Old & New Marketing Tools That Work

Our world has changed. There’s no doubt about that.

It’s evolved. Technology is ubiquitous in our lives. We interact and connect and communicate so very differently now compared to a short 25 years ago. When we watched advertising, or used it to promote our company it was all about printing direct mail flyers or printing huge amounts of pamphlets and brochures. We looked to radio and television and many of us could never afford what was being offered. And when we did trade shows, unless our budgets were mega big for mega big booths, we scrambled to find the money to get any kind of display booth into a very expensive rented area at the show. We gave away the cheapest trinkets that even then were almost not affordable as there wasn’t left in our budget.


Today we can promote our business across so many platforms, both free and paid. Word of mouth is still top of the list, but that doesn’t happen if you don’t have a Brand that supports it. Your Brand, therefore, needs to have many touch points that it works with. You can’t just use free social media to be taken seriously. You still have to buy advertising and learn about the algorithms and analytics that support your choices.

But, I digress. I wanted to write about some of the tried and true marketing tactics that worked 25 years ago and still work today.

Signage: Aside from ensuring it represents your Brand, it advertises for you 24 hours a day, every day. Don’t scrimp on getting the best, most durable sign, and especially do not scrimp on having it properly designed.

Direct Mail: We were sick and tired of receiving irrelevant, cheesy, tacky direct mail. It was rare we would actually notice something of value in that daily pile that we’d dump into recycling without looking. We were thrilled that emails took its place. But, guess what - it’s flipped! Generic emails have become a nuisance and more businesses are using better tools and information to truly target their audience instead of the grapeshot method. The direct mails that work have a specific call to action which, in turn, proves to the business that it has worked. You can do the same with your social media ads. In both cases the content has to prove you have spent the time to learn about the person you are contacting with your advertising piece.

Promotional Products: You’d think that it is obvious that I promote this but the visceral human connection when given a gift isn’t something I’ve made up. People love to receive something for free, but especially if that something is useful (tacky, environmentally-irresponsible freebies are definitely a no no!). Giving a branded promotional product that stays with the recipient, possibly seen often by their coworkers or in their personal life, is one of the best ways to reach your target audience. You can research and make a custom list of high profile recipients, or brainstorm a perfect item as a trade show giveaway that gives value. Either way, the time you invest in showing you have considered your customer on every level will go a long way in building a strong business relationship.

Jamie Brougham