to your message as spelled out in your Message Map. Research shows that people need to hear messages multiple times before they recall them and find them credible.

Make sure all your marketing content – ads, emails, brochures, web copy, social posts, etc. – reflects the ideas on your Message Map. That ensures you deliver a consistent message to your target audience.

Update your buyer personas

Most marketers use buyer personas. They tell us the titles, demographics, and other information about our prospects.

But do your buyer personas go as far as to tell you where your buyers get their information? Even if they do, it may be time to update them.

Talk to your customers and prospects. Find out if they are exploring options other than emails and websites to get information about solutions and services.

Are they taking in-person meetings again? Are they going into an office or working remotely? Do they open physical pieces of mail?

Update your buyer personas to ensure you’re delivering content where your audience wants to receive it.

Always test your marketing

I’m not advising marketers to move completely away from digital marketing—it’s here to stay. I’m simply stating that it may be time to add more outlets back into your marketing mix.

That said, start slow and always test your content and measure your results. Instead of signing up for 12 trade shows, start with one or two. Or, if you have buyers clustered in specific regions, try hosting a regional event that’s shorter and easier for them to get to.

Are you ready for the return of non-digital marketing?
Would your buyers rather open a package than an email?

If you send a direct mail piece, make sure there’s a QR code in addition to an easy-to-remember (and type) web address. Make it as simple as possible for your buyers to find and act on your call to action in your non-digital marketing.

While digital marketing is certainly here to stay, buyer preferences and email privacy laws signal a return to marketing via other mediums.

For assistance with marketing, messaging, and other communications needs, email me at

Get Ready for more Non-Digital Marketing.