We are living in a fast-paced, high technology world so it is only natural that business techniques keep up. Everybody talks about online marketing but some traditional marketing techniques have stood the test of time. They are still being used by many successful big brands in the world. You should think about investing in some traditional marketing techniques if they will work for your company. Here are a few techniques that are worth trying.
Brick and Mortar Store
If you have an actual store, invest in signs and door hangers and even lights or LED signs. You want to get the word out there so professionally made tarps are a good idea to blanket the town with. You want to stay on top of mind with your customers so you need to market to them offline. These advertisements will help drive traffic to your online campaigns and reinforce what they see online. Another advantage of this techniques is you localize your brand so people in the community trust you more. You can create direct leads with this strategy.
Attend trade shows
If you don’t have the budget to join trade shows and showcase your products and services, it is a good idea to just attend them and bring a bunch of business cards with you. This benefits you two ways – you get to see what your competition has to offer and you can market your business to potential clients and investors. Networking requires a small investment of cash and time but may offer you a major return on your investment.
Local community events
Community events usually don’t cost a lot of money. You should try to join these events so that your community can know you better. This will also provide you with a good opportunity to know your target audience better – their age group, ethnicity, likes, dislikes, buying behaviour, etc.
Community events are a way to jumpstart your relationship with your target market when you are a new business. Your customers will have the opportunity to know your products from your perspective. If you make a good impression, you can be sure to be marketed through word of mouth. As you know, this techniques is one of the most valuable and influential types of marketing. It builds trust because someone is saying something good about your product from their personal experience and familiarity with your brand/product/service.
Conferences are a good way to know what’s new and what’s out there. But, it is also a great way to market your brand. You can meet clients, partners, investors, etc. No matter how great your marketing skills are, it is still better to go face to face with your target audience. It is also always a good idea to improve your knowledge and skills.
Join trade shows
When you have saved enough money to join prestigious trade shows in your area, join them. They are considered to be old school but they still work and a lot of companies, both big and small, still join them. Joining trade shows require a small investment but it will give you some face-to-face interaction with many different kinds of people.
Events are still a great way to draw crowds. You can invest in on-site marketing activities. You can also sponsor events but make sure that you are visible and memorable to your audience. If you sponsor an event with just a tarpaulin or banner, you are not making an impact. Invest in giveaways, discount coupons, etc. so that you can be top of mind.
Events are great ways to capture photos and videos of your customers enjoying your products. You can use these in your social media and other marketing materials.
Printed materials cost money but you can be smart about it. You can go to the neighbourhood printers or you can do them in-house. Invest in a good printer or photocopier or multifunction printer. If you can constantly need these materials, consider hiring a graphic artist. A physical piece of marketing such as a professionally made brochure can have a real impact on your consumer. Reaching someone with a flier, brochure, poster or even billboard will help reinforce what you are doing online. It also informs people that you are running a legitimate business.
Consider your audience
Traditional marketing is not for everybody. If your audience is composed primarily of young people, traditional media might not work as effectively as online strategies. Invest in printed media, direct mailing, print ads, etc. if that is what your target audience is into. If you don’t have a lot of online customers, allocate more of your budget to traditional marketing.
Use measurable strategies
What good is a strategy if you cannot measure how effective it is? Choose how you advertise your brand. You should be able to track traffic and convert them into sales.
Surprise your customers
Customers love it when you go the extra mile for them. Instead of investing in advertisements, you can invest your money in free products that your customers will appreciate. These don’t have to be expensive. Just choose a product that is related to your brand, print your brand or logo on it and send it to your customer with their purchased item. You can also give them free shipping. Free shipping is one of the most effective ways to encourage sales.
Handwritten notes and cards
Nothing beats a handwritten card or note that is sent via snail mail (or courier if you prefer). Birthdays, Christmas and other major events are a great way to greet your customers and help them remember you. They will appreciate the gesture and feel special. You can expect to have loyal customers that will stick with you for the long run.
Wear your brand
You and your staff can get the word out there by wearing your brand. You can order customized shirts, jackets, backpacks, etc. with your brand, logo and website on them. You can attract younger clientele with this strategy.
