Is your inbox pounded by drip marketing campaigns?

Are you frustrated by retargeting technology that displays advertising for the same products on every Website?

Does social media and content marketing feel like a never-ending parade?

As much as technology makes marketing easier, it is increasingly automated and less human.

old-school marketingWhile it drives efficiencies, digital marketing feels like brands are waging a war of attrition against consumers.

If brands make enough noise, they will eventually get a consumer do something…or so the theory goes.

All of this activity is creating an opening for a different kind of marketing.

Ironically, it is not new marketing but a return to old-school marketing.

In recent months, I have seen and read examples of brands going embracing tools and techniques the 20th century.

A case in point is cold-calling.

Deploying outbound salespeople, a brand calls people that they believe have relevant titles, responsibilities or experience.

Using an old-school elevator pitch, brands try to establish a foothold to encourage more conversation.

While cold-calling is a manual and labor-intensive, it works if you have the time and energy.

Cold-calling is appealing to brand because receiving a phone call is a rarity.

With so much communication done by text or email, people answer their phones out of curiosity.

Rather than ignore a call, they answer it.

Cold emailing is also red-hot.

Working their way around anti-spam laws, brands use a pay-and-spray approach to attract attention.

If an offer is relevant, topical or interesting, an email is opened. Then, the brand has an opening to make a pitch.

Some of the most successful cold emailing involves an invitation to a Webinar or a free eBook.

One of my clients invited people to Webinars where they could learn about the best ways to leverage Instagram and Snapchat to connect with consumers.

Sujan Patel recently put the spotlight on five companies succeeding with cold emailing. You can also check out his free playbook on email outreach.

Another old-school marketing tool is direct mail.

According to a recent story on MarketingProfs, direct mail is making a huge comeback.

direct mailA study by Experian found that 70% of Americans say physical mail is more personal than email.

And Nieman Marcus says it makes four dollars for everyone one dollar it spends on creating and mailing catalogs.

The success of direct mail may be that people don’t receive as much mail these days.

There is also a study that direct mail has a deeper neurological impact on the human brain. The study found direct mail activated deeper emotional channels in the brain than the same digital piece.

Finally, I was talking to someone who expressed an enthusiasm for conferences for business development.

While a lot of business is digital, relationships are created and nurtured face-to-face.

When we meet people, it changes the dynamic.

It creates an opportunity to exchange ideas, establish trust and figure out win-win propositions.

Conferences are the perfect medium as they draw people together with similar interests.

The power of face-to-face is also attracting more interest in hosting dinners.

I was recently invited to a dinner by Sol Orwell, who brought together a diverse group of people to talk and eat.

It was an excellent evening of conversation and relationship building.

If you are looking for ways to break through the digital tsunami, old-school marketing has huge potential.

If you’re already deploying old-school marketing, what are you doing? What makes it work?


I work with fast-growing companies looking to grow even faster with marketing that actually works, My services, which harness the power of storytelling, are driven by frameworks and processes to develop messaging, brand positioning, marketing roadmaps, and content. If you want marketing that makes an impact, let’s talk.

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