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I recently enjoyed my first visit to San Francisco and the infamous Silicon Valley, the location of my digital dreams…

We arrived following nearly 24 hours of travel (with a toddler, and little sleep) so I wasn’t exactly firing on all cylinders, but I was quickly struck by something on our drive from the airport to our accommodation:

The number of major tech companies sporting huge roadside billboards.

Digital companies, investing in traditional marketing.

Now this might not seem like a big deal, and perhaps just evidence of the Catch 22 that big brands have to invest in traditional marketing simply to reinforce that they are a big brand, but there’s also a lesson for smaller businesses here too:

Choose marketing tactics that reach your audience.

A lot of traffic passes along the highway between San Francisco International Airport and both San Francisco and the Silicon Valley region, and these billboards DO stand out.

So using them – even if you are a digital business – makes sense!

While I specialise in digital marketing, I know better than to assume that it surpasses all other types of marketing.

In fact, I look forward to the day when we simply talk about “marketing” and determine the best channels for it, be they “traditional” or “digital”.

The lesson here, is that it’s not ALL about digital… even for digital businesses!

How to select the best marketing channels for your business:

  1. Know who your audience is, and the message/s you want to communicate to them.
  2. Brainstorm ALL the various marketing channels that your audience use to receive information, and within which they would be welcome to receive your messages.
  3. Plan a suitable budget for your marketing efforts (e.g. reinvest 10-20% of your annual profits).
  4. Allow a suitable time frame to test your marketing efforts (e.g. 6 months at a minimum!).
  5. Identify KPIs for how you can measure the effectiveness of your marketing (e.g. new enquiries, sales, brand awareness through social media community growth etc).
  6. Select a few marketing channels that suit your audience, messages and budget, be they traditional or digital.
  7. Focus your attention on them.
  8. Monitor, measure and record your results.
  9. Refine as required.

We won’t all be able to afford huge roadside billboards, but the lesson here is about being open to a range of marketing channels, and selecting those that will help reach your audience, and are within your budget.

What traditional marketing channel could your business use?

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