Old School Marketing Tactics That Still Work

by Marianne Chrisos - March 27, 2018
Marianne Chrisos

Marianne Chrisos | Born in Salem, Massachusetts, growing up outside of Chicago, Illinois, and currently living near Dallas, Texas, Marianne is a content writer at a company near Dallas and contributing writer around the internet. She earned her master's degree in Writing and Publishing from DePaul University in Chicago and has worked in publishing, advertising, di...

Old School Marketing Tactics That Still Work

With digital marketing taking up much of marketers’ time, are there any old school marketing tactics that still work?

Not all traditional marketing techniques are equally effective – here are some old school tactics that still work.

Mastering marketing in 2018 is no easy feat. The digital landscape grows continually saturated and more and more platforms require that businesses pay-to-play rather than allowing for more organic reach. This can be particularly challenging for small businesses who are trying to break into a market or industry. You can have an incredible product, but what if no one ever hears about it?

Here are some tried and true ideas to try out to advertise your business – that don’t require a Google AdWords certification or even a huge budget.

Promotional Products

Believe it or not, this old school marketing tactic is still surprisingly effective. You’d think that in the age of minimalism and digital marketing, people wouldn’t be interested in promo products. But promotional products continue to be an effective business advertising method. Why?

First, it gives you an opportunity to form a relationship, particularly at a conference. If you have a booth somewhere, you can attract more visitors with free stuff, like personalized pens, stress balls, notepads, or other useful or eye-catching items. Being able to offer someone a tangible reminder of your business also lets you make a personal impression, offer information about your organization, or even answer questions about your business.

Another reason promo products can help boost your brand is that if you give someone a pen with your company name on it and they use that pen every day to take notes in a meeting, your business will be more easily recalled than a competitor. Plus, branded promo products are inexpensive, so it’s easy to include on your list of marketing ideas for small businesses or anyone with a smaller marketing budget.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing programs are most often utilized now as a form of online marketing but it’s just a fancy way of saying “referral marketing,” which is definitely an old school marketing tactic. Plenty of businesses still give out business cards offering reduced-priced services to clients who refer their friends or even to those referrals themselves.

Online affiliate programs usually work with a blogger or social media account reviewing a product and having a link to the businesses’ Amazon page or e-commerce website for someone to click through and buy a product. If someone uses this link, from the blog or social post, then the person who posted the review and the link gets a percentage, or commission, from the sale. It can be nice for businesses on a budget because you don’t have to pay anything unless you make a sale. It’s even possible that someone will see the review and make a purchase later without using the affiliate link, meaning businesses get a sale without having to pay a commission.

Not every old-school marketing strategy will be a win for all businesses, but some are worth trying if the price is right. These aren’t the only old-school marketing tactics that work, but they are two of the most affordable that your business can try right away. What are some other small business marketing techniques you’d like to see included? Are there any promotion ideas or marketing strategies your business has tried that have been even more successful than expensive digital tactics?

Marianne Chrisos

Marianne Chrisos | Born in Salem, Massachusetts, growing up outside of Chicago, Illinois, and currently living near Dallas, Texas, Marianne is a content writer at a c...

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