Kickin’ it Old School: Traditional Marketing Methods that Still Work

Many small business owners are so focused on mobile and social media marketing strategies that they’ve forgotten about some of the old school tactics that can still be effective. It’s easy to get tunnel vision because figuring out a well-rounded marketing plan can be really overwhelming and not knowing what to do makes it tempting to focus on only one thing at a time. But, we’re here to tell you that traditional marketing still has a place in this social media saturated world. It’s all about finding a nice balance between old and new.

Use paper. Paper is fun!

While going paperless is a great way to cut back on printing costs and “go green” at the same time, there’s something to be said for sending out the occasional newsletter or direct mailer. In fact, in an increasingly paperless world, there’s something about holding a piece of paper that people like and respond to. Next time you think about sending out an e-newsletter, do a paper one instead. You don’t have to send them all out on paper, but give it a whirl once in a while.

Sweepstakes sweep them off their feet (and help you gather data)

Remember back in the day when your mom used to enter sweepstakes?  You hardly ever see that anymore!  Why?  That was really fun to do and lots of folks participated in them. It doesn’t have to be a big thing either. Set up a box in your store where customers can drop registration slips with their names, home addresses and email addresses for a chance to win a gift card. This is a great way to collect some contact info for your database for future promotions. Now you have some folks to send your direct mailers and your e-newsletters to!

Send thank you notes just like your mom taught you

Imagine that you’re building a new deck this spring and you just purchased a lot of lumber and supplies. How would you feel if the salesperson at the lumberyard sent you a handwritten note thanking you for your business and wishing you luck on your project? You’d probably never forget it and you’re really likely to go back to that same place. Of course, you don’t have to send a note to everybody, but think about the folks who really impact your business and make sure they know they’re appreciated.

On the radio

Who listens to the radio anymore?  Lots of people do!  Radio can be a fantastic option if your budget doesn’t allow for a TV spot. Aside from doing a traditional spot, you can also volunteer to be a guest on a local radio show. You’ll get some free advertising and get to talk about what you do!  You can even mix a little old school with new school by getting on a podcast or even creating your own. How cool would that be?

Word of mouth

No amount of advertising can ever top word of mouth. People trust their friends and family in ways they’ll never trust even the most amazing ad. That’s why you need to reward those customers who send you business. Design a program so that when a loyal customer sends a friend to you, they get a little something for their trouble. It can be a gift card or even something as simple as a thank you note.

While there’s no definitive answer to what the right balance between old and new school is, it’s a good idea to try to incorporate both into your mix. If you only did traditional marketing, you’d be in trouble, but likewise, if you only do digital marketing, you’re also going to have issues. Avoid having tunnel vision, keep different things in the mix and you won’t go wrong!

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