In case you haven’t noticed, the marketing landscape is changing. With the advent of social media, more and more advertising dollars are being spent on social media marketing channels. However, smart business owners know the right marketing mix is the key to success.
Old School vs. New School Marketing
Old school marketing focuses on print, radio, and television. The old school of thought focused heavily on branding and establishing a recognizable name through repetitive advertising. Old school marketing also focused heavily on “sales” or “coupon savings.”
New school marketing relies heavily on providing high-quality, useful information to attract a “following.” Instead of stopping there, we go another step to convert visitors and followers into “leads.” To accomplish this, we use blogging, email marketing, and distributing helpful information upon social media channels.
Granted, this is an oversimplification of a very complex subject. Our purpose of this blog is to simply highlight some of the biggest differences between the two schools of thought.
Three Old School Marketing Mix Tools That Still Work
1. Direct Mail
If direct mail doesn’t work, why do we still get so many coupons and mailers in our physical mailbox? No company willingly throws money away. If you’re paying attention, you’ll notice the same companies tend to send you mailers over and over again. It’s because it works for them. For example, let’s take a look at Valpak.
Founded in 1968, Valpak remains a powerhouse in the direct marketing industry. Valpak operates nearly 160 franchises, and physically mails over 20 billion coupons a year. In fact, here are just a few case studies as published by Intuit:
- Goodyear – Net increase of 5.1% tire sales per day
- Walmart Vision Centers – 16.2% increase in units sold; overall ROI of 288%
- A casual restaurant – ROI 26%; 2.9% increase in foot traffic
- Subway – 45% average store sales growth (117 southern Virginia stores)
- South Salem Pet Supply – 202% ROI
Need another Valpak success story? Peter Jaansen, owner of BytesOnsite.com computer repair and services store, says he realizes a 250% monthly return on his Valpak investment. If you sell a physical product, and when used synergistically, direct mail can be strong component of your company’s marketing mix.
2. “Warm” Calling
Yes, it’s every unseasoned sales rep’s nightmare. Despite the impending fear, the reality remains true: cold calling works. Before the internet, many successful companies used cold calling religiously. For small to mid-sized businesses (SMB) or even startups, you can save your own precious time and employee resources by outsourcing this laborious task. At any rate, it’s a great tactic to add to your marketing mix toolbox.
According to the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NIAFA), cold calling is still one of the most important tools in an insurance agent’s pocket. However, most small businesses (and even a few larger ones) make a critical mistake when initially setting up a campaign. They forget to define their target market and therefore fail to accurately qualify prospects before they call.
Bottom line: if the human you’re speaking with isn’t a qualified prospect, that prospect very well may never buy from you. For example, you probably won’t be able to sell pet insurance to homeowners who don’t own a pet. Ergo, don’t call upon homes that don’t have pets; call on those who do. Logical, n’est-ce pas?
You’d be surprised how many companies neglect to take into consideration this fundamental detail. By truly understanding your proper audience, you are no-longer a cold, uninformed connect.; you are “warm” calling. Warm calling might just be the key to your next successful marketing campaign, rather than one that falls flat.
In fact, Ken Krogue, President of InsideSales.com, advocates to strike a balance between warm calling and digital inbound marketing leads. While many B2B companies stand to benefit from an expanded inbound marketing presence, relying purely on inbound leads may not always be enough to score highly valued accounts.
What does this mean? It means that in order to maximize this tactic to its potential, you should first comprehensively identify target companies based on prior research, learn everything you can about them, then find their respective decision makers. Once you’ve established who you want to talk to directly, you can then work your social channels to get a human on the phone.
“If we [at InsideSales.com] just rely on the Internet to bring us leads, it’s like a fish sitting in a pond waiting for the river to bring whatever it brings them. What we’ve found, is that if you look at a typical bell curve, 70% of all the leads that come in are small.
For example, we’re moving up [sales targets] to enterprise-class companies, and we have to forget about the Web bringing us those leads, and have to reach out to initialize the conversation (usually through calling); then we move to a Web-based type of nurturing.”Ken Krogue, President of InsideSales.com
In short, having a marketing mix of internet lead-generation and “warm” calling is a recipe for success.
3. Public Speaking
“Stage fright has hampered many a genius.” – Florence Scovel Shinn
Truth: most people are scared of public speaking. If you’re truly serious about taking your company to the next level, you should seriously consider volunteering to speak at events.
Public speaking creates a visual (and auditory) representation of your business and brand presence. When you deliver a powerful, meaningful message, it should resonate with your audience.
In short, public speaking establishes you as an expert in your respective field. Public speaking also places you in the forefront of your prospects mind — and establishes TOMA (top of mind awareness) — especially when your product or service offers them a solution to their problem. It’s a 19th century interpretation of today’s information selling. When you add public speaking engagements to your marketing mix, watch the difference it makes with engaged prospects.
4. Networking – Get Out There!
Attend local networking events. Get to know the people and businesses around your area. Don’t be that guy who shows up to every event and tries to hard sell upon meeting new people.
Do offer helpful insights on steps people can take to improve their business. This is your chance to show off your industry knowledge. If you’re in marketing, talk about relevant marketing best practices. For example, go to your event prepared to chat about the best time time to send emails to prospects, or SEO tips and tricks. Share anecdotes from some of your real client experiences that may benefit the people with whom you will be networking.
Not intending to channel Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross, but, ABC. Always. Bring. Cards. You do have a business card right? Always, bring your business cards with you to networking events
Your goal should be to create a genuine connection with someone new; learn and teach something helpful so your conversation partners walk away thinking, “this guy/gal knows their stuff, I like them, I could totally see myself doing business with them.”
As an added bonus, if somebody comes to mind who could use their services in the future, offer to connect them. Giver’s gain. Think about how many people you do business with whom you’ve met through networking or a referral…
Clearly, there are several different approaches to incorporate old school marketing into your strategy to drive sales. The most important thing to remember is to never put all of your eggs in one basket. By spreading your marketing and advertising budget over different outlets, to amplify your individual yet cohesive marketing strategy, you can start to guarantee your success.
Also published on Medium.