If you are like me, and have been doing marketing for more than 20 years, you have seen a lot of change in the field. Earlier in my career, I worked as an in-house marketing specialist for two different manufacturing companies that sold products through a network of distributors. As marketing vehicles evolved in response to emerging communication technology, I found that many of my more seasoned colleagues were reluctant to support changing existing advertising strategies. They often suggested that the new methods were just "not right for our business."
By now, the most successful businesses with a goal of growing sales are embracing every new technology available to them. As it turns out, many of the tried and true marketing strategies of the pre-technology era are making the transition very well.
Here four familiar favorites that can be introduced to your online marketing tool box:
1. Direct Mail, meet Email Blasts
Email blasts are a highly effective replacement for printed, labeled, and stamped mailers. Like direct mail, email advertising is still all about list curation, compelling messaging, and a motivating call to action. Unlike direct mail, email offers quick delivery, is much less costly, and produces virtually no environmental waste. It is important, however, to resist the temptation to over-saturate. The key is to make your messages useful and anticipated, not an annoyance!
2. Newsletters, meet the Company Blog
Newsletters have always been a great way to stay in touch with customers to let them know about new products, business developments, and to simply get your business on their minds. As busy professionals focus more on email than post mail, the printed newsletter may not be as noticeable as it once was. While emailing a newsletter is possible, the most successful email messaging tends to be short and to the point. The best place to put your newsletter to work is in your company's blog. A monthly or quarterly newsletter can be the source many weeks of interesting blog posts!
3. Sales Seminars, meet Video Conferences and Webinars
Whether you sell through sales reps or a distributor network, getting your team together for training and briefings is essential. Gathering your group can require a great deal of expense with travel and accommodations, and finding the best timing for availability of the participants can be a challenge. While a video conference or webinar may not replace a national sales conference, they can offer a highly affordable and effective way to supplement them. You can provide your team with information and training anytime, and they access it when they want.
4. Co-Op Advertising, meet Internet Marketing Programs
Co-op advertising has been a great way for small businesses to afford prime advertising in industry trade journals and publications. A larger supplier with an ample marketing budget can buy a full page ad with great positioning and offer their small business distributors the opportunity to be represented in the ad for a nominal charge. As many are now discovering, the co-op concept works nicely for online marketing as well, serving businesses who may not be able to afford to do effective internet marketing on their own. Upright clients in the tire industry have garnered tremendous success with our Upright Tire program. This internet marketing program has made professional, productive websites affordable to a multitude of small business owners.
Have other old school marketing ideas you'd like to apply to your online efforts? Give us a call to discuss your strategy!