15 Old School Marketing Techniques That Still Work

Team Pepper
Posted on 22/03/228 min read
15 Old School Marketing Techniques That Still Work
Here’s a list of 15 old-school marketing strategies that still do the job in 2022.

Since the rise of smartphones, digital marketing has seen enormous growth, with marketers increasingly relying on artificial intelligence (AI) to forecast customer behavior.

Many businesses have focused their marketing efforts on social media, pop-up advertisements, websites content, and email campaigns. However, these may not always prove fruitful.

It’s reported that only 22% of organizations receive adequate conversion rates from their modern marketing efforts. This discrepancy between campaigns and conversions demonstrates that digital marketing, which is at the center of most lead generation today, is not without shortcomings. That’s why small business owners must stick to tried-and-true old-school marketing techniques.

Here are 15 old-school marketing techniques that marketers should employ today for effective marketing.

15 Old School Marketing Techniques

1. Flyers

If you perform most of your business locally, handing out flyers is a relatively cost-effective way to raise brand awareness. Giving them out in person is much better because it allows you to inform people about your brand and give them a face to associate it with.

If you’re a start-up or a small business owner and know there is a market, but you’re having problems getting into it, flyers can be an effective old-school marketing tactic.

Traditional marketing strategies aren’t going away, whether you’re enticing clients to come to you with eye-catching advertising, enlisting their support as walking advertisements with branded totes, or taking your business to them with direct mail offers and fliers.

These tried-and-true marketing strategies will relieve the overabundance of messaging in the digital marketing environment and methods for generating reliable and cost-effective revenue.


For example, Dominos pizza company delivers 270 million flyers to UK homes worth £10 million every year. The company hand-outs flyers with special deals to customers at their doorsteps. With the right ad copy, you’re likely to get more attention to your business.

2. Billboards

Unlike other forms of old-school marketing and advertising tactics, Billboards offer a powerful advantage. Billboard advertisements might be more tailored to an area or something you’ll need soon while driving.

Consider the following scenario: you’re on a road trip and need to use the restroom, but you’re also hungry. When you look up, you notice a fast-food restaurant billboard. The billboard instructs you on what exit to take and available services.

A billboard can be more effective than other forms of marketing because it offers simple, actionable information. You’ve not only stopped where you were heading, but you’ve also purchased something. Billboards can influence people to make quick decisions.


For example, Publicis Italia agency designed a billboard campaign for Coca-Cola that encourages Coca-Cola customers to recycle their empty bottles. They used Coca-Cola’s trademark ribbon design in a clever way to lead passers-by to the nearest recycling bins placed by the company.

3. Direct mail

Direct mail marketing has remained one of the most popular and relevant old-school marketing techniques because it reaps benefits for many businesses. Moreover, according to some research, consumers are beginning to regard mail as a more novel and pleasant communication medium as more transactions (such as paying bills) shift online. To stand out from your competitors, combine direct mail with internet marketing.


For example, Nike aimed to encourage youth to participate in sports using a low-cost, high-impact direct mail marketing campaign. They sent out limited-edition soccer shoeboxes with printed stadium interiors. The box came fitted with a sound chip that made roaring crowd noises when opened to evoke a passion for soccer.

4. Promotional products with logo

When it comes to boosting brand awareness for start-up businesses, the old-school promotional products marketing technique is best. If you work in the promotional products industry, you are well aware of promotional items’ influence on your business.

Even the tiniest product, such as a branded pen or cap, can help generate client loyalty by being useful to both existing and new customers. Promotional items have unrivaled branding potential and should never be overlooked in any marketing plan.


For example, DHL, the famous courier company, heavily invests in promotional product marketing to raise its brand’s visibility and appeal. They offer value and show their appreciation to their clients through promotional products.

The company provides a wide range of products for press conferences, events, anniversaries, awards, and trade exhibits, among other things. These things might appeal to a different demographic depending on the occasion and provide incentives to engage with the DHL brand.

5. Trade shows

Trade shows also referred to as exhibitions, is an old-school marketing technique that offers businesses a wealth of opportunities. They help start-up and small-scale businesses to connect with potential customers who are most interested in what they have to offer.

Most companies set up booths with video displays, printed signs, promotional materials, and knowledgeable sales representatives to highlight their offerings and educate customers. Trade show marketing is an incredible tactic to build relationships and brand awareness.


For example, Dr. Spiller presented itself to the professional attendees of BEAUTY of the trade show with a visually engaging presentation and communications strategy to express its holistic skincare approach clearly.

6. Giveaways

Giveaway marketing is one of the proven old-school marketing techniques to increase attention and engagement in the past. Giveaways generate favorable publicity as well as positive word-of-mouth about your business.

Hosting a giveaway contest is still very effective in the modern world to expose the company to a whole new audience and a variety of new markets, which is a fantastic approach to broaden your reach.

Even if the participants aren’t interested in winning the specific giveaway item, they will be familiar with your brand and may be interested in other items or services. Ensure you encourage participation and sharing, and then keep an eye on the results.


