Old school vs new digital marketing

It wasn’t too long ago that ‘trends’ referred exclusively to what one would see in a fashion catalogue, and ‘hash tag’ was the disused key on a handset phone – is it a case of get-with-the-times, or die?

Spending a year in technology exile (‘going offline’ as they say) could be an interesting, if not quite frightening, experience.

Interesting? Yes. Likely? No.

For anyone starting his or her small business journey, social media is simply an indispensable marketing ingredient.

The importance of establishing a personal brand was a point driven home hard at an event held in Sydney this week. Social Media Down Under brought together 13 speakers with real-world digital marketing success stories under their belt – a key takeaway was that if you’re not engaged in social media marketing for your business, well, why not?

“You are who Google says you are,” was a key point made by marketing podcaster Tim Reid, and one reiterated by Tristan White, CEO of the Physio Co.

White’s company is one operating in a self-described ‘extreme niche’ – The Physio Co is specifically for residents of aged care homes. Yet he has managed to establish the brand as one of Australia’s most desirable places to work, and was recently put at number 5 on BRW’s Best Place’s to Work in Australia list.

He too believes that ‘you are what you publish’, and this is precisely how White has managed to position his business as such a desirable workplace.

White has managed to recruit several new staff members via social media word of mouth. One of their top physiotherapist’s found out about the role simply by liking a post he saw on a friend’s page – in this case, the power of one Facebook ‘like’ generated some $100k in revenue for The Physio Co in his first year with the company.

“Facebook works, social media works – if you know what you’re trying to achieve,” White said.

And yet there’s an argument still to be had for the power of so-called ‘old-school’ advertising methods, such as like branding your own car with your business logo.

Paul Slezak from a recruitment industry startup RecruitLoop recently discovered this first hand on a run of the mill trip to a shopping centre. After being unable to find a parking space, Slezak gave up and opted for valet parking – inadvertently putting his branded car right at the entrance to the centre. Whilst inside, he later heard his name being called over the PA, summoning him to return to his car – as it turned out, the valet company wanted to discuss recruitment options for new valet attendants.

Despite the hype around digital marketing, traditional marketing methods shouldn’t be discounted just yet.

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