In this day and age of relentless social media, emails and Google Adwords, you would be forgiven for thinking that digital marketing IS marketing. Nothing is worth doing unless it is in a digital format. Well, the irony is that whilst most people think that focusing entirely on digital campaigns presents you with a real opportunity to stand out from the crowd, they are simply following everyone else. What happened to offline marketing?
Whilst your competitors are trying to devise that winning combination of keywords that make their Adwords shine or find the right image to entice anyone to click on their latest Facebook post, you can be different. You can be a shining beacon in your field. How? By taking a look in to what most people would define as “the past”. Look at what marketing used to be like. Those staple methods of every successful company of the past Then apply them today. By going against the grain you will automatically stand out. The best thing is there are still many ideas that definitely still work.
Good Old Snail Mail
In this digital age, nothing has much of a tangible feel anymore. It is on a screen, far away from you being able to touch and feel it. So why not create something that your prospect can hold, touch and use? This is where a mailing campaign can really stand out. The possibilities for creative solutions are endless, and usually quite fun to think of. Receiving mail is no great shakes, but getting mail that looks different, feels different and reads differently will definitely stick in your prospect’s mind. Mail that stands out also tends to get through the gatekeeper if it looks like it is something very important or personal. There are endless examples of great mailing campaigns across the web. How about including your letter in a bright pink envelope, with a handwritten address? Most gatekeepers will presume it is a birthday card or at least something very personal to their boss!
Ok, perhaps you could say sending out physical mail is a lot more expensive and time-consuming than using social media. This is true to some extent. However, how are we measuring our return here? Though it takes time, with a creative mind you can make direct mail fit most budgets and as a one-off campaign method, I am not sure there are as many methods quite as effective, especially for B2B marketers finding it hard to get a foot in the door to that CEO. If you weighed up how much you spend on a typical AdWords campaign to sending unique, physical mail that really grabs the attention of your prospect, you may find the latter justifies the extra time, effort and expense you may need to go to!
Building Your Network
With the advent of social networks, you would think that networking is booming. Well, it is and it isn’t. People are creating relationships with hundreds of people online but that only fractionally replaces that one on one human interaction you can build in “real world” networking sessions. Offline, you can build deeper relationships which will likely prove to be more fruitful over time. The reality is it is almost always about who you know. If you are well connected to your business community or your customer base you are likely to see rich rewards in your workload. Sometimes online communities struggle to build such deep connections. It might well be worth renewing your BNI membership after all!
The other major benefit of networking is people really know who you are. This isn’t basing their knowledge of who you are by what you post on a social network but they understand you as a real person. You have a deeper connection. This leads right on to possibly the oldest of the old marketing methods that still work.
Word of Mouth (The Old Ones are the Best)
There is nothing more ancient than this method of marketing, but the reality is that getting people to talk to each other about your product or service is the most effective form of marketing there is. The core aspect of this method is that you just have to focus on what will get people talking about what you do. What little stand out extras can you do to make people want to shout about you?
The absolute best thing about word of mouth marketing is that people have so many places to share their experiences these days that if you can make them shout about it, you are laughing. Focus on the extras, the over-delivering or simply uniqueness to inspire people to say “Yes! I love these guys.” They can’t help but shout about you and what you do.
Get Your Customers to Do Your Work For You
This is another gem from the past, that businesses just simply don’t do well enough: testimonials. Working with your clients to create a story of their experience is an incredibly powerful marketing tool. Again, if you make it something they are proud to shout about they will even do the promoting for you. If they are your target customer they are likely to know similar people. If you can get them to shout about you, then it is a massive bonus. There is nothing more powerful than a very happy customer sharing their experience.
Make People Sing Your Tune
One of the more leftfield old marketing methods that still work are jingles, Yes, jingles! Those often cheesy ditties on an advert. I bet you can recall quite a few, and that’s kind of the point. They are stuck in your head. The reality is, and science now heavily backs up, that jingles do really, really work. These musical stamps for your business help people remember you, feel good about your brand and associate feelings with who you are. They are like little tuneful reminders about who you are that get lodged in people’s brains. You can use jingles on TV adverts, radio or podcasts, online videos… even your hold music. This is a method of marketing that is often forgotten by small businesses but there is a reason large corporations still use them, they work!
Therefore, next time you consider what to include in your marketing strategy, perhaps give a little time to look backwards and see what used to work. There are many old marketing methods that still work. They can help you stand out, be different and also bring you the business you need.