Some traditional marketing opportunities are like Joan Rivers: they’ve gotten a nip and a tuck and they keep on working

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia (David Shankbone)

The internet has changed how people make purchase decisions. The availability of data (like online reviews) and search algorithms that seem to predict the exact thing you were looking for with only a few keystrokes (you know, right before you delete your search history so your kids can’t see that you were researching boarding schools) can shorten the time between the decision-to-purchase and the actual purchase. Of course, same goes for decisions people make about where to invest in making the world a better place. Interested in advancing adult literacy? You can have information on a number of reading programs on your computer screen in mere seconds.  Want to know who has been helped by those organizations? YouTube will likely bubble up some compelling testimonials.

But remember back in the old days? You know, like the 90s? When marketing was made out of paper and handshakes? Have we changed so much since then that the old way of marketing no longer works at all? Should we completely shun the old for the new?

As much as we hear that newspapers are dead and that people are increasingly engaging with organizations online, there are some “traditional” marketing approaches that have been on the receiving end of a little nip and tuck, but still work. Particularly when looking at activities where someone first gets to know your organization—way before they decide to engage with you—there’s still opportunity to kick it old school…with a little twist of channel integration.

Sponsored events (with a dedicated Twitter hashtag, e.g. “#givingtuesday” ), press interviews (now most likely to be read online and hyperlinked to your website) and speaking engagements (which, if recorded, may generate significant interest on YouTube) are great examples of traditional channels that have gotten a makeover, courtesy of emerging digital channels, and come out looking even better than before.

So as you evaluate your investment in traditional marketing activities, consider the possibility that what’s old is new again with the additional reach that comes from technology.