Marketing Ideas for the Real World

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Business marketing has been so focused on digital spaces in the last couple decades that some businesses have completely forgotten about the real world. Though consumers do spend a considerable amount of time online, they also navigate physical spaces, and companies that can reach a target audience in their non-digital life has a good chance at further engagement with consumers.

Yet, many business leaders that have grown up in the era of digital marketing might not understand how to best leverage offline marketing strategies. Here are three ways to achieve marketing in the real world:

Traditional Marketing

Businesses have been advertising since the ancient era — long before the internet was invented and digital marketing strategies honed. Over the course of centuries, business leaders developed effective means of reaching their audiences without digital devices, and business leaders can and do still utilize many of those means today.

Traditional marketing tactics tend to involve offline media, like television, radio and periodicals. Most often, traditional marketing helps to build brand recognition rather than directly driving sales in the way targeted online ads can, but studies have found that for some companies, traditional advertising techniques are perhaps the most effective tools for informing an audience about a business and its products.

Integrating traditional marketing channels with a digital marketing campaign can be an excellent way to connect with different sectors of a target audience. A large portion of consumers continue to obtain information through traditional media, so investing in traditional marketing like billboards, television and radio commercials or magazine and newspaper ads makes sense for many businesses.

Promotional Products

Stuff We All Get, or swag, consists of items that prominently feature a company name or logo and are readily distributed to employees, clients, potential customers and virtually anyone else who asks for it. Studies on swag show that it does quite a bit to ameliorate a brand with its audience: 82 percent of consumers gain a more favorable impression of a company after receiving promotional products. Plus, swag is persistent marketing, remaining in a consumer’s home to remind them of the brand and its products or services for years to come — if the swag is good enough to keep, that is.

The most effective way to use swag in marketing is as a first step in the sales sequence. Instead of first reaching a consumer through an email or an online ad, businesses can make an impact by offering a promotional product that appeals to their audience. Good swag is marked by its consistency with the brand, its high quality materials, its practicality for consumers and its general aesthetics. Business leaders should know what their audience likes and wants before developing a promotional product line to ensure company swag doesn’t just end up in the trash.

Event Marketing

The third best real-world marketing idea for business leaders in the digital era is event marketing. There are two ways to participate in event marketing:

Businesses can host events. For example, the Chipotle Cultivate Festival is a music festival organized by the fast-casual food chain. Ostensibly, the festival is meant to raise funds and awareness for healthy eating, but in actuality attendees engage directly with the Chipotle brand.

Businesses can attend events. For example, the E3 Expo is a massive conference for the video game industry. Any company associated with video game development, deployment or play can attend, and the attendees of the conference are apt to engage with brands that stand out.

These days, businesses can organize online events to connect with their audience through digital devices, but in-person events allow businesses and consumers to step into the real world to experience something new and exciting.

Event marketing can be more complex and more expensive than other forms of real-world marketing, perhaps because it involves utilizing other forms of marketing to publicize the event, attract an audience and make a positive impression. Eye-catching signage is important for steering consumers toward a business’s booth, and promotional products can help consumers distinguish one brand from all the others they saw at the event.

After almost two years of COVID quarantine, being immersed in a crowd is exactly what many consumers are craving, so the time might be ripe for businesses everywhere to engage with a variety of real-world marketing strategies.

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