Old School Marketing That’s Still Essential Today

Old School Marketing That’s Still Essential TodayWhen you think about it, marketing in some shape or form is bound to have been around for a good many years. For as long as people have been selling stuff, they’ve had to tell people that they’re open for business. The Gutenberg printing press may be heralded as causing a revolution in literature, but it also boosted marketing materials like flyers and pamphlets.

Now let’s catapult forward to today; digital marketing gives every single business a voice if they’re willing to go out and get it heard. Of course this comes with a tonne of benefits, but it can sometimes seem that you’re just adding to the noise and chaos that’s already out there; leading some of us to harken for the good old days. So what can we learn from “kickin’ it old school?”

Business Cards

If you’ve been in business for a while now, chances are you’ve seen a few business cards in your time, both good and bad. Some people forget that business cards are such a fundamental part of your image, and how important it is to get them right. Don’t be tempted to do them on the cheap, but you don’t have to break the bank.

Remember to keep any design work tied in to your branding, and make sure that all contact information provided is accurate and up to date. Always remember the finish of your cards, there’s a reason people invest in heavy card stock and fancy finishes. They all add to an air of quality and give an undeniably professional impression.

Relationships & Networking

The digital age has replaced a lot of things in everyday life, but it’s yet to replace good old-fashioned human interaction. Though you can do some very productive business networking online with Twitter chats and Facebook Groups, we shouldn’t rule out in-person, face-to-face networking. This is where those awesome business cards come in.

The old adage goes that “people do business with people.” You can get a lot of overlooked social cues from meeting with someone face-to-face, and as humans we are more set psychologically to remember a face in the flesh than an avatar on a screen. So practice your handshake and get out there!

Money-Off Vouchers and Time-Bound Offers

People love a bargain, this has always been true. The first recorded money-off coupons date back to the Coca Cola Company in the 1800’s and these offers helped catapult the company to “household name” status. Though vouchers most directly apply to retail establishments, there’s nothing to stop you from offering a discount voucher regardless of the field you are in.

Discount offers work best when they have a deadline. Time-bound offers provide a sense of urgency, which plays into what is known as “FOMO,” or the Fear Of Missing Out. A deadline for an offer or limiting availability somehow kicks off a psychological loss-averse trigger in our minds, making the offer seem like a more valuable opportunity not to be missed. Which brings us nicely on to…

Psychology Hasn’t Changed

Marketing, psychology and evolution are inextricably linked, as evidenced in concepts like FOMO. Though we like to think we are attuned to modern life, mentally we are still very animal. FOMO relates back to making snap decisions about opportunities for a meal or a mate. Concrete first impressions tie in to our friend-or-foe mechanisms (another great reason to make sure your business cards are perfect).

Many of these snap decisions come from a hypothesized region of the brain called the “reptilian” brain. This is the part of the brain that appeared at the earliest part of our evolution, back when we were fish and reptiles (making it arguably the most “old school” on this list), and is responsible for friend-or-foe, emotions and reactions, fight-or-flight, FOMO and other fundamental survival responses. So bear in mind the immediate emotional responses that your marketing instils in people, and don’t forget that first impressions are everything. I could write about this all day, so please go and check out my article about marketing psychology if you haven’t already.

There is understandably a lot of coverage online about digital marketing trends and the modern machinations of marketing, but a lot of the most essential promotional practices have been around since time immemorial.

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What old school marketing tactics do you use? Do you think there are any good ones that I’ve left out here? What sort of balance do you strike between new and old marketing styles? Please share down in the comments!

P.S., I also wrote about the importance of print media in the digital age; you can check that out here.

Image Credit: Zaccaria on Pixabay.