We are currently witnessing a seismic shift in the marketing world. We may hear a lot of statistics out there that say online marketing is better than offline. After all, this is the digital age. More than 80 percent of people shop online, and about the same percentage of people own a smart phone. Here are some stats that may support the fact that offline marketing is losing ground:
- With more than 200 million Americans at last count registering their phone numbers on the FTC’s “Do Not Call” list and 86% of people skipping television advertisements, things don’t look good for offline marketing.
- Most forms of inbound marketing advertised tend to be online. According to Entrepreneur, inbound marketing strategies are less expensive, hold a wider range of benefits and, over the long term, generate a higher rate of return.
This is all well and good but according to research on Social Media Today, 20% of companies have said they’re planning to increase spending on offline marketing channels. Offline marketing is still preferred by many businesses because it’s tactile and tangible, and works as a gateway to your online presence. Hey, people still love a discount coupon, right?
Combine Both Offline and Online Marketing Methods
So why not combine both offline and online marketing campaigns for even BETTER results? There are new methods of marketing emerging every single day, helping businesses achieve their goals faster. The traditional methods of marketing are here to stay, but they are continuously evolving and combined with other methods to improve business marketing results. Let’s talk about the importance of each opportunity, and how they can help a business.
Most offline methods of marketing are outbound. The only exceptions to this are the location and look of your business. These are deemed “inbound.”
- EDDM: Also known as every door direct mail, EDDM is one of the most cost-effective forms of advertising for small businesses who depend upon a local clientele. This type of mail uses a “simplified address” rather than a name and exact address on every mail piece, with lower postage yet special requirements.
- Direct Mailing – Simply put, mailing lists are expensive. Here’s the great news: once your mail makes it into your customer’s house, it is more likely to be opened than an e-mail. Furthermore, the potential customer is more likely to act if they open your mail than an e-mail. Why is that? It is simply because they are physically touching your advertisement. Physical contact is not possible with e-mail, so for this reason, you do not get the customer’s full attention. They simply filter your messages out – along with the rest of the “spam.”
- Postcards: These are effective because they’re small and cheap to send. Postcards can easily be redeemed for coupons, plus they fit just enough wording to get your point across.
- Brochures: Whereas websites are good for providing general information, brochures offer more detailed information on a specific product, service or event. The best part about a brochure is that recipients can hold onto it and refer back to information now and in the future.
- TV Advertisements – TV advertisements will always be the “in” thing – this is an important aspect of marketing because television is quickly changing. Instead of watching regular cable TV – people are tuning into Hulu and other internet TV options. Through television advertisements, you can enter the subconscious mind of your customer! Therefore, if a need ever arises in the customer’s mind; and if your advertising was strong enough – your customer will magically think to call or do business with your company.
- Door to Door prospecting – While effective, it is becoming less effective every single day due to the regular busy on-the-go lifestyle of most Americans. To put it simply, people just aren’t at home that much. If you go door-to-door prospecting to businesses, there’s a great chance that your competitors are communicating with more business owners from the office and creating a stronger presence online. One benefit of D2D prospecting is that even if your salesperson gets the door slammed in their face – there is still the potential that the customer has been made aware of your brand!
- Word of Mouth – The strongest form of marketing will always be word of mouth advertising. When a friend recommends your business to another friend – there is nothing more powerful. Recommended services are usually overlooked because there’s no way to “directly” control it. There are, however, countless ways to influence it such as referral programs, over delivering, and excellent customer service. No form of marketing on this list is more important than word of mouth marketing – it can either work for you or against you.
- Cold calling – While this method may seem outdated, very few things can replace
hearing someone’s voice at the other end. Many marketers are combining this method with other forms of “new marketing” to achieve incredible results. If you, or your salespeople, learn to cold call effectively, you will be able to establish trust and brand awareness with the customers that you connect with. You’d be surprised how many businesses purchase a product and don’t hear anything back from the business they just purchased from!
No matter which way you try, offline marketing for print can be extremely effective.
Now, let’s talk about some online marketing methods – the majority of them being inbound.
- Content Marketing – The goal of content marketers is to establish a brand online – and to create media, whether it be articles, videos, audio or infographics. Great content marketing usually comes in the form of very exciting or informative media. Colorful infographics, informative/entertaining video posts, and articles that are loaded with statistics, case studies, and important quotes of accomplished personas are just some ways to attract attention and increase inbound marketing efforts. This helps to establish your company’s brand without being intrusive.
- Search Engine Optimization – Search engine optimization is the science of getting your website ranked to the top of Google for a specific keyword. If someone types in your product name, you want your business to show up first. Furthermore, this type of business is in high demand, and the companies that are #1 in Google for a highly searched keyword have an unfair advantage among their competitors. This means that nobody will ever be able to beat them as long as they are delivering a great product – unless another business takes over that #1 spot in the search engine result pages.
- E-mail Marketing – There are many tools out there such as Aweber, MailChimp, & GetResponse that make e-mail marketing very easy. Sending out blasts to an e-mail list means that you can advertise your product to prospective customers faster than ever before. This means faster money in your pockets. There’s a reason why every successful company has e-mail marketing on their side!
- Webinar Presentations – Do you want your business to be established as an authority in the eyes of your prospective customer? Think about the strategic leverage of presenting an informative webinar presentation using a tool like GoToWebinar! When you fully educate your customer on what problems they currently have – they automatically turn to you and assume that you have the solution!
- Social Networking – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn – these are all forms of “online word of mouth” marketing. The results from social network marketing can be invisible at times. Responding to individual messages, liking posts, and posting great pictures about your business usually don’t lead to a flood of traffic. Eventually, however, you’ll notice a steady rise in the amount of goods your business sells – social media marketing can have a dramatic impact on that.
- Paid Advertising (Think Google AdWords) – This is a great way to test if you have a valid business concept, as you’ll begin to see traffic stampeding towards your website in a matter of hours or even minutes. If you have a great website that offers a legitimate solution to a validated need – then it should be able to make sales. Paid advertising is a great way to test that. Furthermore, you can optimize and scale paid advertising campaigns to make you long-term sales as well. Expensive? Yes, but definitely worth it in the end.
It’s always good to combine these methods of marketing. Here are some examples, and how they can lead to excellent results:
- E-mailing, Then Cold Calling – When you send an e-mail, you are making the other person aware of your brand. Furthermore, if you perform a follow up call, the customer will know that you aren’t a robot spamming their inbox – thus, they will be more willing to give you a chance ahead of the competition.
- Search Engine Optimization, Cold Calling – According to a Lead Response Management study overview, if you call a lead that visits your website within 5 minutes, the chance of getting ahold of them increase by 100 times than calling 30 minutes after they sign up. Pretty amazing statistic – that’s something that you could use to your benefit and close more sales!
- Door to Door, Webinar Presentations – Going around and handing flyers to businesses – offering them a free education is a great way to get your brand seen. It’s very low pressure, because you aren’t selling anything to your potential customer. When you go to their door-step with the intentions of offering a free education through an online webinar presentation, this means you are performing a “service.” People love free service. With the webinar presentation, you can close them and establish so much trust that they are more than willing to pay for your goods or services.
Mix and match offline and online methods that we’ve discussed and see incredible results for your business. Let us know how you’re doing…