Indirect marketing is the way forward

There are the obvious ways to market to your target, the direct marketing, in your face call to actions. Then, there’s the smarter way to market your brand; quieter, with a focused goal, playing the long game for a higher return on investment. Indirect marketing is about relating to people and having them feel something for what you’re doing, building a loyal relationship with a base in trust and transparency.

With modern advertising, we’ve seen street corners filled with brightly lit billboards, TV ads taking up more time than the actual show you’re watching, digital screens at bus stops and buses plastered with coercive messaging. People are sick of being harassed by advertising everywhere they look, they’re becoming immune to it. Advertising in the loud and flashy sense is now so much a part of the scenery that it is losing its effect.

We think it’s safe to say that people don’t want to be tricked, they don’t want to play the mind games that come with traditional advertising anymore. What people want is something real, that they can trust. 

What is indirect marketing?

Indirect marketing is about building relationships and trust with your customers. Instead of making a 30 second TV ad, you might make a longer video talking about something you enjoy or feel strongly about that has no direct relation to your business. You could write a story about what makes the place you live feel like home, or give a shout out to another local business that’s doing a great job. In even less obvious ways, you could take your team out to volunteer at a soup kitchen or sporting event, or donate your services to a good cause.

How do you sell without selling?

By not directly talking about your business in every public arena, you are showing the human element of it. Direct advertising is a cold robot, indirect marketing is a real-life human. People like to feel something about what they’re paying for. Have you ever chosen where to buy something based on the fact that you knew and liked the person running the business? We all have. Guiltily, we might not donate regularly to a charity, but we will spend our money on a business that we know is doing some good within the community, especially when we’re getting something we want out of it.

Talking about things that aren’t your work shows that it’s not all about the money. 

Better than someone coming in and buying something they saw in an ad, if you build a relationship with someone you gain loyalty and repeat business. If people feel like you’re just trying to sell them something, they’ll do their own research and just buy the thing, but if they trust you, they might have a conversation with you and you can help them find what they really need.

It’s a nicer experience for everyone

Humans are social creatures, as much as AI and fancy technology is taking over the world, we still want to experience the life and connection of other humans, to feel useful and engaged with what’s happening around us.

For the business owner or staff member, it’s nice to feel like you’re not just taking people’s money and getting them out the door, but helping them with something and understanding their needs. It’s also nice to be involved with the community and show that you have interests outside of work. Indirect marketing can make work feel less like work and just more like living your life and enjoying what you’re doing.

For the customer, it’s nice to feel comfortable walking into a place and knowing that you’re not going to get ripped off, that the person you’re dealing with actually wants to help - and knowing that before you even walk into the place. It’s also a good feeling knowing that your money is going to someone you like and back into your community.

Indirect marketing might mean playing the long game and it’s not always the cheap and quick fix, but overall it leads to a better quality of life for both business and consumer.