Division That is Not: Online vs. Offline Marketing

Division That is Not: Online vs. Offline Marketing

Friends or foes? That is the question.

Finding it difficult to weigh the pros and cons of both methods and conclude which one will bring you more bang for your buck? Of course you are, but why?

The fact is that we are currently right in the middle of the great marketing evolution – we’ve experienced more changes in the past 2 years than the previous 50 combined. We have come a long way from billboards and posters lurking around every corner, to PPC ads popping up on almost every web page we open. Don’t get me wrong, traditional marketing tactics are far from extinct, but new ones have taken the (digital) world by storm.

Today, binary thinking is the trap marketers are to avoid if they wish to maximize the potential of their advertising and marketing efforts, and it is the integration of online and offline marketing they should focus on. 

poster marketing advertising

Marketing Back in the Day

There is no creation without tradition, and what we call new is actually an inflection on a preceding form; that’s why it is so difficult for marketers to let go of TV and radio advertisements, catalogues, brochures, business cards, flyers, billboards, posters, exhibitions and so on.

Brian Halligan
To be successful and grow your business and revenues, you must match the way you market your products with the way your prospects learn about and shop for your products.Brian Halligan, co-author of Inbound Marketing, CEO of Hubspot

Offline marketing, believe it or not, reaches a greater audience, since, shocking as it may seem, there are those who don’t use the internet at all, and are unable to come across your ad if you limit yourself to online channels. ‘Older generations’ are not as digital-savvy as the Millennial one, and statistics show that 27% of consumers over the age of 55 feel like brands pay more attention to younger people by shifting their focus to the digital world.

Offline marketing is tangible and tactile, as by attending trade shows you provide your potential customers with the opportunity to experience your product. It also allows you to have face-to-face interaction and a conversation with your customers discussing their specific needs, which results in getting valuable feedback. This is by far the best way to tailor your marketing strategy to ensure it appeals to your target consumer.

The New Kids on the Block

At least 46% of the world has internet access, which amounts to 3.3 billion internet users. Millennials cannot imagine a day without their mobile devices, smartphones, tablets or laptops, and the majority is surfing the web on a daily basis. Taking all of this into consideration, we conclude that a marketing campaign that would focus on the online community would have more than a strong impact. If the next generation of buyers is moving online, so should you.

As opposed to offline marketing, online marketing is not about reaching a wider audience, but rather a narrower one that falls into your target group. By monitoring and tracking advertisements and marketing efforts, you will have a better grasp of the effectiveness of the overall marketing campaign.

Whether we are talking about SEO, email marketing, PPC or social media marketing, you have the power to monitor traffic and consumer behavior online. Real-time metrics are within the palm of your hand and deliver ROI data which indicates the state of your campaign performance, providing you with sufficient information to make instant changes as a reaction to the surrounding ones.

mobile marketing advertising new kids

Joining Forces

Can we really divide marketing tactics so easily to those BI (before the Internet) and AI (after the Internet)? No. Most definitely not.

For 60 years, TV has been the most popular source of news, information and entertainment, allowing advertisers to rely on TV ads as a way to reach literally any demographic (except maybe the Amish). If we take into consideration the fact that in the last 5 years, 40% of 18 to 24-year-olds who used to watch traditional TV have migrated to other activities or online streams, it is evident that TV ads are no longer enough. Still, that does not mean that they should be disregarded completely, it’s just that, nowadays, people watch hundreds of millions of hours of YouTube videos on a daily basis, meaning that banners need to be integrated into a marketing strategy, as well.

When it comes to the radio star, I have a newsflash for you: it’s far from dead. According to the most recent Nielsen study, 93% of people listen to AM/FM radio over the airwaves, which is over 66 million Millennials, almost 58 million people from generation X and 58 million of boomer listeners. All things considered, radio seems as one of the strongest marketing platforms. It provides you with an opportunity to reach commuters, which makes it the best way to target local consumers.

When it comes to the state of print media, even though the crisis is hitting it hard and investment in newspaper advertising is dwindling, the Harris Interactive shows that 69% of US adults still trust their local newspapers. Since more than half of the total number of consumers are more likely to purchase a product if they learn about it from a newspaper or magazine ad, small businesses still use them for local promotions.

Integrating print media with internet marketing is as simple as publishing a website or an email address with the print ad. Their purpose should be to encourage readers to go online, to the website or social media profiles, and check out the greater scope of products.

According to experts from the Content Marketing Institute, 75% of organizations claim in-person events are an effective tactic. And what is the best way to promote a live event such as a grand opening of a new store? Well social media, of course.

One of the domain.me startups, eventful.me, prides itself in recognizing the benefits of bringing the two worlds together. In a situation where you are unable to attend a certain trade show, this app finds those who are; by collecting their feedback from the event, as well as their comments, pictures and videos, it forms a piece of content for you to receive as a report. Although you couldn’t go yourself, you still have the opportunity to experience all there is.

Eventful.me prides itself in recognizing the benefits of bringing the two worlds together.

One to Rule Them All

Since two different mediums are used to carry out one campaign, people often forget that it is still one campaign. Printed ads must have the same design as the ones seen on the website; printed ads must have the same tone of voice as the one in your social media campaign.

Never skip on the brainstorming process that establishes the consistency of the campaign before its official launching. A social media campaign is going to involve a lot of real-time and immediate responses and there won’t be enough time to pre-approve each and every one. For this reason, a style guide is a must, so that anyone involved in the campaign can refer to it at any moment. It can include a tone of voice, specific word usage, key phrases or pre-approved images.

style guide online campaign

Keep It Real

There is no form of marketing that will reach every audience. No, not even the Internet, since only 50% of all online ads are considered to be ‘viewable’, and you certainly don’t want yours to be a part of the other half that no one ever gets to see.

Although the two marketing arenas differ from one another and you have to come up with two separate sets of marketing tactics, your customers see only one brand. Having two departments working individually, not cooperating with one another, can result in building two completely different branding strategies.

How to prevent this from happening? For starters – replace the ‘vs.’ with ‘&’ and watch the magic happen.



Sarah Green

Sarah Green explores the latest web trends and covers stories related to technology, startups and digital life in general. Writing professionally since 2012, she has developed a sixth sense for trending topics in these fields.

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