The Generation Gap — Offline Vs Online

Thanks for visiting my Blog. I will be addressing a very pertinent issue faced by any marketer, startup or organization. How should I market my product or service? Offline or Online or both. I would be addressing this topic with the present scenario in India

First, let me address the first half of the topic of this article ‘The Generation Gap’. From my interactions with various marketing professions and students, I found a significant gap in understanding of Offline and Online. Broadly this generation gap has occurred due to three factors.

Maturity of the Organization

From an early stage startup to a multi-billion brand every organization markets its products or service based on its capabilities. Smaller startups will have high resource crunch from budgets to good staff. This makes them focus only in Digital Marketing or referrals which are cheaper and reliable.

Larger organizations will have the dilemma on achieving growth and fend off competition. They have traditionally focused on wider reach with offline media. Digital marketing is considered a very low priority to them.

Maturity of the Marketer

Marketers are exposed to various media throughout their life. Smartphone and Digital marketing being a recent bloom, the exposure is varied. Younger generation are glued to their mobile and internet. They are exposed to huge amount of information from the digital world. After my presentation and interaction with students at a famous media and communication college in Bengaluru, I realized that their idea of media is only digital world. They have failed to understand the scope of other media. Similar is the issue with highly experienced marketers. Their exposure to traditional offline media skews their opinion and they fail to understand the potential in digital marketing. It was cleared visible that younger marketers are more reliant on digital marketing and older the marketer stronger his preference for offline media.

Maturity of the Media

Offline being a traditional media it has reached out into the nook and corner of the country. There are dozens of agencies in every city owning and managing offline media. The simplicity of offline compared to online has made it more easy to adopt. Online being very new and needing specialized skills to manage successful campaigns has made it less acceptable to all.

Moving on to the second part of the topic,

Offline Vs Online

In my previous article on Basics in Marketing I had briefed the Marketing Mix. Offline and Online are channels of promotion. Marketers should evaluate the channels based on the product and customer. Below is the hierarchy of the channels.

ATL — Above the Line media like print, TV, radio, etc

BTL — Below the Line media Activations, Promotions, Store Branding, etc

Organic — Free marketing through blogs, social media, direct search, etc

Inorganic — Paid online marketing through adwords, display ads, video ads, etc

Below is a brief comparison of the channels which I have experienced through various campaigns I have done in my career.

Any campaign can be evaluated by the above parameters. Marketing activity should be decided based on your product or service and customer you want to reach. A highly technology oriented product or app based product should have a strong online presence. The customers for such products will also be sophisticated and consume online media. If the product is more generic in nature and you want to reach more customers, offline media should be given higher priority. Message or content you use will depend on the demographics of your customer. If we can get the channel and messaging right, the marketing campaign will definitely be a success.

I will be covering the promotion and channels in detail in my future articles. Thanks a lot for your interest in the article. Like and share if you found this article useful. Connect me through Linkedin if you want to discuss any marketing campaigns individually.