Is skipping physical marketing the biggest marketing mistake?


Date: 16 June 2021

A women is delighted by her free samples

Physical marketing for your brand is optional, right?


While some companies have had remarkable success reaching out online, the vast majority still use some sort of "real world" marketing to complement their brands.

But why is this?

It all comes down to tangibility and impact. Companies are continually on the lookout for strategies that will enable them to make a bigger impression on their clients and sell more of their products.

But in an age of digital marketing, how do you do physical marketing well?

Glad you asked. In this post, we're going to take a look at some tips and tricks for reaching out to customers offline that'll help you dominate your industry. So, without further ado, let's get cracking.

Start giving gifts

Just handing out gifts to customers seems like a really bad idea. After all, nobody created a valuable business by just giving stuff away.

But it turns out that giving gifts is one of the most powerful and tangible methods at your disposal. That's because it creates a feeling of reciprocity in your customers, whether they are aware of it or not. Just providing them with a small sample of your wares encourages them to come back for more and more because they feel like they should buy from you.

Many entrepreneurs find it odd to think of this kind of activity as marketing, but that's what it is. You're essentially spending a small amount of money to get people to buy more from you, just like regular marketing.

You might think that this approach to marketing is industry-specific. But you'd be wrong. While it lends itself naturally to cosmetics and food, it can work for practically any business, so long as you choose a gift that helps to sell your brands. Accountants, for instance, can give their customers branded pens or similar to encourage them to continue doing business with them.

Do more background marketing

Reaching out to customers online is always an option. And many people love this approach because it makes all their marketing manageable. But you should also engage in so-called "background marketing", backing up your digital outreach with physical equivalents.

For example, if you send mail to your customers, always enclose things like business cards, leaflets and so on. This type of outreach can help to secure even more interest from customers who are fatigued by online marketing.

Make your marketing more visible

When you advertise online, the size of your marketing is limited to the screen of the person viewing it. So, you can never make your brand bigger than a computer monitor or smartphone display.

But when you bring your marketing into the physical world, that all changes. All of a sudden, you're able to do things on a much bigger scale.

For instance, some companies commission the production of hot air balloons that allow them to sell their brands. These objects are often hundreds of feet tall and create an imposing impression on the skyline.

Then there are more down-to-earth methods you could try, such as billboards and banners outside your store or wraps on cars. Whatever method you choose, try to go big. The larger you can make your physical brand presence, the more customers are likely to pay attention to you.

Create events

You can technically create events online in the form of webinars or presentations. But they're never as impactful as actually meeting your customers face-to-face and showing them what you can do. Physical events add considerably to the customer experience and allow people to get something truly memorable from it.

If you decide to go down the event route, you'll need to do plenty of planning. You'll also want to subtly brand the occasion using whatever means you can. Installing banners, getting your staff to wear lanyards and plastering your logos all over products can help a great deal. Once people leave, they'll associate you with a particular type of experience which could encourage them to use you more in the future.

Team up with a complementary business

In many cases, consumers use businesses in a complementary way. For instance, they might go to a garden centre to pick up supplies for their backyard and also want to sit down for a coffee. Here, both the garden centre and the coffee chain win. The coffee brand gets control over where the customers buy their snacks and the garden centre gets more footfall by having a coffee shop on the premises.

If you know that another brand is trying to market to your target audience, you can tag along with them. Start by finding common ground and then simply add your advertising material to theirs, using the same delivery channels if you can to reduce costs.

Send out newsletters

Newsletters might seem a little old-fashioned to some. But in today's marketplace, they're all but essential. That's because customers want to know about the latest products and services available to them.

You can also use newsletters as an opportunity to advertise special offers and deals. This way, your customers have an incentive to open mail from you.

Give away stickers

Giving away stickers might seem like a simple thing, but it is incredibly powerful because of the way that customers react to them. Customers can't help but feel compelled to peel them off and put them wherever they can.

Stickers are relatively inexpensive too. In fact, if you buy them in bulk, they're usually only slightly more expensive than leaflets. But the great thing about stickers is that they tend to stick around - if you'll excuse the pun. People slap them on their computers or fridge door and then they stay there for years to come, reminding people of your brand.


Skipping physical marketing is the biggest mistake that modern brands are making. The physical world is not a crude relic of the past. It's where we live. And despite the growth in the amount of time people spend online, the physical, offline world still offers unique opportunities to be impactful.

Copyright 2021. Article made possible by site supporter Jeremy Bowler.

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