Part One: Old School Marketing Techniques for the Digital Age

Old School Marketing Techniques for the Digital Age by Steve Renner

Part One: Back to Basics

The world of marketing is more advanced than ever before, and it’s constantly evolving. It’s 2016, and while self-driving flying cars are still (only) a couple years off, we can connect with friends, family, and business partners almost anywhere on the planet with a swipe of our index finger. What’s more, marketing has never been easier. But we’re in the thick of the Digital Age, and it’s getting thicker. While global connectivity and B2C accessibility is standard, the digital marketplace is a crowded one. And while digital marketing techniques are constantly changing at a rapid-fire pace, some old standards still hold true.

Out with the Old, in with the New (and Some of the Old)

Testimonials: Let Your Reputation Speak for Itself

Long before Chipotle’s recent (conspiracy-fueled) E. coli debacle, they were wizards of non-traditional marketing strategies. Of these strategies, the casual dining chain implemented word-of-mouth marketing right out of the gates. Back in 2012, Chipotle spent a mere $6 million on advertising; Arby’s, the smallest large fast-food chain, spent roughly $100 million, and McDonald’s, the biggest, spent more than $650 million. How’d Chipotle achieve so much by spending so little? They got people talking.

Populating your business website with testimonials might seem old school, but with so much competition on the digital marketing landscape, referrals really matter in generating new business. By showing potential customers success stories, they’ll be more likely to convert. When you get testimonials, use them everywhere: in advertising, on your website and social media, and throughout direct marketing efforts. In other words, get people talking.

Windshield Wiper Marketing, Reimagined

Let’s face facts: In order to boost your ROI, potential customers need to see your brand. But times are changing, no matter how nostalgic you might be. Windshield wiper marketing, roadside sign spinning, doorknob flyers—these have all gone the way of the buffalo, in terms of effective brand awareness. Here, a few clever and successful ways of building brand awareness in the Digital Age:

Referral Programs

Offer users perks, and they’ll extend your brand’s reach. Many more online retailers have started offering discounts if users refer a friend. It’s a fun and effective way to build customer loyalty, not to mention ROI.

Creative Content

Cookie-cutter content won’t cut it. When potential customers land on your site, they should be blown away by its content. Upload valuable, sharable stuff—such as colorful infographics—and your brand awareness will shine.

Local Partnership

Here’s another back-to-basics marketing essential: get involved with local and likeminded businesses and/or charities. This allows you to do good while looking good, which is an excellent brand-building strategy. Sponsor local sports teams or festivals. Get your brand out there!


Everybody loves free stuff. While you’re out there actively spreading brand awareness, or doing so through strategized email marketing campaigns, offering free incentives can only help you. Discounts, t-shirts, pens, anything. If it’s free, you’ll likely convert potential customers into actual customers.

Stay tuned for more tried-and-true old school marketing techniques that have stood the test of time!