Direct Response Advertising VS Traditional Advertising

For small businesses wanting to grow and expand like the big corporations, there’s the need to know which to go for between advertising the traditional way, or the direct response way…


For clarity sake, traditional advertising is the advertising done on the popular traditional mediums – newspapers, events sponsoring, billboards ads, TV ads, radio ads, posters, handbills, etc. – otherwise known as mass advertising…advertising done to reach a mass, non-targeted audience. 


This kind of advertising is normally beset with a number of disadvantages:



  1. They’re hard to change.



You can’t easily change an advert you’ve printed on billboards, posters, handbills, or that you’ve sent to the TV, radio, or for event sponsorships, etc.



  1. They’re not easily measurable.



For instance, you can’t easily measure how many people saw the adverts you placed on a billboard, etc.



  1. They’re not easily targeted.



You can’t easily measure how many bee keepers actually saw your TV ad for bee keeping…you can’t also tell whether or not they received your adverts in the right moments, like for example, were they sleeping or awake when your ad was running on the radio?



  1. You can’t easily decide on your budget for the ads.



TVs and radio ads have fixed billing costs.


You can’t change that.


The costs of printing and/or displaying handbills, billboards, posters, etc., are all fixed.


There’s practically nothing you can do to control that.


So, whether or not people see or get your adverts through theses mediums, you’re still going to pay – and they’re mostly huge payments.



Meanwhile, direct response advertising on the other end is that form of advertising that’s most result-oriented for any kind of business – whether small business or established large corporation.


The system of direct response advertising goes something like:


  1. Target the correct audience.


  1. Suck in the audience with a big compelling idea.


  1. Have an over-the-top offer with a clear CTA.


  1. Use creative and compelling copy to avoid losing them.


  1. Have clear metrics in place.


     6. Identify what a new customer is worth and what you’re willing to pay to acquire them.



You can now see for yourself where you should aim your advert spending at for maximum customer-acquisition and customer-monetization as a business looking to make much of their advert spending.


I was actually invited by MC Special – Olabamiji Akintunji to discuss this topic on Agidigbo (Online) Radio (, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria on Saturday, February 10, 2018.







…and I just felt you shouldn’t be left out of such an awesome discussion.


Share your thoughts about this topic in the comments section below



2 comments on “Direct Response Advertising VS Traditional Advertising

  1. From my own perspective, both the traditional and direct response adverts are working together simply because the traditional advert has the capability to generate a long term impression for someone (provided that such person running it continually), hence you business and your business name becomes more popular than you are
    And also what I still sees as barrier in the traditional methods is that;
    It is not an option for the upcoming business man/infant business because is costlier and doesn’t have a quick returns

    • Yeah Kolaoye.

      You’re perfectly on point.

      Traditional advertising isn’t totally bad…

      Only it’s mostly used for brand image building and expansion…

      And it’s also expensive for the startups and middle-class businesses to embark upon.

      The direct response way, on the other side is cheaper, cost-effective, and even more targeted…

      Which is the perfect system needed by businesses that are just coming up.

      I’m coming up with more elaborations on the topic in some of my posts these days…expect it!

      Thank you for finding time to reach out, Kolaoye!

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