Online vs Offline Marketing Strategies
If you’ve ever watched the legendary TV series drama Breaking Bad, you cannot but remember Saul Goodman, an extremely colourful character and Walter White’s attorney at law. Apart from being a ‘resourceful’ lawyer defending Walter and his accomplices, Saul also seemed to be quite the marketing professional.
His legal offline marketing techniques included ads covering humongous billboards spread out through the entire Albuquerque; a motto/jingle “Better Call Saul!” playing on all radio stations in New Mexico; tacky, yet catchy TV commercials promising “I fight for YOU!” and inundating local cable stations.
But if Saul was marketing his legal practice in 2015, would he be channeling all of his marketing efforts into the same mediums? Perhaps he would open a Facebook page, or run a popular legal blog? Maybe Google Ads would be more up his alley?
Online vs. offline marketing strategies: it’s a dilemma many have been cracking their brains around lately. What’s going to bring you more bang for your buck, and help you make the most out of marketing your services? We bring you a comprehensive overview for both.
Offline marketing entails more traditional means of marketing your services: print advertisements, TV and radio ads, brochures and newsletters, billboards and posters, business cards, event networking opportunities, and such.
Why do it?
- It’s an easy way keep your brand in focus:
If your marketing budget can afford a bit of a splurge, traditional media like newspapers and TV still offer an exclusivity of sorts when it comes to paid advertising. Since the cost of such ads is comparatively high, the competition you’re facing is much lower, and your brand gets to bask in the spotlight.
- It reaches all group ages and profiles:
Offline marketing methods appeal in particular to the older and more affluent members of your target audience. With online marketing, you risk falling in the so-called “generational gap”, as many elderly existing and potential clients of your business may not be so digital-savvy.
They normally prefer a more “palpable” experience of the content they consume, and therefore lean towards more traditional media.
Marketing to older consumers is not getting nearly enough the attention it deserves, especially considering that it’s a niche group whose power will only increase in the future.
“According to the EU, the senior citizens market will grow by 81% from 2005 to 2030 while the 18-59 year old market will only increase 7%,” reports Globalchange.com.
If this is the group you are aiming at, it’s much better to target them offline, at least for now.
- It allows you a personal approach:
The effects of direct marketing – especially in terms of a face-to-face approach – may not have a wide reach, but they do leave a strong personal impact on people. Talking with a potential client, listening to their problems, shaking their hands, and handing out your business card have a distinct advantage over one-way communication alternatives.
By getting to know someone, you can approach him or her personally, on an individually tailored basis. Given that the success of any service is heavily based on mutual relationship and trust, such opportunities for interaction are considered immensely valuable from a marketing viewpoint.
If you choose to market your services online, you can do it via your own website and blog, social media, PPC (pay-per-click) online advertising, and email campaigns.
Why do it?
If done properly, the benefits can go far and beyond of what you have initially invested. Everyone seems to have figured it out; Business2Community states that:
It’s not about winning over rivers of people. Instead, you want to appeal to a narrower group of people that fall within your target group, and are interested in hiring your services.
It does, however, take a consistent approach and determination to stay on top of the changes Google, YouTube and the likes perpetually bring out.
- It’s where your audience hangs out:
“The main deciding factor over why online marketing is more beneficial for a business than offline is because this is where 90% of your customers will be.”, explains the sales and marketing entrepreneur Warren Knight.
Be it on their phones, laptops, or tablets, the vast majority of your existing and future clients are surfing the web on a daily basis. So go where they are. Bonus: thanks to the geo-targeting feature many digital marketing softwares allow, you can steer your ads and messages towards those living in your area.
- You get to see immediate feedback:
Are you familiar with analytics tools like Clicky, Google Analytics, or Crazy Egg? If not, you should be, and the sooner the better: there’s no point in running a digital marketing strategy if you never look at how well you’re doing.
It’s the dream of every marketing professional come true: real-time metrics within a hands reach, providing the ROI data indicating how well your campaign is performing. Another great upside is being able to monitor your audience’s behaviour and adjust your content accordingly. Knowledge is power indeed.
- It’s more cost-efficient:
Implement a fully fledged digital marketing campaign across a few channels, and the costs can pile up over time. However, it still beats traditional offline marketing methods; whether you do it yourself, or outsource it to a digital marketing agency, you’ll still be dodging the hefty costs of print or broadcasting advertising.
- You get to converse and interact:
They don’t call it Web 2.0. without a reason: the Internet is now a two-way street with no place for endless soliloquies from self-involved marketers.
“The most effective salespeople are expert learners adept at teaching and learning through interaction, not lecture.”Click to tweet
Confirms Linda Richardson in her book “Changing the Sales Conversation”.
- You can make changes on the go
The online tracking tools allow you an insight into the flaws of your marketing strategy. While it may not always be easy to see that you’re falling short in some aspects, the benefits of such valuable data will far outweigh any potential blows to your ego.
Respond quickly by introducing the necessary changes to your strategy, and you’re set on the right path again in no time.
If your marketing budget is flexible enough, cast the widest net you can by applying a mix-and-match approach; combining both online and offline marketing techniques will make sure you don’t miss any of your potential clients.
If, on the other hand, the money is tight, you can safely turn to just online marketing and still reap incredible results. Do it right, and not only will you save on your costs and maximise your ROI, but be in charge of the conversation, and build lasting relationships with your audience.
Should you feel like you need to discuss integrated marketing services in more detail, don’t hesitate to give us a ring! We’d be happy to discuss your business needs in a free consultation.