If you want your business to succeed in the 21st century, you need an online marketing strategy. Without one, you’ll lose market share by ignoring what is arguably the most powerful communications medium in human history: the internet.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should dismiss offline marketing as an effective means to boost brand awareness, increase profitability, and build a loyal customer base. Old-school tactics can give you a competitive advantage over companies whose marketing efforts are exclusively online.
Here are three frequently overlooked offline marketing tools that still work.
1. Drop cards — Drop cards are essentially business cards with a twist: When they’re folded, they look like $20 or $100 bills. Because they look like cash, they’re definitely an eye-catcher. As a result, people pick them up and read an interesting bit of advertising about your company. Use drop cards by “dropping” them in places where people are likely to find them, such as in doctors’ waiting rooms, restrooms, or airplanes and around newspaper stands in urban areas. Drop cards aren’t terribly expensive. You can pick up 100 of them for about $15 or 5,000 of them for about $375.
2. 3-D props — The aforementioned drop cards and other printed marketing materials (flyers, brochures, posters, etc.) are examples of 2-D marketing. By contrast, 3-D marketing uses props instead of paper to get your message out. It has the added effect of surprising your recipients, because it’s clever and offers more than just a bunch of words written on a piece of paper. For example, a marketer who worked for Sprint sent hundreds of key decision makers a tackle box with the title “Solution Toolbox” and a caption reading “Don’t let this one get away.” The tackle box contained typical fishing tackle, plus a flyer with information about Sprint’s services. That marketing effort earned a 5 percent response rate. You don’t need to break the bank to do something like that.
3. Vehicle wraps — Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have your brand advertising viewed by hundreds or thousands of potential customers on a daily basis? There’s a wrap for that! Vehicle wraps are, as the name implies, advertisements (permanently) wrapped around a vehicle. They go wherever the driver goes, and they’re especially effective if you live and work in a densely populated area. Think about it this way: If you advertise on the radio or TV, you pay every time your commercial airs. With a vehicle wrap, you pay only once and the ad stays in place for at least 5 years. You can expect to pay between $1,500 and $3,000 for one vehicle wrap.