Bucking the Trend

Spanning the Digital World and the Old World

Marketing is a fickle and capricious industry. Every so often, it takes a foray back in time to regain some clarity.

While the foundation of marketing will never change, rampant technological advances continue to modify its approach. The sharpest among us will always find ways to get ahead of the pack and outmaneuver competition, leaving the rest behind eating dust. Then, just as we’re about to reach that elusive carrot dangling from the string, it gets yanked up another 10 feet by yet another cutting-edge marketing trend.

It’s a constant game of catch-up. But it doesn’t need to be.

Growth in telecommunication capacity has provided new opportunities to reach significantly larger markets through various techniques. In today’s world, it is impossible to ignore the value of digital marketing. However, many strategies treated as “old school” prevail and remain more efficient than the newer techniques at gaining a footprint with a target market. Marketing success requires that we recognize the differences between these more traditional methods and the newest virtual strategies, balancing the benefits of each.

Viewing it from a customer’s vantage point, it’s easy to “like” a company’s Facebook page or skim an email newsletter. It is even easier to ignore the Facebook request and trash the unread email newsletter. So to, how often do sales phone calls get overlooked from the comfort of a desk? Neglecting an earnest, well-dressed individual ringing the office building door, however, is far from easy.

Marketing and sales experts profess that the key to sales and marketing is customer engagement and relationship building. Unfortunately, it is difficult to ensure that people are participating in any given conversation during online, and, to a lesser extent, telephone communication. Too often, we are confronted with dismissive replies and quick responses just to get us off the phone. On the other hand, while confronting someone face-to-face, both parties are encouraged to participate. Not only is there greater pressure to get to the point, but direct contact establishes a more secure mental and psychological connection. The purpose of a visit is readily apparent the moment introductions are made. By the same token, the moment a customer agrees to something even as small as opening the door to hear a new perspective, the more willing that person will be to agree to something larger.

Of course, this is not to say to we should discard all leading edge digital marketing techniques for the ways of “ancient” times when the Fuller Brush man went door-to-door fascinating suburban housewives. It is a matter of keeping with the traditional marketing methods that worked, and re-learning them in a way that integrates the newer techniques while maintaining a balance between the two.

One way to streamline the approach is by utilizing the latest digital intelligence platforms to rule out organizations falling outside the ideal customer profile before even hitting the streets. Optimizing searches, examining social media pages, and data tracking are all strategies to help pave the way for a successful sales trip. Crucial to the process is integrating the available resources, and applying them to a tried-and-true decades-old approach.

Granted, face-to-face sales and marketing is more time consuming. It’s more expensive and more tedious. But it’s softer, more refined, and generally more effective. Ultimately, when colleagues and collaborators meet face-to-face, work tends to actually get done. So whether deep into the digital marketing world or still chasing the proverbial carrot, it is something to keep in your company’s arsenal.