Merging Old School Marketing With the Electronic Age

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Old School Marketing

There have always been many different ways to market an organizing business – some free, some inexpensive, and some costly – and it seems that there are more options every time you turn around!

Before you get lost chasing after the latest bright shiny object, read this article by Holly Horsman. In it, Holly uncovers some “old school” marketing tactics that are just as useful as ever, and explains how you can blend them with newer methods for maximum impact.


When building your business and creating a unique brand that sets you apart from the rest, marketing should be one of your main priorities. Obviously, you must make good on your promises and deliver what you’ve advertised, but there are several ways to combine tried and true methods with new ones, specifically in conjunction with technology. Staying flexible and able to easily go with the flow of change in marketing is going to be the secret to a successful strategy.

Here are a few ways to rev up the way your company promotes itself.

Remember References

One of the most timeless strategies in marketing is word-of-mouth advertising. Clients want to promote you when they’ve had a great experience and are usually receptive to offering a testimonial or giving you a reference if they’re happy with the product or service you’ve offered. This is one of the many reasons having integrity in the way you conduct business is so important.

Feel free to include one or two short sentences (avoid long-winded paragraphs or irrelevant information) on your website and be choosy with the kind of testimonials you include. Featuring too many can seem overwhelming or as though you’re pushing something on the reader, which you want to avoid. You can also include a link for contact information asking clients for any feedback or reviews they may have, as it will give you perspective on ideas you may not have considered. It will also encourage you to continually work towards improving.

Television and Visual Advertisements

Since pretty much everyone is linked in (no pun intended) these days, you’ll be hard pressed to find a client who doesn’t watch television or stream programming on the internet. YouTube specifically has thousands of ads promoted every single day. If you decide to create an advertisement and share it on any social network, particularly Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and use hashtags or the appropriate funnels, you’ll reach a lot of viewers, quickly.

These platforms will help promote your services and expand your audience and potential client base, while simultaneously captivating the interest of the audience, and keeping them interested and engaged. Include links or widgets to various outlets somewhere visible on your website and make sure they’re updated. It’s going to leave a bad impression if your Facebook page has three likes and hasn’t been updated since December!

It’s important to create a LinkedIn account, which will serve to give your business more credibility.

You can also integrate your brochure as a printable or interactive accent to your website, which will include an eye-grabbing headline or mission statement. Just be careful not to overwhelm the reader or offer redundant or repetitive information on the site.

You can also create a unique blog that allows your potential clients a more relatable and true version of you, as well as a more detailed description of ongoing projects, changes, and improvements, but only as long as you intend to stay on top of it and produce content regularly.

E-mail & Promotions

Never underestimate the power of the e-mail!

Create a newsletter and keep it updated, yet refrain from overwhelming subscribers with too many messages. You can include promotional offers, gifts, or discounts for specific days of the week, holidays, or for limited time periods. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve become a patron of a new business solely because they sent me coupons.

You can also feel free to reach out to your contacts you’ve known for a long time or have done business with in the past. Use discretion when getting in touch with previous clients, as to not seem like you’re overreaching or desperate. Spread the word with close friends and family and, if you feel comfortable enough, ask them to reference your services.

As the use of technology becomes more widespread, your business will have to be flexible and comfortable conforming to new approaches in the world of marketing. It’s okay to get creative and mix and match which strategies are best suited for you and the type of business you’re promoting.

Photo © bruesw / depositphotos

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Holly Horsman

Holly Horsman is currently a content consultant associated with Martin Print, and as a prior business owner herself, wants to share her passion for business marketing to as many readers as possible.

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  1. Linda Samuels Linda Samuels on February 25, 2019 at 7:12 am

    This post was such a surprise. When I read combining “old school marketing” with the digital age, I thought it was going to highlight ways to use pre-digital age marketing AND social media. I think that’s because recently, I started to reintroduce some of the ways I used to engage in marketing including print advertising and articles, radio interviews, and more speaking engagements. Pre-digital age, these were some of the main ways that I generated business (in addition to word-of-mouth.) However, over the years, as I increased my social media presence, I stopped using some of the other marketing techniques. Combining all of the avenues have been producing clear results. It’s exciting to experiment and have all of these tools to draw from.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on February 25, 2019 at 12:28 pm

      That’s great, Linda! I think some of the “old school” methods have been neglected now that so many people have discovered the ease and reach of online methods.

  2. Avatar Seana Turner on February 25, 2019 at 8:14 am

    Speaking engagements have always been successful for me. I haven’t done any print advertising, but Youtube also gets a good reaction. I think it is healthy to always be growing and exploring, and sometimes that means going back to methods that we may have forgotten about. Thought provoking post!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on February 25, 2019 at 12:30 pm

      Speaking engagements are fabulous, because people get to connect with you as a person and not just a face on their screen. Video is the next closest thing!

  3. Avatar Sabrina Quairoli on February 25, 2019 at 8:57 am

    Getting testimonials from existing clients is becoming a lost art. I found that getting referrals or recommendations from others through LinkedIn, Alignable, and even directly adding them to the website pages works nicely to help your prospects get some information about what other people think about your business. Making time to do this is the key. A few times a year, communicate with your existing clients and ask them to either recommend you on LinkedIn or Alignable. You can even email them a few questions to answer to use on your services or testimonials page.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on February 25, 2019 at 12:32 pm

      Great tips, Sabrina, especially asking specific questions that you can use to craft a testimonial rather than asking your client to write one from scratch.

  4. Avatar Kim on February 25, 2019 at 9:59 am

    Hi Janet,
    Interesting that most strategies still work today even though I feel that a lot has changed. I wanted to let you know that the link for Integrate Your Brochure is not active. I also love the picture of the tear off phone numbers. I might just go back to that old school method.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on February 25, 2019 at 12:34 pm

      Thanks for the heads up – I’ll fix that right now.

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