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Traditional marketing isn't dead – 5 methods that still work

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Anyone with an internet connection can tell you that the world is changing at a faster pace than was ever thought possible. The methods by which we interact and communicate with one another on both a social and professional level have evolved significantly in the past two decades, surprising both casual observers and experts alike. Although it’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy of the “latest and greatest” tech and marketing trends, it’s also important to remember that many of the traditional and “classic” marketing tactics we use today have achieved iconic status by being consistently reliable and effective.

Woah, you heard us right. Marketing exists outside of social media that still works today. And the most successful businesses already know that.

Although it would be a grave mistake to ignore the innovations occurring in the tech world, it would be equally as perilous to forget or disregard the time-tested marketing strategies that have helped business around the world establish a strong foothold in competitive market environments. We’ve compiled a list of five traditional marketing strategies that are still as effective today as they were decades ago. With these in mind, you can begin crafting your own unique marketing plan that blends both the “old” and the new.

Networking

Arguably one of the oldest and most effective marketing strategies of all time, professional networking remains just as effective today as it was a century ago. No other form of marketing trumps a firm handshake and eye contact. Although an e-mail can definitely provide someone with a “heads-up” regarding your business and the services you offer, a professional and engaging conversation with a colleague or new acquaintance can help produce results on a much faster level than an endless string of text-based conversations. Whenever possible, try to make the extra effort to secure face-to-face time with those in your professional circle. Not only will it allow you to cover quite a bit of material and points of discussion quickly, but it will show others that you are committed to your work and are interested in exploring ways in with both of you may benefit. After all, people tend to do businesses with people they like and trust. It's all about the relationship.

Branding Guidelines

One of the most powerful tools at your disposal when planning an effective marketing strategy is a unified branding platform. Whether it’s the font you use for your website’s text or the color scheme found on business cards and professional portfolios, these simple design elements can be hugely influential when attempting to spread the word about your company. An effective branding campaign will ultimately result in comprehensive brand recognition, where consumers or other businesses are instantly able to recognize the presence of your business based on the text, graphics and other media at their disposal. As you continue to gain a reputation for high-quality work and excellence, these traits will also be embedded within the brand itself. While the concept of branding is nothing new, it remains extremely important and vital to the success of businesses around the world.

Event Sponsorship

Again, nothing ‘new’ here, but yet another example of a marketing strategy that has been proven to be quite powerful for many businesses. Event sponsorship provides businesses of all sizes with the opportunity to connect with their community through a large-scale, event-driven medium. Event sponsors typically receive a wide variety of “perks” for their financial support, including valuable advertising space, product placement, a featured presentation or speech, and online showcases, among other items. Although many believe that event sponsorship may be entirely outside of their budget, this simply isn’t the case. Business owners are encouraged to contact local organizations whose events align with their own interests to explore in what capacity they may be able to help.

Related: Is event sponsorship worth the investment?

Commercials and Radio Spots

The era of television and radio is far from over. Businesses looking to quickly launch themselves into a larger spotlight may wish to consider these well-established forms of marketing. Depending upon the overall budget available, it may be possible to reach out to audiences on a city, regional, state and national level. Those interested in radio advertising may find it much easier and more affordable to secure spots on shows that match their interests, if only because the competition for airtime is much less fierce than on television. Regardless of which medium is chosen, this type of exposure can only help businesses gain new customers and strengthen their reputation.

Industry Showcases and Tradeshows

The vast marketing potential of industry showcases is due in large part to the fact that these events are specifically designed for audiences who have a vested interested in purchasing a particular product or service. Whether it be a gun show or wedding dress showcase, business owners stand to profit immensely by establishing a presence at these events, a variety of which are held in major cities throughout the country every year. Tradeshows should never be underestimated as a powerful tool for lead generation and brand exposure.

Bridging the gap between traditional and online marketing can take years of experience and expertise to get it just right. Join fellow business owners, CEO's and entrepreneurs in the greater Salt Lake area for a #KickassSeminar and to hear from acclaimed marketing experts on how you can use these methods (and more) to take your business to the next level. (Seats can be reserved for the July 17, 2014 seminar here).

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