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Marketing is constantly evolving with new channels and vehicles to reach consumers. Technology is pretty much driving and ensuring that. But sometimes, what’s old and that which no one seemingly pays attention to works the best.

I’ve been working with a company over the last few years that operates in a pretty crowded and competitive space.  Two years ago, we were looking at ways to reach our market and decided to give direct mail a try.  It was not a traditional marketing method used in the industry, which is why we thought it might be an opportunity to break through the marketing clutter to reach potential customers.

Since then, revenue has increased a good 20% from direct mail alone! The business recently decided to increase its direct mail outbound reach by 100%.

Clearly, direct mail ain’t new. But clearly, its working for this business.  I think the main reason its working is because direct mail is not traditionally used in this companies industry.  As a result, this allows the company to capture mind share from potential customers without interference from competitors using the same method.

What the company did is borrow a marketing vehicle used on so many other industries and adapted it to its own. What is old became new for this company and its industry.

This is a great example for teaching us a number of things:

  1. Look to other industries to see what it is being done successfully and adapt to your own;
  2. Look at old ways of marketing that are not being used in your industry;
  3. Don’t get mired in the “that’s the way we’ve always done it” thinking;
  4. Don’t get mired in the “that’s the way everyone else is doing it” thinking.
  5. Innovation is not just about what’s new or never been done before, but how to tweak something that is unique to your marketplace.