Graduate School Artifacts

Traditional vs. Modern Marketing

The largest impact on modern marketing has been social media. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are some of the largest social platforms that are being used my companies and brands today. However, traditional media has not been forgotten. Football fans can contest to that on the biggest Sunday of the year with notorious Super Bowl commercials. Therefore, when it comes to which type of marketing businesses should be utilizing in their marketing plan–the answer is both.

Classic advertising campaigns are well thought out, structured, and delivers a clear message, whereas social media marketing is a more informal approach using a less structured format. Film press displays the best examples of classic media and social media, and how they are used together to promote a movie.


This was no different when the anticipated comedy “Ride Along” was being promoted. Even though the movie was released in 2014, I still remember seeing the trailers all over my television, printed ads in magazines, and billboards displayed on the side of the highway.


However, the real reason I remember this promotional tour so vividly is because of Kevin Hart’s Instagram and Twitter. Kevin, who is an actor in the film, was making surprise visits in theaters around the United States and would post a video of the appearance online, along with the hashtag #RideAlong. Hart would also post pictures of him with other actors from the movie”hanging out.” While the movie’s marketing team was delivering structured messages through classic media, Kevin Hart was posting videos and pictures with no clear message, just exciting fans using the element of surprise and photographic evidence of friendships outside of the work place. In fact, the fans were so enthusiastic about the posts, that they would post similar pictures of themselves in theaters with the same hashtag (#RideAlong) and tag Kevin Hart. (@KevinHart4real)

Although the comedian’s use of social media to promote his movie was brilliantly successful, I do feel film companies are one of the few brands that need to weigh heavier on classic media rather than social media. Movies target everyone-every age group, every gender, every demographic. Thus, the use of commercials and printed ads still play an enormous role on a movie’s success, and they have the greatest impact for its’ targeted audience.

One of the most vital components in a solid marketing plan is the communication between a business and its customers. This aspect is one of the largest differences between classic media and social media, and it’s what allows social media to be a more influential platform in the marketing world.

Traditional media is a one-way street. The company delivers its message to the targeted audience, and the consumers listen. If any communication does take place, it’s a private one through a customer service hotline or email. Social media takes communicating with consumers to a larger, more effective level. This channel creates a two-way street between businesses and their consumers by allowing customers to give instant feedback. Businesses are able to monitor feedback (people’s posts, likes, comments, shares, etc.) more efficiently and respond instantaneously.

Colleen Dilenschneider states, “…reviews from trusted resources (including channels such as social media and word of mouth testimonials) have a value 12.85 times greater than paid media (broadcast, radio, and other types of traditional advertising).” (2013) This supports my philosophy that modern day channels of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogging, etc.) provide a stronger bond in communication with customers than classic media channels.

Screenshot of a Twitter exchange between American Airlines and a disgruntled customer. Credit: Forbes

Airlines arguably are affected the most by customers using social media to vent about their dissatisfied traveling experience. Although in this case, the two-way means of communication social media provides could impact a company negatively, it also allows the business to get immediate control over the situation. For instance, airlines could capitalize off of a complaint, by publically apologizing and offering a compromise to the unsatisfied customer. In fact, Forbes published a “How to Complain to Airlines on Twitter” article that lists the pros and cons for the airlines customer service teams.

The type of marketing a company should use, classic or social, depends on the brand and their purpose. Although many will argue that a solid marketing plan consists of both traditional and social channels, there isn’t much arguing that the communication that social platforms provide is priceless.


Dilenschneider, C. (2013, June 18). 5 Key Reasons Why Social Media Strategies Are Different Than Traditional Marketing Strategies. Retrieved January 17, 2016, from

Martin, G. (2014, October 24). How To Complain To Airlines On Twitter (And What You’re Doing Wrong). Retrieved January 17, 2016, from


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