Sell It Offline

Websites like Twitter work great to solve quick grievances which your clients and customers may have, and for large organisations, Twitter has become quite indispensable. Even for 2-bit startups and for local bars and restaurants, Twitter has become a natural environment to interact with their customers, to gauge demand and to obviously run annoying contests from time to time with extremely cringe-worthy hashtags. #BadHashtagHere

However, what doesn’t work too well is when you try selling something to me by paying for it on Twitter, people omit promoted tweets and posts, not because they hate ads but because there is already too much noise on Twitter and it would just make things worse for anybody who tweets regularly to be interested in your promoted posts.

A tangible product, which is very location specific has been promoted nationwide on Twitter on several occasions, not only does that seem like a waste of monetary resources, it also seems like digital ad or marketing agencies have utter disregard for the entire process.

It doesn’t shock me because to me digital ad-agencies are the worst kind of companies which could exist, most of the campaigns run by these companies are repetitive, terrible, atrociously ill-timed or a combination of all three. The idea isn’t to actually sell the product, the idea is to get people talking about it. On a macro level, that may seem like a good idea because Twitter is essentially always ready to discuss a viral subject or a video at-least 6 times a week. On the other hand, when you look at it microscopically, it seems like a fundamentally stupid, excessive and noisy thing to bother with. These digital ad-agencies though have no taste, absolutely no taste and it worries me that the ideology of marketing is being infused with the noise that is the online world.

Marketing was supposed to be about communicating your product to a target market in the most effective way possible, it was supposed to be meaningful, it was supposed to have integrity and it was supposed to have a story. It certainly wasn’t a contest which I was supposed to participate in using a hashtag. Yes, things evolve and yes, marketing may have evolved to a certain extent but shouting about your product in a crowded noisy room with too many opinionated-people isn’t going to work very well, is it?

People tend to disregard ads online completely. It is only when they are actually looking for something or have time to kill that they indulge. I know that I sound like some old dude talking about how physical hardcover books are better than a Kindle, but as a subject, marketing has always been something I value deeply. I believe that with the right marketing, you can sell dog-shit to people because that’s what marketing really is, it’s the delicious frosting on an absolutely shit cake and to me marketing is thus, information and as we are now well aware, information is powerful.

Obviously evolution should be supported, online marketing does make sense for things you can actually purchase with a click or a tap, but a promoted tweet for a house 240 kms away from where I stay? No, thank you.

Services and online eCommerce sites can use online ways to market their stores and products, even services which need you to be physically present to a certain extent can use online marketing but I really do believe that offline marketing is way more effective. I don’t have figures or statistics to prove this, but personally, I’d just prefer it if people bring back ‘offline’. Maybe people can try to sell me something when I am not in a noisy room filled with people screaming out their thoughts in 140 characters?

My experiences with online marketing have been terrible and my experiences with offline marketing have been the exact opposite of that. I don’t know if it’s India specific or globally, but I think offline communication and marketing have a deeper impact than those online promoted posts you get on your timeline.

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