Offline Marketing: Still Important, Still Valuable, Full Guide (Updated 2019)
Digital marketing is not the only way of getting results!
Note: This guide will be updated once a year. Therefore, the latest updates, as well as helpful information, will be included.
While the Internet has a tremendous impact on marketing as an industry, one question still remains a mystery: Is it exaggerated?
Different advertisers have different approaches when it comes to marketing strategies. Even though online marketing is undeniably one of the best ways to increase the awareness of a brand or sell products and services, it still is not the only way of doing so.
It is not unusual to find marketers that remain loyal to the old-school marketing techniques, something we do not see that often nowadays. These techniques make the known ‘offline’ marketing as these type of marketers prefer advertising their businesses outside the internet.
The reasons are various, but we cannot neglect the fact that offline marketing still works and serves its purpose perfectly.
When used in a balanced manner, businesses can use both types of marketing to achieve their advertising goals. The use of one type does not exclude the use of the other, meaning that the better you balance both of the strategies the better results you will get.
What Is Offline Marketing?
Offline marketing refers to any type of marketing that does not involve online marketing methods and strategies.
Offline marketing utilizes media channels that are offline the Internet in order to create and achieve traditional marketing goals such as creating campaigns and increasing the number of sales. The offline media channels for advertising include television ads, billboards, telemarketing, radio, pamphlets, and any other kind of print media.
Before the Internet era, offline marketing was widely used by every business owner. However, the times changed and so did the marketing.
Today, the majority of brands focus on creating the perfect digital marketing strategy not spending a minute to think about the benefits of offline marketing.
The truth is, for some businesses offline marketing is a way better choice than digital marketing, and they do not even realize that.
Offline marketing is a strategy that same as online marketing, should be carefully developed, planned and organized. When it comes to media channels outside the Internet space, there are a lot of things people should pay attention to.
Offline marketing is not only printing text or running a radio commercial. It is a complex process that requires a lot of creativity and hard work. Offline marketing is far more than what people assume. That is why I will mention everything you need to know about this type of neglected marketing, extremely beneficial for businesses.
Does Offline Marketing Work?
Yes, it does.
Offline marketing does not only work because some businesses have no other choice of advertising, but because for some brands it should be the one and only way of advertising. When used by the right hands, offline marketing can initiate a lot of company growth.
Here are the statistics that back up this theory:
More than 31% of the US population or more than 100 million adults in America purchased catalogs in 2016.
Including newspapers in ad campaigns increase the effectiveness of the campaign about 5.7 times more in the finance sector, 2.8 times more in the retail sector, 1.7 times more in the automotive industry, and 3 times more in the travel sector.
A total of 7 out of 10 drivers make shopping decisions while driving, making the billboards impossible to miss. A total of 3 out of 10 drivers are prompted to visit a shop, business or a restaurant by a billboard advertisement.
The elderly spend nearly 49 hours a week watching television, so you are more likely to effectively influence their shopping decisions through various commercials.
Who Should Use Offline Marketing?
Although there are no strict criteria for whether you should or should not use offline marketing, there still are some general beliefs about which kinds of businesses should definitely use offline marketing.
Numerous digital companies are opened daily making it impossible to apply offline marketing. Because of the reason, there are many businesses that are international and operate only online, there really is not a point of advertising in newspapers or radio. It is not that you cannot, but it will be just a waste of both, time and money.
Offline marketing, however, can be used in lots of different companies and industries.
The best business profiles that will definitely profit from offline advertising include:
#1 Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
Online companies and service businesses have larger customer bases have a need to reach a lot of different countries, nations or cities. So, for them, the Internet is the right tool for doing so.
On the other hand, the small or medium-sized businesses do not have the need to reach out to larger crowds but to the regional one. Small or medium-sized enterprises should apply offline marketing because it serves the purpose of marketing the best.
If you are an owner of such business, keep in mind that the locals you aim to find are not all on the Internet.
Think about your target group, their age, and daily activities. If you are an automotive dealer, the truth is most of your customers will not look for you on Facebook.
Focus on the right approach and tactic. Advertising your business on the radio or by giving out leaflets may help you in a way that Facebook or Instagram never will be able to. Play smart.
#2 Family Businesses
Family businesses or as people usually call them ‘’Mom and Pop’’ businesses can vary in their size. Here, similar to the local small and mid-sized enterprises, also offline marketing is one of the best tactics to attracting more customers to the business.
Such operations that carry out a certain name in the local community can be again small but also larger businesses such as a chain of restaurants, craft shops, boutique and saloons, galleries, studios and so much more.
