Should Traditional Marketing Be Replaced by Social Storytelling?

After a discussion about storytelling with my friends, did remind me some hot debate online recently. Some marketers think that traditional marketing methods will cease to be useful and social storytelling will take place of it.

However, other people have the different view that traditional marketing still plays an important part in promoting products. As for me, I agree that although storytelling becomes increasingly important, traditional marketing still useful in the near future.


The image is from Google,  available at

Today, more and more marketers may turn traditional marketing to social media. With the development of technology, marketers think that newspaper and banner ads are dying, Radio is not as popular as before and customers like the internet. Among all the tools, social storytelling is one of the most popular tools favored by marketers. However, social storytelling is not as simple as we think. Social Storytelling does not merely tell a fantasy story about branding and social media is more than creating a Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and so on. An attractive story telling must be around the brand. Besides, one of the most important points is that stories have to be unique and attract people to engage and brands can use this unique story to win lots of customers. For example, Toms shoes asked people to go barefoot for a day, which became a story and meant a lot to many people. The idea behind the story: children in poor countries need shoes to stay alive, touched lots of people, which attracted many people to buy their shoes. Therefore, we can see that storytelling becomes more important in brands’ destiny.

However, not every storytelling is successful and completely taking the place of traditional marketing can bring danger. Although many people start using the internet and the ratio of using traditional tools declines because the technology has made great progress, a large number of people still use traditional tools, such as television and radio. Internet methods are subject to clients who uses an online medium easily and being good at the Internet. However, as for traditional marketing, anyone who can access to television, newspaper, mail service or radio can learn something about the brands. You should show your customers who you are and what your brand is talking about by television advertisement and other tradition methods rather than wait for customers going online to hear your storytelling.

Therefore, although social media becomes much more important than before, we should still pay attention to tradition marketing. In order to success, the brands combine the advantage of traditional marketing with high-tech social storytelling.


More opinions about the discussion are available on:

“The Red Cross: Why authentic storytelling beats traditional marketing” by Paul Furiga



“Social vs. Traditional Media: Has the Battle Already Ended?” by Bailey Roy





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