In the digital age, consumers are inundated with thousands of ads per day. Whether settling in to watch your favorite streaming platform, taking the subway to work, or just scrolling social media, marketing campaigns seem to have thoughtfully placed an ad everywhere your eyes can reach.
Market research firm Yankelovich found that individuals living in the city see up to 5,000 ad messages per day. The mentality seems to be: the more, the better. These days, companies would rather be ubiquitous than creative or exclusive.
So, what does this mean for the future of advertising? On top of the billboards flashing on the morning commute and corporate logos plastered on milk cartons, consumers are growing weary of the deluge of digital marketing ads targeting them at home when they just want to relax. From Facebook and Instagram ads to the commercial breaks on our cable and streaming platforms, consumers are inundated with interruptions and they’re feeling fatigued.
Video content is an effective marketing tactic, but when customers are viewing thousands of ads per day, even if they are quality, they eventually start to ignore them. How can your business reach consumers and stay relevant in the digital age without being tuned out? There’s a reason why “old school” marketing techniques worked for decades before the digital age.
Let’s explore some of your grandfather’s techniques for customer acquisition, retention, and satisfaction and discuss how they can work for your business.
1. Branded Promotional Items
A simple way to get your company’s name out there is to let your current customers advertise for you! Spread the word about your brand by offering free branded promotional items to your customers like tote bags, pens, PopSockets, or custom cell phone stands featuring your company’s logo. When your customer uses these items, you are increasing the visibility of your brand and potentially prompting word-of-mouth referrals.
2. Snail Mail Offers
Everybody loves a coupon! No matter how many years this tried and true marketing technique has been around, it will never go out of style. Many grocery store patrons are motivated to buy certain items when they receive a coupon, so why shouldn’t the same principle work for your business?
Using snail mail will increase the likelihood that your patrons will actually notice your offer, rather than losing it in a sea of promotional emails from other brands. Sending a discount code straight to your customers’ mailbox will inspire them to become return buyers (and tell their friends to sign up for your mailing list too!).
This one is tricky, as there is no real method to generate word-of-mouth referrals other than simply making sure your customers are satisfied and recommend your business to others. However, word-of-mouth is key as customers will always ask their family and friends for a recommendation before they hit up Google and start digging for themselves.
Consider creating a referral program to encourage happy customers to recommend your services to others for a discount; this way, you’ll get a referral and an additional purchase from a repeat customer.
4. Punch Cards
Create a loyalty card system for your VIP customers and see them come in time and again! Humans love completion, and when there’s a free drink or item on the horizon, they are more likely to chose your business over the competitors. And these aren’t only for sandwich and coffee shops; they can be used for cleaning services, salons, and much more.
5. Product Demos
If you have a product that must be seen to be believed, consider setting up a station to do product demonstrations. This works especially well with food items (who can resist the smell of lovely food cooking?) but can work for any product with the power to catch the eye of passersby.
Customers are much more likely to engage with a human than they are with an online banner ad. After they have seen what your business can do first-hand, they may feel inspired to make a purchase. Product demos also give you the opportunity to put a face to your business and make a personal connection.
6. Radio Ads
A radio ad, while very old-school, is still a great option for advertising. These days, many TV ads get fast-forwarded on the DVR. But when you’re tuning in to the radio in the car or at the gym, you’re much more likely to actually listen to the ads that are being played. And remember: never underestimate the power of a catchy jingle!
It’s possible to stay relevant in the digital age while peppering in a few old-school marketing techniques. Let yourself be creative with your marketing strategy and open yourself up to new ideas. When you embrace a blend of digital marketing and person-to-person, old-school techniques, you will be able to cut through the noise and create a unique experience your customers will remember.
Cheers to kicking it old-school!