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  • Back to the Future

  • A colleague of mine at Raphel Marketing in Vermont came up with a neat way to be a little Marketing-retro (Thanks Neil). I thought what he did was fun and have included it below. However, I don’t believe that one should only limit ones comments to a handful of retro items because most business people would weigh up some of these “retro” tactics against the new digital media.

    Be warned: every company and every situation is different, so do not take these views and opinions as gospel. Weigh them up yourself , and maybe ask for some advice from people that are not selling these services directly to you (an ad agency would tend to favour advertising, while a web development guy would tend to favour website design, and a social media person would favour social media). Marketing consultants don’t have a vested interest in selling any specific tactic so they will most likely be most neutral.

    So, here is your mix and match quiz of four old-time media favourites: radio, TV, yellow pages, and direct mail. Which action should you apply to each form of media?

      • Kill it.
      • Use sparingly.
      • Make an investment.
      • Embrace it.

    Ready? Here are Neil’s choices:


    yellow pages Yellow pages – Kill it.

    “Let your fingers do the walking” was a cute phrase that succinctly described the benefits of the Yellow Pages for consumers. But these days, consumers’ fingers are walking across their computer keyboards, smartphones, or iPads -not picking up a book with tiny print and ads for local businesses.

    Unless your business is geared toward luddites or people who aren’t using computers, you should skip the yellow pages. It’s costly, can’t be modified, and not visually appealing. Time to move on.


    radio Radio – Use sparingly.

    For local advertising we like radio. It can have an immediate impact, and it’s ideal for promoting a special event.

    Radio should be a staple of local businesses. However, there are some caution signs out there:

      • Audience erosion as people turn to iPods, satellite radio, recorded books, etc. to pass the time on the drive to and from work.


      • Make sure you match your marketing message to the station’s format-the type of music or talk it provides. Check the station’s demographics against your own and be sure they are in sync.


      • Match your radio message to your brand. Don’t let the local station talk you into a promotion or package that includes other businesses that might not be a good fit for you.



    direct mail Direct Mail – Make an investment.

    Direct mail is one of our favourite forms of communication, because, when done well, it can grab the consumer’s complete personal attention. We particularly like postcard communications, with their immediate impact and lower cost.

    However, a traditional direct mail letter or package can be time consuming to produce. The customer response from delivery to redemption of an offer is often weeks. Direct mail is a commitment of both time and budget.


    On the other hand, as more marketers abandon direct mail and concentrate on more trendy communication tools, direct mail can actually be more effective. With less competition in the mailbox, your message will stand out more.


    So use direct mail, but make sure you include a great offer, creative, and a good list.


    tv TV – Embrace it.

    It’s not the least expensive marketing medium, but TV advertising can separate you from your competition. Local TV advertising rates are competitive, especially if you use cable in a region close to your business.

    When you embrace TV advertising you get double duty from the video you produce. A television commercial can also be run as an ad on the Internet. A video will enhance your website and provide more information for customers who find you there. You can post your video ad on YouTube and direct customers to your video through emails with a link to your YouTube video address. You never know-your video could go viral and you could reach an audience on the Internet, far beyond the range of your cable station. So you get two uses for the price of one when you create video.


    Everything old is new again-especially in the world of marketing. Use the old favourites wisely, and you’ll find they still work to reach your audience.


    Let’s apply the same criteria to a few more items, some new and some old. I have reached into my network and posed that question. Here are a few differing opinions:

    facebook Facebook – Embrace it

    “to raise market awareness embrace it if it is an appropriate forum where your customers will be”.”embrace it if it speaks to your target audience. If not, use sparingly”.


    face to face networking Face to face networking – Make an investment.

    “embrace it. The most effective in the end”.

    “embrace it in the B2B world. It’s time consuming but many projects or business deals are done as a result of face to face relationships that develop over time”.


    trade shows Trade Shows – Use sparingly

    “use sparingly. They are expensive and often are best served to see what your competition is doing”.

    “for B2B if you target market, be regional specific and have a clear realistic expectation of what you want to achieve plus how to go about it, it can play a role within a broader campaign. Really though it is only a segment of a wider plan and you must go hard or don’t go at all”.


    websites Websites – Make an investment

    “embrace it as web searching has fully replaced print ad searches for solutions. The website though must make it easy to identify your product or service and easy to find products you offer”.

    “make an investment – make sure you do something with the website. Just having a website without marketing it is akin to having a brochure or a business card and not showing it to anyone. It will only work for you if you actively place it in front of your prospects”.


    podcasts Podcasts – Use sparingly.

    “invest/embrace if they can draw customers and have a takeaway value. If they are only a pitch, no one will come to the second”.


    telemarketing Telemarketing – Use sparingly.

    “depends on the customers your are trying to reach. If you are trying to land 1-3% of the contacts you make for a commodity, it might be OK, but if the customer must really be sold, probably not a good choice in my opinion”.

    Do you agree with these views?

    Feel free to share your opinions by emailing neville@mastermindsolutions.ca

    Finally – as 2010 draws to a close, celebrate it as it will never return again. Let’s look forward to 2011 with great enthusiasm, excitement and hope. Happy New Year all!!!

    85% of all communications take place in the subconscious

    View Neville Pokroy