It seems that online is the only form of marketing that anybody cares about anymore. There is no question that digital marketing is a powerful medium that represents a massive opportunity for most businesses. In developed countries retail is declining and many household name brands have fallen by the wayside or had to scramble to adapt to a changing economy. However, if you have come to the conclusion that traditional marketing techniques are no longer relevant, then think again. No matter how powerful the digital revolution becomes, there will always be some old-school methods that will remain a relevant and effective part of your marketing mix. Here are a few:
Everybody loves a bit of free swag. Providing your clients with something tangible and useful in the form branded promotional products is still a powerful way to keep your brand front of mind. Whether it’s a pen, reusable coffee cup, t-shirt, mousepad or any of the myriad of items available, people will appreciate something that they can use every day and will remind them of you every time they do.
Far too many people are under the misguided impression that Facebook likes and Instagram follows are a legitimate replacement for network building based on genuine connections, mutual benefit and creation of value. Make no mistake, networking is alive and well and will continue to be a powerful engine for business growth. Whether it’s formal networking groups such as BNI, or informal groups on Meetup.com, you are sure to find an opportunity to connect with potential clients or partners on a personal level.
The clamoring calls that cold calling is dead continue to reverberate. Here’s a little secret: those calls are dead wrong. Cold calling works, and if done well can be a significant generator of growth for your business. The problem is not cold calling itself, but the fact that most cold callers are simply not good at it. Most people would rather have a root canal than pick up the phone and try to sell something to someone they have never met. However, if you have the right skills, approach and time management, you can experience significant success.
Conferences & Trade Shows
What could be more effective than having hundreds, if not thousands of qualified leads concentrated in one spot? Exhibiting at conferences and trade shows is still a hugely effective method of generating leads and making connections. To increase the effectiveness of your presence, speak with the organizers to get a gig as a speaker at a breakout session, industry panel or roundtable. The chance to share your expertise and viewpoint with a captive audience will give you great credibility and establish a sense of trust that will go a long way towards winning new business.
I can hear you scoffing already, but answer me this question: If direct marketing doesn’t work, why is your postbox consistently overflowing with “junk mail”? If it weren’t effective, firms wouldn’t be doing it. Print advertising is a testament to that fact. Again, it’s not a question of if, but how. This form of marketing works exceptionally well for smaller local business. People respond with an immediate connection to enterprising operators in their local area that offer personal service and the convenience of proximity.
There is no question that digital will continue to grow in importance, however with the above points in mind, there are still plenty of reasons to step away from your device for a little while and engage in a little bit of old school marketing.