Apr13

Offline Marketing: Getting your Brand Out There in the Real World

Posted by Michael Wolter

Every business needs an online presence, but research finds that good old brick and mortar marketing techniques are important too.

“If I could turn back time, if I could find a way.” Cher, we hear ya. Despite the many changes that have come into the world of marketing over the last 20 years or so, there are still plenty of steadfast lessons that remain true for marketers in today’s world. Although the world has been all but taken over by digital marketing and its many, many forms, offline marketing still has a solid place in everyone’s marketing arsenal. There is a whole host of ways you can employ old-fashioned techniques in the modern world of marketing, and we’re here to show you a few of our favorites.

Guerrilla Marketing

Guerrilla marketing is one of the greatest offline marketing techniques for one main reason: the options are endless. There are so many ways you can engage with your customers in an offbeat way that leaves them with a lasting impression of your brand. In our opinion, the best way to run a successful guerrilla marketing campaign is to leave your consumers wondering if your company even sponsored the event at all. Flash mobs and and sidewalk chalk are somewhat common forms of guerrilla marketing that can have a great effect, but think even further outside the box and let’s really color outside the lines. Use live human models to sponsor your company with mock environments, like a storefront beach scene in the middle of winter for a travel company. Put up signage with controversial messaging to attract attention, then spin the conversation to a brand-related concept (not too controversial though). Commission artists to create large, eye-catching sculptures or graffiti murals in city centers. Harmless pranks, like yarn bombing, can also be a fun, playful way to establish your brand voice in a full-to-the-gills sea of offline marketing already out there. Just be careful not to push the envelope too far – the idea is to gain positive association from customers, not annoy them and put them off you.

Business Cards

Sometimes the hardest news to hear is also the most helpful, so here goes: if your business card is a white 3.5″ x 2″ piece of card, no one wants to be your friend. At all. You gotta go against the grain! Laurel Thatcher Ulrich said, “Well behaved women rarely make history”, and the same goes for the gents when it comes to offline marketing. You absolutely must set yourself apart in order to get noticed, and something as seemingly insignificant as a business card is a fun and quirky way to do that. Try using a different material, like stretchy rubber or cast metal, to give a unique “feel” to your brand. Make an interactive business card, like one with strings to braid or a scratch and sniff pad, to add a sense of humor and innovation. Bored Panda has a list of 30 of the Most Creative Business Cards Ever – but view with caution, a few of them are borderline NSFW.

Public Promotional Events

If you want to start simple, hire a team to hand out samples of your product. If you haven’t caught on yet, we are really trying to hit this point home; so listen up, because this is the last time we’re saying it: be different! Original ideas only! Don’t be ordinary, be extraordinary! Stand apart! Hire a team of professional actors to dress in costume and present your product in an interactive way. Set up a children’s play area to present your product specifically to parents. Give food samples using unconventional containers or presentation. Public promo events are an outstanding way to not only showcase your product, but also to show off the creative team that’s behind it. The more unique, the better!

Social media, business websites, and online ads are great ways to get your brand out there, but let’s not forget the tried-and-true marketing techniques that built the industry from the ground up. They’re oldies but goodies, and can have great positive impact on your brand. From business cards to guerrilla campaigns, offline marketing was, and still is, here to stay.

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