2. Offline Marketing
Keepin’ it old school
What is this?
As the name suggests, offline marketing is anything that involves not sitting in front of a computer or using a smartphone. Whilst offline has become secondary to online in recent years, it is still important for every business. Offline marketing is the way to interact with your customers face to face, and meeting in person will always be the best method of gaining trust and loyalty. The methods are all tried and tested, but don’t think there isn’t room to innovate!
Printed Marketing Collateral
A sure-fire way to give people an idea of what you’re all about is to get some printed marketing collateral. Whether it’s flyers, brochures or leaflets, all can be useful to you as it takes away a lot of the explaining needed to convey what your product offering is. If you’re not able to design it yourself, use one of the many pre-made templates available or find some local help. Also consider getting some business cards, which are still very relevant even in the age where they are technically not necessary.
Exhibiting at trade shows and other events is a serious marketing investment, but one which can reap huge rewards as it is the best way to meet face to face with the industrys top buyers. Trade shows exist for just about every sector of business, and typically run for between single day or full week events. To have your own stand at a show typically costs between £1500 – £10,000 all in, with lots of work required in the preperation and running the stand. Our advice would be to visit a show first, and see if it fits your business.
Host Your Own Event
Hosting your own event can be an incredibly rewarding experience, and combined with a well written press release is an absoloutly killer way of spreading the word. Have a grand opening, a birthday party, or event just for the hell of it. Get the local press involved and look after your guests, and you can gain some friends for life. Put together a budget for the event and stick to it. It can be done on the cheap and the press you will recieve will make the event pay for itself in no time.
Pound The Pavement
Get a special offer together and get yourself out there. Engaging people with the right attitude and offer cannot be understated. People are busy and impatient so keep it short and sweet, with a few lines that will grab their attention. Don’t be afraid of rejection or making a fool of yourself, and give it a go!
Guerilla marketing requires out of the box thinking and creativity to put together something that won’t be easily forgotten. There’s no set tactic for this, nor is there is there any specific piece of advice I can give you, as how you will execute a guerilla marketing campaign depends solely on the product you are selling. Try to think of a link between your product and the public environment. It’s all about breaking the norms in a visual way, but be careful not to polarize your audience. Something light hearted and fun is likely to win over the masses, whereas something more shocking may win you a smaller but more dedicated audience.
PR, Awards & Accreditations
Press releases, awards and accreditations are all ways of giving your business more authority, which helps build trust is your brand and gets you affiliated with organisations that support your cause. Press releases are absoloutly recommended and should be considered each time you reach a milestone or have some special news to share. All you have to do is write an article and submit it to local and/or national press. You might not always get featured, but don’t worry, what you have written can be utilised for your own blog and social media postings.
Awards ceremonies, typically hosted locally, are good for establishing connections with well known business people and can work as guaranteed free press. See if there are any local business awards and submit an application, it doesn’t hurt to try.
Accreditations are given out by organisations typically to companys that meet some kind of ethical standard, or operate to a high standard. This usually involves an application process, and once approved you can use the accreditation on your website or all marketing materials. Consumers are much more discerning nowadays and will gravitate towards a business that is ethical and eco-friendly. Accreditations will help bolster your position in this space and make you much more desirable than competitors without them.
Schmoozing the local business scene is the best way to get a feel for how businesses in your area operate, and establishing allies with powerful people can prove a vital lifeline. The experience and advice they can offer will help fast-track the learning curve and open doors you might never have known existed. You may not enjoy it, but it can help your business grow.