Yes, Old School Marketing Can Be as Effective as Social Media

Don't forget to include the old school marketing tactics in your new marketing strategy.

If you pine for the simpler days of old school marketing, then here's a welcomed reminder. You can still use those tactics, Inc. contributor Andrew Griffiths said in a recent interview.

Griffiths is an Australia-based entrepreneur, and he recently made a guest appearance on the weekly podcast "Small Business Big Marketing" to discuss the place that traditional marketing techniques have in today's social media-saturated business world.

"A bit of a problem in small businesses is that we are obsessed with social media -- or we're frustrated with social media," Griffiths said. And that tunnel vision often causes strategists to forget about their other options.

Griffiths told a story about a business owner who he recently advised. The man's business had once brought in one million dollars, but his revenue eventually decreased to about half of that.

"I gave him a list of all things that I thought he needed to do -- which was all old school. Bring in new clients, putting an 'open' sign out, you know, send out a newsletter. Follow up with people, thank them for their business, all of that kind of jazz," Griffiths said.

But while Griffiths was speaking he became slightly annoyed at the business owner who was smiling at him funny. "I said, 'Do you think this is silly?'" Griffiths recalled. The man replied quickly that no, it was the exact opposite. He completely agreed with Griffiths. Because those were all of the tactics he had used when the business was doing well.

Despite the ongoing hype over social media marketing, small business owners have expressed lukewarm feelings about the channel's effectiveness, at least according to one recent report. However, despite any aversion you might have toward social media, don't make the mistake of ignoring it, Griffiths said.

Podcast host Timbo Reid suggested an old school/ new school fusion approach. For example, pass out flyers on the street, but provide a link on that flyer that sends people to a YouTube video about your company.

"It's not either or. Both of them need to be working together," Griffiths said. But the question is, how much time should you dedicate to each?

"I don't really know that there's a definitive answer for that. But I do believe if you spend all of your time doing old school, your business is going to be in trouble somewhere down the line." he said. "If you spend all of your time doing new school, I think the exact same."

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