Even though we spend countless hours of the day soaked in virtual space, whether it be work-related software, social media, streaming, video games, apps, or a good mix of all of the above, we remain flesh and blood beings bound to the physical realm. Thus anyone wishing to start a business, online or otherwise, who fails to think of consumers as people and instead views them as data points will be in for headaches and heartache going forward.
With this in mind, it’s important for budding entrepreneurs to understand why modern marketing still includes many of the classic mediums thought archaic in the digital economy. Reaching out to consumers calls for grabbing their attention via the senses. While images, video, and social media presence are no doubt aimed to tickle the eyes and ears, they often lack such crucial marketing elements as scope, setting, utility, and most importantly – tactility.
But which classic marketing mediums should be picked, exactly? It’s probably best to skip the TV and radio ads due to the manner in which the internet has replaced these technologies and instead go even further back to the roots of marketing to the masses:
About one billion humans drive cars and the vast majority of the other six are on the move in the streets either on foot or accessing public transit. This means plenty of time for outdoor advertising to take effect. However, it’s important to think beyond the billboard and consider a more bubbly alternative, such as an inflatable tent or miniature hot air balloon. Positioned close to a major mass transit stop or rigged above a busy boulevard, these classic marketing methods can turn a million heads in a week. Better yet they can be reused for conventions, trade shows, and other more enclosed environments.
Anyone who says business cards are irrelevant spends too much time staring at a screen. Ask any normal human being and they’ll say they tend to keep business cards around for a while, making them a vital means of advertising, brand growth, networking, and much more. Include a QR code to sync with existing online presence, but abide by some basic business card principles. While keeping business cards strictly business is a rule most applicable to the legal profession, the idea of a white base color and blank back side for notes are universal guidelines for creating an effective business card. From there, keep it simple but interesting.
Thanks to advances in printer technology, the ability to produce booklets, magazines, and other print materials in a cost effective manner has never been better. For those seeking a means to market their expertise in a concrete way, printed materials rank high on the least of worthwhile options. The key here is to make the material useful; offer up practical advice and insight. Maximize space to showcase branding, but withstand the urge to crowd the reader with too many graphics and too much content in a given space of the page. Similar to business card design, less is more. However, unlike business cards, there is room to put remaining content on another page.
Shirts, hats, wristbands, sunglasses – things people wear continue to provide long-term marketing energy in the real world long after online campaigns have fizzled. In fact, these items can help keep an online marketing scheme alive due to continued visibility. Just make sure any apparel put out there is something you’d be willing to wear in a casual setting.
Toys and Gadgets
Is there a business which hasn’t gotten their logo or brand name printed on a Frisbee at one point or another? Yes but the point is just the same. Toys and gadgets surpass apparel in terms of longevity, but also in cost. Get the most bang for limited marketing buck by focusing on hot items; as of this writing, fidget spinners are the hot item and can make great marketing tools with a brand logo on them.
It’s true the average person is spending about 10 hours a day staring at a screen, but that still leaves about six hours of waking time where our attention is devoted to the real world. Plenty of time for classic marketing techniques to comfortably make their way into lives of consumers.