These businesses should never stop advertising locally because regardless of the location or how many locations they are at, their target group is very diverse.
The Internet, unfortunately, cannot effectively reach each of their potential customers, so advertising outside the Internet is a very smart move. The Internet maybe can’t get to their audience, but fortunately, television, radio, and newspapers can.
#3 International Businesses
All international companies have one thing in common — digital marketing.
There is no wonder why large corporations take advantage of the Internet in order to make sales and advance their businesses.
However, there are many big and recognizable names that keep a regular presence in offline marketing campaigns too. Most of these campaigns focus on current deals of the brand, discounts, brand awareness etc.
Among such major national and international companies, we can find corporations such as Kohl’s, Budweiser, Applebee’s, and Target.
Methods of Offline Advertising
Similar to digital marketing, offline marketing also includes a lot of different types of advertising formats you can choose from.
Some of the marketing tactics will work better than others, but I highly suggest trying out multiple before making your decision. You can also do your research and see what types of offline marketing approaches worked for businesses similar to yours and definitely give it a shot. If possible, talk to several business owners and listen to the advice they are going to give you.
If this is your first time thinking of going offline with your marketing for a while, you better listen to what others have to say. Offline marketing delivers results only when used smartly. Make sure you make wise moves.
The following text mentions all the offline advertising kinds you might not have necessarily considered in the past, but you definitely should.
#1 Newspaper Advertisements
Instead of advertising your business in online newsletters, pay to get advertised in local newspapers.
The cost for such advertisements will depend on the newspaper and the size of your desired advertisement. But, before you pay for the advert, do your research.
The secret to successful and effective newspaper advertising depends on several crucial points:
- You should not advertise in just any newspaper, as you will not accomplish your marketing goal that way.
- Regarding your target group, you should find the newspaper they most frequently buy and read. That is the newspaper your advertisement should be placed in.
- When speaking with the newspaper company, make sure the design of your advertisement is optimized and good looking, matches the colors and text you want, and is placed where you wish it to be.
#2 Radio Advertising
Radio advertising is one of the most popular ways of marketing whether we realize it or not. Since the invention of the radio, people listen to it daily.
Not only we listen to the radio while driving but radio stations are emitted in most stores, saloons, restaurants etc. This only means large groups of people are influenced at the same moment.
So, if you have a local business and you want more of the people who live in the region to hear about it, advertising your brand through radio should be your go-to choice.
Although it can be a more expensive method of advertising, the radio still is a very strong medium.
When you decide to advertise on the radio, what you should definitely do is to find the best stations to advertise on. Look for the best local radio and advertise there.
Companies use radio advertising to promote services and products typically in the 30 or 60-second spots the radio allows. As a result, determine the perfect length of your commercial.
Strive not to bore people but to make them entertained and interested in listening to your advertisement. You can also add some catchy music lyrics so it will be even more recognizable it is your business that is advertised.
Last but not least, the voice reading the commercial or singing in the commercial is utmost important. Since the people are going to listen to your commercial instead of watching it, the only sense that is going to be triggered is going to be their hearing.
Find a person with a pleasant and soft voice, as you don’t want to be remembered as the brand of the ugly voice. These are all the details you need to pay a lot of attention to because otherwise your radio advertisement will not bring any customers and will only leave you with unnecessarily spent money.
#3 Business Cards
As a business owner, you will regularly be around other business owners.
However, you will not always have the chance to fully introduce others to your business. Because of this, the best thing you can do is hand others your business card. Store some business cards inside your wallet or purse so you will have them with you at all times.
Here, the design of your business card is equally important as having one.
Remember: Others will judge you based on your business card, so make it as suitable for your business as possible. Spend some time or pay an expert to do a perfect design that will embody everything your business is about. Do not forget to use your logo and of course, your brand colors. The material of your business card is also important as some people will determine your seriousness based solely on that.
Having plasticized or plastic business card always initiates positive reactions and people find such business owners more serious for collaboration and for business in general.
Make a choice about what kind of impression you want to leave, and create your business card accordingly.
#4 Leaflets and Flyers
Leaflets and flyers are definitely the most famous type of offline advertising.
Although it is a call from the past, and we all remember them from when we were kids, both formats are still widely used.
As mentioned, people simply love visual content.
When created to be informative and playful, leaflets and flyers can help businesses attract many more customers and increase the awareness of the brand.
