By: Noah Rue
If you take a look at most marketing publications, the focus is on the latest and greatest marketing technology, the use of big data, and all the software, productivity, and organizational solutions you need to find and retain the best marketing force possible.
While these tools are invaluable, we’re at risk of losing something in the age of automation, especially as traditionally trained marketers begin to retire: a focus on traditional and offline measures of marketing success. What can we learn from marketers trained prior to the digital age leaving the workforce? Most importantly, what marketing strategies still apply?
Face-to-Face Networking Engenders Trust
There’s nothing like meeting someone in person, getting a sense of them, sharing a meal, and hopefully closing a deal. In the marketing industry, as well as your niche, there are large conferences and opportunities to utilize smart networking techniques and make major connections. There are also inexpensive, local opportunities too — especially if your business is located in a city. If you have your own office space, hosting such a gathering can be beneficial as well.
An in-person assessment, meeting, and a chance to provide a physical business card matters. You’ll make more of an impression than another name on a computer screen. Complement this strategy by following up in the digital world with a LinkedIn connection.
Meaningful Follow-Ups Mean Success
The modern marketer has automated their followup processes with drip marketing emails. Most C-suite execs and marketing contacts are inundated with these types of messages, in addition to cold pitching. These emails go right into the junk folder in their inboxes.
What does meaningful follow-up look like? Here are some ideas:
- Send a handwritten note recapping your meeting. They were memorable, and now you are too.
- If following up by email, send a personalized subject line, such as “thank you for your time at the conference yesterday.”
- Refer to something they told you at your in-person meeting. (Tip: You can take notes on the back of their business card: “background in financial industry; three kids; likes dogs; etc.”)
- Customize the solution. Modern marketers preach bespoke solutions, but nothing beats an actual proposal or idea tailored to fit your new contact’s needs.
Whatever you do, don’t forget to add a call to action at the close of your message. Suggest a follow-up meeting or scheduling a phone call.
Integrate Print and Digital Ad Campaigns
When one person handles digital advertising and another person handles print, it can show. Some companies don’t even invest in print advertising. However, it still has value, providing distinction and respectability to your business. Additionally, targeted print advertising is still effective, such as running ads in local publications, on diner placemats, and in trade show publications.
Make sure your ad campaigns follow the same principles and messaging, unless you are targeting completely different people. Your branding should be consistent.
You can further integrate digital and traditional marketing by:
- Adding social media account handles to your print ads.
- Providing website or social media info at the end of your radio ads.
- Leaning on limited time offers to drive traffic from either type of ad to your website.
- Utilizing QR codes to help customers get to your page.
Invest in Marketing Like a Traditionalist
If you tell a modern marketer that they should invest up to 15% of their sales revenue in marketing, you might be met with protest. For those accustomed to old-school advertising agencies and print ads, this isn’t a surprise.
Traditional marketers view marketing as a growth investment, whereas modern marketers tend to see content marketing as a long-term investment somewhat separate from “growth hacking.” Businesses of all sizes would do well to employ traditional marketing tactics and acumen, such as understanding the value of market share.
Remain Uncompromising on Sales Targets
Hard-hitting sales and marketing strategies are still useful. In modern marketing, we often compromise sales targets to fit a CEO-friendly dashboard; in practice, some of those targets need to be less agile than other processes.
Former Danaher Corporation president Larry Culp explains, “If targets are negotiated, if folks want to be comfortable and safe, if, perhaps, failures are dealt with in a harsh way rather than with some of our problem-solving approaches, then I think you end up with a culture, and over time, an organizational-wide sill set, that probably doesn’t lend itself to outperform in your market.” This hard-line approach is vital to the stability and success of a company.
While innovation is key for successful executives and marketers to remain relevant in any market, sales targets shouldn’t necessarily yield to the next shiny technology to enter the field. Our prospects and customers are distracted enough as it is with many marketing messages each day. We have an obligation to stay on target using these traditional marketing values and tactics.
About the author
Noah Rue is a writer, a digital nomad, an ESL teacher, and an all around good dude, if he doesn’t say so himself.