There’s no doubt that we live in a digital world. However, whilst technological advancements and social media have provided countless new avenues in the marketing industry, it’s not yet time to count out the classics when it comes to old-school tech marketing channels.

2022 is swiftly seeing the return of a number of old-school marketing tools, from QR codes to billboards to television marketing. Understanding the strengths of these technologies means that we are better able to mould and adapt them to remain at the forefront of the industry; it’s all about old school tech with new innovative uses.


Brief history of tech in marketing

Technology has influenced marketing for as long as it has existed, right back to around 1980 when databases started storing customer information. Then, in the 1990s, CRM databases recorded interactions with clients to develop customer research, which was followed by independent companies and SAAS businesses helping marketeers to track digital body language. Through the 2000s and 2010s, customers began to expect personalised ads and seamless experiences across devices and apps, creating a significantly more complex and diverse market in the modern day. In the midst of a more chaotic online world, many companies are finding success when they go back to basics with tried and tested, old-school marketing techniques. Familiarity and comfort are still significant factors with many consumers.


QR codes

QR codes have been around since the 1990s and have a variety of uses. They are a great way to exchange information at a distance which is increasingly important in light of the Covid19 pandemic, and the ability to scan them directly through a smartphone camera has significantly increased uptake. QR codes are useful when marketing to the public as they can be used to direct customers to landing pages, shortcut app downloads and provide fast digital check-ins. However, they’re also extremely useful within teams as a shortcut to send a message or email to coworkers. 


SMS Marketing

Text messages are one of the fastest ways to communicate with your audience, with the average text being seen within the first three minutes. This old-school tech is returning as its extremely cost effective and has many uses including welcome messages for new customers, sales, events and promotion information, booking confirmations and personalised offers. 


Email Marketing

Email inboxes are full of spam so it can be hard to differentiate your brand. That being said, content marketers consistently rate email newsletters as their highest performing type of content for securing new leads. All it takes is an effective tagline and a targeted potential customer list and the rest is easy. More recent email marketing uses include lead-nurturing campaigns, existing customer newsletters, upsells, review requests and referral programs.


TV Adverts

TV adverts are an effective form of marketing that allow companies to sell themselves to a wider audience. This is especially effective if the product is new and relatively unheard of. Whilst TV ads can be expensive, when compared with some high end influencer marketing it is often more financially viable. TV ads also allow for humour and creativity so you can sell your brand, as opposed to just your product. Nostalgia can be commodified on a wide scale, as many people still remember iconic TV ads from their childhood. There is a sense of security and safety in this marketing tool and key to remember that TV programmes can be watched on phones and tablets too!



Like TV adverts, billboards are a great way to advertise to a broader audience, which is great for companies selling goods with a wide consumer base like homeware or vehicles. Furthermore, with the technological advancement in this area, digital billboards allow for less of a commitment and a more cost effective solution than was previously possible. Again, it’s all about the hook: a unique and eye-catching billboard will grab peoples’ attention and can work in conjunction with an online campaign. 



Whilst it’s important to keep up to date on the latest marketing trends, classic tech channels still have a place in the digital market. It’s all about defining and knowing your target audience and consumer base and then catering to their needs. Old-school tech can seem more trustworthy in a time with a lot of technological fluctuations and although the marketing world is constantly changing, there is no need for replacement of old tech when it can support and enhance new tech campaigns! 

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