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Social Media is Great, But Don't Forget Old School Marketing Having a digital-only strategy leaves many potential customers out of the equation and ultimately stunts your chances of boosting your brand.

By Karen Mishra

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


If you're only marketing your brand online, you're missing out on a sizable chunk of potential customers.

A recent Pew study found that 73 percent of surveyed people 18 years of age and older use social media. But entrepreneurs and business owners should not forget the other 27 percent of people who are not regular social media users. To effectively reach those customers, one must integrate social media with old school marketing such as print ads, radio, billboards and direct mail.

There are still plenty of folks who read the paper every day or who listen to the radio on the way to work. This presents opportunities for communicating your brand message to people at a place and time where they are receptive to hearing about it. Here are a few things to remember about integrating your brand message across both old school and social media channels.

Related: 7 Stupid Branding Mistakes Your Small Business is Making

1. Some of your most valuable customers are not fans of social media. Make sure you allocate ad dollars to old school marketing tools and even quality sales people. Those non-techy baby boomers want great service when they walk through the door. They will be your best brand ambassadors when they feel well cared for. Even though they are not your Facebook friends, remember to reward them for being your loyal customers.

2. It takes an average of 10 times for us to remember a brand message. If we hear it more than 10 times, we'll start to get annoyed, but it will take us at least 10 times to remember what we heard about your brand or company and to do something about it. This is a good reason to select a few different ways to reach your target audience.

Keep up with your Facebook posts so your customers can log on at lunch to catch up with you, but augment those efforts with a newspaper ad or a postcard to thank your loyal customers. Many retailers run commercials on TV and send postcards in the mail, but also send email reminders about sales. Every single postcard and TV ad pushes customers one step closer to the sales rack.

Related: Business Still Not on Facebook? Get Up to Speed With These 4 Steps.

3. We like to hear the same message, but in different ways. The average consumer spends just over five hours daily on digital media, four-and-a-half hours on TV, one-and-a-half hours on radio, 32 minutes on print media and 20 minutes on "other" types of media, according to a recent study. This shows that there are many different ways we consumers get our information over the course of a day, which gives brands a variety of different ways to reach consumers.

Even though we are increasing the amount of time we are devoting to digital media, we are still spending an equivalent amount of time on old school media. Don't forget to talk to your consumers there, too. Fast food restaurants are great at using different ways to catch us when we are hungry with mediums such as billboards.

Consistency is key. No matter where you take your message, new media or old, make sure that your customers know it is you. They won't mind hearing from you in more than one space. While marketers are "reinventing the wheel,' savvy entrepreneurs will understand that the old wheel does still serve a purpose.

Related: In Love and in Business, Trust Is the Beginning, Middle and End of the Story

Karen Mishra

Marketing Consultant

Karen Mishra teaches marketing at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. She also runs a leadership and marketing consulting firm, Total Trust, in Durham, N.C.

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