Digital marketing is constantly evolving. What was considered to be good and effective 5 years ago is no longer the case today. Here are a few trends and strategies that you can use today and in the coming year.
Integrate digital marketing effectively into your overall strategy
What role does digital marketing play into your overall strategy? Is it your primary strategy or is it something you use to support another bigger strategy? Perhaps the biggest challenge that digital marketers face is integrating their tactics effectively and implementing them with the overall theme of the company. It requires them to visualize and predict the outcome of their campaigns. They need to have the right people, processes, tools and metrics to make the most out of their plan. They need a long-term strategy to go with their campaigns. If you are not well-versed with digital marketing, you might consider hiring an expert in this field. If you do not have the budget, you can attend seminars, buy books, listen to podcasts and do some research of your own. You should at least have a basic understanding of the concepts of digital marketing so that if you do hire someone to do the job, you can understand what they are talking about.
Understanding growth hacking
Growth hacking is also known as CRO or Conversion Rate Optimisation. It is a concept from startup companies that is being used in larger organisations since 2013. Growth hacking encompasses a lot of aspects. Digital marketers also need to look at testing different business and pricing models as well as refining their product offerings.
Modern marketing focuses on making customers satisfied, going the extra mile for them, etc. This is why more and more companies are investing in tools and resources to make the total customer experience better. Some companies even go as far as building a team that manages Customer Experience. Total customer experience is different from just user experience in that it maps the customer’s journey from choosing a product to buying it and using it. It also includes post sales activities such as customer service. In short, the whole customer lifecycle is observed, managed and evaluated.
Defining the right online propositions
Like in the real world, people online also have different personas. You have to know their buying schemes. You have to know what time they go online, when they post on their Facebook or send a Tweet. You need to know the best time to contact them. You need to know when they shop online or when they browse products online. By knowing these things, you will be able to come up with the right propositions for each of your unique customers. There are tools that will help you figure these facts out. These will help you build your brand online across different digital platforms.
You need to find out where your customers hang out online. Last year, advertisers paid more attention to Facebook, LinkedIN and Twitter for this reason. More people are found in these websites so it is only logical to place ads in these social media. Paid media will just become more popular next year so if you don’t have a strategy in place, prepare one as soon as possible.
You should also have a mobile device strategy as more and more people are choosing to connect using their smartphones or tablets. Some websites don’t show well on mobile devices so you want to avoid those when looking for a place to advertise in. Test different options and refine those that work.
Tools to assess effectiveness
You need to be able to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns. There are free and paid tools online to do this. Most small companies rely on Google Analytics to keep track of their online presence. Google Analytics is free and easy to understand.
Mobile ad investment
As we mentioned above, more and more people are using their tablets and smartphones to access their social media, browse the Internet, send emails and do some online shopping and comparison. It is important that you have a mobile strategy in place. It will require some investment but it is totally worth it. Google’s enhanced AdWords campaign is one tool you can use if you are on a budget. It allows you to set your budget daily. You don’t pay for something you cannot afford.
But, mobile marketing is not for everyone. Try to study it and test different models until you find the right one that works for you. If it does not, don’t push it. You can try next year or when the timing is right. You might need to make your other online presence stronger before committing to a mobile strategy. Try to find out why mobile marketing is not working for you.
Whether it’s in your own website or your sponsored blogger’s site, content is king. Quality content is important. Choose where you post about your brand. Tailor your content according to your audience. Some people want more photos while some just want to read through what you have to say.
No matter what some people may say, Google is still the search engine to watch out for in terms of changes in algorithm. Most digital marketers work hand in hand with their IT department with regard to this issue. Search is still the major driver of leads, visits and sales for most businesses that is why companies strive to put in place the best practices for search engine optimization.
At the end of the day, you need to evaluate your different campaigns and strategies. You need to evaluate your content. What is performing and what is not. Why do visitors find content 1 interesting and not content 2? If you rewrite content 2, would it be more appealing? Evaluate your social media strategy. Maybe you are not right for Twitter and are a better fit for Instagram. What about Pinterest? Have you considered leveraging this site? Do not stop evaluating your techniques and in time, you will find a combination that works right for your company and its goals.
