For many of us, planning and executing a flawless digital marketing strategy is mission critical when scaling a startup. With so much focus on acquiring new customers through mammoth channels such as search marketing, social media, and display advertising, advocating an offline marketing strategy can sometimes feel irrelevant or antiquated.
Don’t make the mistake that many entrepreneurs and marketers commit by leaving offline initiatives out of your go-to-market strategy. Not only is it more relevant than ever, but it can be the perfect complement to your online strategy. Read on for our favorite tips employed by some well-known once startups and noteworthy up and comers.
1. Canvas Your Target Geographies
Many startups have opted to concentrate on specific cities as part of their launch strategies. Look at the growing customer bases of Instacart and VeryApt. Even Uber once started out available only in San Francisco (how did we all survive pre-Uber?). All of these startups were geographically-focused when putting together their go-to-market strategies. Canvas the areas that are important to your customer acquisition efforts with flyers, postcards, and brochures describing your products and services or giving details on a special limited-time offer. When you saturate a geography with your message, it is more likely to get noticed, discussed and shared.
2. Make Your Customers Brand Advocates
Do you already have happy customers? Fabulous. Make them an unofficial part of your brand team. With every purchase, include custom stickers with your brand, website, and tagline prominently featured. Your customers can place these on their laptops, notebooks, cars, bikes and more. Stickers are extremely versatile too, as they can double for packaging slips and address labels. You can also use them to seal a box containing a purchase. Beloved brands like Apple, Toms and Skechers have employed this strategy for years, including a large sticker of their logo with every product purchase.
3. Get First-Time Customers at their 9 to 5
Use the business card format to create easy-to-share (even easier to display on a reception desk) marketing materials to bring in first-time customers at their offices. Include your company logo, website, and quick how-to on the front of the card. On the back, you can reinforce your branding and include an exclusive offer for first-time customers. DoorDash is just one of the many startups employing this strategy in offices. It’s a great way to introduce a captive audience to highly relevant new products and services. Bonus tip – if you include a coupon code to redeem the offer, you can easily track the ROI on this offline marketing initiative.
4. Make Your Brand (and Values) Visible
I remember the random workday in December when I received a small gift box from the fabulous startup Manicube. It included a small bottle of Essie nail polish (lovely neutral color), a Manicube branded small notebook and matching pen. I’ve used the branded desk accessories ever since. Above all, they serve as reminders to make my Manicube appointments (every other Wednesday at 2pm) and that I’m a valued customer. Get your small gesture of gratitude together for your top customers. Remind them that you wouldn’t be growing without their support with a branded t-shirt, notebook, pen, or embroidered cap. Your happy customers will be thrilled to receive the gift and to be an early part of your success. Magnify the impact even more by coordinating with an email campaign.Identify Where Your Product Has Made an Impact
5. Identify Where Your Product Has Made an Impact
Window stickers have become more and more common for storefronts, thanks to user reviews giants TripAdvisor and Yelp. Don’t you feel better walking into a restaurant knowing that it was reviewed on TripAdvisor? I definitely do, and this same logic can be applied to other categories, especially in the B2B space. I’ve seen window stickers touting small business POS-solutions, and whether or not a business accepts American Express. Consider if your current customer base can promote that they happily use your products or services, and offer them a discount to advertise that they do on their storefront.
There are many other ways that offline marketing can help scale your startup. The best part of all of these potential strategies? You can test and learn quickly from all of them. Happy scaling!
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Dena is the Vice President of Marketing for LogoMix, a self-service branding and marketing platform for small businesses, featuring the easiest and most powerful logo maker online. She has scaled global teams in customer acquisition, CRM, brand marketing, public relations and social media. She draws on more than ten years of senior leadership experience, from startups to publicly traded companies.