Traditional Marketing as We Know it is Alive and Kicking #31 #cong14 

By David Glynn.

It is bizarre to be writing this in the midst of the web summit one of the biggest events ever to be brought to this country and credit is due to Paddy Cosgrave and his team.

However I will not be swayed and keep to my original thoughts for this blog post:

How many times in the last few years have you heard the following “Traditional Marketing is gone” or the other “it’s all online now”

Don’t get me wrong I am a firm believer in all things online but yet ignore the traditional at your peril. 

We are bombarded by Marketing messages everywhere you go and then we are told the customer is king, it is they who are in control and they will decide how and when to contact you and your business.

That’s no problem - we have the mechanisms in place so that they can tweet us or write on our wall.

Now let me ask you a question?

What was the last purchase you made and why?

For me it was Sunday afternoon and I was ravenous for a bite to eat after a few hours shopping.

Where did I go and why?

I went to A..  Because …..

Well you see I had been there before and thought the food was excellent, reasonably priced and a nice ambiance oh and I know a few of the staff by so if they were on duty I would be addressed by name and exchange a few pleasantries.

So how many factors was that and did the online enter the equation once. 

Two other purchases of small value were also made and to me are worth their weight in Marketing Gold.

First it was a pleasant summer’s day and I was overcome by a need to have a cold drink.

As the beer garden was not an option it had to be non-alcoholic so what did I choose? 

You are right the soft drink that’s everywhere from stands in supermarkets to giant billboards and even covering Luas Carriages.

The other was a product in the form of shower gel.

Last week I stayed with friends and it happened to be in their bathroom, well there you go a lifetime affinity to another brand gone just like that.

Again what’s important to me was both purchases were made off line and no online activity needed.

Let’s move up the purchasing scale:

I bought an Pad mini.  My brother has one, I have seen him use it, and it looks good and suits me as I am too lazy to do the research so no image ad extensions needed for this consumer. 

At the moment I am not in the market for a car but should this change I will be confident that I have my decisions made again purely by what I see my friends driving, what I have enjoyed the look of as a passenger and experienced a cheeky test drive.

Neither am I looking for a holiday at the moment unfortunately but at the moment when this changes I can only think about a particular area of Greece again influenced by my cousin’s excellent recommendation.

Online is a big space and can be very crowded difficult to get the exact information that you need in a hurry.

So Google AdWords we have tried many permutations and combinations and an interesting anecdote was September 2013 when we stopped for a month we had our best month of online bookings ever.  Imagine that??

Display ads are expensive and deemed   “a crock of shit “by some commentators and let’s face it the click through rate has always been very low with more going on impressions.

Sure we see ads every day but they don’t carry any guarantee we will purchase.

And with remarketing adverts again the jury can be out on these are they annoying or effective. 

And don’t forget Irish consumers are pretty savvy online so well able to install ad blockers.

David Glynn #31 Junk mail photo

Now here is another option: Direct mail as it is called among other names 

Look at this amount in my mail box last week:  

I believe with the advances in Admailer this has huge possibilities:

Imagine a local gardener or restaurant and now you can target exactly the customers you want in a specific area and we know people will open or look at a piece of mail addressed to them as opposed to a random mass produced leaflet.

All you need is a really strong Call to action such as Free bottle of wine with 2 Set Meals.

 There are endless possibilities even do different area for different weeks and measure the results.

When it comes to Branding whatever your business is there are countless opportunities to put your business name ahead of your competitors.

Here are a few of my favourite:

  • What is the local sports team, could you sponsor their jersey
  • Maybe you could sponsor post match refreshments 
  • If you are a coach company offer transport for the team to one of their matches or if you are a gym offer them use of the gym and pool.
  • This will be repaid in spades with local good will and look at the PR you can get when they win the respective league or tournament.
  • Is your business near a park, why not sponsor some flowers, plants (idea if you are a gardener)
  • Is there a fashion show locally that if you are a hairdresser  you do the hair & make up for the models or supply some clothes if you are a boutique or man’s shop.
  • Do a product sampling evening with some refreshments in your premises and you’ll have phone numbers, email database to send special offers in no time which when treated right can be lifetime customers.
  • This may work for butchers, bakers, off licenses so many possibilities.
  • Where is the busy junction in your town, a cleverly made sign can cost as little as €50 and will generate massive attention if done properly.
  • I pass a giant paintbrush and a tin of paint every day so when I do the house in a new coat of paint next spring I know where to go.
  • The tin of paint is 8ft tall so catches the eye.
  • Now is the time to introduce yourself to the local radio and newspaper.
  • They need some news stories so position yourself as the expert thought leader in your field.  Let them know you are available for interview or comment on seasonal trends and business in general.
  • I am almost 6 years doing tradeshows and while they can be expensive & a big undertaking when the audience is correct they offer a golden opportunity to meet thousands of customers over a 3 day period.
  • Databases are easily created from these lists and you can identify the genuine from the free biro hunters.
  • You can’t beat the face to face interaction and explaining the product in details that can’t be properly done online.
  • I have seen our brand grow from nothing to been recognisable in the last few years and I have to say hand on heart attribute a  portion of this success to some exhibitions as the Ploughing and Holiday World.


It can also offer photo opportunities with some famous people such as Mr Pat Kenny (photo attached or get yourself on the cover of the Rte. Guide 

David Glynn #31 rte guide photo
David Glynn #31 Pat Kenny

Each year when we analyse our web traffic 80% of it is organic that means 100,000 people or so have seen our Marketing somewhere and want to find more information.

Can you ignore that amount of people more than a full Croke Park!

Now one thing never assume you don’t have to market or everybody sees your work or activity.

One firm I thought was huge this Summer at Marketing was HB Ice-cream, they were simply everywhere and one day I asked a Marketing Colleague who is always on the lookout for creative brands so do you like the HB campaign ?

His reply “sorry what was that I didn’t see it!!!!! 

Now if you do go on to Facebook and have a clever content strategy well done you but I want to put out that my most successful posts in the last few months were spur of the moment to coincide with topical issues such as the Budget, water charges and the World Cup.

Ok so a little design time but take a look at the reach some up on 50,000 people.

Maybe don’t stress so much on planning your content if you are creative and think on your feet the ideas will come.

Now I hope I haven’t bored you to tears and I don’t claim to be any expert by any means so let’s bring on the debate …

Best wishes to all for Congregation 14 

Best quote “anything can be sold once with marketing but it takes a quality product to achieve repeat business”

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CongRegation © Eoin Kennedy 2017 eoin at congregation dot ie