Three retro areas of marketing in which we should all up our game


We tend in the digital world to fixate far too much on the latest technology and far too little on the fundamentals that have always shaped great marketing, so I just want to run through a few example areas of old school marketing that I think we as digital marketers could all benefit from upping our game in.

The first is long form copy writing. We are obsessed now with short form copy, imagery and video and these things are very important, but as any conversion expert will tell you long form sales copy is as significant as ever when it comes to any form of direct response marketing. The same principle actually applies to video, too. There’s a reason why long infomercials continue to do so well. Less is not always more and our ability to tell compelling and persuasive stories in detail is a valuable art form that only the best marketers tend to grasp.

The second area is brand. This one is so obvious that it shouldn’t need saying but as someone who completely neglected it for my first 4 years in digital, I feel I really have to. Brand is everything. Without a clear strategy for it your tactics, no matter how effective in the moment, will be disjointed and amount to little over time. You will have no sense of what truly defines and distinguishes you and struggle to ever connect on an emotional level with your audience. All mistakes that I made over and over again.

Finally, there’s email. Email marketing has been around for over 20 years and contrary to popular opinion it continues to be as powerful as ever. Having an engaged list, whether you’re a consumer or B2B organisation, is arguably the single most valuable asset you can own. It is your primary mechanism for talking to your core audience, has huge implications for your reach across social media as those are the people who will then share your content, and is often the single biggest determinant of lifetime customer value. And yet too many of us skip over it in favour of the latest shiny social platform because email seems old hat. Well there’s a reason why this old hat continues to be worn by all great brands – because it works!

So there are three and of course there are others. The point is that we’d all benefit from spending a bit less time obsessing over the latest change on Instagram or Google update, and a bit more time working on those fundamental pillars of marketing that endure from one decade to the next.

See you next time.

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