The internet has, allegedly, revolutionised the world of advertising and marketing. In actual fact, many old advertising tricks have simply been adopted by a new generation of tech savvy advertising and marketing executives. While the internet does offer some interesting new ways in which to use old techniques, some of those old techniques can still be used in a more traditional setting. For those with small firms, small budgets or those fundraising for a local school, charity or community event, understanding these techniques is an important way to create a low cost campaign to generate a buzz about your products or event.
Word of Mouth (a.k.a. Twitter)
The first, probably oldest and still one of the best, ways to get the word out about your project is simply the word of mouth technique. In the online world this has been adapted into the brand new shiny concept of ‘social media marketing’; however, while the media may be new the concept is pretty old. Simply telling people about a product (or event) is by far the best way to spread the word. This doesn’t have to be a hard-sell style conversation (in fact it should be anything but). Simply find ways in which to mention the product or event to everybody and everyone you know. For charity events, or fundraisers for schools, churches or other charities, this is usually fairly simple and well received by people. If you’d like to get all technological you can, of course, set up Twitter and Facebook accounts as well, to create an online presence for your event or product.
TV, Print and Radio – They’re Still Out There
The old media are still alive and kicking and you shouldn’t forget about them. For businesses, find industry specific publications or those read by your target market. Create a press release or short article (most publications are always glad of fresh copy) and contact the relevant editor to ask them if they’ll run the piece. The same applies to charity events and fundraisers; depending on the nature of the event different publications may be suitable, although local press/TV or radio stations will normally be happy to help advertise your event. Local organisations (schools/churches etc) are normally of interest to these publications and they will most likely be happy to feature your event or fundraising efforts. For the digital world equivalent, you can also submit to relevant sites online or to press release sites.
Printed posters, fliers and mail shots should not be discarded even in the digital age. In fact, finding innovative, cost effective ways to produce printed promotional material is now easier than ever thanks to the internet itself. Business cards and fliers are particularly useful for small companies and can be displayed in stores, public libraries and posted through mailboxes. The same applies to charity events and cost effective flyer/poster printing solutions can either be found online, or a local printer may even offer to produce them for free as part of a sponsorship deal. In digital terms the equivalent is almost certainly a website or blog. In today’s climate no business can afford to be without a web presence of some sort and for community groups a website can also offer an easy and affordable way to produce and present information for members and the public. For upcoming events a blog is a good way to produce updates and an online/email newsletter can reduce costs for both businesses and charity organisations alike.
Banners and mobile advertising (A-boards) or custom vehicle and car magnets are a great way to get yourself, product, event or group noticed. Again, thanks to the online world, these are easier to source at affordable prices than in the past and can create an impression as you go about your daily business. Car magnets are great for firms and groups alike; they create a ‘passive’ form of advertising and (for firms) will work particularly well at generating new customers; human nature makes us notice things when they’re relevant to us so keeping your company’s visibility when out and about is a great way to gather some passing trade, even if it’s you passing them! While the internet does offer some amazing new ways in which to use old marketing tricks, the tricks themselves can still work equally well in the less virtual world. Combining the best that technology has to offer and the traditional methods of marketing can work well to promote any event or business – and it does not need to cost a fortune!
Alan Rosinski is a marketing professional; here he looks at how charity organisations and small businesses can make the most of some good, old fashioned advertising tricks.