Digital Marketing

Scared of Digital? Here's the Alternative Marketing Guide

April 2018
Melissa Sorini

So we’ve well and truly established that digital marketing is scary and we sort of need to pretend that it kind of doesn’t exist. But business is still business and we need to find effective ways to get the word out about our products or services, so we’ve put together this list of awesome tips for you. Who needs digital anyway, when you could be using these 100% effective marketing strategies instead?

  1. Advertise on the back of a bus in a font size that can’t be seen from a car

Remember that time you saw an ad on the back of a bus and let go of the steering wheel so you could rummage around for a pen to write down the details? Nope. What about the time you illegally used your phone so you could take a picture of said advertisement? Double nope. Bus campaigns aren’t typically very user friendly because your audience tends to be focused on a little thing called driving.

  1. Launch a cringeworthy TV commercial

Cringeworthy television commercials are the best. The great thing about them is that they are expensive to produce, cost a small fortune to broadcast and are completely untargeted to your actual target audience – who are probably in the kitchen making a cup of tea or taking a toilet break whenever your commercial goes to air anyway. Or they’re streaming Netflix. TVCs are so 1996.

  1. Put a mascot costume on a trainee to wave a sign around

Nothing says “classy advertising campaign” quite like someone standing by the side of the road in an oversized animal costume, waving a screenprinted sign around as they attempt an awkward version of the Macarena (either that or they’re just about to pass out from heat stroke). The upshot is that onlookers will mostly react to all of this with bemused indifference. Or pity.

  1. Black and white photocopied flyer designed in Word and dropped randomly into suburban letter boxes

I don’t know about you, but I’m struggling to recall any high-profile marketing campaigns that came through my mailbox in the form of photocopied flyer. It’s not exactly how successful companies advertise their wares. Apple, Nike, Coke, McDonalds: all big players who use Word documents for their intended purpose. Internal memos and performance reviews. Not direct marketing material.

  1. Do a radio ad with a zany ethnic voice over

Not-so-breaking news: it’s 2017, guys... No one should be doing radio ads with fake ethnic voice overs, period! Not only is it a highly cringeworthy form of cultural appropriation, they don’t work anyway because your message gets lost in all that forced hilarity, and no one takes you or your business seriously. Leave the wacky voices to sketch comics and breakfast radio presenters.

  1. Do an unaddressed mail campaign to 50,000 recipients Australia wide

There’s nothing more exciting than receiving letters addressed “To The Householder”. Imagine the opportunities! I could be the lucky instant winner of a million dollars from Readers Digest, or it could be another scintillating newsletter from my local member of parliament. The sad thing is that I’ll never know, because they go straight into the recycling bin. Unopened.

  1. Rock up at the door of your target audience to interrupt their day and tell them about something they don’t care about

Studies from the esteemed “Institute of Common Sense” have revealed that unsolicited door knockers are up there with mosquitoes, late trains and burnt toast in terms of how much they annoy people. There is no better way to irritate your customer base than to send smiling sales people to their front door when they are trying to eat dinner or are attempting to get the kids to do their homework.

  1. Employ snarky untrained call centre employees to be the first point of contact with your business

First impressions are incredibly important, which is why you should always man your helplines with the snarkiest and most poorly-trained employees. If customers have a good experience with your call centre they will tell maybe one or two other people. If they have a bad experience they will tell all 500 of their closest Facebook friends and possibly pen a funny complaint letter that goes viral.

  1. Get an endorsement from someone that doesn’t use your product and has no relevance to your industry

Nothing warms my 40 year-old heart quite like the sight of a photoshopped 16 year-old supermodel being used to sell overpriced anti-ageing cream. For maximum loss of credibility you need to choose a product spokesperson that defies all logic and common sense - like hiring to Vin Diesel to spruik the merits of anti-dandruff shampoo. Or procuring Hulk Hogan to sell women’s shapewear.

  1. Rent a pop-up store in the middle of the shopping centre and watch as people avoid eye contact with you

Trying to rustle up new business from pop-up kiosks in busy shopping centres can be next to impossible, because people will go to great lengths to avoid talking to you. Parents bribe their kids to throw strategically-timed tantrums, young adults fake conversations on their phones and others will wave madly at you to go away, like they are trying to conjure the “Expelliarmus” spell from Harry Potter.

  1. Run a poorly designed ad in the sports section of the local newspaper

Wait, what - you mean they still print newspapers? More importantly, do people still risk fingertips full of grotty black ink to actually read them? No better way to find out than to whack together a poorly designed display ad that will sit somewhere between the under-12 soccer results and the final scorecard for Smalltown’s annual seniors golf tournament. Problem solved.

Look, we totally get it - digital marketing might seem scary on the surface, but it truly is an exciting medium for business. It’s actually easier than you think, and can be as simple as setting up a Facebook account, doing some Google advertising, emailing your contact lists or updating your website. And we hand-on-heart promise there are absolutely no chicken suits involved.

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