With all of the buzz around newer techniques with names like inbound marketing, social media marketing, and mobile marketing, I can’t help but point out that there are six more traditional marketing tactics that still work. In fact, in many situations they work better than the newer ones.
Here are some of my favorites that continue to prove themselves:
1. Organic Search Engine Optimization: Google is still the first place that most people go to find what they are looking for. Therefore, if you rank in the top position for the keywords that people use to find products like yours, then you are going to get a lot of good traffic. If you are not optimizing your marketing program for these search words, then you are missing out on a significant opportunity.
2. Email Marketing: Most of your customers live on their email, and sending them an email is a lot like inserting one of your landing pages into their inbox. Email marketing, like organic search, has been around for a long time, but it continues to grow because it still works great. Sending the right message to the right person at the right time via email adds value to your targets and your marketing.
Also, having a regular email (think weekly) periodical that your targets find useful can be both a great awareness vehicle and help move your targets through their buying process. (Note: You don’t want to spam your target audience. You do want to make sure that your targets opt-in before you contact them. You should also track your audience reactions to your emails to make sure that they are valuable to your audience and that you are constantly improving.)
3. Snail Mail: Your targets are receiving less and less physical mail, so sending them something special via the post office will stand out more and more. For important targets (high-value target prospects or high-value influencers), this is a particularly great marketing channel. Some companies develop monthly or quarterly magazines, for example, as part of their content marketing programs. Others write books and send them out to their targets. Still others send out event invitations or simply mail post cards that raise the awareness or point to a specific event or offer. If anything, snail mail works better than it did 10 years ago, so think about it.
4. Event Marketing: Everyone likes participating in a great event. They walk away with a few ideas, a few contacts, and a good feeling from some great conversations, as well as good food and drinks. Many companies use events to generate understanding and enthusiasm for their products, people, culture, and/or brand. There are tremendous opportunities for your company to participate in events that are organized by others and/or to create your own special events.
Whether you put on an annual user conference, regional conferences, have product release events, or just tap into local user groups of one kind or another, there is nothing better than face-to-face encounters to make the largest impression on the audience.
5. Telephone-based calling: In the world of inbound marketing, more and more people have forgotten that good old fashioned phone calls are a useful part of the marketing mix (some are even philosophically opposed to the idea, as they think that you can’t do both inbound and outbound marketing activities together). Whether the program resides in the sales department or the marketing department, the basic idea is to build a relationship with your target buyers and their influencers. Phone calls are a great way to connect!
6. Content Marketing: In my mind, the core of all marketing is content marketing. Content marketing has been around since the first marketers were making cave drawings. It has really picked up steam in the last five years or so as the structure of the publishing industry has changed and low price technology has made it really easy for each company to become the most important publisher to their target audience.
Creating great, regular content that your target audience wants to consume and puts your company in the best possible light is at this point a cornerstone marketing technique for all companies. Content is core to all of the marketing techniques I list above, as well as all of the new marketing techniques that you might be using (it is a major requirement if you launch a weekly email publication to your audience).
Clearly, there are a lot of marketing techniques and every company needs to find the mix that works best for them. Inbound marketing, social media marketing, and mobile marketing are all great new techniques that support and enhance the traditional ones, but if you have not tested the six marketing techniques that I’ve described above, then give them a try. (Note: You probably also need more people on your marketing staff and a better management system, as each technique takes real work to do well and even more work to make the entire set of marketing techniques cohesive and coherent).