Is 'Old Fashioned' Marketing Still a Viable Option in this Online World?

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The world of online marketing and social media is here to stay. Which, for most. is a welcomed new era in business. Instead of driving all over the place in the attempt of selling yourself you can simply sit behind your computer and spread the word on your business via Facebook, Instagram, a personal blog or any number of ways. Though what if you suddenly find yourself without a computer or access to this kind of technology? There was a time of marketing before the online craze took hold. Is ‘old fashioned' marketing still a viable option in this online world? Below are some opinions we've gathered from entrepreneurs and business owners.

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Photo Credit: Joe Sale
Photo Credit: Joe Sale

Direct mail is the way to go

In today's world of social media and online marketing, a “click” of a mouse button rarely results in an actual sale or new customer. Traditional forms of marketing tend to have a longer shelf life and are easily tracked. One form of traditional marketing that is often overlooked is that of Direct Mail. I have started a new company to help business owners reach the people that matter most, those that live near their place of business. DASH Direct Mail <> utilizes the Every Door Direct Mail system offered through the United States Postal Service (USPS). EDDM allows business owners to directly target a specific neighborhood, right down to the mail carrier's route at a cost that is far less than traditional direct mail. As with any marketing efforts, online or traditional, it all boils down to the message. With a direct call to action like, “present this special offer to receive….”, business owners can track exactly how many new customers they receive from each mailer. Unlike traditional direct mail, there is more room to work with on your marketing piece and there is no list to pay for. It's also a great tool to drive traffic to your website or social media channels.

Thanks to Joe Sale, DENT Marketing Solutions


Photo Credit: Gabriel Shaoolian
Photo Credit: Gabriel Shaoolian

It depends

It depends: its on a case by case basis and depends on if you are seeking immediate results or just brand exposure. If you are referring to offline marketing, such as TV, billboard, magazine ads or radio – these forms of marketing have not died. They are good sources for branding. But if you want to accurately measure and track results, nothing beats online marketing.

Thanks to Gabriel Shaoolian, Blue Fountain Media

Related Post: Best Mobile Business Apps


Photo Credit: Ed McMasters
Photo Credit: Ed McMasters

Yes, definitely

Yes, I definitely think that a company can still market the “old fashioned way” and in-fact should! The only caveat is that the use of print advertising, post card, direct mail or even business card trading should all be accompanied with an electronic call to action component. We are all trained to now include our website address on everything we do and many of us are adjusting to adding Facebook, Twitter and Linked In where appropriate but why not make it simpler to reach you – use a QR code. If your competition isn't doing it you are ahead of the curve, if they are doing it: beat them at it. With the continued increase of mobile devices your traditional marketing NEEDS to have a modern element to be welcomed into the electronic realm. Many print ads now are accompanied with a digital or online element – the use of a QR code makes moving from your ad, say in the local digital edition of the newspaper, to your website as easy as a click via the phone! Macy's for example does a great job placing codes in their ads for additional product information. They also take the QR code and personalize it, making it part of their logo and placing branding into the code design. The advantage is that you can track this traffic, quantify the success of your add, gauge the reach and have a means to follow-up. Certainly “old fashion marketing” is important and it should, actually must be continued, however add an instant call to action component with a QR code. Make connecting with your brand easy across ALL your marketing.

Thanks to Ed McMasters, Flottman Company, Inc.


Photo Credit: Don and Kate Gingold
Photo Credit: Don and Kate Gingold

Remember it's called the world wide web

Most small- to medium-businesses have local markets. You don't buy pizza, hire painters, or go to the gym in a far-away county. Remember www stands for WORLD wide web, but the entire world is probably not your target market. “Old-fashioned” marketing supports your online presence which in turn raises your visibility on the internet. You can run very specific traditional ad campaigns that drive folks to your website where vast amounts of information can be stored, organized and measured. Too many SMBs launch their websites, leave them unsupported and then complain that the website isn't doing anything for them. The days of “build it and they will come” are LONG over.

