Old ideas – In the digital age, it’s worth remembering that they still work

In the digital age, it’s worth remembering that old ideas still work
In the digital age, it’s worth remembering that old ideas still work

When you look around at the scale and spread of social media, you might think that there are more than enough digital platforms out there for marketers to reach their audiences. And you’d be right. But also it’s worth remembering that old ideas still work.

How do you measure success?

Many famous multinational brands have slashed their social media budgets because the results are so difficult to analyse. Having hundreds of thousands of people liking your Facebook page doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll sell an extra dollar’s worth of product.

Because results are so hard to come by, unless you’re selling directly to your digital audience, measuring the return on your marketing investment is often impossible.

Old ideas. Back to the good old days?

This has led to the revival of some traditional marketing tools, like the direct mail shot you see here from the National Pen Company.

This is a classic of the genre.

There’s a personalised free sample of their new product, a pen/stylus combo (1), a free delivery voucher (2), an order form with a discounted, time restricted price list (3), a postage-free envelope to send in your order (4), a brochure showing the colour choices (5) and the large envelope used for holding everything together (6).

Will this old idea work better than a promotion on digital media?

There are a number of reasons to expect it will:

  • It’s personalised
  • You keep the free sample pen with your name and company name engraved on it
  • It’s tightly targeted – aimed at managers and directors of companies
  • At less than one euro each when ordered in bulk and extra free pens if you order over a certain quantity, it’s a remarkably good deal
  • It has novelty value – many younger managers haven’t seen too much of this kind of thing before
  • The return on investment is easy to calculate

Very often in business, it’s the simple things that work best. And it doesn’t get much simpler than this. Hats off to the National Pen Company.

People rarely get much old-fashioned post these days. As it has been ignored by marketers ever since the world went digital, a sales promotion item sent this way has surprise and novelty value on its side.

Think about how your organization might benefit by going against the trend.

Remember, when everyone else is shouting, a whisper will rise above the noise.

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