What makes these two formats of offline advertising is their flexibility. Every business, regardless of the industry, can create a leaflet or flyer for their marketing goals.
Leaflets and flyers can be used for providing information about the brand, introducing a new product, offering coupons and discounts as well as promoting events.
The leaflets and flyers are mostly distributed in areas and places where the target audience most frequents in. They can also be kept in stacks in popular coffee shops or simply put inside magazines and newspapers.
Create your business’ leaflet or flyer to match the message your business strives to pass and how you want to be perceived. Again, be careful about the design and the colors you use. If you are unsure about designing the leaflet or flyer yourself, leave it to someone who is an expert in that niche.
#5 Visit / Create Events
Events, as we all know, are networking hubs for people who want to meet other people similar to them. Business events are one of the easiest ways to meet other business owners in your industry. Believe me, the more people know about your business, the better it will become — so, focus on networking once in a while.
To connect with people from your exact industry you will need to visit only industry-related events. Stay up to date about the upcoming events and make sure you participate in such happenings.
However, do not only attend these events to learn about other people’s businesses but take the opportunity to inform them about yours too. Create a presentation that you are going to broadcast in front of the others and let them ask questions. You never really know who might get really interested in your organization. In case you don’t have the authority to speak at these events yet, do not stress over it. There still are many benefits of simply showing up and networking with other businessmen.
Not only you can visit such happenings and take part in them, but if you already have resources and connections, you can also organize them.
Get the people you know help you in organizing an industry-related event. You should seek sponsorships from larger corporations, hire staff that can help with the setup and the food, give out leaflets informing about your event, and of course, you should advertise it on the radio. Then, let every business owner invite other business owners.
Organizing such an event will help you increase the awareness of your brand and ultimately become more famous in your own industry.
The majority of people mistake brochures for leaflets and vice versa. Although they are basically the same thing, brochures are considered to be extended leaflets. While the leaflets are mostly on a single page, the brochures are done in several stapled together pages.
The difference between these two formats is the purpose.
If you want more space for text than what a regular leaflet can provide then you can get a printed brochure that fits your needs.
In brochures, you can basically add as much content as you want because there is no limit about how many pages brochures are allowed to be.
Even though there are a lot of different types and designs of brochures, what they all have in common is that they educate or inform about a certain product, company, event or place.
The use of such a marketing method is that it allows you to include all substantial information about your company, the history of it, and your products. In a regular flyer or leaflet, there basically is no room for all the content, so brochures are a smarter way of delivering it.
#7 Business Stand
In case you are having a local business, setting up stands at business fairs can help your brand extensively. Business fairs and exhibitions basically are happening that provide an opportunity to get to know other businesses and let others know you. If you have the resources, you should definitely consider setting up a stand in the upcoming local business fair.
Your stand should always represent and demonstrate your business, starting from the atmosphere, interior and so on. Accordingly the design of your business stand, the people will know what to expect if they visit your actual store. Come up with ways to embody your business idea in one small stand.
If possible, give our free samples.
For instance, if you own a coffee shop, you can give free cups of coffee or other drinks that you make. If you own a boutique store, engage the visitors to play a game and increase their chances of winning one piece of clothing. If you own a family restaurant, give away discount coupons.
Also — attend these business fairs yourself! Do not just pay promotors to advertise your business for you. Do the work yourself. People love interacting with business owners, ask the people who have already visited your business for feedback, greet them warmly and be their friend.
Do not underestimate the power of the kind word and a smile. It can do miracles!
I guess I do not have to repeat myself again, but I most certainly will — People love visual content. Posters are no exception!
Way different than leaflets and brochures, posters can be put up around the city kind of ‘forcing’ people to notice them.
Create a poster that contains all important information about your business or the upcoming event, and put them up in places where you believe people will see it or even on roads.
Posters are a simple yet very effective way of attracting people to at least read what it is about. The more often people look at it the more they will get introduced to your business subconsciously, and sometimes that is the best kind of marketing you can do.
#9 Use Word of Mouth
We have come to the easiest method for offline marketing on the list. Believe it or not, the ‘Use Word of Mouth’ way of advertising means to talk about your business as much as you possibly can.
This does not mean that you should not stop talking about your brand, or that it should be your only topic of conversation, but it means that you should talk about your product or business every time you see an opportunity to do so. Encourage your family, friends, colleagues, and customers to spread the word too.
In order to have a business that people don’t mind talking about, you need to first establish trust and positive experiences. Provide people with good service and communication. Give away free items occasionally, engage with your customers personally and listen to their complaints. Do the requested changes afterward.
