Why Businesses Large and Small still need Traditional Marketing Methods

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So we are all aware of the rise of digital marketing and how it has opened up a range of more economical, measurable marketing channels for small and bigbusinesses alike. Social media has enabled us to have an ongoing conversation with our customers and clients, building a stronger relationship and hopefully encouraging stronger brand loyalty. The ability to segment and target your audience has been further enhanced by the ability to contact your audience in an immediate and fast nature. But what of the traditional marketing techniques – is there still a space for them in the ever more technologically based world in which we live?

As all business owners know, a consistent tone and message throughout your marketing and publicity is one of the keys to ensuring your business can stand out amongst the competition that populates the hardware industry. The entrepreneurship that is displayed by many of these businesses through their flair, business acumen and highly competent marketing campaigns is what keeps customers coming back. Great, specialist knowledge, a personalised service over being “just an account number” and well-structured and targeted marketing campaigns make the difference in business success. Recent research has shown that whilst many businesses are continuing to use digital marketing and are especially keen on email marketing and its measurability, there is also a continued pull towards the more traditional marketing channels. Printed media, direct mail, pr strategies and events remain highly popular options when organisations are planning their marketing spend.

Why traditional marketing is still needed

In sectors such as the hardware industry digital marketing techniques may not always reach, let alone engage with, their intended recipients. With many in the industry not desk bound the need to capture their attention by utilising more traditional tactics seems clear. Out of the range of communication channels you could choose, four stand out:

Create engaging point of sale products

A potent and important marketing tool for many business owners – whether a multi site household name or a local, family owned business – signage, sales collateral and POS can be relatively low cost per unit medium. Smaller businesses in particular appear to benefit from it.

Revisit direct mail

Although in recent years direct mail has been heavily hit by the increase in digital marketing, many are now seeing it as the go to option once more. Whereas once the levels of direct mail were huge, which led it to it becoming increasingly less successful, arguably this onslaught of marketing has transferred now to email – with inboxes being filled with unwanted marketing. The ability to highly target your recipients, creating brilliantly executed messages means that some forward thinking businesses are turning to direct mail once more. Out of the traditional channels it also offers good chances of following your ROI and accounting for conversions. A great piece of direct mail needs to be carefully thought out – go for something that will grab your audience’s attention, stay away from standard letter sizes and be creative.

Embrace editorial opportunities

A key part of any PR strategy is to create great editorial coverage, not only is it incredibly cost effective but if your business can offer perceptive advice to a publications readership you can gain from increasing your exposure. Ensure your articles have a strong business bias and are offering news and advice that will add value to the readership. Doing this well will enable the audience to attach a higher perceived value to your business and you will retain their attention for far longer than through any traditional advertisement.

Networking works

Events and networking opportunities are one arena that will forever struggle to be replaced by digital alternatives. With face-to-face contact a client or customer can begin to develop an emotional connection to the brand and/or product – a priceless connection when it comes to retaining customers and gaining referrals. Selling your products’ benefits face-to-face with your customers will undoubtedly help build stronger brand loyalty and opportunities to meet should always remain high in any businesses marketing strategy.

How to ensure your strategy is successful

Whilst a book could be written on how to measure the results of your traditional marketing communications and how to ensure your strategy is successful, there are, as with most things, some simple rules to bear in mind. Reviewing your strategy on a regular basis is imperative – don’t let it run on without being checked – markets change all the time and your messages may quickly become obsolete without these reviews. Following on from this is that you need to ensure that you are targeting your audience correctly and with the right messages. Narrowcast your messages as much as you can so that the audience are receiving marketing that is specifically relevant to them – marketing messages need to add value to the customer experience. Building your understanding of your different markets and creating bespoke, evolving messages that meet the perceived needs of the audience is the only way to develop a successful marketing campaign and reap the business rewards.

Whilst there is the argument that digital marketing is never going to wholly take over from the traditional tactics, the need for the two to become increasingly entwined and well managed is strong. Digital marketing should form a part of an omni-channel marketing communications campaign where both traditional and digital reinforce and enhance the marketing messages; building the brand story and leading customers to purchasing decisions.