For example, Dunkin Donut India still incorporates the tried and tested giveaway marketing by occasionally hosting giveaway contests on its social media channels to connect with customers and expand its reach.

7. Radio advertising

The comeback of radio-based advertising is becoming more noticeable in our digitally-driven lives. Web-based streaming audio commercials and podcasts can reach audiences on a national and international scale.

Radio advertisements can be used to target very specific geographic areas with a wide range of audiences. Seldom any other medium raises brand awareness like a well-executed radio campaign. This is a cost-effective method to advertise your brand and increase customer loyalty.

Cadbury – Kheer (Radio ad)

For example, Cadbury India created an attention-grabbing radio campaign for Diwali celebrations with short but compelling storytelling.

8. Discounts and free gifts

n today’s influencer marketing and digital content world, nothing encourages customers more than a trial like a free or reduced-price offer. Discount offers and gifts via social media content and the even older FSI (Free Standing Insert) in Sunday newspapers and daily emails are excellent examples. A compelling call-to-action FSI will still get the same redemption numbers as 20 years ago.


For example, Lipton coupon inserts in the advertising section of the Sunday newspaper.


And Starbucks India occasionally offers discounts to its customers via social media channels.

9. Cold-calling

Cold calling is a very old-school sales approach that involves contacting people who have not previously demonstrated interest in the products or services offered by your company.

It is most commonly associated with phone or telemarketing solicitation, but it can also include in-person contact, such as door-to-door salespeople. Cold-calling marketing can provide greater results than the 150 emails the prospect may receive daily.


10. Transit advertising

Transit advertising is a cost-effective and practical approach to leave a lasting impression. Commuters on public transportation are on the lookout for distractions during their journey. Transit audiences are not as fragmented as online audiences; they not only appreciate but also respond to transit advertisements, providing companies with an unrivaled opportunity to go viral in the market.



For example, you can place advertisements on the vehicle’s outer surface or inside the vehicle and subway station like in the images above.

11. Business card drop-offs

Even in today’s digital era, business cards are still useful to have on hand. They’re small, compact, and packed with the basic contact information of your company. And, since they’re so affordable to produce, you can distribute them as much as possible inside your local market.

Place them on bulletin boards in local stores and supermarkets, or drop them off at local businesses. When you encounter your prospects face-to-face, make sure you leave them with a business card in hand— even if they are already a customer, they can save an additional card to pass out with a referral. You may also use business cards to expand your social media network by including your social media account.

12. Testimonials

Customer referrals and testimonials were huge for small businesses back in the day – for some firms, word of mouth referrals was the only method to sell their services. When major brand chains are increasingly competitive in today’s modern age, testimonials are more crucial than ever in generating new business.

Customers and clients are always looking for a trustworthy, dependable local business that provides a high-quality product or service. And once you receive customer feedback, use it everywhere in your advertising, on your website, and in your direct marketing campaigns.

13. Written content

Given the recent emphasis on visual media, especially video content, it’s no surprise that many firms strive to keep written material to a minimum. In many circumstances, most website visitors still prefer lengthier pages with more written copy, which is why Google prioritizes those sites in search results.

As per Google’s algorithms, sizeable written marketing content may be more vital than before. More written content is the secret to ranking higher on search engines.

14. Jingles

Jingles work, even if they appear to be outdated or too cheesy. They are especially beneficial to service brands in crowded local marketplaces. Capitalize on it by creating a voice and feel that is easy to recall and resonates with your target demographic.

15. Product placement

Product placement in images, videos, or through influencers is an effective old-school marketing technique to increase brand awareness and trust. Everything falls under this category, from setting a background to feature-specific products to employing an influencer to utilize one. 

Companies pay to have their brand, products, or services incorporated into a non-commercial output like movies, television, or other popular media. The goal is to use the setting while preserving realism in terms of context and plot. When a scene shows how a brand, product, or service is consumed in its natural surroundings, it positively affects the audience’s thoughts and attitudes.


For example, America’s Got Talent TV show is among the top shows who successfully use product placements.

Making it Big with These Old School Marketing Techniques

The old-school marketing techniques cover a lot, from baby boomers to Gen-X and Gen-Y, Millennials to Swinging Sixties.

Even though digital marketing continues to gain traction, old school marketing remains a crucial secret weapon for interactive, face-to-face, and competent marketing.

Key Takeaways

  • Some old school marketing techniques are as valuable today as they were when they came up.
  • For greater success, marketers should cleverly use both old-school and modern marketing together,
  • Modern marketing tactics cannot replace the authenticity, human touch, and personal relationships with customers that an old-school marketing technique offers.


1. What are the three main old-school marketing techniques?

The flyers, billboards, and direct mail are the three main oldest marketing techniques that still do the job.

2. What is the key difference between old-school marketing and modern marketing?

The main difference between old-school marketing and modern marketing is how an audience receives a marketing message.

3. What are the popular old-school marketing tools?

The popular old-school marketing tools are radio, television, newspapers, trade shows, magazines, billboards, flyers, brochures, etc.