Mobile technology has changed the way our clients make purchasing decisions. They start looking for a service on their cellphones and finish it on their laptops. In fact, more than 90% of users start an activity on one device and finish it on another. In addition, a no often just means not yet (see: how micro-moments affect the decision-making process).
All devices are now connected to the internet, from the obvious - such as cell phones - to the essentials - such as home thermostats. In a more connected world, traditional marketing efforts are failing to attract and keep clients' attention.
Therefore, it is critically important that we, as realtors, brokers, and home improvement professionals ask the question, "are my traditional marketing efforts working?" "what are the pros and cons of traditional marketing?" and "is there a better solution out there?"
The Benefits of Traditional Marketing
Traditional marketing such as direct-mail postcards, lawn signs, radio and TV ads serve an important purpose: they raise your brand awareness (see: do I have a brand?). They are your first point of contact with potential clients. They also serve well to demonstrate value - think about "sold" or "landscaped by" signs on lawns.
Consumer behaviours are changing
But more and more often, traditional marketing techniques are failing because they have failed to keep up with changing consumer behaviours. They spend more time on Netflix. Changing radio channels is easy. Premium content is found on uninterrupted podcasts that can be heard on-the-go. And let's be honest - when we stop at a traffic light, what is the first thing we do? Check our cell phones! The advertisement on the back of the bus is nearly rendered useless.
3 Problems with traditional marketing
It's easy for us to just say traditional marketing doesn't work as effectively anymore, but here are a few issues we constantly see with banners, billboards and postcards
When you're shown your ad on a computer screen and told that this is going to be on the back of a bus or on a billboard, you're getting a crisp, unobstructed view. In other words, there is nothing in between your eyes and that ad proof.
But when they go up, you're not sure what's going to happen. Take a look at this image:
This realtor must have paid an arm and a leg to have her billboard up in one of the most busiest intersections at North York, ON.
I've even seen sidewalk signs get covered by compact cars. Imagine that one sign that
2. Mud splash
This is a big problem when there's rain or snow. When your ads get covered in mud splash, it inevitably affects your optics. If there is too much mud splash, the ad can become hard to read, specially from a distance. Just the right amount of bad luck, and your phone number or website can get covered!
Okay, so we know that not EVERYONE will want to see our ads or will be interested in our services - at least not now. So our postcards get thrown in the trash. Think about this: if the cost to print and mail a flyer is $2.00, you're looking at approximately that much go down the drain for every postcard that gets thrown out. That's okay if even 1 out of a 1000 postcards convert. It cost you $2000 to close a deal (see: reduce your marketing costs with PPC Marketing) - that could be okay for a realtor. It's probably not good for most other businesses.
The other problem with this is optics. When someone sees your postcards in the trash, it negatively impacts your image.
Leads from traditional marketing efforts are nearly impossible to track, although we've made simple suggestions on how to track your leads coming from postcards, radio ads, and the like. But make no mistake, it is pretty difficult to figure out their efficacy for sure. Digital marketing is much more effective in doing this, especially when it comes to PPC marketing.
How to improve your traditional marketing
If you're already doing traditional marketing, it may take some time for you to under the value for your particular business in going digital. But in the meantime, here are two things you can do now to benefit from your traditional marketing campaigns.
Link to your website or landing page
You can put a link to your website or landing page (a different one for each of your channels) to encourage visitors to check you out online where they can get to know you and you can collect leads.
Link to your social media
Linking to your social media accounts is a great way to start a conversation with potential clients and let them get to know you through your work (see: 5 tips on how Instagram can help your business).
Is there a better solution out there?
Yes! PPC Marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing are great ways to get your name out there. They help raise your profile, build your reputation, and generate leads (see: how can I use my website to generate leads?). After all, people like to do business with people they know, like, and trust.
Traditional marketing serves an important purpose, but is more and more becoming obsolete, driven by a change in consumer behaviour driven by technology. While you can take a few steps now to direct your traditional leads to the internet