Old-fashioned marketing techniques for B2B organisations

These days marketing is almost exclusively digital – with B2B organisations relying on SEO, social media, and email outreach to attract and win new customers. Does this mean old-fashioned marketing techniques are a dying art?

According to RingCentral, phone calls are still the preferred communication method for customers in 2019 – with 69% being answered 

If consumers are receptive to sales calls, why aren’t more B2B organisations harnessing the benefits of this technology? 

There are two possible reasons:

  • Telemarketing has a bad reputation. Customers hate sales calls and will prime their gatekeepers to block telemarketers at all costs. So why waste time trying to break through their firewalls when you can send a DM on LinkedIn instead.
  • Lack of experience and knowledge. Businesses that grew up in the era of phonebook calling and door canvassing know how to practice these ‘old-fashioned’ arts – but modern start-ups don’t lack this knowledge.

And what about event marketing or face-to-face networking? In this digital era, these old-fashioned marketing techniques still hold sway and can reap great benefits for the organisations that practise them.

B2B networking

#1 Phone calls are still alive and kicking

What’s your reaction when you receive a connection request or message on social media? You probably receive dozens daily and reject most because (1) they’re irrelevant; (2) lack personalisation; (3) are too spammy.

Imagine what your reaction would be if you received a cold call out of the blue. You’d probably sit up and pay attention – because this direct approach is becoming increasingly unusual. 

And what if the caller:

  • Had researched your sector thoroughly?
  • Fully understood your challenges?
  • Was personal and not too pushy?

You’d probably invest time in talking to them. Even if you didn’t have a specific need at that time. 

Suggested next step:

  1. Use LinkedIn to research a batch of 10 ideal customers
  2. Deep dive into their business and sector – making notes
  3. Call them, using your research to create a tailored pitch

Note down how many contacts you reach and the outcome. How many decision-makers did you reach and what was your conversion rate? Compare these numbers to those achieved through digital outreach.

#2 Face-to-face meetings work

Another old-fashioned marketing technique that’s dipped in popularity is the face-to-face meeting. This change was driven largely by the pandemic – with B2B organisations switching to platforms like Zoom instead.

The landscape has changed since then. And yet video conferencing is still the preferred method of communication for many.

Companies that don’t work offline:

  • Miss out on opportunities – because you’re more likely to trust (and buy from) someone you meet in the flesh.
  • Struggle to build relationships – because they’re one of multiple contacts clogging up their prospect’s inbox.

Suggested next step

So, if you haven’t heard back from a prospect, follow the first recommended step in this blog. Pick up the phone and talk to them. And if the call goes well, suggest a face-to-face meeting somewhere mutually convenient.

To increase your brand visibility:

  • Join local networking groups to connect with other business owners
  • Arrange ad hoc coffee meet-ups with like-minded professionals
  • Pitch up at a customer’s work address and:
      • Ask if they have five minutes to talk
    • If not, leave your card and email them

Old-fashioned marketing techniques like these work, partly because of the element of surprise. But also because of the extra effort you’ve put into making your customer feel valued.

B2B event marketing

#3 Take advantage of event marketing too

The term event marketing conjures up images of arenas littered with trade stands. These stands are typically inhabited by bored-looking employees drinking coffee from paper cups while trying to catch the eyes of passers-by.

Although this old-fashioned marketing method is in need of some modernisation, there’s more to it than trade shows, conferences, and expositions. Event marketing is also a great way to connect with customers and business professionals.

Event marketing might involve:

  • Hosting a workshop where you promote your product to prospects – or even seek their feedback
  • Organising a party to mark a business milestone – with customers and stakeholders in attendance.
  • Creating a pop-up shop in a shopping centre or supermarket to promote your brand to the public.

Suggested next step

Choose one of the above old-fashioned marketing strategies. Afterwards, review how well the exercise went in terms of; participant numbers; feedback and reception; conversions.

Conclusion

Old-fashioned marketing shouldn’t be a substitute for digital marketing. But nor should the reverse be true either. That’s because these methods are related stages in a linear process. Using social media you identify prospective customers  – after which you start to build rapport using a mixture of online and offline approaches.


Keen to nail your B2B marketing? Then call us the old-fashioned way on 01628 601713 

Or send us a message and we’ll call you back. With a provable track record of helping B2B organisations improve engagement and increase ROI, you’ll be in safe hands with us.