Online and offline marketing are two sides of the same coin. You may opt to stand by one side, or benefit from both. The key in understanding offline and online marketing is to identify their respective pros and cons.
By singling out their differences and finding out where the two intersect, you have already acquired a competitive advantage. It’s not a question of which is more dependable; the aim is to point out where both can become interdependent and become beneficial to your business.
Defining Online Offline Marketing
A. Offline marketing
Offline marketing is any promotion or advertisement that is published and released outside the Internet. It effectively reaches and grabs the attention of people who are currently within the vicinity of said marketing activity. The Internet is not needed to make people participate and gain feedback from them.
Samples of offline marketing include:
- Mall gimmicks
- Posters and print ads
- Restaurant promos
- Product giveaways
- Discount coupons
- Radio and TV Commercials
- Newspaper ads
- Flash Mobs
B. Online marketing
Online marketing is anything available on the Internet. A lot of people are connected to social media and are subscribed to video-sharing sites. Since the rise of this digital phenomenon, marketers have been tapping on the online crowd. Ad spaces opened up in various social media sites, such as Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
They can sell you anything from any site you are surfing. When online, you can see ads everywhere—from banners suited to your interests and surfing behavior to Youtube video interruptions of ads that require you to wait for five seconds before you can skip it.
Online marketing comes in all shapes and sizes, including:
- Pop Ups
- Pop Unders
- Intelligent banners
- Viral Videos
- Free Downloads
- File Sharing
Those who truly want to maximize online marketing would put up their own websites and find ways to increase the number of their visitors, and then eventually turn them into paying customers. To analyze and measure the success of your online campaign, there are various tools available that would tell you your current standing in comparison to your competitors, evaluate user activity, as well as show your areas for improvement.
Looking at the Pros and Cons of Each Side
For you to be able to harness the full potential of both, it is also essential that you look at the positive and the negative aspects of each marketing strategy.
Pros of offline marketing
- Consumer feedback is immediate and easier to collect
- Reaches a concentrated area of target audience
- Great for building customer loyalty
- More creative options to make an interactive experience during events
Cons of Offline Marketing:
- More expensive to fund
- Requires physical labor and presence during implementation
Pros of Online Marketing:
- Viral videos are relatively cheaper to finance
- Availability of social media as a market ocean
- Since there is more coverage in online population, the likelihood of sharing and “liking” will also increase
- Software targets your audience. For instance, when the software detects user A to have a strong preference for skateboards, it begins to market skateboard-related ads to him.
- 24/7 presence in all online outlets and automated operations
- A good online presence is also good for brand recognition
- Fully-customizable web layouts and design at your fingertips
Cons of Online Marketing:
- Feedback may not be responsive and immediate
- Congested online ad space limits the attention span of users
Making them work together
There are myriad of ways that you can do to use both offline and online marketing. For instance:
Offline marketing is great in grabbing focused attention from your target audience. Organizing events or launch parties have been proven to give your product a jumpstart in terms of word-of-mouth marketing. Mixing this with the elements of online marketing by promoting said event on social networks can save you money. Promoting a product launch online is more practical than relying on traditional media such as television or radio.
Considering the immense number of users on these sites (e.g. Facebook recently reached its 1-billion users mark), there will be networks upon networks of users to invite and make aware of your product’s existence.
By effectively combining the experiential interactivity brought by offline marketing with the reach of audience in social networks, offline and online marketing can work wonders for your business.