In With the Old, In With the New

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For ecommerce, reaching out to customers is key to increase sales – but do we interact with them using old media or new media? Here, we discuss the differences between the two and how both can, and should, be used to bring traffic to your online store.

Old media (also known as traditional media) is a lot like Elvis – we all think he’s dead but deep down we know he’s roaming around somewhere. And just like Elvis, old media is still raking in tons of money despite its apparent death. I’m also not crazy about the idea of new media causing this death – why can’t everyone just get along? Luckily for us in ecommerce, there are ways to use both of these “foes” to increase exposure, traffic and sales to your online store.

Old Media, New Media – Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off

So what’s the difference between the old and new? Here’s a brief summary of what industry leaders agree upon:

  • Old/Traditional Media – Any type of media created and accepted for use before the internet (i.e. television, radio, newspaper, magazine, books, etc.)
  • New Media – Any type of channel related to the Internet (i.e. websites, Google, Twitter, podcasts, online video, etc.)

I think this definition is a bit too confining and doesn’t provide any insight on how people are using these channels. Here’s the best way to think about it:

  • Old/Traditional Media = PASSIVE media. In other words, this is a one-way message to potential customers. Like with TV, a viewer simply views an advertisement but can’t converse with it.
  • New MediaINTERACTIVE media. So, like with Twitter, users can talk with another, share valuable resources, and make connections with your business – all of these require responses.

How to Make the Most of Both

Think of old media as a method of inviting customers to interact with you through new media. Just like when you’re in a bar, you have to walk up to someone and say hello before they talk to you. Thus, consider TV spots, newspaper articles, flyers, etc. as that hello. Consider it a way to build awareness of your business. Then, once people respond to your hello, build relationships through your new media vehicles. Find out what your followers like and want to see. Then deliver on that.

Simply put, old media is a key driver of new media growth. Just think of the traffic that would come to your online channels if you had a major news story circulating through the papers and on television. Try using both forms and gauge the results – you just might find that Elvis hasn’t left the building, and in fact, can actually bring more people into your building.

-Matt Winn, Marketing Associate

What do you think of the battle between new media and old media? Do you agree with the definitions provided? Are you currently using either of these outlets to contact customers? How do you feel about new and old media working together – is it possible? Let us know!


Matt Winn is Volusion’s Senior Brand Manager, where he helps oversee the organization’s branding and communications efforts. Matt has created hundreds of articles, videos and seminars on all things ecommerce, ranging from online marketing to web design and customer experience. Beyond being a certified nerd, Matt is an avid college football fan, enthusiastic home cook and a self-admitted reality TV junkie.

2 Responses to “In With the Old, In With the New”

  1. Keith Ellertson

    You know I haven’t watched the television set for about a month or so. In fact I just simply had them turn it off.

    Now it’s a race for online marketing and it looks like it’s wide open.
    Thanks for the post my friend.

    Keith Ellertson

  2. In With the Old, In With the New » Ecommerce Blog

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