Old School Marketing Tactics That Still Work in the Real World

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By Jacob Maslow

The digital world seems to have changed everything, but some marketing strategies still work well whether your customers make their purchases in the store or online. Some principles remain constant, such as customer loyalty, reaching where they are, and brand visibility. Incorporating a bit of the old together with the new in your marketing toolbox will prepare your business for success.

The following are time-honored marketing methods and tactics that still are effective:

  1. Newspapers and Magazines
  2. Email marketing
  3. Content Marketing
  4. Flyers
  5. Promotional Items
  6. Signs
  7. Promotions for Existing Customers

Although many business owners in the digital age may assume print marketing, such as newspapers and magazines, is dead, marketers understand this is far from true. Print ads are ideal for high-end products since print newspaper and magazine readers tend to be more affluent. In addition, print advertising leads to greater brand recognition, and 82% of consumers surveyed said they found brands and products more reliable when advertised in newspapers and magazines they read. Companies that combined print and digital ads saw triple-digit increases in the effectiveness of their campaigns.

Email marketing may not be a hundred years old. Still, those who emphasize social media marketing may assume that email is old-fashioned and plays second fiddle to Facebook ads and organic leads from Whatsapp. However, email is still one of the most reliable ways to reach people.

It was found that people tend to be more protective of their email addresses than even their phone numbers because they regularly use Whatsapp. However, consumers will regularly have more than one email address and save one for correspondence they genuinely value. For example, in one survey, 50% of customers wanted to receive promotional emails from brands they liked. That means that if someone is willing to part with their email, they already are halfway to buying something from that company.

Content marketing also sounds very early 21st century, but it is still important in the 2020s. Websites are still important, but they aren’t places to stuff meaningless articles that provide little value apart from dragging people there because of tactical keyword placement. Today’s content marketing focuses not only on driving traffic through keywords but converting visitors to customers once they have reached the page or site.

This means creating meaningful, valuable content. A brand should tell a story and captivate visitors so they will want to stay on a site, find out more about a product or even subscribe or make a purchase. Content is not distant and formal, but personal and intriguing and should not just attract attention but garner loyalty.

Flyers sound old hat and may not be terrific for the environment, but they still seem to work for locals. Of course, there are few things more old-fashioned than hiring a kid to stand outside on a Saturday morning at the town center or a mall handing out flyers, but this tactic is an oldie but goodie. In 2021, it signals a refreshing change from the thousands of digital ads people see every day and involves live, personal contact with something they can hold in their hands.

Promotional items, such as bags with a logo, totes, cups, pens, and other graphic design, company name, and a catchphrase, like flyers, hark back to another era but still work well. We might get tired of seeing the same lanyards and coasters at large conferences, but these items are still used and noticed long after the conference is over.

There is a subliminal aspect to this kind of marketing tactic. We might not be that impressed when we see a white brand name on a blue background with an unusual graphic design, but if we see it several times, it becomes part of our consciousness and we may become curious about the product. An old marketing rule of thumb is that it takes seven interactions with a brand before a customer purchases. Promotional items like pens and bags will take care of a few of these interactions and increase sales.

Signs are the backbone of brand awareness. Few things could be more evident than just hanging a sign indicating the product and features you want consumers to remember. Even though this is an obvious tactic, it is genuine, straightforward, and gets the message across.

Also, in a digital era, people may appreciate signs on brick and mortar stores even more. It is something that attracts their attention after they are bombarded with digital ads. Seeing a sign in an actual store close to where they live can pique their interest not despite, but because of, the digital age–physical stores and real signs become special.

Sign spinners are cheap and can also be eyecatching. However, hiring a school kid to spin a sign for a few hours outside your store may charm visitors. It will undoubtedly attract attention may guide customers to your store.

Promotions for Existing Customers are essential for running a hardware store in the middle of a town center or a massive online eCommerce company. A repeat customer has a 60% to 70% greater chance of purchasing than a first-time customer. Therefore it is important to engage your customers as much as possible through newsletters and providing them with special promotions. Rewarding customer loyalty is a marketing tactic that will never go out of style.

Marketing That Stands the Test of Time

Marketing trends may come and go, but certain things will never go out of style. Sometimes the more old-fashioned certain things become, such as flyers or print ads, the more unique they seem and lends a certain nostalgia and sense of classiness to a brand. Making sure your brand gets noticed, reaching out to customers where they are and where they make purchases, and rewarding brand loyalty are key elements to a successful marketing campaign.

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