Business owners often have this burning question on their minds – what forms of marketing should I use that will drive more customers?
A problem that runs a close second has these individuals struggling with the idea of how to conduct marketing without going broke in the process. Because every dollar counts, marketing often seems to be something they simply cannot afford.
However, the opposite is true in most cases. Businesses that are not doing as well as others typically need to increase their marketing efforts. Spending the right money in the right marketing strategies can drive the success of your business.
There are many new marketing tactics and media that have emerged in recent years. Be careful, not all of them are particularly effective for all types of businesses. With so much buzz about digital and web marketing, many traditional business owners are asking themselves if traditional marketing is even still alive.
Rest assured, it is alive and well! You just have to know where to look for it.
Traditional Marketing Methods
Traditional methods of marketing typically involve advertising through newspapers, magazines, telephone books, radio, and TV. These ads are typically placed for a fee which corresponds to the size of the ad, as well as the medium in which it is published.
In years past, when almost all individuals read the local newspaper or received a new phone book every year, these were solid media or marketing channels on which many business owners could rely. However, this is rapidly changing. More and more people are choosing to get their news online rather than through the newspaper, and a large number of households no longer take telephone books, since it is often easier to simply look numbers up online.
Even popular magazines have fallen prey to the Internet age. Many of these magazines do not have the same circulation numbers they once had. They too have been forced to adapt to the constantly changing world of technology, and in doing so, advertising opportunities for business owners who had previously found success through placing ads in these magazines have changed.
In some instances, the change has been favorable — desperate to retain print advertisers, many newspapers and magazines has been forced lower prices. Conversely, ultra popular publications have created a restricted availability that rivals Superbowl commercial status.
Lastly and sadly, many smaller publications that support local business and provided hometown advertising options have folded, forcing business owners to find affordable alternatives.
New Marketing Opportunities
Although many of the traditional marketing opportunities have either completely disappeared or changed dramatically, there are still opportunities available for those business owners who do not want to venture into an entirely new and unfamiliar world of Internet marketing.
Sponsorships of local and regional events can be very lucrative for business owners. They are typically relatively inexpensive, and can be tailored to your advertising budget. This is where you can capitalize, as you are getting your name out without spending a ton of money.
The biggest potential payoff with this type of marketing is that your potential customers now associate you and your business with the community.
Local radio, cable TV, and billboards are all viable options for business owners with larger marketing budgets. If you have driven the 1-95 corridor, you will always remember the multitude of billboards for South of the Border.
More affordable traditional options include door flyers, windshield flyers, and direct mail. Find a reliable marketing or printing company that specializes in creating campaigns that suit your budget, industry, and target market.
Want ultimate proof traditional marketing is still alive? Check your mail this week. I bet you are still getting some “junk mail” or reminder post cards from your dentist, doctor, or even mechanic.
The 2 Keys to Success
To succeed in traditional and newer types of marketing requires that you pay attention to the following 2 keys:
- Know who your customers are and target them. The best marketing message in the world won’t resonate if delivered to the wrong customers. For example, a plastic surgery advertisement targeting middle age women won’t work on ESPN.
- Craft a compelling USP (unique selling proposition) and offer. The offer you convey in your advertisement must stand out, and you must convey why you are unique. Are you better, faster, less expensive than competitors? And are you offering something compelling (e.g., free trial, free consultation, first-time discount) to get new customers to take action? If not, your advertising will be much less effective.
Traditional marketing still works for businesses of all sizes. These strategies can be reliable ways of keeping your business in the public eye and generating new business without breaking the bank. Just make sure you have a compelling USP and offer, and target the right customers. And put it all together in a marketing plan that you and your team follow.