The better the customer experience, the better your customers will talk about your product or business.
And that is the whole point of marketing, isn’t it?
The cold-calling as a marketing tactic is last on the list for a reason.
There is no denying that cold-calling worked before, but today it is less and less practiced by business. The reason because it is not practiced so much anymore is because it was proven to be generally disapproved of by the wider public.
However, this does not mean that you cannot give it a try.
Before you sit down and start dialing numbers, create an entertaining strategy for cold-calling. You do not want to be remembered as the brand that annoys people over the phone. Not having a clear and interesting approach, the cold-calling will backfire at you in a very negative way. Thus, be cautious!
Before you get started, think about the questions you want to ask and how your audience may respond to them. Then, think of ways to start the conversation and tailor it in a question, while making make it funny and interesting.
Try cold-calling only if you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve!
Let’s say you want to ask for feedback about your latest product. Create a short list of questions you will ask your existing customers but beforehand, make them feel comfortable about talking with you. You can make a joke or ask them some random question in order to break the tension.
Do everything in your power to engage the people on the other side of the line in a very amusing and lively way.
Benefits of Offline Marketing
People commonly assume the online marketing is the type of marketing that is way more beneficial in comparison with offline marketing. Although this can be true, it is not always the case.
As previously mentioned, online marketing is not the best type of marketing for every business. That is why you have to know what exactly works best for your business. Then, apply that.
When it comes to the benefits of offline marketing, there really are many. Today, in this digital era, offline marketing is so underrated, people behave like it does not exist. Besides, you have nothing to lose by trying some traditional methods of advertising.
You never really know what you may come to find promising and advantageous for the business you are running.
Here are some of the benefits of offline marketing, that can change your mind instantly:
Helps Where Online Marketing Cannot
Not all people use the Internet. Regardless of how strange this sounds, there still are people on this planet that refuse to use or learn how to use computers or any other type of technology.
In America, 13% of the overall population choose not to use the Internet.
This being said means that such audiences will never be available over the Internet. So, offline marketing is the only chance of reaching out to them.
Nowadays, the majority of people who do not use the Internet are people in rural areas or older people. Either way, both of these groups can be reached through offline marketing channels such as television, radio or newspapers.
Online marketing, no matter how effective it is, fails at some points. Thus, offline marketing comes to the rescue and picks up slack where online marketing cannot help.
Increases the Authenticity Value
The sense of authenticity will always be another point where the Internet fails.
Today, most of the things we find online and in some way engineered to present a certain image. This image is more often than not, entirely untrue so there is no wonder why the users are constantly seeking brands they will trust. The credibility issue is a common problem on the internet, and almost every brand faces it.
On the other hand, offline marketing focuses mainly on building candid relationships with people. Offline marketing is all about communicating and connecting with your existing and potential customers.
Nothing will ever replace the human connection.
For instance, you interact with people every time you distribute brochures or leaflets, so this helps to initiate an authentic feel and give your brand more credibility.
Loyalty is built with trust, and that is exactly what can be achieved with communication.
As a business owner, you have to go out of your way to please your customers. Listen to their complaints and act accordingly. Whatever it is that they do not like, do something about that.
The more your customers know they are appreciated the more loyal they are going to be. And of course, the more they like your business, idea, place and you, the more likely they are to come back. Make them want to visit you again.
Easier Establishment of Relationships
Especially if you have a local business, you should focus on offline marketing. Why? Because it gives you the perfect opportunity to establish relationships with your fellow citizens. Once you accomplish that, you will have a well-respected business.
Offline marketing is a very dynamic way of establishing relationships with others. People tend to feel more at ease when they talk to people they can see.
Here, body language is a very important thing as they form opinions solely based on that. You can most certainly initiate them to draw a positive conclusion about your business just from talking with you for a few minutes.
You will hardly ever find a person that does not appreciate a business that makes efforts to communicate and establish a relationship with their customers. So, your brand should not be different than that.
No matter how good or bad you are at starting a conversation, at least try. You have nothing to lose and a lot to gain.
Unlike online marketing, offline marketing gives you a chance to get feedback as well as a close up from your clients. It is always in your own advantage to know what your clients think about your service, product or store. No matter how hard it is to sometimes hear negative opinions, it is your only chance to grow and improve.
How would I know what my clients like or dislike? How do I know whether I am doing the right things or not? Do people find my business good?
Getting feedback in a traditional offline way not only helps you better understand what bothers your clients but also it gives you an opportunity to save a deal by negotiating.
