Online vs. Offline Marketing – What You Need to Know about Today’s Mediums

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    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 a marketeer to ask the question “Which is a more effective form of advertising – online or offline?”

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    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 techniques such as:

    • Television
    • Radio
    • Print
    • Direct Mail
    • Ambient
    • Event marketing
    • Networking

    What Do We Mean by Online Marketing?

    Online marketing is a relatively new term but one that has positively taken over the industry. It also takes into account many different mediums from web design and development to advertising on search engines and social media. Basically any form of advertising that uses the internet or email for advertising is known as online marketing. Some examples of online marketing are:

    • Websites
    • Organic Search
    • Paid search
    • Social media
    • Content marketing
    • Blogging
    • Email marketing

    In the past many marketeers kept these two forms of advertising 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.

    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 prospect customers to experience the product in a tangible setting.

    However traditional marketing has many disadvantages. Not only is it expensive, it can also have a limited return of 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 measured return of investment. An online marketing 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. Campaigns can be accurately tracked using tools such as Google Analytics and altered quick and easy if needed.

    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.


    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.

    At White Chalk Road we specialise in online marketing and search engine optimisation (SEO). We’ve been helping business’ grow their revenue through integrated online marketing campaigns. 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 give you considerable return on investment.

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