Last year I attended an event at which the author forcibly asserted that traditional marketing was dead. The only way forwards was marketing on the web and twittering all day with the unquestioning zeal of a new convert. What concerned me was that many people were hanging on to her every word. Ironically she was using a networking event, a very traditional marketing channel to promote her book. The irony of this was lost on her!
Her advice was wrong. Let me reassure you with absolute certainty that traditional marketing - advertising, networking, direct mail, PR, exhibitions – classic marketing tools remain powerful for millions of small businesses. If most of my clients were to abandon traditional marketing in favour of social media and search engine optimisation they would go out of business within 12 months.
Why do I say this?
Well, the role of marketing is to communicate our products and services effectively to the people that have a deep underlying need to buy from us. We have to identify the communication channels that lead us to our potential buyers. This may or may not include social networking and online advertising. Even then, one particular online channel although effective may not in itself be the only route to riches. Ok so you can reach X% of your target audience through twitter but they won’t thank you for trying to sell to them but hey you can reach 100% with a targeted list you can then mailshot to and sell away!
A blended approach offers the potential of a higher return with a lower risk. Let me illustrate this with one of my retained clients. They sell motor repair products through 1500 car accessory shops and motor factors. In the last 8 years, we have increased sales by a staggering £3 million through a blend of ‘traditional marketing’; advertising, product offers, PR and point of sale promotions. My client’s trade buyers are not that Internet savvy. Getting their e-mail address is like pulling teeth. And they still prefer faxing back competition entries. The social networks in which his products are talked about by the end users are independent and any attempts by him to hijack them would be met with outrage. If I suggested to him that traditional marketing was dead, he would eject me from the building. Now, as an experienced marketer, I can see the flaws in what the speaker said. What concerns me is the small business owner taking the advice at face value and plunging into social networking and online advertising - abandoning tried and tested traditional marketing communications simply because the Emperor's new Clothes were on the face of it more appealing than his existing wardrobe.
I hope you’ve found these tips useful. You can find hundreds more in my latest book The 15 Essential Marketing Masterclasses for Your Small Business.
About the author
Dee Blick is a multi award winning Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing with 30 years marketing experience. Dee is the author of The 15 Essential Marketing Masterclasses For Your Small Business
which has been endorsed by CIM and is available on Amazon
. It’s a practical book, packed with hundreds of proven top tips, templates and case studies and rated as excellent by The Sun newspaper, Elite Business Magazine, CityAM and winner of the BookBag nonfiction book award. A sample chapter is available here
Members can also take advantage of an exclusive 30% discount on The 15 Essential Marketing Masterclassses for Your Small Business. To take advantage of this visit www.wiley.com
and enter promotion code FPB14 at the checkout.