When we hear the term ‘digital marketing, we usually assume that it’s associated only with online marketing. However, digital marketing can occur both online and offline. Electronic billboards, radio and TV are all considered offline, digital marketing platforms. In 2020, it was recorded that 96% of the UK use the internet (ONS). With more and more consumers spending more and more time online, it’s no surprise that offline marketing has taken a back seat. But should it?
The Offline World
Brands establishing whether their marketing strategy should include online or offline content need to ask themselves some fundamental questions before investing. The first question should be “who is my target audience?”. Once you have determined this, you will be in a better position to craft content that is more likely to capture the interest of your target audience. Print media, such as flyers, brochures, and catalogs, have a more trustworthy effect on older target audiences in particular (Online Marketing, 2019). Offline content also provides brands with the valuable opportunity to connect with a broader customer base. TV and radio adverts have an extremely large reach, and billboards too. Take New York City, Times Square for example. Over 330,000 people pass through it every day, which means 330,000 people are likely to have seen your advert displayed across an electronic billboard, every single day.
The key to successful offline marketing is knowing which tactics are still valuable, and will probably remain valuable in the future. The effects of the recent Pandemic meant that offline marketing took a backseat. But that’s not to say it won’t regain its value in the future. Researchers have found that marketing channel integration has a positive effect on customer loyalty through satisfaction (Frasquet and Miquel, 2017). Online and offline communication integration has a higher impact and is more cost-effective (Smith and Zook, 2011).
Repeated brand exposure not only keeps a brand’s messaging and products top-of-mind for consumers, but research also reports that it can instill a sense of familiarity and trust. The recent pandemic has reinforced the importance of building trust between brands and customers. Various studies have shown that one in three customers rank ‘trust in brand’ among their top three reasons that influence their decision to purchase, other than price (Ignite Visibility). By integrating offline marketing sources with online strategies, brands can not only increase their exposure, but improve their reputation by focusing on ad placement timing and frequency, both known to help sway customers’ perception and feelings towards a brand, increasing the chance of conversion.
Though there are obvious benefits of integrating offline marketing with online, offline marketing has its limitations that must be considered when determining the best marketing strategy for your brand. If ROI is a metric that your company must report on, online marketing strategies may be the better choice. Offline marketing can be costly, not only this, but its success can also be difficult to measure and track. Online marketing channels, such as Google ads, allow brands to directly track reach, clicks, and conversions and provide access to real-time reporting. With these kinds of tools, you can easily determine whether you need to update your online advertising strategies. You will also get an idea of the specific demographic groups that are buying your products and services, offering the most value.
Knowing which demographic types offer the most meaningful opportunities means you can prioritise customer segments and marketing activities, creating an optimised journey (Data Driven Marketing, Progress). Knowing this information has created a means of distributing marketing communications that are increasingly targeted and personalised, a very important factor that cannot be achieved so easily and efficiently through offline marketing.
If you plan your marketing strategies carefully, your online efforts can help support your offline methods, and vice versa. Since both types of advertising have different ways of delivering their messages, also focus on which method is best suited for your business objectives? There is a tremendous opportunity in the current climate for brands to utilise offline marketing to increase their exposure and create brand loyalty. But we should not forget that digital marketing services offer a lot of advantages over traditional forms of advertising like print, broadcast, and cable. For making more profit, you need to focus on the specifics of your target audience to generate more traffic and turn those visitors into sales, which can quickly and easily be achieved through online marketing.