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VOL. 40 | NO. 46 | Friday, November 11, 2016

Ten offline marketing strategies that work

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We’re so knee deep in the digital age that the phrase “digital marketing” is now synonymous with “marketing.”

As such, there is so much digital noise competing for the attention of consumers, your message can be easily lost. That’s why now, more than ever, a combination of offline and online strategies are your best bet.

Consider these old-school, offline strategies as a way to break through the digital clutter and win the hearts and minds of your prospects.

Endorsements: Reach out to influencers in your market and give them an opportunity to try your products or services for free in exchange for sharing their experience with their followers.

Educational luncheons: Offer to share your expertise with prospects or influencers over lunch as a way to build awareness and credibility in the market.

Trade publication coverage: Sure, there are public relations opportunities with mainstream media, but often there are fewer businesses clamoring for the attention of trade publication reporters. Consider pitching these outlets on your latest product or service innovation.

Cross promotions: To get more out of your marketing budget and to gain exposure to another brand’s built-in audience, consider a cross-promotion with a noncompeting business that shares a similar target audience.

Public speaking: There’s perhaps no better way to establish yourself as an expert than by delivering an informative and inspirational keynote in your field. Approach organizations with memberships that align with your target audience for just such an opportunity.

Distribute cards: Put your business cards in unexpected places for your target audience to stumble across, such as in magazines at your doctor’s office (if you sell a consumer health care solution) or even inside of the boxes of shoes you try on at your local running store (if you run a gym).

Celebrate successes: Did your firm win an award or achieve an important milestone? Consider inviting your customers, prospects and area influencers to your offices to celebrate. People love being part of a winning team, and allowing your customers and prospects to interact can only help your business, assuming your customers are happy.

Community event sponsorship: Consider sponsoring community events that align with your mission and appeal to your target audience. Just be sure to negotiate more than simply being included as one of many logos on a banner or in a program, which rarely pays off.

Modernize your packaging or presentation: Shop your competitors to see if your packaging and presentation materials stack up. Consider modernizing these consumer-facing materials to improve the first impression you make with prospects.

Creative snail mail: Direct mail is experiencing a bit of a resurgence, given how enamored brands have become with the analytics and low cost offered by email campaigns. An unexpectedly creative package can grab the attention of a decision maker who would quickly hit delete on a sales email.

Lori Turner-Wilson, CEO and founder of RedRover Sales & Marketing Strategy, can be reached at redrovercompany.com.

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