by Mariel Milla
Times change and establishments have to adapt in order to remain relevant. Thanks to technological improvements, consumers are accessing most content digitally now. Raising a company's visibility in this day and age means developing a strong internet presence.
Whether a business chooses to build a website or create a page on a social networking site like Facebook or Twitter, the venture will ultimately fail if customers aren't navigating to the content. Traditional marketing tools, like direct mail and promotional products, can work as Trojan Horses for a company by introducing its digital channels to consumers.
Directing consumers online with mail
Even as a small business owner, it may be surprising to learn that direct mail has one of the highest response rates of all advertising mediums. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) reported mailers have a response rate of 4.4 percent, while email only earned 0.12 percent.
Yury Wurmser, the DMA's director of marketing and media insights, said in a statement that he believes direct mail's effectiveness is based on its ability to target consumers who are most likely to respond.
A company can leverage these responses to raise its digital presence. Instead of advertising an in-store sale, a company could draw attention to a promotion only available online. This provides live tracking for owners who want to see if their marketing tactic is working because they'll be able to note any correlations between the advertisement and the level of digital business transactions.
Chia Chen, the senior vice president of Digitas' digital department, told Direct Marketing News that this may be the perfect place to implement Quick Response (QR) codes. He notes that the codes work best when printed on something that is in close proximity to the consumer. Businesses can decide how users are directed, such as to a website or a Facebook page, once they scan the image with a smartphone.
Digitizing promotional giveaways
Promotional items are marketing tools that raise a company's visibility in the long run. Consumers are given a branded gift so they are constantly exposed to an advertisement.
The same principles hold true for awareness for a digital presence by adding a different spin to the gifts. For example, promotional pens usually feature a logo and an establishment's name on the outside. Small business owners could include the URL for their new website. The American Marketing Association (AMA) is quick to point out that pens are likely to change hands, so an establishment could be putting its web address in front of more than one set of eyes.
Some companies include different coupons on each month of a promotional wall calendar to encourage customers to come back regularly. QR codes could be added instead, so clients have to use their smartphone to access the discount via a web page.
Consumers might not check a business' website but these giveaways could reinforce the digital presence to increase web traffic.
It can be difficult to establish a firm digital presence. Consumers need to be aware of a business' web content and be able to access it quickly. Otherwise, it could be very easy for the company's website to be lost in the internet.
Direct mail and promotional items are proven marketing techniques for generating responses and raising brand awareness. Owners can leverage these advertising tools to help increase digital traffic for their establishments.