Marketing evolves and changes to fit the world around it. Because of this constant evolution, some of the things that used to work in the past have become unpopular.
However, as marketers know, popularity has little to nothing to do with obtaining results. Some supposedly-dated methodologies still bring in excellent results, despite not being trendy anymore. Many older marketing departments have held the course, using traditional techniques to great success. Some of those marketing techniques are as valuable today as they were when their progenitors came up with them.
Below, 10 members of Forbes Agency Council express their views on timeless “old-school” marketing techniques that are viable in the modern age, and how almost any business can utilize and benefit from them.
There is no marketing automation software or new, innovative technology that can replace an authentic, personal relationship with your customers. Picking up the phone instead of sending an email, hosting in-person meetings and fostering a genuine interest in your customers’ feedback isn’t “old school” — it’s the best way to build a longstanding, valuable relationship and grow your business. – Michaela Dempsey, Scout RFP
2. Word-Of-Mouth Marketing
An “old-school” marketing technique that almost any business can utilize and benefit from is word-of-mouth marketing. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from others, even people they do not know, over branded content. Smart marketers use influencer marketing tactics to scale word-of-mouth marketing in the digital world. – Dennis Doerfl, Fourstarzz Media LLC
3. Face Time With Your Audience
Very little beats real-world interaction. Events, in-store retail collaborations, even contacting local news channels to offer up your industry insights can be great tactics. Any opportunity for key players in your company to have “face-to-face” time with you audience is time well spent. – Bernard May, National Positions
4. Cold Calling
Cold calling still works. If you build an ideal client profile using demographics, you can use AI tools like LinkedIn Sales Navigator to identify prospects who fit the profile. Then just pick up the phone and call them. You might leave a lot of voicemails, but that can produce better outcomes than the 150 emails the prospect will wade through that day. – Randy Shattuck, The Shattuck Group
5. Direct Mail
Direct mail is a very powerful marketing channel. Study after study has shown that direct mail messaging is remembered better and acted upon. The ROI is great and gets even better with personalization. Combine direct mail with digital marketing to significantly increase your results. There are so many formats to choose from you can really stand out. Don’t miss out on direct mail marketing! – Summer Gould, Eye/Comm Inc.
6. Promotional Items With Logo
Branding always works, don’t let your customers walk away with their purchases but without something branded. This can be a bag with your brand on it or a product that you gave them with your logo — a little free advertising never hurt anyone. – Giovanbattista Cimmino, SocialAsk
7. Postcard Retargeting
One of the coolest new marketing methods that is widely under the radar, takes an “old-school” technique and makes it relevant again. Postcards are as “old school” as it gets, but now you can use modern retargeting methods when someone visits your website to send out very relevant postcards to residential consumers. It’s called postcard retargeting and it is causing a resurgence in direct mailing. – Greg Trimble, Lemonade Stand
8. Discounts And Freebies
Never underestimate the power of free. In this day and age of digital content and influencer marketing, nothing drives trial like a free or reduced-price offer. That includes load-to-card and the even more old-school FSI (Free Standing Insert) — direct mail or Sunday newspaper. An FSI with a strong call-to-action will still pull the same redemption numbers it did 20 years ago. – Patrick Nycz, NewPoint Marketing
9. Reaching Out To Bloggers And Journalists
It seems simple, but reaching out to bloggers and journalists in your niche to provide them value still converts. The key is to provide them some sort of value without expecting anything in return — they’ll automatically provide you value back in due time. One way to execute this is by offering to create an exclusive piece of content for them that they can use. – Nishank Khanna, Demand Roll
10. Trade Shows, Video And Live Presentations
People still attend trade shows to enhance their knowledge. Video and live presentations in that environment still capture attention and ultimately provide a means to effectively market the message to the right audience. These tactics have been working for decades and continue to be effective. – Robert Macdonald, Impact Communications