Traditional marketing

Sometimes Traditional Marketing Is The Right Approach

Traditional marketing can still be relevant to your business.

I had a good example of this just last week.

My household insurance had to be renewed and for once actually looked through the small print.

I was concerned with the bit that said that burglary claims would only be covered if the right kind of locks were in place.

So I got Nigel, my insurance broker, to come round and give me some advice.

The upshot was that I need new 5 lever mortice locks on my front and back doors.

I then talked to him about his business and how he generates new clients.

He’s in the happy situation where as long as he provides a competitive quote each year, his client retention is over 90%.

It turned out that his is the kind of business where traditional marketing is much more relevant than digital.

Now normally I recommend small businesses like his to put a simple digital marketing strategy in place – revolving predominantly around a high quality website and a traffic strategy to drive visitors to the site.

However in this case this wouldn’t be the right approach because:

  1. His direct competitors are the national insurance companies such as Direct Line, Go Compare, Co-op insurance etc.
    These companies have very deep pockets and a small business is not going to be able to compete both in organic SEO or Google Ads.
  2. For matters like insurance many people talk to their friends for guidance and referrals instead of just doing a Google search.

So what approach should a business like this take?

  1. Professional introducers

Referrals are a great source of new business.

Nigel should therefore develop relationships with trusted professionals such as accountants and lawyers.

When your accountant makes a recommendation on a financial issue, most of us would trust them and take up the referral.

  • Networking

If you can develop a powerful proposition networking is a very good source of business.

Nigel stands up and commits to being able to provide a cheaper quote or better cover for the same money as the major players.

If someone makes an offer like that, why wouldn’t you ask for a quote – you’ve got nothing to lose.

  • Cross selling to existing customers

Nigel’s existing customers should always be his best source of new business.

If he maintains close relationships with his customers and knows any changes to their personal and professional situation, he can proactively offer them new products and services to cover their changed circumstances.

The secret here is only to offer products that are genuinely beneficial to the customer as this will position you as a valued supplier.

Get it wrong and you’ll be just another supplier trying to flog unwanted and irrelevant stuff.

So if you’ve got customers who think like Nigel’s it may be that a traditional marketing approach is right for you.

If you need any more help get in touch on or call me on 01483 200387.

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Traditional And Digital Marketing

It’s great in my job when traditional and digital marketing work together.

I went to see the most niche business you can imagine the other day.

They’re a start-up hiring out gowns for student graduation ceremonies.

Certain elements of their marketing are very straight forward.

Their target audience couldn’t be any more clearly defined –  students graduating in about a month’s time.

The message is also simple – they’re about 30% cheaper than the only significant player in the market, who historically have had a virtual monopoly.

So far so easy.

It’s when you come to communication channels that things become more interesting.

The 200 year old market leader is deep in bed with all the universities who endorse them as their approved supplier and tell all the students to get their gowns from them.

So the marketing for the guys I was talking to has two very specific objectives.

  1. Generate awareness that they exist and that their gowns are massively cheaper than the existing supplier and so drive the students to their website.
  2. The website needs to convert visitors into customers.

So what channels should they be using to drive them to the website?

Well obviously 20 year olds spend all their lives on line especially on social media.

So that seems a no brainer.

But which platforms?

We know Facebook’s has reduced the reach for organic posts through the algorithm changes earlier this year.

Additionally for 20 year olds Facebook  is no longer as cool as it once was.

But Facebook posting, especially in groups should still be part of the mix as should Facebook advertising.

But Instagram is the cool platform of choice for kids this age.

What about Google – both the organic listings and Google Ads.?

Will kids search gown suppliers when the university tells them where to get their gown from?

The Keyword tool will give us an idea of search volumes.

But this will be an area where we’re likely to try it and see.

At this stage you can’t know what the result will be.

So what else should they do?

Although we’re talking to such a digital audience, interestingly we’ll need to revert to traditional channels.

We’ll need to make traditional and digital marketing channels work together.

Bill boards and posters around the campuses will be perfectly targeted and have space to communicate the key messages.

Likewise handing out flyers – hardly cutting edge but absolutely appropriate.

Whether we can get a bit clever and find audiences of exclusively final year students I don’t know yet.

And student ambassadors – individuals who are incentivised to generate word of mouth referrals and bring people into the brand one at a time.

In a world fixated on digital marketing it’s kind of refreshing to make old style traditional and digital marketing channels work together for such a digitally orientated audience.

So if you’ve got a marketing challenge that you need resolving give me a shout on , call me on 01483 200387.


Traditional Marketing Or Digital Marketing – What Should You Be Using?

I think the global political situation recently can be compared to the political situation we’ve seen in the UK, the US and France recently.

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Comparing Traditional and Digital Marketing

The purpose of the article is to look at and comparing traditional and digital marketing and assess which is most appropriate for small businesses in 2016.

If you look through the local paper there will be loads of advertisements for local businesses but the question I always wonder about is how successful are they?

I say this as most of them are what you would call “brand adverts”.

That is they are advertising their name and probably what they do but little else. There’s no special offer, no benefits and no call to action.

What they’re trying to do is to get their name out there – to build brand awareness.

So what’s wrong with that – isn’t that what all the big companies do?

Well yes it is, but big companies have the benefit of people already knowing what they do and what they stand for.

Small businesses, like yours and mine, should be doing direct response marketing. Marketing that makes targeted special offers within a limited time frame and demands action.

To illustrate what I’m talking about I’m going to take a completely hypothetical example which I’ve just made up involving two local bakeries, who will fight it out on your local high street in the run up to Easter in a couple of months time.

“Cracking Cakes” goes the standard route of building brand awareness while “Simply Brilliant Bread” decides to go down the direct response route.

So this is what happens……………

“Cracking Cakes” decides to run a series of ads on the local radio and to take a series of quarter page ads in the local paper.

The ads look nice and pretty and talk about the wonderful smell of fresh baked bread and cakes, how good it is to know where your food comes from and how you should feel warm and fuzzy for supporting your local retailer.

However the ads say nothing about particular products and give no specific reason why anyone should buy from them in the run up to Easter.

Now the people in “Simply Brilliant Bread” take a very different approach.

They create a special seasonal product – a hamper filled with lots of festive products and then they create a digital campaign to support it.

They start by creating a web page featuring the hamper. Also on the page is a free download featuring several festive baking recipes.

To drive people to the sign up page, they create some banner ads and then some re-marketing ads which they target to local people.

They also do some Facebook advertising, tightly targeted at their key demographic of 30 – 60 year old mums.

They support this activity by emailing their database, telling them all about the special offer, with its cut off date shortly before Easter and then another series of emails, this time pushing the free baking recipes.

So there you have it – two very different campaigns.

So who makes the most money?

 “Cracking Cakes” will probably have generated a little extra business – a few people might have been motivated to go there just by being reminded of their existence but they haven’t given them any reason to take action and a lot of their spend will have been wasted on people not in their target audience .

“Simply Brilliant Bread” have been pretty clever.

They’ve targeted their audience precisely in a way which will avoid wastage, they’ve made them a seasonally relevant special offer with a built in cut off date and their messages have been delivered by extremely cost effective mechanisms.

So I hope you can see why this kind of business should avoid brand advertising and focus on direct response. Now this doesn’t in any way mean that I think all traditional forms of marketing no longer work. Direct mail, for example, probably works better now than ever.

Traditional advertising always had its drawbacks and nowadays there are so many better options than advertising.

If you want to see what direct response marketing can do for your own business get in touch by emailing me on , calling me on 01483 200387.