Ever since the launch of the very first website back in 1991 the digital space has become a major player in the marketing arena. There have been massive changes and advancements throughout the last few decades to prove this is a marketing medium that has taken the world by storm.
This has caused many marketers to ask the question “Which is a more effective form of advertising – online marketing or offline?”
What do we mean by offline marketing?
The term ‘offline’ encompasses a wide variety of marketing methods. Many of these have been methods that have been tried and tested over the decades and numerous businesses are comfortable with them as historically they’ve generated revenue.
Offline, or traditional marketing may include advertising mediums such as:
- Direct Mail
- Event marketing
What do we mean by online marketing?
Online marketing is a relatively new term but one that has positively taken over the industry, encompassing various advertising mediums and strategies. It also takes into account many different mediums from web design and development to advertising on search engines and social media. Online marketing has revolutionised the way businesses connect with their target audiences and achieve their marketing objectives.
Basically, any form of advertising online that uses the internet or email for advertising is known as online marketing or digital marketing.
Some examples of online marketing are:
- Websites – creating visually appealing and user-friendly websites is crucial for attracting and engaging visitors.
- Organic search including search engine optimisation – employs various SEO techniques so businesses can enhance their online presence and attract potential customers.
- Paid search engine marketing – involves placing targeted ads on search engine results pages.
- Social media marketing – businesses engage with their audience through organic posts, paid advertising, and influencer collaborations, aiming to build brand awareness, generate leads, and drive conversions.
- Content marketing – focuses on creating valuable and relevant content to attract and retain customers.
- Blogging – allows companies to showcase their expertise, share industry insights, and provide valuable information to their target audience.
- Email marketing – sending targeted emails to subscribers, delivering personalised content, promotions, and updates.
In the past, many marketers kept digital online marketing and traditional marketing separate but it’s important for businesses not to get caught in this trap.
It’s actually the case that most businesses will require a combination of multiple marketing strategies depending on the type of campaign and who the target audience is.
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Why use offline marketing?
There can be many advantages to traditional offline marketing.
Methods such as TV, radio and print have been used for many decades and have proved fruitful for many businesses. These traditional approaches are most often used to reach those audiences the internet cannot – groups such as the elderly and the young.
It’s also true that a product is much easier to sell in a direct sale environment i.e. during a face to face meeting. Following on from this it’s also important for many prospective customers to experience the product in a tangible setting.
However traditional marketing has many disadvantages.
Not only is it expensive, but it can also have a limited return on investment. For example, a business might spend $20,000 on an advert in a national newspaper or magazine to have it published on one day only. Although it could reach a wide audience, only a small portion of the readership might actually be the target market.
Also, there can be an issue with the ad getting lost amongst many other ads. This can also be true of TV and radio advertisements.
They have huge production and media cost and although they do reach masses of people, how many of these people are likely to have an interest in your business and convert into a sale? It’s often hard to keep track of how a campaign is going and if indeed there has been any conversions as a result of someone viewing a print/TV/radio advert.
Why use online marketing?
This is where online marketing succeeds over traditional.
There is no comparison when it comes to targeted campaigns with a measured return of investment. An online marketing campaign such as a social media marketing campaign or a Google Ads campaign can be set up and structured so that it only appears to a specific target audience by starting your strategy with a full technical SEO audit.
Online advertising campaigns can be accurately tracked using tools such as Google Analytics and altered quick and easy if needed.
You can also utilise social media platforms to raise brand awareness and connect with your target market and potential customers. Some brands even use influencer marketing to build brand trust.
An effective digital marketing strategy uses a combination of digital channels to get the best results.
Online marketing is a cost-effective way to reach a targeted audience and unlike a press ad or a TV commercial, changes can be made quickly and easily with no lasting effect on the campaign.
We have been using White Chalk Road for a few years now and wish we had been using them from the start! They have boosted our online visibility, and have successfully increased our reach, engagement and conversions. If you are looking for a SEO, Search Marketing, Advertising and Marketing Automation – White Chalk Road are your people!
Charmaine Morgan, Owner at Babyroad
The truth is that online and offline should work together in harmony and one should always support the other in order to give the purchaser a fluid customer journey. Small things like adding your website and social media links to marketing material or directing a radio ad to a website are simple ways they can and should work harmoniously.
We’ve been helping business grow their revenue through integrated online marketing campaigns and digital marketing strategy.
With a wide range of skills throughout the team, we are able to look at your overall marketing strategy and advise on a campaign that is not only going to make an impact but also ultimately gives you a considerable return on investment.