3 neglected offline marketing tactics

Feb 5, 2016 by
3 neglected offline marketing tactics

Whether or not your business is digital by nature, it is important to take the digital presence of your business extremely seriously. Content marketing, SEO, landing page optimisation, guest blogging, social media and email marketing are all effective digital tactics for growing your brand – all of which we strongly advocate using!

However, just because you’re utilising a range of digital tactics doesn’t mean you should completely neglect offline marketing too. While the tools of today are different, human nature isn’t. People still like to do business with people that they know and trust, and the following offline marketing tactics will help you to build this trust.

1 – Business cards

Because it’s so easy to type someone’s name into Google and immediately find their contact details, many people consider business cards to be obsolete. However, a business card is a true extension of your brand in the physical world, so it should be diligently crafted. A sloppy design makes a bad impression, so it’s worthwhile hiring an agency or freelancer with proven credentials to design your card. Look for someone with a good portfolio and plenty of references. Good business cards should feature balanced graphical elements and intelligent typography, and be visually compelling enough to be memorable without being obnoxious.

You may wish to consider dropping your business card off in a variety of local places, such as business centres, bars, cafes and pubs, restaurants, the back seats of taxis, inside library books which relate to your business, at the bank, in conference rooms and so forth. You never know who might stumble upon your card and change your day for the better! As an alternative to dropping your business card off in your local area, giving them to people face to face is also rather beneficial – which leads me to my next point.

2 – Networking

Networking is a great way to build relationships and win new business

Networking is a great way to build relationships and win new business

Particularly for the younger generation of entrepreneurs, it seems totally logical to conduct business over the Internet and eschew face to face meetings. However, many people won’t do business with someone that they haven’t met, irrespective of how fantastic and socially proofed your site is. For this reason, networking is highly recommended (unless your digital brand is severely incongruent with who you are in real life!) Industry events such as trade shows and exhibitions are a great place to start networking. You might also find that you pick up some useful market intelligence at such events.

Similar to content marketing, networking is a long-term game. You won’t get any positive results by trying to sell to every person you meet. It’s far more effective to discuss your company’s strengths as part of a natural, flowing conversation, and always remember to ask plenty of questions too (people tend to gravitate towards people who show a genuine interest in them). This forms the basis of relationships, which perhaps (or perhaps not) will one day become lucrative. Don’t rush the process. If you can relax and enjoy yourself, you’re much more likely to make a good impression. Positivity is infectious!

Author and business blogger Chris Garrett states:

“There are many benefits to networking but you have to remember that we are dealing with people. You have to keep that in mind. Going out with a “what can I get?” attitude is going to sink your efforts before you begin.”

3 – Gratitude

One heinous mistake made by business owners is lavishing their affections on prospective customers while neglecting their current or previous customers. This should really be the other way around! By taking the time to understand the needs and requirements of your customers, you can go the extra mile in thanking them for contributing to the growth of your customer. Even if there is no initial economic incentive, by doing something truly special to express your gratitude, you are likely to generate some awesome word-of-mouth marketing as a result – and it feels great!

In his book Purple Cow, legendary marketer Seth Godin expresses gratitude to his doctor for going the extra mile in calling him to tell him that his health is absolutely perfect, not just when he has a problem! As a result, Seth Godin referred plenty of new patients to him. Marketer and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk is another huge proponent of this philosophy and has been known to go to great lengths to provide special gifts to his customers. While the importance of digital marketing cannot be understated, sometimes it also pays to go offline and imbue your brand with some real humanity.