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Five “Ancient” Marketing Ploys That Still Work in the Internet Age

Tried-and-true marketing techniques

With the advent of Internet marketing people have been quick to abandon the wide range of advertising avenues made available to them prior to the web.

While forward thinking is certainly is not a bad idea, failure to incorporate surefire, time-tested strategies into modern marketing is a failure to utilize state-of-art technology to its fullest effect.

The following are five marketing techniques that sound like they belong in the old school, but are certain to find their audience in the Internet Age:

Old-time salesman who huffed and puffed their sales pitch from town to town had to think of ways to catch peoples attention. This often led to eccentric character development, obnoxious paint jobs, and memorable monologues. Today this marketing ploy continues to exist in the form of viral kitsch; stuff that’s so bad it’s good. Examples include the efforts of, a site dedicated to showcasing the most awkward of products via even more awkward YouTube videos, and the marketing success of the Snuggie.

Promotional Products
T-shirts with a company’s name printed on them and custom coffee mugs remain hot items for marketing your brand. You just have to get a little creative with them. Instead of brandishing an uninteresting corporate logo, brandish a fat QR code on the side of a mug or the back of a T-shirt. That way you invoke a reaction, which can result in an action, which would obviously be people scanning these items and being taken to your website via their mobile device.

People love to enter contests for free stuff. The Internet only makes that easier. Instead of sending entry via the mail people just click a few buttons to enter their chance to win promotional giveaways. The amount of giveaway-focused traffic on the Internet is particularly high, especially during the daytime. Winners can be announced through social media outlets such as Twitter, which can increase your following tenfold.

The “Press Release”
Once upon a time the press release was exactly that: something companies sent out to news sources to provide them with information to trickle down to the public. Modern press releases are no different, except that the majority of them are published online. What was once a press release is now a public release. Use that to your advantage: forget appealing to the press when you might as well be really appealing to the masses ie your market.

Not every company can afford to pay Micheal Jordan or Troy Aikman to talk about their brand. But if the Google + emphasis on celebrity has said anything, it’s that celebrity continues to sell. By getting a local sports hero or other big wig to somehow be associated with your product, you’re guaranteed to see a boost in sales. People trust respectable public figures. That’s just the way it is.

It definitely doesn’t hurt to focus the overwhelming majority of your marketing campaign on solely Internet-based avenues. But never count out standard marketing tactics that have existed for decades and even centuries. The products and services themselves change, and so do the technological resources we use in our marketing techniques. But the market itself – people – they haven’t changed a bit. Old tricks work just as well as they ever have.

Image: edkohler

About author

Chris Birk
Chris Birk 15 posts

Chris Birk is a former newspaper and magazine writer who now works for a pair of Inc. 500 companies, including military home-buying hub VA Mortgage He also teaches at a private Midwestern university. Follow him on Twitter.

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