The old school way of marketing has a certain charm to it. Maybe a personal touch that made a deeper connect with customers. Digital marketing has made a paradigm shift in the old school way of marketing making the marketing concept more mechanical. True, we cannot do without digital marketing given that every aspect of the market that we do business in is digitalised. But, practising a combination of both the digital and offline marketing strategies would help to generate leads and boost sales better. Offline or guerrilla marketing like branded giveaways, local donations and sidewalk ads work wonders still today. Moreover, it is easy for SMEs who are starting off in their business to start off with these practises.
1.Distribute Business Cards:
Business Cards are the cheapest way to market a company’s name. Business cards are always at the right place at the right time. An entrepreneur amidst a chaos of work would like to look for information at hand rather than browse through for information. A business card of a said company in hand is first reached out for any business requirement that may arise by an entrepreneur. Moreover, it is easy to distribute business cards. One can pass them to businesses or neighbours, pin them to boards or simply slip them in relevant purchases, books and magazines.
A great way to make a business’ presence felt in the locality is by donating for local causes. It might be a local auction, a charity or maybe simply a festival voucher. This helps to strengthen relations with the local community and be a well-known household name in the locality. Donating products at such events is also a sure shot way to get people to use one’s products and if they like it come back for more.
3.Speak at Local Events:
There are many festivals, celebrations and events that invite people in business to speak. It might be as simple as sharing a business story in a management event or as grand as showcasing success at a festival event. The opportunities to speak are numerous. It is important that SMEs take this opportunity to market itself. This makes a company visible and also familiar with peers. If a company has not reached that level where it has the authority to deliver a speech, it should simply attend such events. Being visible in these events can help one to take the company to better marketing possibilities.
4.Sponsor Local Events:
Sponsor local events in small ways. It is not possible for SMEs to sponsor at a large scale given that it is struggling to find a strong foothold in the industry. But, a stronghold starts only when people associate with a company. The familiarity boosts association and garners more business. Sponsoring an event might seem like it’s too much to ask from a budding SME but the long term benefits and association that comes with it is worth all the try.
5.Feature in Local Print Media:
It is true that digital media is the favoured form of reading for many entrepreneurs; but print media still works strong. Especially in small localities. It would do great for an SME to establish a relation with the local print media and make its visibility highlighted. SMEs can focus on their target audience and keep them updated on the company’s milestones, events or products. A visibility in the local media will naturally make the people take notice. This is the first step towards establishing a business.
It is the personal touch in sail mails that make all the difference. Yes, despite all the popularity of emails, snail mail still works. Send coupons, newsletters, product samples through snail mail. It will help your SME stand out better among the e-mail only businesses and also help the company to build a more personalised relationship.
A one-to-one conversation always helps. Cold calling customers is a great way for a small SME to market for their business. It is important however that a company is mindful of the customer’s timings and needs. Cold calling is more of a sales move but it does help companies to build collaborative relationships with like-minded businesses and also to build clients.
8.Make Trade Shows your SMEs Second Home:
The best thing about showcasing a SME in a trade show is that it puts the participating company in the same platform with the competition. First it gives the SME a visibility. Second, it gives an opportnity to understand the pitch and the workings of the competing companies. This insight into the competition helps a company to improvise and evolve. Participating in trade shows come with the natural benefits of showcasing one’s products and services and also by helping to network.
SMEs who have religiously participated in trade shows knows that there is more to a tradeshow than just the exhibition.
9.Revamp your Business:
Yes, it is important to revamp if you want to keep pace with the competition. Every year, tastes, trends and presentations change. What worked wonders maybe a year ago might seem too boring a year later. It is important that a SME knows how to keep pace with this trend that creates a ripple in the market.
SMEs should not only understand the changing trends of branding, store design and presentation but should also work accordingly to revamp the changes.
No matter how small an achievement make it a point to celebrate it. Call for a business event, host a party or make it to any kind of a celebratory business that aligns with your company. Celebrating a company’s success will make customers take notice, help to build networks and market about the company in a series of achievements.
Marketing the old school way has its own charm. SMEs must include the offline way of marketing because it is an inexpensive way of doing business which with its simplicity and personal touch makes for a great first impression.