3 ‘Old School’ Offline Marketing Strategies that Still Work

If you’re having trouble finding your groove with online marketing, try these 3 simple, "old school" marketing strategies that still work.

Hip hop recording artist, Kendrick Lamar’s verse on Big Sean’s track entitled “Control” has the hip-hop world buzzing again about old school rap. The track is grimy — featuring stylistic rhymes with words that are clearly pronounced — not hidden behind a bob-your-head beat. The firestorm this one track sparked on Twitter recently, really got me thinking about the effectiveness of “old school” tactics, whether you’re releasing a new hit single or marketing your small business.

So what does a grimy, not-for-radio, hip-hop track have to do with small business marketing?


The Impact of ‘New School’ Marketing

On the Internet, you’ll find thousands, maybe even millions of articles about social media, video blogging, content marketing and other online marketing strategies. But all of this “new school” marketing has pushed advice on old school marketing so far down the Google search results that it’s a near impossible task to find content that references tried and true offline marketing strategies.

So now, strategies like getting out and actually interacting with people face-to-face are considered epic. You can liken this phenomena to how Kendrick Lamar calls out his fellow rappers and everyone’s amazed as though this rap style didn’t happen in the 80’s and 90’s with Ice Cube, Kool Moe Dee, Boogie Down Productions and other old school hip-hop legends.


‘Old School’ Offline Marketing Strategies

Developing and executing online marketing strategies can be time consuming, which is why many small business owners are overwhelmed. No time to post on Facebook, share tweets or update your company blog? You can still build your business community and attract paying customers with offline marketing.

It’s not really about how you market your business, but instead which marketing strategies yield the results you’re looking for. If you’re having trouble finding your groove with online marketing, try these 3 simple, “old school” small business marketing strategies we know still work.


1. Join your local chamber of commerce.

Participating in your local Chamber of Commerce can give your small business a big publicity boost and connect you with other professionals, some of whom will undoubtedly need your products and services.

What are some cons of joining chambers? Many small business owners squawk at the idea of membership fees (typically a few hundred bucks a year). We say compare the cost of business promotions and advertising on your own to determine if the cost is worth the investment.


2. Reach out to your local league.

Urban leagues, Junior Leagues and local professional networks are full of gems for small business owners. Not only can you get free education on how to run a business, write a business plan and much more, but by attending the classes, you’ll connect with other business owners.

For instance, we work with the Urban League of Greater Cleveland and have provided services for countless small business owners. So we know firsthand that this strategy works.


3. Call old employers.

Do you have a service or product that your previous employers could use? Call them and share information about your business and how you could offer assistance. Picking up the phone and talking to prospects still works.

If your product or service is truly valuable to your old employer, these should be easy sales because they already know your character and work ethic (hopefully you were an amazing employee).


Old school small business marketing strategies is where it all started. The best way to promote your brand is through a combination of old and new marketing ideas that strike the right chord with your target audience.

Connect with Apryl Beverly on Twitter.


As president of BAAB Writing and Marketing Services (BAAB), Apryl Beverly helps clients leverage their secret marketing weapon – words. BAAB’s services include developing low-cost, high-impact marketing strategies for small business owners. A version of this post originally appeared on the author’s blog.


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