Whether you know it or not, some marketing channels are as old as human civilization itself. Some even date back before recorded history.
Just think about it for a second.
- The earliest known magazine was first published in 1663 in Germany. It was a literary and philosophy magazine called Erbauliche Monaths Unterredungen.
- Tall stone obelisks, similar to billboards, were used in Ancient Egypt to publicize laws and treaties.
- In Rome, Acta Diurna (the ancestors of the newspaper) were carved metal or stone tablets featuring public announcements and government decrees and hung in public places.
- Great events were held in civilizations throughout history to entertain millions of people, i.e. the Coliseum, the Circus Maximus, Greek theater, and Roman triumphs.
That probably puts a whole new light on how you see “old school” marketing channels. It may even worry you that these aren’t the most effective channels anymore. Newer is better, right?
Even some of the oldest channels can still be highly effective. However, you have to use the unique qualities of each channel to reach your audience.
Now you have to ask yourself, how can you drive modern marketing goals with “old school” marketing channels?
1. Sponsored Content and Print Advertising
Most often you see sponsored content online. This is especially true with sites like Buzzfeed, who will actually help you write your sponsored content and even distribute on social media.
There is now a big push for sponsored content in print magazines too.
Many magazines still hold sway over significant niche audiences in many industries. For instance, many print publications in the trucking and construction industries are still valuable.
Sponsored ads are usually large, running as small as a half page to something as large as multiple pages. It will often include creative and a topic related to a very specific problem experienced by a specific audience. You can see an example of a sponsored print ad below.
You can see the sponsored content on the right 1/3 of the image.
Sponsored ads are have become extremely popular among advertisers, and they represent a fundamental change in the way people consume media and advertising. Long gone are the days when you could show your audience a picture of your product and say “BUY MY STUFF!”
Now you have to show them you know the industry, understand their problems, and demonstrate how you can help.
2. Modern Goals and Traditional Signage
Modern marketing campaigns have a number of different goals. Marketers are no longer limited to just selling a product or generating leads. Now you can choose to do anything from directing your audience to social media, generating leads, and driving website traffic.
Everything depends on your campaign goals.
Signage can be used, just like most other channels, to accomplish any of your goals. But the key to successfully using signage is to make sure it’s targeted.
Targeting your signage can be difficult, but it’s key to ensuring your success.
Targeting your signage can be difficult. If you’re marketing to niche audiences, you probably don’t want to display your signage to massive audiences. That will disqualify billboards. On the other hand, placing your signage in a truck stop or as part of an event sponsorship can really pay off.
3. The Modern Event
Over the past 50 years, events have come a long way. Many event managers have changed the way they think about events, implementing new technologies and attractions to boost attendee experiences.
Unfortunately, many marketers still haven’t changed the way they think about events.
Marketers need to stop looking at events as a single channel for building brand awareness. Things have changed, and you can accomplished a number of objectives at events, such as online and offline brand awareness, direct sales, lead generation, and even content distribution.
Choosing the right event can be a challenge, but understanding your audience is key.
The key is to understand the event. You need to ask questions like: Who is going? How big is it? What kind of event is it? For instance, there is a big difference between GATS and the Spring Symposium.
- GATS is a trade show with tens of thousands of members in the trucking industry, ranging from drivers to fleet management. For a massive event like this, you want to build a campaign with multiple channels to reach the audiences in attendance.
- CCJ‘s Spring Symposium is a smaller, intimate networking event that features keynotes and industry experts. It usually has a few hundred attendees, but they are also valuable fleet managers and executives. Instead of a big campaign, inbound marketing channels, signage, and well designed content may be enough to accomplish your goals.
You have to fit your marketing efforts to the the event itself.
Sometimes the best marketing channels aren’t the most high-tech. While they may not seem as exciting as SEM or YouTube advertising, these “old school” channels can still reach and influence valuable audiences.