All the Hype about Only Using Digital for Your Retail Stores Marketing – I’m Not Buying It

All the Hype about Only Using Digital for Your Retail Stores Marketing – I’m Not Buying It

Digital Marketing

Are you buying into all the hype about only using digital marketing to promote your retail store? I’m not…

All I ever hear about is Snapchat this, Facebook that, Instagram wherever, WhatsApp whatever, Twitter me twit… You get it… You have to market here, there, and everywhere on these digital platforms to reach an audience to come buy stuff at your store.

Let me be upfront. I’m not saying all digital inbound marketing is bad, I’m just saying if that’s all you’re spending your money on, you’re missing 30 percent -70 percent or more of your market!

After the advice to put all your eggs in the digital marketing basket, the next thing you hear is: Traditional Media is Dead—you know, print in the mailbox, TV, etc.

Well, I considered it and did some research and my conclusion is?

I’M NOT BUYING IT. Here’s why.

First off, who is your target audience on all these platforms? Generation Z, Millennials, Baby Boomers, who?

Second, with the plethora of these platforms, who has time to keep up with them all? I sure don’t think people that work for a living, unless they’re scamming their employers.

If it’s Gen-Z, they’re born between 1995-2014. What are you marketing to them? They probably are interested in furniture, electronics, or appliances. Ok, maybe an iPhone/iPad, but once they buy that, they’ll be on a 2-year contract to pay it off and most are still in high school or their early years of college and not in the position to buy what you are selling.

If it’s Millennials, good luck with that. Have you read my research on them? If you didn’t read it, or are ignoring it, then you’re probably throwing away 40 percent of your marketing dollars, maybe even more, considering on average 36 percent of this generation live with their parents and 44,000,000 of them have student load debt on average of $36,172.00, not to mention 40 percent of these loans are delinquent.


So, here we go. Hang on for the ride, because I’m about to burst some bubbles here and I may offend some of these geniuses that say you need to be spending—I mean wasting—50 percent of your spending on digital marketing.

Here’s the fact:

“The most frustrating experience for online browsers involve full page pop-up adverts that require the user to find an “X” to remove. More generally, 91 percent of respondents agree ads are more intrusive today compared to two to three years ago, and 87 percent agree there are more ads in general. Seventy-nine percent also feel that they’re being tracked as a result of retargeted ads”.

How do you feel about ads


Ad Blockers IconHave you ever heard of AdBlocker+?

Yep, just like the name says, they block Ads.

How about Ghostery?

Ghosery Ghostery detects and blocks tracking technologies to speed up page loads, eliminate clutter, and protect your data.

These platforms are very popular and there’s a good chance—no, great chance—your ads aren’t even seen!

AdBlocker is HUGE and yes, I use it and Ghostery. And it looks like a ton of those you are targeting are too!

The majority of ad blockers target banner ads and pop-up ads, and many block native and search ads as well.

Some completely remove all advertising from a page while others focus on ads that compromise privacy by blocking tracking codes.

Ad blockers


Ad on websites


Mobile or tablet ad blocker


I lied, here’s another, just for fun:

Most widely disliked ads chart

If I come across as angry, I’m not. I am frustrated, though, because I hear people that really know nothing about consumer marketing, telling retailers what and how they should be spending their money and they have NO CLUE because they didn’t do their due diligence. This causes small and medium retailers to enter this …

Fad Zone of App Plethora, blindly wasting their precious marketing funds!

OK, I’ll get some blowback here because someone will chime in and say Facebook works for them. I bet it can, for a while, but let me tell you how I deal with retailers that clutter my news feed, I simply hide them—and you would never even know that they are gone forever from my site. I’m not alone.

As you can see above, 40 percent are doing the same.
So, before you waste your money on the next FAD, consider some of these tried and true marketing mediums that still work.

Direct Mail – That’s the stuff delivered in your mailbox – inserts/postcards, etc. The Household Response Rate is at 3.7 percent.

Compare that percentage to these small number engagements:

  1. M2% mobile
  2. .1% email
  3. .1% social medi
  4. 02% internet display 

Those are fractions of a percent! Not looking so hot, is it? But there’s a light at the end of this tunnel.

Women Have the Purchasing Power and They Love Print in the Mail.
91 percent of mail is picked up by the same person each day; 80 percent of those people are women.
Women make more than 80 percent of all purchasing decisions.
Women make more than 85 percent of all household purchases

  1. Ninety-two percent of shoppers say they prefer direct mail/ads in the mailbox for making purchasing decisions. Seventy percent are curious to find out what’s in their mailbox.
  2. Seventy-seven percent of people sort through their physical mail as soon as they get it (Epsilon)
  3. Seventy-four percent always or sometimes notice advertising in direct mail.
  4. Forty-two percent of recipients read or scan mail pieces.
  5. Direct mail household response rate is at 3.7 percent (compared to .2 percent mobile, .1 percent email, .1 percent social media, and .02 percent internet display).
  6. Fifty-one percent prefer companies to use a combination of mail and email when communicating with them
  7. Twenty-three percent bought or ordered something as a result of receiving direct mail in the last 12 months
  8. Direct mail/newspaper in the mailbox median household ROI is at a median of 18-20 percent. 

And, oh—if you’re still hooked on the Millennials, they like it too.

Millennials Love It! Thirty-six percent of people under 30 look forward to checking the mail each day

Wall Street Journal Even the Wall Street Journal has piped in on this. It states, “the good news is that newspaper inserts drove more retail shoppers than digital ads and are, without a doubt, the most powerful drive-to-retail media available to marketers”.

In Summary, Print is not Dead

And if you’re not using it as part of your marketing integration to attract, educate, and engage your audience, your business will probably become pedestrian, if it hasn’t already!

My goal is to educate people so they can make informed decisions. That’s why I built – www.social4retail.comThe largest FREE marketing informational website for retailers and brands. Read more there!

Print chart

Print is still one of the main influencers when it comes to consumer purchase decisions and we do it all.

Digital ads are fleeting. They’re there one second and gone the next. But newspapers have real lasting power and tend to stick around in consumers’ homes longer than most other media. This means people spend more time interacting with inserts and browsing deals and offers.

Other recent research by Research and Analysis of Media (RAM), an international media research company, confirms the crucial role newspaper inserts play in consumer marketing. Data shows that nearly nine in 10 of media consumers use newspaper inserts.

So why am I writing this?

I don’t sell any print, direct mail, etc. so I don’t have a dog in the hunt.

I just get really irritated when “so-called marketers” tell people how to market their stores “STUFF” and they have no clue on how people engage. I hear about too many small and medium retailers struggling, and they are the backbone of our economy.

Think about this: All the Big Retailers still use print in their mix, why aren’t you?

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Photo Credit: Blog Ecossistema Digital Flickr via Compfight cc

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