Thanks to Don and Kate Gingold, Sprocket Websites


Photo Credit: Justin Brady
Photo Credit: Justin Brady

Old fashioned principals in the form of old fashioned relationships

– Marketing tools are growing more complex and niche consultants are springing up faster than dandelions. Advertisers attempt to predict the future, but ironically ‘old fashioned' principals are the only way to stay relevant. Historically, marketing budgets grew big enough to quiet negative word of mouth. Customers would learn to stay away from bad companies of course, but only after the company made a giant pile of cash. Moving forward, people are more connected, and word travels fast. Failing to make a great product will put your neck on the chopping block in minutes, not years. The future of marketing is old fashioned principals in the form of old fashioned relationships. It seems that grandpa has a few lessons left to teach.

Thanks to Justin Brady, Test of Time Design

Related Post: Winning at Customers Service


Photo Credit: Jerry Greenfield
Photo Credit: Jerry Greenfield

It depends on the type of company

Our firm is constantly asked by new clients “What about social media? What about Twitter? Facebook?” Our reply is this: social media is not appropriate for every business, nor for every target demographic. I present seminars for entrepreneurs through the Small Business Development Agency at Florida Gulf Coast University, and I tell them that every advertising medium has a purpose, and every medium is good for something. The strategy is to select the right medium for the right effect and consumer response. We have extensively researched the use of social media among various demographics and psychographics in America, and the fact is that not everybody uses it and not everybody trusts it. For example, we know that women over 50 are very light users of these media, and tend not to trust what they see in the ads, blogs, and posts. So if a client is targeting that demographic, the investment in social media should be minimal, at best.

Thanks to Jerry Greenfield, Greenfield Advertising


Photo Credit: Amanda Bennetts
Photo Credit: Amanda Bennetts

They are becoming less and less effective

I have found the old ways of advertising are getting less and less effective to the point we have now abandoned all TV, Radio & print advertising from our marketing plan. It has been tough as new skills and management is needed as the new e-commerce marketing techniques are much more targeted and time consuming. I'm sure they work for many types of businesses but a niche business that is in retail like ours needs to get a direct response to all marketing activities.

Thanks to Amanda Bennetts, Bennetts Boots


Photo Credit: Gaetan Giannini
Photo Credit: Gaetan Giannini

Yes you can

Yes, you can still market the old fashion way!!! That never was in question. First off, marketing is marketing and uses the same set of principles regardless of medium. That's why hiring an 18 year old “who knows Facebook” to do social media for your business is a bad idea. Marketers need to understand targeting, influence etc. To top that, some of the old media are coming back into favor. While still anecdotal, things like direct mail are making a comeback. Millennials don't check their email and they like getting stuff in the mail. (Try really creative postcards or “lumpy mail.”) Most all traditional media outlets have a digital counterpart and the combination is becoming very powerful and much more targetable.

Thanks to Gaetan Giannini, Giannini PR

Related Post: Marked Tips from Seasoned Entrepreneurs


There's a misconception that online reigns supreme

Being a marketing and branding specialist, I believe there is a large misconception out there in the business world where the digital and social media realms reign supreme in customer engagement and marketing awareness. In fact, traditional forms of marketing are actually just as effective if not more than digital forms.

Thanks to Jonathan Marin, Aslan Intelligence Coaching


Photo Credit: Amanda Bracks
Photo Credit: Amanda Bracks

Combine old fashioned with new trends

Amanda Bracks author of “Customer Acquisition; 465 ways to gain and retain customers”, director of Bracks Consulting and National Marketing Manager of Vision Personal Training Franchises says that combining old fashioned marketing techniques with new trends is essential for a flow of regular leads to any business. At a recent expo she noticed many lead boxes on the stands were completely full, some with 100 leads in just 2 days and others with over 300 leads. She quotes “who says lead boxes don't work anymore?!”

Thanks to Amanda Bracks, Bracks Consulting


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