While more of us continue to spend an increased amount of time on our digital lives, be it on mobile devices or desktop computers, is it still worthwhile for businesses to continue to invest in offline media?
In the 20 years since the launch of the world wide web the way businesses market their goods and services to us has changed massively.
The way we consume content has been revolutionised in the space of less than a decade.
A Brand is More than Just an Online Presence
Small businesses with limited marketing budgets might decide that if they are to spend money advertising their products and services they are best served by focusing on the place where people consume the majority of their media – online.
However, your marketing campaign does a lot more than simply encourage people to spend money with you – it is also responsible for building your brand image and this needs to be consistent.
If you have physical retail premises you need to make sure it is identifiable through more than just the products on the shelves. Posters, colour schemes and point-of-sale (POS) displays can all be used to portray your brand message.
Even if your business is an online-only model you can still leverage offline marketing materials like QR codes, and experiment with these on a small scale.
I’ve experimented using QR codes with about forty local businesses as guinea pigs. These offline/online hybrid marketing funnels can be devastatingly effective with good placement, a sound strategy and creativity.
The great thing is being able to set up Google Analytics tracking to measure the response of QR codes.
If you’re not using QR codes on your business cards, leaflets or company vehicle, consider it.
Businesses selling products or mailing correspondence of any kind to customers could benefit using branded envelopes or packaging. Anything that can be used to consistently reinforce the company’s brand is a competitive advantage.
If you attend conferences and trade events then it is absolutely essential that you have quality advertising displays as it is these that will identify you to the attendees. In a room full of different stalls, people will not pay you much attention without clear signage that says who you are and what your brand is about.
As with all forms of marketing, relevance and effectiveness is defined by the application and suitability for your particular business and industry. With this in mind, offline marketing is a long way from dying despite the emergence of social media and increasing prevalence of online retail, so neglect it at your peril.