Our world has gone through many changes in the last few decades. The technology has been growing exponentially and it changes our lives in the way we couldn’t even imagine 30 or 40 years ago. These changes influence both the way we live and the way we work.
This trend didn’t bypass the fields of marketing and advertising, either. Today, content marketing is one of the most widespread promotional practices, although it didn’t even exist as a professional phrase approximately 20 years ago. It’s a genuine indicator of how things change quickly and the sign for entrepreneurs that they need to stay up to date and follow the latest developments in this field.
But even though times are changing so drastically, modern content marketers who work in the Internet sphere still have to learn some lessons from the good old marketing professionals. The Internet was an unknown invention back at the time, but some core principles remain the same. In this article, we will show you 5 old school advertising rules that modern marketers need to remember.
Old but not obsolete marketing rules
The history of modern marketing and advertising essentially follows the evolution of the mass media technology. It all started two centuries ago when newspapers in England published the first ads. This trend kept growing over time and it received a powerful boost with the emergence of radio stations in the third decade of the 20th century.
Radio used to be a state of the art technology until the post-war era in the 1950s. That decade, television began its rise as it took a significant portion of the advertising market. The situation remained the same until the 1990s and the growth of the Internet – technology that soon made the world a global village.
Each one of these technological improvements forced the marketers to adapt and reshape promotional strategies. However, it doesn’t mean that the traditional 20th-century marketing has nothing to do with contemporary marketing practices. On the contrary, there are still a few basic principles which stand the test of time successfully.
As a marketer or an entrepreneur, you have to learn these rules if you want to design a fruitful marketing strategy. Let’s take a closer look at these rules.
1. Audience targeting
Regardless of the business you are dealing with, you absolutely must target the right kind of audience for your products or services. This used to be the most important rule 50 years ago and it did not change over time. For instance, if you want to sell a Mercedes Benz vehicle, you are still going to aim at the high-class buyer who can afford the best car and is ready to pay a substantial amount of money to get it.
The same principle goes for lady products or the brands dedicated to school kids and babies – you build an entire marketing strategy around an average buyer persona in each one of these cases. The only thing that really changed is that now you have a number of more sophisticated mediums of communication to disperse promotional messages.
Back then, entrepreneurs could afford only one or two advertising channels. They were trying to reach wider audiences with a single message and they were really able to do it because consumers had no other source of information.
Today, potential buyers are seen as micro-segmented groups and content marketers choose different social media platforms to target their audiences. That’s why entrepreneurs mostly utilize LinkedIn for B2B marketing, while Facebook or Instagram serve to address the younger audience. But it doesn’t change our initial statement – marketers always had and always will have to target the most suitable audience for their products.
2. Creativity is essential
Creativity has always been an essential ingredient of successful marketing campaigns. Marketers are trying to come up with the most appealing ads or slogans to grab the attention of potential customers. Marketers are basically storytellers who want to attract consumers with messages they can relate to easily.
It’s always been like that – just take a look at this teaser from the 1930s which says that the taste of Coca Cola holds the answer. The ad is creative and intriguing as it invites buyers to find their own answer in a refreshing product. On the other hand, the same brand still uses creativity as the starting point for itsthird millennium ads.
You just need to be clever and use your inspiration in a way that reflects the mission and values of the brand. Try to be original and innovative but always stick to the general marketing strategy of your company.
The Coca Cola example clearly shows how great content depends on imagination and creativity of marketers, regardless of time. They advertise the same product using same colors and motives but the content remains fresh and exciting: technology evolves but creativity is universal.
3. Ads make people angry… but we still use them
We must admit it – there is something very annoying about advertising. Ads appear in the middle of your favorite movie and interrupt songs you hear on the radio. Today, ads usually annoy users while surfing the Internet. For this reason, ad blocking grew by more than 40% in the last three years, so now we have almost 200 million active ad block users around the world.
But it doesn’t change the fact that marketers still use traditional advertising as one of the main promotional methods. There is no way that you as an entrepreneur could grow the business without this tool. Almost every time you open a website, you will see pop ups, banners, or floating ads. That’s because ads are still important and highly relevant.
Your job in that regard is to be better than your competitors and find a way to design a more appealing digital advertisement. That way, you will increase the odds of generating fresh leads and winning over new customers, consequently. You won’t succeed every time but it will give you enough benefits to realize that traditional advertising may be old but definitely not useless.
4. Build customer relationships
One of the ultimate goals of each marketing strategy is not only to attract new buyers but also to strengthen the base of loyal consumers. Such purchasers should be the cornerstone of your business as well and that’s why you need to build great customer relationships. According to the Walker study,customer experience will even become a more important brand differentiator in the next three years than products and prices. This is not the novelty but only a logical step forward in the evolution of marketing.
Once upon a time, marketers and business owners used public relations, events, and face to face communication to strengthen the bonds between the brand and its buyers. Today, the means of communication are the only thing that is different. Modern content marketers primarily use instant messaging, live chats, mobile apps, and post-purchase emails to thank their customers and show appreciation for their trust.
They change the content of promotional messages and try to customize them so as to fit individual users. They also change the channels of communication. But they do all that just to preserve the anchor of traditional marketing – good customer relationships.
5. Word of mouth marketing
Decades ago, not everyone could afford a TV, newspapers, or radio. In such circumstances, most people knew only what they were told – including information about their favorite products or services. Even though you might assume these days are long gone, you would be surprised to learn about the power of word of mouth marketing these days.
Almost 85% of consumers claim they either completely or somewhat trust brand recommendations from family, colleagues, and friends. This makes word of mouth the most influential source of trustworthiness nowadays. This sounds strange to most entrepreneurs but it’s actually obvious as people naturally tend to trust other people more than brands or companies.
To exploit this traditional marketing tool, you should always include personal recommendations in your promotional activities. Utilize third-person appraisals, expert opinions, and testimonials to boost brand authority. All these features will only improve your content marketing and increase company credibility.
We also have a bonus tip in this part – always follow online reviews related to your products. They are created by real people who can make or break the business with their comments on Amazon, Yelp, Yahoo Local, etc. Monitoring user feedback, you can always respond and provide a valuable explanation. Customers will appreciate your concern, while potential buyers will see that you take care of your clients.
As technology evolved and the Internet took over the stage, marketing has also changed and accepted a set of new rules and practices. However, the progress in this field doesn’t mean that everything is completely different these days. On the contrary, marketers still respect a few traditional industry principles.
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