In an internet world of e-commerce, Google ads and automated emails, is there really a place for old style marketing techniques in the modern business environment? If you want your business to succeed, the answer is an emphatic yes.
Even in today’s digital world, business associates, consumers, and clients, still prefer to deal with a real person, rather than an anonymous keyboard. If your company banners, business cards, and promotional materials are gathering dust in the storeroom, it’s time to dig them out. Here's why you need to get back to some traditional marketing, and which methods still work.
Trade Shows and Expos
We should know! We work with companies every day who continue to attend trade shows and expos because they see direct results in attending the events.
Whether you operate in the service sector, engineering, retail, or commercial industries, booking a stand at a relevant trade show or expo will help to establish and promote your business. (Don’t forget your company banners, business cards and promotional flyers!) Having a prominent presence at a trade show or expo boosts brand awareness, and puts a face to the company far better than a headshot on a website.
Remember, first impressions count for a lot. Get on first name terms with new connections, and concentrate on what solution you could provide to their specific pain point, rather than hard selling your product. If worked properly, the expo or trade show will also provide a good number of contacts to be followed up in the ensuing weeks.
Get on the Phone
While cold calling is not to be recommended, a trade show follow up phone call will be better received than an impersonal email. It shows a personal interest in the prospective client and their business. It could even generate further leads in the form of referrals from the prospective client to their business associates.
Another way to generate referrals is to reconnect with your current client base. Start contacting existing customers on a regular monthly basis. Ask if they are satisfied with your service, and if not, what needs changing. In most instances they will appreciate the call, and respect the fact you consider them important enough to contact personally.
A Little Traditional Networking
We are forever being told by e-commerce gurus, to concentrate on networking, to know our audience, and target relevant social media platforms. Do the same in the real world.
It doesn’t have to cost a lot - maybe just a few beers and appetizers. We gave our informal meetup a name, and the Think and Drink events have led to several great connections. Contact your local suppliers, customers, and others in the same industry, for an informal get-together in a local hotel, or at a gastro pub in town. It provides the opportunity to discuss new processes, industry news and business gossip. Local networking can pay big dividends, especially if you have a small niche business.
Traditional Print Advertising
There is still a place for targeted print advertising. While many regional and local newspapers have faded away, trade and hobbyist magazines continue to thrive. By combining a traditional advertising campaign with complimentary copy in the news section or blog on your website, you stand the best chance of drawing new potential suppliers, clients and customers.
You can take any print collateral to the next level, too. Simply add direct links to more in-depth pages on your website, so that interested print readers have a relevant page to land on to learn more about you, your business, and how to get in touch.
Consider Local Sponsorship
The challenging financial times of recent years has seen high growth in local fairs and events run by councils and charities to generate funds for good causes. If your business relies heavily on local footfall through the doors, sponsoring local events can pay big dividends.
You don’t have to sponsor the whole affair. Sponsor a stall by paying the rental fee, supplying the merchandise, or donate a cup or plaque for the winners of various events. In exchange, company promotional banners can be erected, and a mention given in the event program and promotional advertising.
Snail Mail Marketing
Remember those days of junk mail? Envelope after envelope getting immediately recycled or tossed, without ever being opened. Things have moved on. Now we live in the realm of junk email, with more of those mail shots, discounts and special offers ending up in the junk folder, without ever being opened.
Many young millennial entrepreneurs believe that, when they have got their business website up and running, added automated emailing, and subscribed to one of the online advertising platforms, there is no need to consider other marketing strategies. Certainly online marketing is cheaper, and the potential audience huge, but that’s the rub, that word, potential.
Since the advent of the internet, direct mail marketing has declined, making it the ideal marketing tool to be re-explored. With fewer envelopes dropping through the letterbox, your mail is far more likely to be opened and acted upon. Especially if it contains discount coupons or other promotional offers. Simply make sure the message is clear, and the information is high value when returning to direct mail for maximum effect.
Whatever your digital marketing techniques, email campaigns or social media, you have to entice and cajole new clients to visit your website. In other words, it tends to be a reactive process. By targeting your required demographic using some traditional marketing strategies that are proven to still be effective, you are taking a more proactive approach to generating that much needed new business.
This blog post was written with the help and expertise of our partner, ExpoCart. Based in the UK, ExpoCart is a team of creative marketing masterminds looking to make each exposition the best it can be.