However, asking for feedback can be tricky. If you are not ready to hear anything from anyone, do not ask for it.
First, develop a thicker skin and also a healthier mindset. It is very hard for people to criticize others in person, so be very appreciative for everyone who will have the courage to express their opinion.
Because of the reason offline marketing does not require the use of the Internet or any electronic devices, you are fully unlimited in your advertising. With offline marketing, you have one less problem on the list.
You will not have to worry about constantly having a good Internet connection or purchasing new tools to track your growth and performance.
Maintaining a website is also not an easy thing. Not to mention the loss that a simple crush down of the server or the website can do to your business.
Offline marketing is way more independent than online marketing. Being free from technology automatically provides you with a large dose of independence in many aspects and decisions.
Both, offline and online marketing, have their good and bad sides.
However, this characteristic of offline marketing makes it utterly favorable among local business owners.
Breaking Bias: Offline Marketing
Most marketers agree that offline marketing is really “not worth it” because it became old and have some issues related to it. Although some of their points can be considered true, there still are widely misinterpreted things about offline marketing.
That is why I am going to break the bias against offline marketing and leave up to you to decide whether you are going to implement it in your marketing strategy or not.
“Offline Marketing Is for Old People”
If you have made this far in the text, you have already thought about this, haven’t you?
Well, in short- this is not true.
According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), all age groups are interested in offline marketing.
As the agency explains, all people showed interest in receiving and responding to mail. The numbers of younger people being interested in such activities are growing every single day.
From 2016, the response rates from 18 to 21-year-olds have doubled, making offline marketing very preferable among the younger generations too. It is true that older people are not really tech-savvy nor they like using digital devices, but this does not mean the younger people, who actually love technology, disapprove of offline marketing.
“Offline Marketing Is Hard to Track”
Even though the tracking of your progress via offline marketing is not so easy and obvious as it is with online marketing, it still is a determinable one.
According to DMA, direct mail is one of the most measurable of all media.
To be able to track your offline marketing activities, you have to, first of all, be engaging. Your offline marketing must initiate some kind of action, so you will know how much your advertising is actually influencing them.
For instance, if you are having a TV commercial embrace all the viewers to call immediately to get additional discounts on your products or services. Or, if you are using direct mail to get to your audience, insert coupons that they will have to bring to the store next time they shop.
This will help you track the progress of your marketing and observe whether it is delivering you the expected and wanted results. If not, you should definitely think about changing the approach or the type of offline marketing.
Try several ways until you find the one that best works for your business.
“Offline Marketing Is Expensive”
One of the biggest reasons why different advertisers do not like offline marketing is because they believe it will cost them a lot of money.
This being not too far from the truth almost always makes a dispute when it comes to the price of offline marketing. Yes, it is true that a billboard or a TV advertisement will cost you more, but it will be worth it.
Not only people will not be able to miss your advert, but offline marketing also proved to have a high return on investment.
Currently, the third highest ROI goes to nothing other than direct mail. Email is in the first place, with 122 percent, social media is in the second place, with 28 percent, and finally direct mail with an ROI of 27 percent.
“The Integration Is Difficult”
Last but not least on the list, would be the integration part. What most people wrongly assume is that integrating offline and online channels together are too challenging of a job.
This is a result of the reason brands use various solutions to manage both, the offline and online channels. When, in fact, it can be done quite easily and simultaneously.
Technology can be your friend when you are practicing offline marketing. You can use so many different tools to track your expenses, the effect, the number of coupons you have given and received etc.
Integrating offline and online marketing can also be done within one platform, such as Adobe Campaign. It is efficient and it will not require you to use different tools for the different channels. It cuts down on time, it decreases errors, and it is proactive.
On a platform like this, you have everything you need to track the progress and the achievements of both channels.
Offline marketing is far more powerful than most people realize.
While everyone is focusing on online strategies, they are missing a whole portion of effective advertising along the way. If your business can potentially grow and enrich because of offline marketing, you have nothing to lose by trying. Step out of your comfort zone, and think outside the box. Offline marketing may be the thing you have been looking for.
As offline marketing appeals to people of all generations, generates a strong and high ROI, gives opportunities for integration, and offers trackability it may be the time to open your heart to offline marketing.
Offline marketing is, in fact, a very natural way for your business to excel, so do not stop your business from reaching the stars.
Offline marketing will become the best friend to your small and local business. Take full advantage of the channels offline marketing offers, and be prepared to change the marketing game for both, you and your business forever.