Marketing has witnessed a paradigm shift with the advent of the internet. And while the internet has no doubt revolutionized the way we promote our brands and create publicity for our enterprises, several people have forgotten just how effective a traditional marketing strategy can be. Adverts on the roadside, giveaways of branded products, like pens and mugs and sponsorship of local events are all examples of very effective offline marketing strategies. These methods create publicity about your product or service in understated, yet effective ways. Here are some old-school marketing techniques that still get the job done today.
- Donate products and services as contest prizes: whenever there’s a local contest at a school, or a charity event, or even fundraising auctions, donate your products or the services you provide as prizes or items to be won. This is a simple, but sure marketing strategy, designed to connect with the public on a personal level, while participating in a good cause. When winners use your product or service, you’ll definitely get referrals from them.
- Change your packaging and brand presentation: revamp your presentation and change up the way your products look to keep up with the competition. If your look is outdated, changing it up will be an effective marketing strategy. A re-brand will make you more visible and draw attention to your products at the same time. Looks matter, and a re-brand in the right direction is always a welcome change.
- Distribute business cards whenever you can: this is one of the oldest marketing strategies and was once the most used. It is probably the easiest and cheapest offline marketing strategy. Pass out business cards to neighbours, “accidentally forget” them at the bank counter, pin them to public notice boards at churches, schools and any other place you think you can get a client from. Though small, business cards are a very powerful tool in your marketing strategy.
- Give talks at events: attend events pertinent to your industry or field and deliver an informative and educational speech. This is a marketing strategy that will leave a lasting impression in the minds of your audience and peers. It will also put a spotlight on your business and help get you references. However, if you don’t have the relevant clout to deliver a speech to peers, it’s still an important marketing strategy to attend the events, introduce yourself and network with others. The relationships you build from this could be of immense value later on.
- Make cold calls to potential customers: cold calling – if done properly is a marketing strategy that could get you several new customers on a daily basis – first from the calls and later from the referrals those new customers will eventually get you. Organize a list of potential customers and call them up. Make every call tailored to the potential client and your chances of making a customer out of them will increase. This marketing strategy will imply that you do a little research on each person you intend to call and could be time-consuming, but the rewards will more than compensate for the effort.
- Participate in trade shows/trade fairs: Trade fairs bring several different players from their industries and put them under the same roof – or stand. This is a perfect means to spy on your competition, and see what marketing and sales strategies you could steal from them. Study their sales pitch, marketing tools and observe their strategy in all aspects. All this should be done with the knowledge that trade shows are also an avenue to make some new customers and get the chance to showcase your products and do some marketing of your own. Meet other professionals in your industry and find opportunities with and through them.
- Use billboards: billboards are an in-your-face marketing strategy that will definitely spark curiosity in the minds of potential customers. Whether static billboards or multimedia boards, give an advert with a clear and relevant call to action. Ensure your ads are innovative and attention-grabbing enough to stand out in the midst of the myriad of billboards out there.
These old, but effective marketing strategies have been abandoned by several individuals and firms in favour of more modern marketing strategies – mostly on social media and television. Though social media has a global reach, these marketing strategies are targeted at a more local potential customer base, making them more personal than social media advertising. Using these marketing strategies alongside social media will definitely give you an edge over your local competitors.