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A lot of my advice focuses on digital and online marketing because, let's face it, that's how most of us promote our products and services these days. But it's important to also remember, especially in the small and medium-sized business environment, that face-to-face contact is still very valuable.

Fox Business contributor Walter Dailey recently shared his experience about this issue. A small business owner emailed requesting more information about advertising. As Dailey began typing out a response, he decided that it would be easier to call the individual and answer his questions by having a conversation. This was ultimately the reason that the owner decided to select his firm for the work - because he initiated human interaction.

How to add face-to-face interactions into marketing
Although face-to-face should certainly not be the only kind of marketing you do, there is certainly a place for it in today's digitally-saturated world. Here are a few ways to make real life contact with your current or future customers:

  • Attend trade shows: Trade shows are a fantastic way to stay in contact with your existing customers and to reach new ones. Marketers should develop a carefully-researched trade show schedule that allows their companies to be represented across major industry events. Beforehand, use social media to announce your presence at the show. It's also important to schedule meetings with clients, prospects and media representatives several weeks in advance of the show so they make a point of stopping by your booth.
  • Send personalized mailings: There's nothing quite like a handwritten note! As a marketer, you're in charge of finding ways to stay connected to customers. At certain times of the year, send out cards acknowledging some of your best clients and thanking them for their business. You should also try to remain in touch with local news coverage and reach out to congratulate or speak with your top customers if there is a major change in their service, sales or operations.
  • Organize an event: If your company targets a specific community, then try to engage with that audience by inviting them to attend an informational event, fundraiser or educational seminar. Tackle an issue or topic relevant to your product and use the gathering as a chance to help your customer understand the value of your brand. This shows that you not only want to make the sale, but you want to help them understand your product or service and how it can benefit them.
  • Propose in-person meetings: While you probably have various electronic documents with carefully-worded language and colorful graphics that you can send to a prospective customer, an in-person meeting can make all the difference, especially if you handle it well. Invites sales staff to spend more time on the phone, hitting the pavement and being on the road to stay in touch with current customers and make contact with new ones. Incorporate this level of service into marketing and promotional materials and ask companies to schedule appointments.

Although it's easy to get caught up in all of the digital marketing strategies that are out there, my advice is to make time for personal contact. At Fonality, our connections with our customers keep our business phone solutions relevant and delivering the features that they need. Next time you're planning to send an email, try picking up the phone or scheduling a face-to-face meeting instead. You may be surprised by the results.