You can be forgiven for thinking that the answer to ‘is offline marketing dead?’ is yes. It is.
The problem with assuming that we because we live in a technological age that everything from shopping to promotion must be done online is missing the point. You may only run your business online and not have a presence on the high street – you may think that this effectively excludes you from offline marketing.
The problems are many and varied but the online world is a crowded one. It is fast-paced – your tweet is sent at 10:42 and 6 seconds and by 10:42 and 8 seconds it has been swamped by thousands of other tweets.
Your posts are regular and consistent but they are in battle with the posts of a competitor who has a bigger budget – they pay someone to post, tweet, share and like on a regular basis. You, on the other hand, spend an hour a day scheduling tweets and posts on your social media management program.
If you rely solely on online advertising, you are working hard and making small steps to success. To boost this success, offline advertising and promotion is the channel.
Sadly, many companies and businesses will, with their marketing budget under pressure once again this year, choose to offload offline marketing, assuming that it is so last year… Big mistake, and here’s why:
The internet is NOT everything
We grant you, the vast majority of us are connected 24/7 to our mobiles, laptop, tablet and so on but, not everyone is. And, even if we are, poster campaigns, roller banners, outdoor printed banners, postcards through the letterbox are still fabulous visual means of capturing imagination.
Impulse buying is not a new phenomenon. But, a well-printed leaflet through the door on a Sunday afternoon has long been one way of stoking excitement in a customer and boom! – they buy from you. Think of this as the takeaway menu through the letterbox at tea time…
Great for start-ups
Offline promotion is not the sole domain of start-ups and small businesses; we want to make that clear right now. You do not reach a point or size where you can safely ditch offline marketing.
For a start-up however, offline marketing is a channel that possess extra power. Your website may be in the early stages, SEO may not be set just right and so your creeping up the listings is happening slowly.
Why not boost some of that traffic, and sales, with a carefully executed offline marketing campaign? Leaflets through doors, adverts in local papers or a carefully orchestrated poster campaign can make for a welcome boost in sales, as well as more visitors to your website.
Something that is tangible, is something that can be touched and held in your hand. This, in terms of marketing, can be a useful concept to remember.
At one time, ‘junk mail’ or door-to-door leaflet drops happened all the time. Free newspapers would be full of competing information too. But today, this is very different. No longer in the front door mat littered with ads – but your email inbox could well be.
This is why many businesses are once again looking to grab new customers by giving them something tangible. From coupons to menus, online codes to freebies, promotional channels that are offline are still very much trusted by the consumer.
Guerrilla offline marketing
You may have come across this; it is where a marketing campaign uses a creative approach to get people talking about the business, product or service. There are many examples online and you can gain the same, if not better results for less money, offline.
Amnesty International highlighted the plight of human trafficking with a powerful offline stunt. They employed a female gymnast to be crumpled in a clear suitcase. She was then, for short periods, seen in various transport hubs such as airports and so on. The reaction was electric; the campaign memorable and the message much-talked about.
You don’t have to spend thousands of offline advertising and promotion and you may like the idea of guerrilla marketing but are unsure as to the impact it will have for you.
Walked the streets of any busy city, and you will see various people in sandwich boards handing out leaflets. Anything from ‘serving lunch now’, to ‘10% off all purchases today with this leaflet’ are common – and they work.
Hitting the streets can be one way of enticing in new customers, and doing something different is also a good way of attracting attention too. Try it because, what do you have to lose?