Despite the focus on all things digital, high-tech and social media in the marketing world, there are some things from the days gone by that qualify as old-school standards. So, no matter how many analytics, SEOs and megabytes you can talk about to your clients, we remind you about these timeless tools on this Throwback Thursday, #TBT.

Business Cards

First used in China in the 15th century as a calling card, merchants used them to announce their arrival to potential business partners and vendors.  Usage in Europe started in the 17th century for everything from introductions from guests calling on households to business purposes. In recent times, they are used for mostly business and sometimes personal usage with contact information.

For marketing purposes today, think of your business card as a mini-ad.  Logos, websites, social media information, QR codes, graphics, slogans, quotes and anything else you can fit on a two-sided 3.5 inch x 2 inch card is game for inclusion. Keep a stack handy for networking events, meetings and any other rendezvous where you may cross paths with a potential client.


Coca-Cola lays claim to the first coupon in 1887 according to this article from Time, The History of Coupons. Although the mailer versions don’t have a great percentage rate of return for all business models, they provide visual recognition and provide a good introduction.

In today’s marketing world, coupons can be used as a pop-up on websites, as an incentive to sign up for email newsletters and for discounts on new products or in exchange for feedback. They key is to make it easy and significant enough to make customers give it a try.

More about business card history here and here.


Centuries old, France is cited as the first sign maker in the form of their flag. One familiar treatment to modern signs was first developed by the ancient Egyptians and Romans – to direct customers to their favorite watering hole establishment.

Where would we be today without political candidate and real estate open house signs lining the streets? They are ubiquitous and the oldest of old-school, but still effective. Give it a refresh with a banner sign on your website with special information. For outdoor signs and car signs, use thoughtful and creative graphics.  Use outdoor signs it in targeted locations and consider your digital options.

No idea is original, there’s nothing new under the sun, it’s never what you do, but how it’s done.

Nas, Hip Hop Artist

And to continue with the history of things on #TBT, here’s a look at the young man who is credited as the creator of Throwback Thursday.

Plus just for fun a Throwback Thursday dance party mix.


Leisa Chester Weir



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