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A retailer’s guide to traditional and digital marketing

Digital marketing can really help Retailer grow their business
We explore traditional and digital marketing and how to choose what’s best for your business.

There are many ways to market your business. Doing it well however requires choosing the right mediums to maximise your return on investment.

Traditional and digital marketing defined

Traditional marketing includes print advertisements, advertorial in newspapers, magazines or publications; listings in phone directories; direct mail; pamphlets; in-store posters and displays; radio and TV advertisements; events and sponsorship. The emergence of digital marketing has created a lot of change – and opportunity – in how businesses can now market themselves online.

Digital marketing includes your business website, social media, blogs, e-newsletters, videos, infographics, e-books, advertisements or sponsored articles in online magazines, search engine optimisation (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM), which are paid search advertisements and online maps, such as Google My Business and Sensis’ WhereIs.

Case in point: H+Co

H+Co Menswear, which operates a Sydney-based retail menswear store and an online store, is a great example of a retail business successfully using both traditional and digital marketing. Owner Hiten Thakrar says, H+Co’s traditional marketing includes posters in the store’s window display and a clothing sponsorship deal that sees them dress three TV personalities on The Footy Show.

“I have great foot traffic at my store. So potential customers walking past can see [from the posters in the window display] what offers I have in-store,” says Thakrar. “While being part of The Footy Show has worked well as the audience is very wide and when customers come in they can relate to each of the three guys we dress.”

On the digital front, H+Co have their own website, blog and social media platforms. Thakrar notes that Facebook and Instagram allows H+Co to “stay in touch with a new generation of customers” and is where they share valuable content, including their blogs, alongside news of sales and promotions.

H+Co also keeps in touch with customers using e-newsletters. ”We send them fortnightly newsletters, informing them of offers, news, new stock and more – to keep them in the loop of what is happening in store. “

The right combination for your business

While traditional marketing still has a place in promoting small businesses, as a general rule, it is best run in conjunction with digital marketing. For example, a gourmet fine and wine shop operating in a regional tourist area could advertise in local tourism publications, run ads in the local paper to promote special offers, such as Christmas hampers, but also have a presence on social media, write blogs and share e-newsletters to market themselves.

This is supported by a 2013 Deloitte Access Economics report, titled ‘Connected Small Business’. It found that small businesses with high digital engagement (this was defined as a ‘business that makes use of all digital technologies including for search engine optimisation and search engine marketing’) were likely to see a 20 per cent increase in their annual revenue. They were also found to have better growth prospects, more diversified sources of revenue and a bigger customer base.

Finding the right mix of traditional and digital marketing will depend on the nature of your business. Trying and testing different mediums and regularly reviewing your marketing will be an important part of its success.

Want to invest in a new marketing approach for your retail business? Contact Prospa to learn how a small business loan can help get you there.


The information in this post is provided for general information only and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from financial, legal and taxation advisors. Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information as at the date of publication, Prospa, its officers, employees and agents disclaim all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded), for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information for any reason, including due to the passage of time, or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.

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