Think Outside the (Technology) Box

With literally hundreds, if not thousands, of ways to send messages to your publics these days, what can your company do to make sure its messages get through? Try thinking outside of the box.

Everyone is engaging in new technology and social media these days, e-mail has replaced a phone call or snail mail and people often text more than they actually talk. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for engaging in the latest and greatest technology trends, but don’t forget about the tried-and-true methods that business was built on, such as forging personal relationships or conducting a marketing campaign that is outside the norm.

I very rarely get anything useful in the mail these days, but every once in a while I’ll get a handwritten card or letter and I really get excited. Sitting at my desk a few weeks ago I received a very cool mailer. It was a wooden airplane kit that was sent from a company looking to do business with our company. I immediately put the plane together and started throwing it across my office. It was great! I even used Google to look up the company to see what they did, and spent five to 10 minutes perusing their website.

Then it hit me…this was a great marketing campaign, and not one you see used very often these days. Now, I don’t expect everyone to go buy airplane kits and send them out to all their top prospects after reading this blog, but I do hope you will take a minute to think about your traditional marketing efforts IN ADDITION TO your new technology and social media plans. It’s very easy to get caught up in the latest and greatest methods of communication (I know I do), but be sure not to forget those old stand-bys because they can be just as effective at piquing your audience’s interest. Below are just a few “conventional” methods that could help you reach your target audience:

  • Send a creative mailer – not junk mail, but something useful and creative that won’t just get tossed in the trash.
  • Try to get coverage in a print publication – yes, those still exist, and readers sometimes trust what is in print more than what is online.
  • Pick up the phone every so often – e-mail is great, but taking the time to call shows customers and potential clients that you care.
  • Do lunch – Web meetings are great when time is short, but make sure to have face-to-face meetings as well…they are more valuable  in helping build a relationship with a potential customer than one done via the Web.
  • Network off-line – just because you are connected to 500 people on LinkedIn does not ensure that they would consider you a business colleague.  Go to networking events and meet people face-to-face.

Hopefully some of these methods can be helpful in reconnecting with your customers this year. Remember, it’s not a question of social media and new technology VERSUS conventional methods, it’s all about balance.

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