I have an idea.
Let’s use our flux-capacitated-Delorean and go back to the 90s.
The 90s were cool and all. But let’s be real. The 20-10s are much better than the 90s. Smartphones, WiFi, eBooks, Facebook, Grumpy Cat memes, John Maxwell podcasts, LinkedIn, eBay. I’m content where we are.
Though most of the world has moved forward in the digital era, many local businesses still market like its the 90s …
- They prefer traditional paper marketing over the Internet.
- Though 79% of smartphone owners are smartphone shoppers, only 5% of local businesses have a mobile optimized website.
- They don’t have an online presence.
- Though 95% of smartphone users say they’ve searched for local information, 1 in 4 small businesses do not have a website.
Most young adults think like this: if your business is not marketing like its the 20-10s, we’re not listening.
10 Traditional Marketing Tactics we Stopped Listening to.
Specifically, here are 10 things that no longer work.
In this day, the effectiveness of a flyer depends on its creativity. So, if you’re a great graphic designer, you can move to the next tip.
Most of us, however, are not great graphic designers.
Because of this, our flyers don’t work. They’re not sticky enough. In other words, after people see our flyers, they don’t remember what they say.
And if we can’t remember what the flyer says, that flyer is useless.
We’ve all seen billboards driving, walking, tricycling.
Though flyers take time to create, they are relatively inexpensive.
Billboards, on the other hand, are not.
To be fair, billboards are not totally ineffective. Here are some statistics from a few years back, which are somewhat surprising.
- 71% of travelers look at the messages on roadside billboards
- 58% learned about an event they were interested in attending
- 58% learned about a restaurant they later visited
- 56% talked about something funny they saw (56%) on a roadside billboard
- 33% have been reminded to tune into a TV program, and 44% to a radio station
- 26% noted a phone number and 28% website address
Those numbers aren’t great. But it’s better than nothing.
Still: billboards are an expensive piece of advertising. And they, too, are dying.
Does anyone know why we still use phone books? I don’t.
If you’re advertising in a phone book, and you’re trying to reach new people, just stop. Hardly anyone uses phone books anymore.
In the 90s, marketing on radio worked.
Not so much anymore.
Here’s the thing: we grew up with traditional advertisements on radios. And we grew to dislike them. Advertisements were always distractions from the main event, the music. Dislike grew into apathy, apathy into indifference. Now we are desensitized to your best presentation of yourself. Sorry. We just are.
And here’s another tip: do not advertise on Spotify. Companies that use Spotify advertisements are making a terrible mistake. Nobody likes Spotify commercials. I don’t feel more thirsty after a Coca-Cola Spotify commercial. The only advertisements that work on Spotify are for musicians. And even that is questionable.
5. Cable TV.
Just like the radio, advertising on TV is a dead end.
Again, we grew up disliking commercials. They distracted from the TV program.
We still dislike commercials, unless they are Super Bowl commercials.
In addition, the world is shifting to YouTube and Netflix. You don’t want to invest in a medium (cable TV) that is dying.
6. Local Newspapers.
I love newspapers. I read the New York Times and Wall Street Journal every day. But as the former editor-in-chief of a local newspaper, I know from experience the results of local advertisements.
And they’re not good.
Most digital babies of Gen Y don’t take the ads seriously.
Again, local newspapers are a dying franchise. Be careful where you put your money.
7. Company T-shirts.
Okay, I gotta be clear on this one.
Company t-shirts are great. And sometimes they work.
The mistake businesses make is to only give shirts to their employees.
8. Direct Mail.
I call direct mail, instant trash (or instant recyclable for the Eco-savvy).
9. Business Cards.
These are great to have if you’re a salesman. Bad to have if it’s your marketing tactic.
Truth be told: business cards are easily replaced with Social Media sites. Tell me your name and I’ll find you on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google +, and Twitter. I’ll find all your information there.
10. Embarrassing Sign Twirlers.
At one time, sign twirling was original, entertaining, and downright hilarious. Now, I just feel bad for the guys. Twirling a sign outside your jewelry shop does not make me want to go in.
Sometimes, customers will be nice and say, “I came in because of your sign twirler.” Most of the time, these people have big hearts, and they hope you will tell the sign twirler, “Good job today, Ricky.”
Pretty soon, these guys will have to find new jobs. Or go to college.
11. Bonus: Pay-per-Click Ads
Now this one will cause some controversy, because a lot of businesses use pay-per-clicks. Thinking they are engaging in next-gen-marketing, these businesses proudly pump dollars into Google adwords.
But I see a time, close on the horizon, when pay-per-clicks won’t work. I have no statistics to back this up. I just feel it, intuitively.
Move to the 20-10s: Begin Inbound Marketing
Marketing in the 20-10s has not only shifted from print to digital but from outbound to inbound.
If you want to engage in 20-10 marketing, you will have to learn inbound marketing.
And what is that?
That, my friend, is the subject of my next article.