How to Mix Traditional and Digital Marketing
There are many traditional marketing techniques that have been developed years ago that are still in use today. No matter how high-tech our world is now, these techniques are still effective and surprisingly, they prove to be effective with different demographics and different kinds of customers.
Digital marketing is the same. Digital marketing is fairly young compared to traditional techniques but you can be sure that it is here to stay. 2013 is considered to be the revolutionary year for digital marketing. It continued to grow strong through the first part of 2014 and today, you can see how it has impacted millions of lives. We can expect it to be even better as the year ends and another one starts.
Traditional marketing ruled just a decade back but digital marketing is quickly gaining momentum. New techniques are being developed every day. Social media plays a major role in our everyday lives. This means that businesses cannot afford not to have a digital marketing plan. Whether it’s social networks, mobile websites, location-based services or social web, every company must have a strategy in place.
However, does this mean that traditional marketing techniques will become obsolete? If not totally obsolete, will they be not as effective as they used to be? Should marketers just focus on digital marketing and abandon old school techniques? Clearly, this issue is debatable. The safest answer is that it really depends on the company.
For most companies, the right mix of traditional and digital marketing is the perfect strategy. This combination helps them achieve the best results.
Traditional or Digital?
It’s not about choosing one over the other because each one has its own merits and inevitably, its own disadvantages depending on the organization. How an organization uses a certain technique according to their goals will greatly impact the effectiveness of a digital or traditional strategy. The right question to ask is how to use the two together to gain maximum benefits for your business.
TV and print advertisements are traditional media. They are still effective up to this day but they are no longer kings. New Media is the trend now. It represents a wide array of modern techniques which include Social Media, Web 2.0 and Rich Internet Applications. It is now considered as the world’s most popular media. In saying that, it is wrong to disregard print and TV because they are still very valuable marketing media. With the right new media techniques, imagine what you can achieve with the combination.
TV and Print
This article covers TV and print primarily because they are the most recognized forms of traditional marketing. They are also the closest to New Media Marketing as online ads are just like TV commercials. Blogs and online magazines just evolved from the humble newspaper.
TV and print media can work well with new forms of marketing. You just need the right balance. You can maximize your investment and your ROI. Ever heard of Internet TV? It’s a perfect example of the marriage of the two kinds of strategies. By going online, many TV channels have gained more popularity. For one, people who do not have access to a television during certain hours of the day can access the TV channel’s website via their computers. This demonstrates the increasing influence of new media to our everyday lives.
As a matter of fact, most successful modern marketing campaigns have used a combination of TV, print and online campaigns.
There is a third kind of marketing that is gaining momentum and that is mobile marketing. Mobile marketing uses digital marketing techniques but on a smaller, more mobile scale. Mobile marketing is specifically designed for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
A lot of people rely on their mobile devices to get work done. They also use it for entertainment and even shopping purposes. So, it is only wise that a company starts investing their time and resources in mobile marketing.
Traditional techniques are not instantaneous. They also have limited reach. If you want to increase your reach, you need to shell out money. Most small businesses don’t have that kind of money. Digital marketing is the answer to the small business’ problem. They can advertise within their budget by using many online tools such as Google AdWords and similar programs. Digital marketing is instant. It can be anywhere. So mobile marketing is a step higher because the techniques used here are refined, more targeted. Mobile devices are no longer an optional channel for marketing. If you have a company, you need a website and if you have a website you must have a mobile website. Not all websites show up nicely on a mobile device. Remember, the screens are smaller and the main scrolling tool used are the fingers. It’s an entirely new world with an entirely new set of rules. Not to mention an entirely new set of customers just waiting to be reached out to.
Digital marketers can utilize these two worlds. They can combine native apps and mobile websites to make their brand more connected and visible. More people will have access to their website. In today’s world, you want to be connected to your customers. You want to be visible to potential customers.
Use traditional methods to strengthen your online presence. Do not forget to include your website and email address in all your print media. If you have a mobile app, include that as well. If you are in the food or retail business, it’s a good idea to have your own app developed so that people can just download it and go to your app directly and make a purchase. This saves time for both parties. You can also track your customers better.
Think about how you want to position yourself in the market and then pick out which traditional and digital marketing techniques you want to use to achieve your goals. It might not be perfect the first time but through trial and error, you will eventually get the right mix.