How to get more leads part 4 – offline marketing
Offline marketing, traditional marketing, old-fashioned; call it what you may, we are essentially talking about anything that doesn’t happen via the internet. So brochures, mailshots, catalogues and so on.
In this digital age of social media, Google and email, it can feel like the traditional marketing methods have been forgotten. Yet they still very much have their place in the marketing mix. Let’s be honest: there is still nothing like receiving a well-designed brochure or catalogue that allows you to sit back in your favourite chair with a coffee and circle the items you like or picture yourself owning that car, computer, furniture etc.
So how do you make sure you can get the most from the time and investment of going old school and adding that offline element to your marketing?
Appeal to the senses
Think four dimensionally if you will and consider the prospect’s entire experience – offline marketing’s greatest impact comes from the fact that you can touch, feel and smell what you are reading and looking at.
Include samples. Many high-end manufacturers include small samples of material that you can touch and get an idea of how that fits in with the whole purchase.
Also, don’t hold back on the quality of the finish with the materials used, this can be a real opportunity to set a high level of expectation in what you offer. Thick and glossy printed materials always display well and portray a sense of high quality that reflects on you as a company.
Offer free things
Everyone loves a freebie! Offer something for free in some way: a free trial, free taster, free sample, buy one get one free and so on.
If you do trade shows offer a free goodie bag which includes branded promotional items – pens, USB sticks, rulers and the like, it is even better when they are aligned with your company. For example, if you are an accounting firm, give away a calculator – you know everyone needs one, it is relevant to your offering and it will last far longer than a pen!
A well-stocked goodie bag will bring more visitors to your stand. Yes, some will just want the freebies but some will also be genuine opportunities and a busy stand generates its own buzz.
Rule number one in every piece of marketing material you produce: make your USP as clear as possible. Just because you have limited space on a free pen or 2 sides of A4 in a brochure, get to the point and leave the reader/recipient in no doubt as to what you are all about.
Add your digital channel links
Just because this is the offline world doesn’t mean it should support your digital work (and vice-versa) make sure your digital properties are also listed where possible, an email address, your web address, Facebook or twitter account (or hash tag). Make sure everything is joined up and working laterally across everything you produce, manage and own.
Tracked phone numbers
Phone tracking is essential to understand the ROI around your offline material. If you aren’t capturing orders via the post or email then set up phone numbers that are unique to that mailshot, brochure or catalogue. By doing this at campaign level you can start to build up comparable data and analyse the individual performance levels and often hidden metrics such as longevity will become apparent. For example, is that mail out from New Year 2012 still bring in the odd call?
Business card design
No matter what anyone tells you, the business card is not dead. It is very much alive and the quality of your business card says a great deal about you and your business, first impressions have been won and lost through these innocuous little pieces of card.
Business card efficiency is critical, don’t try to reinvent the wheel and make sure you have your core information in place:
- Job title
- Phone number
Then get your creative team to design around that but remember it is not just about the design. Make sure the font used is readable and translates to printed format well and consider the quality and feel of the card itself.
Building relationships is still fundamental to building a business and growing it. No matter how clever your marketing strategy is, sometimes you just have to get out there and meet people. Business networks are the perfect opportunity to do this but you have to be realistic. You will rarely turn up to your first breakfast or lunch etc. and start to win new opportunities. However, by becoming an integral part of the group and taking the time to give to those that attend you can expect to receive high-quality leads and referrals in the long term.
While we would all love to get referrals for free and sometimes you will, an active referral scheme will give people a nudge in the right direction. You just need to consider how you want to balance the reward against the referral.
Run business events
Business events can take many forms, from hosting your own networking event to running training events and seminars.
However you manage it, they are a great way to put your business and skills in the direct view of senior decision-makers and managers.
Building business partnerships is a really positive way to build your business. You stand to gain on so many levels including advocates for your business, strong referral leads and the opportunity to work with people you can trust.
Telemarketing remains the most effective non-digital method for generating leads. It allows you contact the right person directly at the right time and present your product/offer succinctly and professionally. The prospect can ask questions and interact in a way that no other marketing channel can. Simply put, it is the ultimate human-to-human marketing resource. It scales well, delivers results, has measureable ROI, is highly targeted and aligns and integrates with all other forms of marketing.