Most things “old school” possess a certain charm that draws people who are getting tired of the fast-paced and oversaturated digital world. Things done entirely online may be convenient, but it is also creating distance between people and partnerships that work best together.
A B2C relationship is an excellent example of this. Before the pandemic swept over the world, customers were free to personally interact with their favourite stores, restaurants, cinemas, entertainment establishments, and so forth. Now, those interactions have been reduced to comments and private messages on social media. Online messaging helps increase awareness and build brand loyalty under normal circumstances, but these are abnormal times. That means that businesses can only predict customers’ behaviours up to a certain point.
A gap can form between customers and businesses as a result.
Disconnect Amidst Connectivity
If communications between customers and businesses are still existing, how can distance form between them? It’s because the gap is more about disconnection than a geographic issue. Online communication channels are convenient and very helpful, but they remove non-verbal social cues like facial expressions, hand gestures, tone of voice, and intonations out of the equation. It’s ironic considering that online messaging was created to keep people connected across geographic borders and time zones.
The bleak environment that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic is another reason. As time goes by, the convenience of online communications is wearing out, and many are now yearning to connect with their communities the way they did pre-COVID-19. However, people are still cautious about returning to “normal,” so they relish opportunities to experience it again without putting their health at risk.
Here’s where traditional marketing can return in the picture — subscription and direct mail marketing, to be specific.
A Taste of the Old Normal
At a time when marketing materials now flood consumers’ emails and social media feeds, traditional marketing methods are starting to feel like a welcome change.
Subscription services are a tried and tested method of staying in touch with loyal customers. This practice is common among lifestyle brands and niches that cater to specific hobbies and passions. Examples are subscription boxes for books, clothing and fashion accessories, fandom merchandise, beauty and skincare, specialty and artisanal food, card games, computer games, arts and crafts, gardening kits, coffee and tea sets, CBD products and wine products.
Direct mail is yet another familiar form of marketing. It is sending mail in your target market’s mailboxes. These promotional materials can be brochures, flyers, postcards, coupon booklets, and printed newsletters. Most companies today do this digitally because it is cost-effective and less time-consuming. Given the current environment, however, businesses might benefit more from non-digital, direct mail marketing. Why? Because digital mail could be getting less attention than expected:
- People have short attention spans — Internet users are believed to have short attention spans. Ten seconds is too long a time for a webpage to load, and if a site stalls for two seconds, visitors say, “it’s lagging.”
- The Internet is saturated with content — There’s so much content coming at consumers from every direction, and a considerable chunk of it is intrusive — including the ads you’ve probably launched.
- Business competitors are all vying for the #1 spot online — More companies are now promoting online. Some have even migrated entirely from traditional to digital marketing.
To sum everything up:
There’s so much competition online right now that it might be rewarding to backtrack and review the less competitive avenues for marketing. The current climate can support this as well because UK consumers are currently responsive to marketing that addresses COVID-19 and its everyday challenges, which includes not being able to interact with people the way we used to. That is an opportunity to elicit an emotional response from customers, and businesses can do that through non-digital marketing.