The most dominant form of marketing today makes use of digital channels, primarily social media and other internet based methods. It’s easy then to overlook more traditional marketing strategies as well as innovative offline techniques and smart guerilla marketing. While it may be tempting to favour one delivery system over another, the truth is that a well structured campaign can use multiple types of marketing in conjunction with one another. Let’s look at some of the types of marketing in common use today, and how they can fit into your campaign.
As digital is probably the main part of most campaigns, let’s start with some of the methods and techniques marketers are using on the internet.
Online branding should start with a beautifully designed and intuitively functional website. This base can establish your brand’s colours, logo, identity as well as outlining your mission, products and/or services. Your website is often your first point of contact for any potential customer and is an important part of marketing strategy.
If any medium has revolutionised the way marketing works it is social media. Every brand should have a social media presence across all major platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, as well as other emerging sites. Social media is a great way to directly communicate with your customer base, and quickly respond to trends and dialogue. Customer service is benefited in two ways – speed of response, and a personal touch to your brand.
Much offline marketing is derided as anachronistic – but the reality is that radio ads, printed materials, television spots and many other methods, when used effectively, are a crucial part of any campaign. Let’s take a look at some offline strategies.
The power of print is real – customers still like to have a physical object in their hands to read. Beautifully printed catalogues are as likely to be read as they’ve always been. Poster campaigns are an evergreen staple of the marketing landscape. And flyers, leaflets and other small printed items are inexpensive and make a great impact – especially when combined with digital methods.
While it may seem old school, our mailboxes have never been emptier. That means your material has a much bigger chance of being opened, read and engaged with. Mail campaigns also appeal more to oft-neglected demographics – older people who may not use social media or engage with the internet as much as the younger generations. Mail outs also lend themselves to localised strategies, establishing your brand as a presence in a specific area, perhaps combined with events in the locale.
Billboards are an iconic part of popular culture, and have been used spectacularly over the years, though of course there are smaller outdoor advertising spaces available. Putting your message in a prominent place that people will see day after day on their commute can place your brand firmly in their mind. Creative approaches to outdoor advertising include placing your company’s message on a vehicle – this not only catches the eye, it also means you can target different parts of town when specific events are taking place, to suit your demographic.
Events and sponsorship
A great way to market your brand is to hold, or sponsor, an event. Events are great because it gives you the chance to meet your customers face to face, under informal circumstances. Many companies have realised the power of marketing to their local community, and fundraisers or other charitable events build esteem and trust in your brand. If you don’t have the time or resources to plan your own event, sponsoring a local event such as a sporting event or competition also gets your brand out there and gives you positive association.
Guerilla marketing means making use of creative, unconventional and innovative tactics which are often inexpensive or even free. Guerilla marketing makes use of channels that are often considered in mainstream marketing circles to be obsolete and overlooked, but adds a creative spin. Street level guerilla marketing tends to make creative use of space, or create a feature (crosswalk, bench, bus stop etc) with innovative branding or a form of social interaction.
Modern marketing comes in all shapes and sizes. While some pit digital vs offline methods against each other, balancing the use of both in a campaign is highly effective.