Looking back, before the internet was invented, there wasn’t really an alternative marketing tactic other than outbound marketing.
It was the case of “who shouts the loudest wins” and in some respects, it’s still like that in the traditional sense.
Believe it or not, the vast majority of businesses still operate in this way and allocate huge marketing budgets to promote their companies.
So, do they still work and are they still a viable option?
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If you have the budget and depending on your niche, you may still get a half decent ROI on TV/Radio ads. However, the effectiveness has decreased over the years and it’s very hard to track just how well they are working.
If you have a small/medium budget then I wouldn’t advise that you use this marketing channel. Your best bet is to try a more targeted and efficient way of reaching your client like using paid media and content marketing in the longer term.
An oldie but goodie. Telemarketing and cold calling are still one of the main marketing channels for medium to large enterprises.
If you have your lead generation channels set up correctly then closing your clients with telemarketing is one of the best ways to do this.
When used with a customer relationship management (CRM) system, they really come into their own.
By tracking when you called someone, what the result was and when next to follow up with them, you can then begin to streamline the lead gen – closing process.
This is generally seen as an inbound marketing tactic since one of the main uses of email marketing is normally to follow up with clients if they happen to fill in one of those signup forms on your website or subscribe to a free eBook or whitepaper.
Email marketing can be used for outbound marketing too! Especially if you already have a significant database of existing clients to market to. In fact, you’ll probably find that these are the best candidates to market to since they already like and know your product or service.
When carried out correctly, trade shows have the ability of presenting your company in the best light whilst leaving a lasting impression on potential clients.
Since you are meeting potential clients face to face, you have the ability to get to know them a little better and overcome any objections or questions they may have. It’s a great time to schedule an additional meeting or simply grab their contact details so that you can talk at a later date.
Attending a trade show also allows you to network with like-minded businesses or a business in a different niche but could be helpful to yours.
Even though this is a pretty old medium, newspaper advertising is fantastic for certain niches like letting/estate agents, car sales, double glazing, restaurants etc.
It’s one of the very few offline media marketing methods that allows you to target a specific demographic and also in certain geographic areas.
You also have a greater flexibility since you can start or stop your advertising at any time to help improve your cash flow.
If you’re on a tight budget, producing a press release is still one of the cheapest methods of getting your company out there. It may take you a little time to craft and distribute, but the costs are more time sensitive than a drain on your finances.
If you manage to get your press release published, this can then add instant prestige to your business allowing you to quote the article and use it in all of your company literature.
We always advise clients to try and become a maven in their community and an industry expert in their niche. This can be done overnight with a well written and presented press release in a prominent publication.
Even though this is a pretty old marketing channel, it’s effectiveness has actually started to increase due to the sheer amount of emails we all receive on a daily basis. There’s just so much noise and clutter that we have started tuning out a lot of online banners and popups.
Direct mail actually gets your message in front of your intended client and also allows you to add that little personal touch that is constantly lacking in today’s marketing mix.
Your clients have the ability to read whatever correspondence you have sent, go through it with a fine-tooth comb and make up their minds whether they will contact you or not. This means the trust level is pretty high and, if you’re smart, you would have covered all of their objections one by one so that the barriers could be dropped.
Note: We use direct mail with most of our clients and use what we call “The 100 Technique.” This technique means you have a database of 100 your best candidates for your product or service, which you then continually market to via direct mail.
Whether it’s your company calendar posted at the end of the year, pens or even a box of chocolates, your message is always front and centre.
It’s an amazing technique since you’re pretty much guaranteed to be remembered by your potential client and they are somewhat overwhelmed by your enthusiasm.
Even though we are primarily an online digital marketing agency, we still use the old outbound marketing techniques that have served us well for years.
Choosing the right tactic is key and can also save you money if you know which one works. If you’re a startup, your best bet is to copy what your competitors are doing and track to see which one gives you the best response. Alternatively, try them all and then track which one works for you.
Do you do any of these outbound marketing tactics in your business? If so, which ones?