All hail the age of inbound marketing techniques! Cold calling is a dying tactic. TV and radio spots are on the decline. Interruptive advertising has been cast out like something in the fridge that is long past its expiration date. Good riddance.
However, as any good banker will tell you, “buy low, sell high”. Many of the world’s richest individuals are proof that this simple principle holds true. The big returns come from selecting sleepers, or choosing any stock that took an excessive tumble.
A lesson for the modern marketer is to think twice before casting old school marketing techniques to the wind. The very nature of old school marketing being unpopular makes those techniques particularly unique and attention-grabbing to consumers. At the end of the day, aren’t these qualities what most strong brands are built on?
With the advent of social media and social collaboration channels, fewer people rely on snail mail, with marketers becoming especially apathetic towards the technique. Facebook ads and email campaigns are instantaneous, testable, and measurable — who would ever choose to put something in the mail?
Anyone who has received a letter in the mail, however, knows snail mail’s true value. Its delightfully unexpected and engaging in the midst of our digitized world. Now, imagine evoking those feelings of excitement and engagement as a marketer. Pick your top 100 prospects, write them a letter (it can be templated), and send it with a small package of goodies. In return, your “click-through,” “engagement,” and “conversion” rates will be orders of magnitude greater than even your most successful email campaign.
This one, of course, is our favorite. Local marketing — meaning any marketing highly targeted at a location or community — is uniquely powerful. Local marketing techniques include partnering with a mom-and-pop grocer, supporting a charity 5K, or sponsoring a youth sports team (yes, we’re talking name-on-the-back-of-the-jersey kind of sponsorship).
It gives brands extremely positive exposure to the community and countless impressions. There aren’t many better ways to ensure brand loyalty than by pursuing local marketing. Best of all, since it’s highly targeted by region, local marketing goes hand-in-hand with expansionary plans or efforts to win over tough markets.
This one is a bit of stretch, since sponsorships haven’t really gone anywhere — their meaning has simply transformed in the digital age. Any podcast listener can tell you all about Stamps.com, MailChimp or NatureBox. These companies have done an exemplary job of capitalizing on the podcast trend in the most non-intrusive way possible. Each podcast episode is sponsored by a single company, who get two or three 30-second customized spots voiced by the hosts of the shows. MailChimp did a particularly great job when they sponsored Serial. They placed a quick spot at the beginning of the episode and, once Serial went viral, got far more high-quality impressions than they knew what to do with. Best of all, listeners start associating your advertisement with their favorite podcasts, and many of your best prospects listen to podcasts regularly.
RETRO MARKETING TECHNIQUES ARE BACK
We’re not telling you to cancel your blog program or bail entirely on social media. But don’t be so quick to overlook the potential of old school marketing techniques just because other professionals have. In fact, that might be the exact reason why you should get back into them.