The old ways of marketing may have worked in their heyday, but today’s audiences and consumers require new levels of relationships, more information and a different brand experience. To sell your product and make your business flourish, you need to leave some old school marketing tactics behind and embrace some new ones.
Every business will have its own unique marketing plan. As a business coach I work with business owners in all kinds of industries, and have learned that no two marketing plans or approaches are alike. That being said, there are some general tips and guidelines most businesses should keep in mind.
Old School: Talking at Your Market
In the days when billboards, television commercials and magazine ads were the best of the best when it came to marketing tactics, businesses were limited in their conversations. They could talk at their markets, but they couldn’t have two-way conversations very easily.
New School: Two-Way Conversations are Invaluable
With the Internet, social media and smartphones, having two-way marketing conversations is easier than ever, and those kinds of conversations are extremely valuable.
Use your blog, Facebook page, Twitter account and website to reach your market and make it easier for people to reach you. Listen to what people are saying, take feedback seriously and don’t forget you can always find out exactly what your customers are thinking by asking them.
Old School: Purely Promotional Ads
You’ve seen those vintage ads and older marketing materials like brochures that do a great job of advertising something. They promote a product well, but they don’t provide much value.
New School: Value-Rich Content is Key
These days, people crave content that provides value. They will only read a blog post, watch a video or read marketing materials if they feel they will get something out of them. Avoid overly promotional pieces and work to provide something valuable and helpful to your market. This approach will help you build your brand and garner trust, which can help you gain more customers.
Old School: Go Straight to the Customer
It used to be that marketing was focused entirely on getting ads, promotional copy and products in front of the customer. While this is still important, there is a better approach, which can actually bring more value to your business.
New School: Let Customers Come to You
Now, customers can find you through social media, search engines and online content. They may stumble upon your business when searching for a solution or they may be attracted to your social media posts. From there, you can convert your audience into customers.
Customers that come to you are often more valuable because they are looking for a product or solution. They often take less persuading and are likely to have a better attitude about your brand.
Old School: Using a Few, Separate Channels
Marketing used to involve choosing a few channels, like print ads, television ads, or event promotions, and then using each one separately. This worked, but in this day and age of content and instant access to information, markets want more.
New School: Multi-Channel Brand Experience
Now businesses can meet their markets on several channels and when those channels work together, the overall customer experience is better and more likely to lead to a sale.
For example, you may create a blog, which has some of your key messages and focuses on helping you sell your main product line. But, for a more powerful effect, you can use your social media accounts to support these messages by sharing your blog posts and other content that helps you promote your business.
By giving your audience a well-rounded experience, people will be more likely to become customers that keep coming back.
Old School: Always be Selling
It is definitely true that you need to constantly work toward closing sales, and without sales your business can’t succeed. But, by constantly selling yourself and being “that person” that shows up to every party ready to promote a new product, you could be turning potential customers off.
New School: Freebies and Resources Lead to Sales
Now, by giving away freebies and providing resources, by way of online content, samples, and helpful materials, you can give potential customers a taste of what you have to offer. You can show that you have valuable products and services and prove to your market that you put their best interest first.
Old school marketing tactics have their place. However, with evolving technology and new customer expectations, you will need to adopt some new school marketing tactics if you want to be successful.