Why You Shouldn’t Dismiss “Old School” Marketing Tactics
A little over a year ago, my husband launched his new law firm. As we were discussing ways to market his business, we decided to invest in advertising on the cover of the local yellow pages.
Not even close.
In fact, in looking at where Garth’s business came from this past year, the yellow pages is the second most driver of business to his firm (referrals are number one).
So, why did this work?
We paid attention to his audience.
Sure, we could have invested a lot of time and energy into online marketing tactics (and we still will). But, the county Garth works in is fairly rural and it has a lower rate of Internet usage compared to other areas. Since the yellow pages is delivered locally to every household, it made sense to invest in this approach.
Traditional Marketing Still Works
In the today’s business world, we spend a lot of time talking about social media and other digital marketing tactics. However, shouldn’t be the only marketing strategy you consider.
Even though traditional marketing tactics might not be sexy, it is still valuable for businesses – especially when you combine it with online marketing. The trick is to think about your business goals and where your audience is looking for information.
So, what kinds of traditional marketing should you consider? Here are some ideas:
- Advertising. You don’t have to buy expensive TV ads to get attention. For local businesses, there are plenty of other ways to build awareness through advertising. Billboards, event sponsorships, newspaper and radio, indoor ads (restroom ads!), transportation advertising (bus stops, busses, benches, etc.) and so much more. Depending on your desired audience and budget, this can be a great way to go.
- Media relations. Even though the media landscape has shifted, getting news coverage still holds value – whether it’s on TV, in the newspaper or now, on a blog. Not only does news/blog coverage help raise awareness for your brand, but it can help position you as a thought leader and a trusted source of information. Positive media coverage is still a great way to build brand credibility.
- Email. As I’ve discussed recently on the blog, email is not dead. Even though email marketing has been around for a number of years, it’s an incredibly effective way to communicate with clients and engage with prospects. And, not to mention, it’s a cost effective approach for small businesses as many email providers offer freemium models with little-to-no-cost for smaller lists.
- Tradeshows / Conferences. Participating in targeted tradeshows or can be an excellent way to get your brand in front of your target audience and capture leads for your business. Depending on your goals and budget, you can choose to attend, sponsor, exhibit or speak at the events.
- Printed materials. I think as our world becomes more and more digital, developing gorgeous printed materials is a great way to stand out. Perhaps I just have a love affair with print, but I think people are craving tactile items – especially if they are beautifully designed. Look around your business and see if there are ways you can amplify your message through brochures, posters, business cards, signs, etc.
- Direct mail. Although I rarely advocate for a direct mail campaign because it can be quite expensive, well-targeted mailings – especially if they are personalized – can be an impressive way to get attention. After all, who doesn’t like getting REAL mail amidst a mailbox full of junk?
There are plenty of other non-digital ways to promote your business, but this should give you some ideas of what tactics to consider as you move into your marketing plans for 2013.
What traditional marketing tactics would you add to the list? What traditional marketing tactics have worked best for you?
Image credit: 90s Child