The pace of technology has changed the way brands market and the speed with which they implement change. Each year, there are more tips, tools, and strategies to try, too—all in pursuit of leads and sales goals.

To stay relevant and ahead of the curve, marketing teams need to manage new and increasingly complex marketing processes. With so much technical progress in the last decade, it can be easy to overlook one very important thing: the power of old school, traditional marketing efforts and the reasons they worked so well.

Let’s consider some ageless marketing truths:

  • People who are emotionally motivated will buy
  • When you communicate the value of an offering to a customer in a personalized way, they take notice
  • If your target market is properly engaged, they want to hear from you and stay connected
  • Face time with customers is powerful, especially in the right setting
  • Building a personal connection with a customer can turn into interests, sales, and future leads via referrals

There are also some cold, hard facts that prove traditional marketing tactics still have skin in the game. Our recent Kapost benchmark showed that even in the digital world, events hold their ground. Both events and content marketing were ranked equally effective, with 63% of marketers marketing each as “a most effective strategy.”

This stat is a great reminder of the power of face-to-face connection and relatability—one of the most powerful traditional marketing mantras.

Keep Traditional Marketing Efforts with a Modern Twist

The challenge for all modern-day marketers is in blending tried-and-true marketing principles then finding ways to implement them using new, fresh digital marketing tools and technologies.

Know Your Market

One of the greatest assets of the digital marketing era is data collection. It’s easy to gather, track, and review analytics to see how specific marketing efforts are working—or if a marketing campaign is totally off base.

These insights also pinpoint individual customer preferences and needs, which helps with crafting buyer personas for targeted marketing efforts. Instead of door-to-door sales and cold calls that were used to shape a hypothesis about a brand’s demographic in the old days, digital marketers now have data on their side to provide deeper insights into potential customer habits and desires.

This information is what helps marketing teams put the right pieces of content in front of a potential customer with a powerful, emotional call to action. It’s what entices them into the buyer’s journey, and customer-centric content keeps them there.

Let Me See Your Face

Building trust is a personal thing, so make it easy to be personal.

In the digital marketing age, it’s simple to build that personal connection through video via chat, tutorials, and as part of customer success stories. Sharing a brand’s personality via the real people who work for it—and with it—offers an opportunity to show the face of a brand without all the awkward small talk.

Video and instant message support also enables brands to offer more personalized support with customers by connecting quickly and easily at their convenience.

Events as an Appetizer

The face-to-face element of events is powerful in a few key ways.

Local events help raise awareness and build local connections, much like posting an ad in a local newspaper or publication. Events also give potential customers an opportunity to experience first hand what you may offer or to learn about how and why your organization benefits the local community.

On a national scale, events help bring together industry experts and potential customers in one space, giving brands an opportunity to do some old-school lead collection with handshakes then add in the high-tech bells and whistles.

The most important part of an event is that it’s focused on the key demographic and acts as an appetizer to get people interested on a personal level before they connect with a brand online.

The best part is that any event can be recorded and shared online after the fact, giving interested potential customers a chance to get in on the experience from afar.

Email Continues to Prove It’s Not Dead

Email was officially invented in the early 70s and went on to have many reinventions, including refinement as an inter-office communication tool then as marketing outreach. Currently, email is seeing a resurgence with the rise of the mobile device and is fueled by the customer’s preference for online research before buying.

But brands who win and retain customers via email use research data as a guide, keeping email communication specific and personal.

According to the Data and Marketing Association, the reason email marketing still works is that it’s driven by data. When email lists are segmented based on buyer personas and the individual email messages are personalized, people are more likely to engage and request to be on an email list for future personalized promotions and deals.

Mobile devices are frequently with their users, which means potential customers are more likely to see email outreach as it comes through and can act fast—a critical element in today’s fast-paced buyer’s world.

The Word Free Has Traction—in the Right Context

The word free has gotten a bit of a bad rap, especially because it’s often a way that companies bait and switch customers. However, free is still alive through word of mouth—one of the best tried-and-true traditional marketing techniques. Word of mouth is great in person, of course, but with the advent of the internet, it has a much more powerful reach across the globe.

In particular, high level executives pay attention to their peers. Hearing a good review of a product or service and seeing corresponding success is a huge influencer for the decision-making C-suite.

Customer reviews, and positive comments from industry leaders and influencers all count towards free publicity. The trick is making sure your marketing game and quality customer service are as good as possible.

And don’t forget the concept of free in the context of customer incentives, like free shipping or free samples. Those traditional marketing techniques still work.

The Art of the Demo

Demonstrations of popular products and services are a great device in marketing because it provides customers a taste of what they can get. It also offers a way into their living room, so to speak. This is true in traditional marketing, and continues to be true as brands leverage visuals such as video, tutorials, and online forums—all ways people can touch and feel a product before they buy it.

When people are committed to seeing how something works (think door to door knife salesman of yesteryear), it puts them in a consideration-to-purchase zone, unmatched by other marketing methods. It’s similar to the sentiment that you need to see it to believe it.

A Referral Program is a No-Brainer

Rewards and referrals programs are definitely an old-school marketing technique that’s still powerful in the digital age. People want to feel part of something. They like belonging to a special club and sharing all of the great ways a certain product or service can help people they know and like.

Nowadays, it’s much easier to leverage data to track customer preferences and create online programs that make sharing referrals a breeze.

Brands can also combine a freebie with a referral program. Dropbox does this well; they offer current customers more online storage space when a person they referred actually signs up for the service.

Key Takeaway

At this point in the evolution of marketing, we have seen the rise and fall of many tools and techniques. The challenge ahead for marketers is to create a balance between traditional marketing efforts and the power of data in the digital age to keep it personal, relevant, and customer-centric.

Katrina Pfannkuch

About Katrina Pfannkuch

Katrina Pfannkuch is a creativity consultant specializing in writing, editing, strategy & coaching. She's a bit of a data nerd & loves seeing how pieces of the informational puzzle come together to paint a creative picture. Catch Katrina & her insights on kick-starting creativity at @creativekatrina on Twitter.