Posted: 09 Jun 2017 Contributor: Matthew J Fritschle
Is Offline Marketing Dead, or Should Your Business Jump in the Game?
Offline Marketing: the Ins and Outs
It won’t do any good to go into a discussion of offline marketing if you don’t even know what it is, so our first to-do today is to define it. Offline marketing is, well, offline marketing (hmm, that was easy). The term truly speaks for itself, as offline marketing is marketing in the real world (GASP!).
Anyway, as important as online marketing is (no lie, it’s essential today), a solid offline strategy can do what online can’t. Curious? Don’t worry, I won’t keep you waiting any longer, so here it is: offline marketing activities can land you in front of an audience that you didn’t even know you had, an audience that tends to stray away from the Internet. Yes, these people still exist, so go out there and get on their radar with this list of offline marketing activities!
1: Cold Calling
Up first is a classic: cold calling (cue Alec Baldwin’s Glengarry Glen Ross monologue). Most know what it is, but for those that don’t, a standard definition for cold calling would be making unsolicited calls to sell a product, service, etc. It’s dreaded by most, even the most hardened marketers, but cold calling can actually be very useful for your business. After all, there’s a reason why it’s still around.
Cold calling is important today because emails are very impersonal and calls bridge the gap between talking at a company or to a company. To do this, you’ll need to do a couple of things, namely plan ahead (A MUST!) and do your research! Get in touch with a decision maker (convincing the receptionist does no good if they have no say in the actual buying) and form a personal connection.
Hone in on what they like, keep them talking, and make them laugh! Throughout the conversation you might notice that they jump at a particular topic; when this happens pounce and shape the discussion around it. It’ll make you seem more likeable and will help you end on a positive note.
Our second offline marketing activity can be described as taking cold calling to the next level. In other words, networking. Essentially, networking is when you interact with other people (usually in your industry) to exchange information and form business relationships.
On a side note, networking can also assist your online marketing activities by helping you get an influencer to promote your brand identity development. If this sounds like something you’re interested in, feel free to read over this article on finding the right influencer for your marketing campaign.
Networking is excellent because face-to-face connections are very valuable. Why? Because it’s easier to make an impression than emailing or calling. Even better, more brand loyalty is created when someone can place an actual face to your business (similar to cold calling and talking at a business vs. to a business), just don’t forget the handshake!
3: Print Advertising
Print advertising is the granddaddy of all advertising, preceded only by word of mouth. Yes, print advertising is dwindling, but like online advertising, print gets you in front of your target crowd, so make sure to employ it with publications favored by your audience.
There are a variety of print advertising forms, such as newspapers, magazines, banners and billboards, so choose whichever one(s) work best with your audience. If your target audience is mainly composed of the elderly, a newspaper ad will probably be best. If they’re part of a highly targeted group, then go for a magazine that they’ll likely be subscribed to. And if you need some help coming up with print ideas, get some help, there are plenty marketing agencies with effective communication services who are more than willing to lend you a hand!
4: Physical Branding
Physical branding can be a couple of things, but for today we’ll use it to refer to branding through product giveaways with your Brand’s logo, tagline, etc. More to the point, physical branding is important because branding is important, and with it you’re giving your audience an incentive to like you more (albeit a small incentive, but still).
Giveaways are more prominent in trade shows (another offline marketing activity!) and similar events, but you definitely don’t have to limit yourself to that. A big pro with them is that they create extended brand exposure. Commercials come and go, but that pen you got that one time is somehow still in your desk drawer.
Something to remember with physical branding is that the more creative the design, the better off you are. After all, you want to be memorable. You want to make an impression that will set you apart from your competition, so go forth and create!
In Conclusion, Offline Marketing is NOT Dead
Yes, it’s true that the combined popularity of the Internet and mobile have switched up the marketing game in their favor, but all is not lost for offline! As we covered earlier, the many types of offline marketing activities you can embark on have the much-needed benefit of placing you in front of a largely ignored offline target group.
This means that you have to combine both online and offline marketing channels for a well-rounded strategy that will get your Brand in front of your whole target audience (with the fewest stragglers). To do that, your business will need to jump in the offline marketing game with these and other activities:
- Cold Calling
- Print Advertising
- Physical Branding