Whether you call it retro marketing, old-school marketing, or something else, there’s no doubt that it’s making a come back. Businesses are getting tired of competition in the online digital space and trying to find new methods for getting the word out. And it’s working. These old-fashioned methods are gaining traction, precisely because they offer alternative channels to modern digital marketing.
The economics of this are predictable and relatively easy to understand. When digital marketing first burst on the scene, everyone thought it would leave the old platforms, like radio and TV, in the dust. But astute observers predicted that high competition levels on social media and search engines would prevent this from happening. They reasoned that businesses would end up competing so hard for the same user eyeballs that many would simply switch to easier platforms. If they could grab attention via magazine or TV ads, they’d do that instead. Eventually, the whole thing would balance out.
That’s precisely what is happening now. You need to be some sort of technical genius to understand modern digital marketing. People dedicate their entire careers to it and still struggle to do it effectively. It’s just a really hard problem.
For this reason, old school marketing methods aren’t going to die. In fact, calling them old-school as though they are obsolete is the wrong way to think about them. They’re still contemporary, even if the technology underlying them seems primitive compared to today’s standards.
Take direct mail, for instance. Very few startups bother with this kind of marketing, seeing it as wasteful and outdated. It doesn’t seem to fit the entrepreneurial mould. Yet, when you canvas traditional local businesses, you find that practically all of them do it. Direct mail is a way for them to gain immediate traction with their target audience.
Perhaps other entrepreneurs have something to learn from these leaders. Maybe sending mail in the post isn’t dead after all.
SMS is perhaps even more effective than direct mail. Here, the idea is to send people text messages to their inboxes with simple propositions, such as getting money off their next order. But the channel itself is what makes all the difference.
SMS is different from other forms of digital communication. For starters, there are no spam filters on text messages, like there are on email browsers. Thus, when you send a message, it is much more likely to get through.
There are also sociological benefits. People are much more likely to open text messages on their devices than they are promotional emails. It’s a weird behavioural quirk, but one that marketers can explore.
Text messages are also less intrusive than cold calling, which is something that makes people feel more comfortable. If you want to learn more about SMS marketing, then click here.
Finally, there is the allure of the trade show. These are becoming more popular because they can often form the backbone of digital marketing efforts while giving you enterprise (and the people in it) a chance to show their faces.