Having the best products and the best deals isn’t always enough. You may have the best retail shop or you may be the best electronic service provider in your locality, but what is it worth if you have no visibility and nobody knows of your work?
Publicity is important. Advertising and marketing go one step further, beyond mere publicity, and help strengthen your presence and increase your business.
There are various avenues to market your services; the traditional non-internet-media and the new-age-online media. Both offline and online advertising media are thriving with energy and opportunities to positively influence branding. The battle is entirely about serving your needs.
So when you are out there, which of the marketing options should you prefer? Take a look at your needs, and decide.
Offline or conventional advertising and marketing
Offline advertising, broadly speaking, includes Print media, Radio, and Television. Company brochures, leaflets, magazines, etc along with radio jingles, television commercials and branding campaigns come into this bracket. The aspects that make offline advertising lucrative are:
- Offline marketing is tangible: you know the source of advertising and can reach them easily. For instance, if you see an advertisement in the newspaper or receive a promotional giveaway-item from an online retailer like Quality Logo, you can easily follow up on them, call up or find out from the publishing house.
- Further, these are the traditional means of communication: in other words, print was perhaps the most primitive way of reaching out to people. People are used to reading and finding things of use. Following print media, the radio and television media gained popularity. Local connect with audiences through radio and national connect through television are strong ways of communication.
- The traditional methods are well networked, and partially interconnected. They support each other. For instance, you hear something on the radio, and then see a clip in the newspaper. This ascertains the identity of the product and the buyer is more convinced to invest
- Greater reach: As discussed above, the audiences on these networks are far greater. You may still find a person who does not use the internet, but he will certainly be watching the television or hearing the radio or the least, reading the news paper.
- Scope for Creativity: The other advantage here is that there is a lot of scope to do your thing. In other words, offline marketing can be as simple as wearing your own brand name on your t-shirt to as exciting as holding street contests. You can drive a car with your brand label or put out a table at the college fair! There is immense scope to conquer in the physical arena.
Online or commercial advertising and marketing
With technology and science growing so rapidly, the internet has become a very strong medium promotional activity. The virtual space has become an integral part of life style because individuals now have a platform to share with each other. Online marketing includes everything from social media optimization (SMO), to Search engine optimization (SEO), to email campaigns, online contests etc.
There are various benefits on the internet which can, in turn, benefit your company:
- New Age media: The society is constantly advancing in technology and interests. Any common man has easy access to the internet and the common buyer, is generally out there. The internet is an effective tool to reach them.
- Interactive: The internet marketing employs methods such as online publishing, emailing, website feedback zones, etc. which are an effective method to connect to those people who are interested in your brand or services. Interacting with existing customers and possible customers helps build the relationship.
- Instant reach: An online platform gives you an instant reach to consumers. For instance, an email directly reaches their inbox or a promotional activity directly connects to users on a social networking site.
- Cost Effective: The cost online marketing may be lesser than that on any traditional media. Depending on the varied pricing lists of the SEO Company or Web marketing Company that you have hired for your online activities, the budget of your virtual campaign can be decided. In most cases, the online marketing is more feasible.
Nevertheless, we can not merely call this a battle between the offline and online marketing. Researches show that almost 35 percent of people who visit websites or make purchases are convinced through offline advertisements whereas; almost 44 percent users may visit a website if they see an interesting online banner or activity. Both these groups of people have to be maximized and hence, it is important to strategize and optimize both platforms. It has been recorded that offline advertising has driven traffic to your online content and the figures have been as high as 39 percent. Another important factor to notice here is that, such a consumer, who has been attracted to your proposal through bridging of different media, is more loyal and committed. He plays a key role in building your business.
As an informed and keen business person, one needs to be informed about the shortcomings of the medium that is used for marketing. The offline media are far more expensive, while online media has been bombarded with many scams. The challenge is to increase the ROI for an offline campaign and reassure the consumer of the authenticity of an online campaign.
It is important to study the pros and cons of both these media and to understand their relevance, specific to your set up. For instance, if you are a banking firm, you may need to rely more on the newspaper advertorials for gaining customers while, if you are a local fast-food joint owner, then your presence on the social networking sites can help increase awareness about your food products, through the word-of-mouth and interactive communication. In both these cases, it is important to understand the pulse of your target group, and pave your path with well thought actions that benefit your business.