The whole world has gone digital, and marketing as we used to know it has changed almost beyond recognition. Entire industries have sprouted up to help businesses market their products and services online and many digital enterprises are operating in a virtual environment – often with just a laptop, a phone and an internet connection.
Much has been said and written about the decline of traditional marketing methods, such as radio and print advertising in recent years. However, even the most tech-savvy businesses should be very careful before completely writing off all non-digital methods of marketing. Here are a few ‘old-school’ marketing techniques that are still surprisingly effective.
No matter what business you are in, there will be a convention or trade show for it. Some people may see them as talk-fests, however, the opportunity to interact and network with a large concentration of your targeted audience can be a priceless opportunity. All you need is a booth, some pull-up banners that will draw the crowd and perhaps some cool giveaways, and you can generate a huge number of qualified leads in a very short space of time.
Paradoxically, the digital world has actually made it easier to organize and promote ways for people to connect through networking events. Online services such as meetup.com and Eventbrite allow like-minded people and businesses the opportunity to network with counterparts with whom they would otherwise be unlikely to connect.
Business referral groups such as BNI have hundreds of thousands of members around the world and encourage them to create meaningful connections and networks that create new business opportunities for other members of the group. These referral-based marketing structures create tens of billions of dollars’ worth of new business every year.
Another traditional method that has benefitted from the digital explosion, the humble press release now has the potential to be picked up by thousands of online outlets all over the world, exponentially increasing the geographic and numeric scope of reach. There are numerous online press release services that are sifted through daily, and even smaller businesses now have an opportunity to have their message heard by a global audience.
There are not many people that genuinely enjoy picking up the phone to call someone they don’t know and try to sell them something they have no idea whether they will want or need. It’s a tough gig, but despite what many pundits say, cold calling is very much alive and well. As with other methods we have looked at, digital media has made it easier to succeed with this tried and true method. With the ability to look at a prospective client’s website and social media feeds, it is much easier to find out important information that can help with a sales pitch.
“What?”, I hear you ask! “I thought print was dead?”. Well, not so fast. There is no question that the print media world has been shaken to the core with the uptake of the internet and it is highly unlikely to ever regain that lost ground. However, there are a few surprising benefits for businesses to take advantage of. Firstly, the decrease in readership of print media has sent the majority of advertisers scurrying away, which has dramatically pushed the prices down. For a small business without an existing profile, the remaining readers may still represent an attractive target.
As you can see, there is still plenty of life left in the traditional marketing landscape. No matter what your business is, it is worth giving serious consideration to how these and other methods can help you grow your business.