Offline vs Online Marketing – Do You Need to Choose?

With the unprecedented rise of the internet and the dominant role which social media platforms now play on it, there has been a great shift in focus from traditional offline marketing methods, to modern, online marketing methods.

Offline marketing is still a huge industry, but it is hard to ignore the fact that these methods are of less relevance in our modern and digital world; it is simply no longer the primary focus of marketers. Businesses, companies and brands operating across all industries are under increasing pressure to have an online presence, which is considered vital for commercial success.

Traditional offline marketing methods are not dead, though, and, depending on the type of industry you operate in and where, there are still plenty of offline marketing benefits your business can take advantage of, just as much as it can benefit from online marketing.

Benefits of Online Marketing

In 2017, the internet was by far the world’s largest marketing medium and this is likely to be the same story in 2018, 2019 and beyond. With consumers now spending more time online than watching television or listening to the radio, the digital marketing budgets of businesses are expected to vastly increase.

Online marketing is a great tool and it has plenty of benefits over offline marketing, however, it is not suitable for all types of businesses. An independent restaurant operating within a local community would not benefit as much from online marketing as, say, an online clothing brand which has its store on Facebook.

It is Cost Effective

Online marketing is much lower in cost; there are no costs associated with designing, printing and then distributing a physical flyer or leaflet. In contrast to sending your advertisement via email, displaying a banner online or publishing a post on Facebook, and the cost difference is huge.

It is Amendable

Facebook posts can easily be edited, digital banners can be taken down, edited and republished and Instagram pictures can easily be deleted. If you go ahead with the printing and distribution of 10,000 flyers and then notice an error afterwards, there is virtually nothing which can be done to fix the problem.

It is Targetable

Online marketing methods can be targeted easily toward an audience which is likely to be interested in your business, product or service. By targeting your advertising at a specific demographic, it is more efficient, is less likely to be ignored and will almost always lead to increased website traffic and conversions.

It is Measurable

You can see the results of online marketing campaigns almost instantly, with easy to digest statistical data which is fed back to you in real-time. An unsuccessful marketing strategy is a waste of time and money, which, with offline marketing, you would not know about until it is too late.

Benefits of Offline Marketing

Although offline marketing is no longer the most popular marketing strategy, it is still widely relevant to a vast range of businesses and industries. Not everybody uses the internet either, and printing different banner advertisements and leaflets is still a very effective marketing technique.

It is Personal

Whilst people are more likely to skip over an online advertisement which they come across in their social media feeds, physical advertising stands out a lot more and it is much more likely to be noticed. A tangible leaflet or flyer is something which potential customers can keep and may return to at a later date, whereas they probably would not come across an online advertisement twice.

It is Trusted

Because of the major problem surrounding online scammers and swindlers, people naturally trust digital advertising less. A physical advertisement is much more credible and, if published in a trusted source, does not have the risk of being viewed with a pre-existing stigma or suspicion.

It Lasts Longer

If offline marketing campaigns are properly planned and executed, they last longer, are seen more than once and are memorable. It has a certain recall value which online marketing campaigns usually do not have, which are often not seen more than once and are more than often forgotten about.

It is Far-Reaching

Online marketing relies on the assumption that all of your potential customers and target market have access to the internet and use it regularly. However, offline marketing has many different options and approaches, and there are lots of different ways you can reach potential customers (e.g. through banner printing, press releases and media).

Which is Best?

This really does depend on your individual business, it is not a question which has a definitive answer; both methods have their advantages which are very different from each other.

Marketing your business does not need to be done exclusively offline or online and an approach which effectively uses both methods can be just as effective, if not more.

Your target market is key, though. If your business, product or service is aimed towards a younger audience, online marketing will almost always be the best option but, if your audience are people who don’t regularly use the internet – such as the elderly – offline marketing may be your best option; there is no point in advertising online if the bulk of your target market does not use the internet regularly or at all.

Offline Marketing is Effective

Whether your business is large or small, online or offline, new or old, it can massively benefit from engaging in some of the traditional and often forgotten about offline marketing techniques. Offline marketing is invaluable, no matter what your industry is or who your target market is.

Advertising with leaflets and banner printing, sponsoring and participating in local events or being interviewed by local media all play a huge role in marketing and can have a noticeable effect on your business. Even if you operate a brand which exclusively operates online, a simple business card with your name on it can leave a lasting impression on a potential customer or client.

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