Methods Of Physical Marketing & How You Can Implement Them Into Your Strategy

Joey Smith
Developyn
Published in
7 min readAug 19, 2021

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Some creative ways to employ physical marketing techniques

Written by Joey Smith

In the current day and age, digital marketing has become possibly the most frequently utilised form of advertising. However, physical marketing methods still play a key part in conversion rates, and can be utilised by your business with little planning and preparation. Statistics show that 93% of people will see some form of OOH (out of home) advertisement each and every week, and that people who see an outdoor advert are 21% more likely to interact with the brand or campaign, making billboard marketing a prime example of how physical marketing can prove to be a major success for a brand. Obviously, physical marketing doesn’t have to always be out of home, and there are other ways you can connect with people without paying billboard money. In this article, we will outline some innovative ways you can utilise traditional methods to try and broaden your horizons for success.

Billboards

Now billboards may be financially out of reach for many smaller businesses on a budget, but are nonetheless great ways of getting your content in front of people. Due to their large size and typical placement in prominent positions such as roadsides, billboards may arguably be the most effective regular form of out of home advertising. Due to their aforementioned roadside positions, they will no doubt be viewed by commuters for almost the whole 24 hour day cycle, making them one of the most accessible forms of physical advertisement. For medium-large companies with a large marketing budget, a billboard campaign is definitely something that should be considered as part of their strategy.

Larger companies such as McDonalds, KFC, John Lewis and large car brands use billboard advertising, which shows that it is effective when used by the right company. When stuck in traffic, you’ll notice the advert while looking around. If used correctly it will trigger or amplify an emotion (hunger, want or need), causing the urge to buy.

Phone boxes, bus stops and more

For those looking to spend a little less on their day to day marketing budget, there are several other options for widely accessible advertisements. For example, getting your advert on a phone box may be a great way to reap some of the rewards that are accessible from billboard campaigns. Much like billboards, phone boxes are often situated on busy roadsides, and while smaller than billboards, are still sure to draw some eyes from passers-by. Now, how much longer phone boxes will be around is anyone’s guess, but as of right now they are still very much about and available to be utilised as advertising points!

Similar to phone boxes, bus stops are also extremely commonplace on the roadsides and are actually much more frequent than phone boxes. The advertisements displayed on bus stops have evolved with the times and many now have boards which change to allow for the display of multiple adverts at one time.

Bus stop advertising is a great way to get eyes on your advertisement. You can also take advantage of bus-side advertising in which your advert will be displayed on the side panel of a bus. A major pro for this is that it is not a stationary advertisement and will be continually moved around for a large part of the day, increasing the potential reach and viewership by a great deal. However, a con to advertising on the sides of buses or other public transport is that these vehicles will be stored away from public view during the night, limiting the hours of potential viewership to the daytime.

Posters

Posters are a great way to grab the attention of passers-by who are on foot, but come with limited options for placement. It is actually illegal to put up posters wherever you please, so just sticking them on every bus stop or shop window in town is a big no-no and could lead to a large fine.

A better alternative for poster placement is asking permission of shops etc to put up your poster in their shop window. Some may oblige happily, others may want to be paid for this, which is more than reasonable if you are hoping to profit from their spotlight. If you can come to an agreement with a shop on a high street, for example, this will no doubt offer great potential benefits to your cause simply due to the number of views it will get from the heavy footfall which most high streets will experience on a daily basis.

Leaflets

Leaflets are a great way to advertise your business in your local area and may be the perfect opportunity to sneak in some special leaflet-exclusive offers. A benefit to leaflet distribution is that it is actually legal to post them through letterboxes, allowing you to deliver a large number with minimal hassle. Leaflets can also be handed out in public places legally, though the level of acceptance varies depending on where you are in the UK and the type of place you are in. For example, you may need a badge or permission in some areas for business leaflet distribution. Always double-check with your local council beforehand to be safe.

Delivering leaflets in residential is not something you will need permission for, though you may be barking up the wrong tree entirely when you are posting to anonymous households. When you are handing out leaflets in the street, you can be sure that a higher number of people who accept a leaflet from you are actually interested in the service/ product you are offering, and may actually read it instead of throwing it straight in the bin! This may work out to be more cost-effective than handing them out to uninterested households via door drops as less of your leaflets are likely to be disposed of.

Leaflets can also be distributed through any friendly businesses you may be acquainted with, such as a shop that will allow you to keep them on their counter, available to be picked up by anyone who may be interested. You can also distribute business cards in a similar fashion to leaflets, with a pro of business cards over leaflets being that they are smaller and thus offer a greater incentive to take one, and a con being that you can’t offer as much information as within a leaflet.

Both leaflets and business cards offer different purposes, with one being more of an immediate call to action and the other being more of a ‘save me for later, pop me in your wallet/purse and when you need me I’ll be here’. For best results, why not try both?

As you can see, Developyn has been taking advantage of physical marketing in the form of leaflet distribution, and has included a special
leaflet-exclusive offer in the latest batch.

Merchandise

Handing out brand merchandise can be a great way of getting people to notice your brand. The more people using something with your logo or name on it, the more people who may see it and remember the name. Having your logo around may also trigger conversations about your brand with people who were otherwise unaware of it. For example, if you hand out a sticker to someone and they put it on a laptop, someone may ask them ‘hey what’s that sticker for?’ or something similar. This will then cause discussion surrounding your brand or cause, and bring more attention toward it.

A great opportunity to hand out merchandise is when also handing out leaflets. If you have stickers or pens made with your branding on, why not slip these within your leaflets when you are handing them out or delivering them? Even if the leaflet is discarded, they may keep the sticker or pen and inadvertently help get your name out there just by making use of the item.

Car wrap

Ah yes, the budget alternative to public transport advertising. If you don’t already have a company car, now may be the time to designate a vehicle to be one! For smaller companies, having a car wrapped with your branding can serve as a vital free advertising campaign that operates 24 hours per day. Now obviously the initial wrapping of the car with your design is going to cost you money, but it won’t be as much as running even a brief public transport campaign and should be seen as an investment that could easily pay itself off in no time. The car you choose to be wrapped doesn’t have to be a company-used one and depending on your level of commitment you may choose to wrap your personal vehicle, though the incentive to do this may be much greater for small companies or independent contractors. I know I mentioned this for small businesses, but honestly, it can be utilised and is utilised by larger companies with an already well-established identity. An example of this strategy being employed by larger companies is with the sandwich chain Subway. You may have seen these cars around and they stand as a reminder to hungry lunch-goers that Subway exists and may actually sway the decision making of people more than is actually realised.

Always remember

Online marketing is taking over and fewer marketers are using physical marketing, so these days going old school is a great way to get yourself ahead of your competition while still marketing online.

The design creates value! A long stream of text with the same font will not catch the target audience’s eyes and stop them from concentrating on what they are doing. You should use bold texts, different fonts and strong minimal wording that is easy to understand at a quick glance with a fast call to action. Most importantly, always remember that a picture paints a thousand words and without eye-catching imagery, you will not be able to grab any attention from passers-by.

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Joey Smith
Developyn

I’m Joey. I work within the Marketyn department at Developyn. My main areas of focus are social media management, content creation and client relations.