Why Old-Fashioned Marketing Basics Still Work Today

When I was a kid, there was still a generation of people alive who referred to what was then the tech of the day as “newfangled.” I’m talking about the older generation who were alive back in the early 70s. Imagine what they’d think of today’s world of iPhones, social media and everything else?

Back then, people did business with those they knew, liked or trusted. In some cases, they’d do business with people they knew and trusted, even if they really didn’t care for their personalities too much because they got the job done. In that respect, it’s really no different than today.

As this pertains to Online Marketing, not much has changed either – other than the fact that “like and trust” are in much shorter supply these days.

I buy from companies and individuals I trust. I read blogs that I feel add something to my day in one form or another. Personally, like and trust go hand-in-hand.

Same goes for the emails I read. Some people use 1,000 words to say what could have been said in 500 words. For me, it’s not the technical word count that’s the issue. It’s what’s being said and who’s saying it.

In other words, if “YOU” are the one talking – I’m listening. If it’s someone else, maybe not.

It’s hard to turn this into a formula or template, even for the purpose of teaching or illustration because everything you do – you do within the framework of your own personality. That in and of itself makes everything different and unique to you personally.

Apply this to marketing, sales, promotion or anything else in that general category. There will always be marketing triggers. These are the things that get you to press the buy button NOW instead of later. Unfortunately, the process is becoming more mechanical and less “human” with the passing of time. The organic nature of “like and trust” has be replaced with a mechanized, automated process.

In my humble opinion, it just doesn’t work. Not when there are other options to choose from out there.

Having been involved with offline businesses since the late 90s, I still enjoy talking with people, having a quick meeting or hearing about what’s going on in their lives. Without a connection with people, what do you really have? Apply this to online part of your business. Why make yourself an unreachable island? In the eyes of an increasing number of people – you are inextricably tied to your product or service. People are either “buying you,” or they’re passing in favor of the other existing options.

Sometimes you just have to take a basic yes or no approach.

Is your marketing working? Yes or no?

Is your business growing? Yes or no?

Getting on track can be as simple as mastering the basics and keeping things simple. There’s more noise everywhere today and it may take a bit longer for your efforts to grow roots, but that’s true no matter what you’re doing. If you’re blogging, you can’t go all out for 30-days and then back off because you didn’t make the progress you thought you would.

Making the connection takes time. You can apply this to any type of online marketing activity – podcasting, social media, email marketing, video creation, etc. You have to stay with something, get good at it and develop the ability to put in the work even when you don’t feel like it.

The alternative is to throw money into traditional ads that most people won’t give a second glance to unless you can do it every single month without fail – sometimes for years.

Years ago as kids, my friend and I were following the career of a fighter named Marvin Hagler. One day my friend and I were analyzing him (armchair trainers, you might say). We came to the conclusion that he did everything well, but nothing great. He overcome a lot of adversity and it took many years before people finally acknowledged his skill and place in boxing history. He wasn’t flashy. He wasn’t a “now you see me, now you don’t” defensive wiz. He wasn’t a with Mike Tyson or George Foreman-like power puncher. On the other hand, he did everything well… and many things better than most people realized at the time. He was always in great condition and prepared to go the distance.

Perhaps most impressive of all, he was smart. He could adjust to any circumstance in ring in the midst of the heat of battle.

In a battle where everyone has the same or similar tools, intelligence wins.

In business, you may not be the flashiest of all the options out there. You may not have the best design, the best logo or the best color palette out there. None of those things will make or break you. Your core expertise will. Marketing is simple connecting that “thing” with people who don’t know about you (or it) yet.

So take this lesson and apply it to what you’re doing. Think for yourself and learn to do a few things really well that work well for you. Many people are under the impression that a simple approach to online marketing won’t work. It absolutely will work – if you keep on “working it.” I know one person who build a huge following on Facebook just by posting day in and day out – connecting with people who had similar interests. She did buy ad space or anything like that. She just put in the work.

Others have done the same with blogging, posting on forums, creating podcasts, etc. So it’s not the method as much as it is the person doing the work and their willingness to reach out and connect with others. This was true way back when… and it’s true today.

Jim Galiano

Jim Galiano is an online consultant and author who began doing business online in 1998. His consulting, marketing and publicity services are focused in the area's of SEO and website publicity. Jim has been interviewed by variety of media sources including the Wall Street Journal and CBS News in New York.

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