7 Underutilized Marketing Strategies That Shouldn’t Be on the Back Burner

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Sometimes, the little-known and little-used strategies may be better than more popular options.

In conversations about marketing, some strategies get left out. In some cases, they may be cutting-edge. In others, they may be old, reliable strategies that businesses have left behind in favour of newer marketing techniques.

These sometimes-forgotten marketing strategies aren’t the most utilized — but they can provide your business with a unique competitive advantage or help you manage a channel that other brands may not be using to its full potential.

1. Direct Mail

For the most part, brands have drifted away from using direct mail as a marketing method.

There are a few reasons for this. Physical marketing can be seen as old-fashioned, and some methods don’t naturally provide hard data that you can use to estimate ROI, unlike many digital marketing methods. However, direct mail remains a powerful marketing tool that a wide range of brands can take advantage of.

In general, the stats on direct mail show that the advertising method is surprisingly effective. Compared to emails, direct mail knocks it out of the park in terms of ad recall, engagement, and response rate.

People are more likely to act on direct mail than email. There’s also something about the physical nature of a direct mail flyer that makes printed marketing materials easier to remember. This is a major asset if you’re trying to build a recognizable brand.

2. Retargeting

Retargeted ads, especially retargeted PPC (pay-per-click) ads, are an often-overlooked ad type. These ads focus on the “ones who got away” — customers who saw your ad, possibly engaged with it, and then somehow fell out of the sales funnel.

These retargeted ads are, on the whole, much better at capturing customers than standard PPC ads. Customers who have already seen an ad from your business once are a lot more likely to click through. And after multiple exposures to your ads, they may be more likely to remember your branding if they see it out in the world.

3. Conversational Marketing

Conversational marketing is the use of conversation to drive sales and grow brand awareness. Specifics vary, but many brands focus on social media or the use of on-site chat widgets, which provide customers with instant access to your business’s sales and support teams.

If they have a question about a product or deal, they can ask quickly — no email or phone call required — and receive an answer.

One of the biggest frustrations customers face online is not being able to get an answer to a simple question, according to Drift’s 2020 State of Conversational Marketing Report.

Conversational marketing can help smooth out some of this problem, along with some of the less pleasant aspects of online transactions — like booking an appointment through an online portal or trying to find specs on a product.

A conversation can also be a great opportunity to highlight deals and provide quicker support to your customer base.

4. Chatbots

AI-powered chatbots, which help automate chat widgets, are an underutilized add-on for conversational marketing. But they may not be for long.

These bots are best known for their customer support abilities. Some of the most advanced bots can handle simple requests entirely on their own and gather information on customer problems when a human customer service rep isn’t available.

Even simpler, non-AI bots can do lots to take the pressure off your customer support team and improve response rates.

Chatbots can also be a great advertising tool. Bots can point users in the direction of product pages, highlight deals, and offer relevant promotional information when appropriate. The end result is a huge boost to your customer experience (CX).

5. QR Codes

QR codes allow you to provide a direct link to a product page, app page, or website that people can access from anywhere, so long as they have their phone.

These codes are a great way to bridge your offline and online marketing. They make it possible for people to move directly from seeing a flyer to learning more about one of your offerings.

Just be sure to follow good QR code marketing practices when implementing these codes. Many marketers, for example, will tell you to be sure you size the QR code appropriately and make sure it’s clear where the QR code leads.

6. Social Selling

Social selling — the use of social media to find and nurture prospects — is another underutilized approach to social media marketing.

Best practices will vary depending on your niche and the social media platforms your brand is invested in.

B2B businesses, for example, can get a lot out of social selling on LinkedIn, where analytics tools will tell you about potential business clients who are already browsing your page and taking a look at the content you publish.

Social listening tools like Google Alerts — which can alert you to mentions of your brand on social media — are a must in any case. These will help you identify potential prospects and keep track of how people are talking about your brand online.

7. Push Notifications

Push notifications are the notifications apps serve to users. They pop up on a user’s screen, often with an alert sound, providing a highly visible and concise update.

These notifications can contain important info. Plus, importantly for brands, they can also be a great way to advertise.

If your brand has an app, you can quickly send push notifications to users letting them know about your latest offerings. These push notifications can be tailored to each user’s preferences and habits.

When an item comes back into stock or a new deal starts, for example, you can serve laser-focused notifications to your customers — delivering updates on the aspects of the deal most relevant to them.

The combination of highly relevant information, extreme visibility, and distinctly conversational experience that push notifications can offer are a great combination for brands wanting to highlight a new offering or promotion.

These notifications will, however, require that your brand has an app — meaning this may only be practical if you’ve already made that kind of investment.

Take Advantage of These Often-Overlooked Marketing Strategies

These marketing strategies aren’t the most popular — but they can be very effective. Adopting them may give your business a unique advantage that your competitors don’t have.

Picking up some of these advertising methods, like chatbots, will also help you learn more about cutting-edge tech that’s likely to only become more common over the next few years.


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