If you have been working in marketing for a few years (let alone a few decades), you will have seen strategies and tactics come and go. Remember when no one really knew what SEO was, and when black hat was all the rage? When we used to chase TV commercials, and prime time? Remember how expensive every second was (and still is)?
Every December, there seems to be an insane number of articles writing about upcoming trends in marketing, and how to stay on top of the latest ones. Yet no one seems to be talking about the old tactics, one that can still do wonders for your client or company, that we have mostly stopped using for some reason.
To remedy that, here go a few tactics I remember fondly, and plan on using again:
I used to have a business card roller on my old desk that could solve any problem. From plumber to journalist to anything you can think of, I had the guy for the job. What ever happened to handing out business cards? True, we are all online now, and social media has taken over, but business cards are not dead yet! I’ll try to hand out a hundred, and see where that takes me.
We still have these – and we do new ones every year. We hand them out to potential clients, so they can refer to our services offline, browse while on the bus, and simply as a way to promote the business. We also write new copy for them, and they are not just another version of our site. Putting a bit of effort into a decent brochure can go a long way – you will instantly come off as more respectable and serious.
I’m not saying people don’t do events anymore – they are just not covered like they used to, and they seem to have lost some of their old charm. Why not throw an event in a different country, for example? Prague Eventery is great at putting things together in the capital of the Czech Republic, and getting some local coverage can be great. You can also do a press release – remember those? – and turn this little effort into a big boom. I always think of Apple and Steve Jobs when we are marketing a product launch – that is exactly how you need to do it!
Trade shows also seem to be dying out, but are also a great way to get some media coverage, network, meet some new people, and all in all, cast a wider net. Why shouldn’t you attend one? Just because you are chasing some impossible ROIs with your digital campaigns doesn’t mean you can forget about the real, offline world. Meeting your potential partners and customers face to face will never go out of style, and will never stop working.
OK, I still see people do this, but not the big players I don’t think. The think with promo merch is that it can easily boost a sale, or turn a lead into a customer, and it does not even have to cost much. People like to get stuff for free, and if it is a branded item they will carry around, like a really decent umbrella, then you are all set. They will raise your brand awareness – especially if the umbrella stands out in a crowd – and they will not forget you, which is all you need to get started.
Conferences and events
A speaking engagement can go a very long way – whether you organize the event yourself (see above) or attend someone else’s event, this is a great chance to meet new faces, spread your expertise, and do some good for the community you work in. Don’t be shy to share some of your experiences – even if someone does try one of your tactics, it will not do you any harm. You need to remember that marketing is about communication and collaboration, not locking yourself away in a dark room plotting to take over the world.
I hope these ideas will help you get some new ideas rolling, and crafting some exciting new campaigns. Remember, what isn’t broken doesn’t need fixing, so don’t abandon a tactic just because something else is on the rage. By all means, try something new, but don’t jump on a bandwagon just because everyone else is doing it.