21 Old-School Marketing Techniques That Still Work Great

Tap into these old-school marketing techniques to stand out from the noisy crowd of digital ads and get results!

Marketing isn’t always easy. How can you stand out above the noisy crowd of digital ads? Few people are using these 21 tried-and-true old-school marketing techniques to their fullest advantage.

Older methods didn’t quit working when digital became popular. However, popularity doesn’t equal results. An Econsultancy survey shows that 78% of businesses aren’t fully satisfied with their digital marketing strategy.

Why not try some of these older tactics or combine them with your digital approach? True, some older methods are not as effective today. But what does still work well?

1. Signage

Signs don’t just tell people your location. Think of vehicle wraps, event planning, billboards, and brand activations. Signs can last for years, so choose a good sign-maker for your brand and budget.

2. Promotional Items

People recognize a Trader Joe’s shopping bag as well as that ballpoint pen from the dental office. Let your customers keep a little sign or logo with your name and phone number on it.

3. Flyers

If your business is local, flyers are a low-cost way to make lots of people aware of you. Handing them out in person is great because you can tell people about your company while they can see you face-to-face.

4. Canvassing Neighborhoods

Door hangers, catchy lawn signs, and free swag with your logo can all bring buyers to you. Give some thought to what will appeal to your audience.

5. Direct Mail

Everyone still uses their mailbox. Many are looking for coupons and introductory rates. Discounts may reduce your profit margin, but what is a new customer worth? Don’t overlook the value you get from repeat business and referrals.

6. Free Standing Inserts (FSI)

Patrick Nycz of Newpoint Marketing claims that putting this kind of ad in a Sunday newspaper still gets the same redemption results it did 20 years ago.

7. Sign Spinners

We’ve all seen someone in costume, spinning and flipping a sign when you stop at a red light. Thousands of views a day is well worth a small investment.

8. Postcard Retargeting

This is a great new way to mix digital with a traditional method. Retarget everyone who visited your website with a postcard. This means you can send them a very relevant, engaging message that’s trackable. How do you track your direct mail marketing?

9. Relationship Building

Rather than a digital banner or email, why not pick up the phone or meet someone in person? Real business is founded on building longstanding relationships and showing personal interest.

10. Eating Lunch Together

Watching people eat in a virtual meeting just isn’t the same. Many businesses enjoy taking potential clients and current partners to lunch.

11. Audience Face Time

There are many ways to get in front of people: collaborate with other businesses, be part of an event, or create something newsworthy and then contact a local news team.

12. Trade Shows

Business people still rely on these to keep their knowledge and methods sharp. Learn who else is in your industry. Build relationships and be a part of the show: learn to speak well and use video to get your message across.

13. Word of Mouth

Make each customer happy. Work to get others to endorse you. An online or social media micro-influencer with even a few thousand followers can boost your brand. Technically, this is still old-fashioned word-of-mouth advertising. A Nielsen study shows 92% of people will trust someone else who recommends you – even if they don’t directly know the promoter.

14. Cold Calling

This works, but it works better to warm up your calls. Research your prospects to make each contact more effective. Leaving voicemails and texts can be far more productive than blasting out emails that nobody reads.

15. Blogger and Journalist Outreach

Focus on giving value before you expect anything in return. Bloggers and journalists get paid to make good content. Give them a fact or an exclusive, valuable article. You can also share what they produce on your own platforms.

16. Copywriting

People still read. Benefit-driven headlines and words wield great power. Think of an ad you remember that clearly conveyed the benefit. Strive to do the same with your copy.

17. Radio Advertising

While more people now listen to podcasts and web-based streaming audio, radio is still alive and kicking. Some industries restricted from other advertising channels are finding radio ads to be a profitable method.

18. Print Advertising

It’s not dead, it is evolving. People read magazines and newspapers on their digital devices now. Certain audiences still want paper media. Advertising there can give you real opportunities.

19. Giveaways

Exclusive bundles, limited-edition merchandise, and introductory offers still work. Contests work well too. New digital tools make it easy: give people more entries when they share the news about your contest.

20. Musical Jingles

Create a short audio clip so people remember you. Sounds carry emotional power.

21. Humor

Don’t worry about competing with super bowl ads. Brainstorm something even mildly funny and share it. Entertain while you educate. People will open their wallets because you made them laugh.


These time-honored tactics might be less popular today because they can require more effort. Don’t be tempted by the idea of easy riches from behind a keyboard. Successful people know that getting to the top requires discipline, consistency, and a drive to achieve.

Traditional methods are making a comeback. Stand out above those who just bombard potential customers with digital messages.

These old-school marketing techniques give you a reliable way to generate revenue and still fit within a reasonable budget. We enjoy helping people find marketing solutions that fit them. Get in contact today to find out how we can help YOU implement these strategies.


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