Thanks to the advancement of modern technology, many business owners and entrepreneurs can use the Internet as a marketing platform – but in today’s competitive economy, is that enough on its own? While digital platforms such as social media allow for instant sharing and increased visibility, there are unique benefits to exploring more traditional marketing techniques.
By limiting the way you reach potential leads and customers, you are also limiting the potential growth of your business. Instead of waiting for customers to find you online, take some initiative and make the first move.
What does offline marketing look like?
Offline marketing refers to any type of marketing that is not done through the Internet. Some common examples of this include:
handing out promotional materials billboardsprinted ads flyersmail coupons giveaways and sweepstakesvendor trade showcold calls handing over TV ads door-to-door sales pamphlets
There are many more easy offline marketing strategies that can be incorporated into your business. Here are some reasons why offline marketing is still important for growing and maintaining a successful business.
1. Access to Offline Customers
Although the rise of modern technology has been a smooth transition for most of us, 7% of Americans still do not access the Internet. This number may seem small, but it is still an estimated 23,470,291 people who can only be reached through offline marketing techniques. Businesses that market exclusively through social media are losing out on potential customers by neglecting to engage with them in the real world, and this gives you the opportunity to learn from their mistakes.
In many cases it is easier to get the attention of customers offline. This is because they are not constantly bombarded by advertisements and other online media, which can be overwhelming. Online customers often feel suffocated by corporate ads and paid content, causing your competitors to fall through the cracks when they inevitably scroll past it. When you market to a customer in the real world, you are creating a unique association that will remain in their memory and leave an impact, which can lead to future sales.
2. It Builds a Synergy
There are thousands of apps on the Internet through which you can communicate with your potential customers – but none will provide you with the same level of connection as taking real-world action. When you approach a customer personally, you are establishing a personal relationship with them that builds the relationship.
In the digital world, professional communication can come across as inauthentic and harsh. When you engage with a customer face-to-face, empathize with them, and prioritize their needs, you are creating a relationship with them that feels real and personal. Customers want to buy from people they trust, and offline marketing allows you to build those connections.
3. Direct and diligent feedback
When running a business, customer feedback plays a vital role in earning future sales. 93% of consumers say that reviews influence their buying decisions. Online, customers are given the option to leave reviews for products, but there are some obstacles along the way that make it tedious. For example, many online feedback forums take several days to publish a review, or may not approve one at all. Sometimes customers will decline a chance to leave a review because it’s too much work – and they are right.
Make it easy for your customers to communicate with you directly by creating a personalized opportunity to discuss your product and their ideas. Not only will customers feel valued when you ask for their opinion, but they’ll also be quicker to respond because there are fewer hoops to jump.
4. Establishing a Brand
Establishing your brand early on is important when starting a business because it gives you visibility and exclusivity from dozens of other businesses competing for the attention of your customers. The online market is filled with countless advertisements, links and profiles trying hard to grab the attention of consumers. When you use offline marketing strategies, you put your brand directly in front of the customer, distraction free.
Most people scroll through their phones mindlessly for hours and struggle to remember half of what they were watching. When you bring your brand and your product into the real world, you are further setting your brand apart from competitors, which will help your business stand out in the long run.
5. Creates Networking Opportunities
Offline marketing can not only help you connect with customers, but it can also help you identify and explore potential business opportunities. Local events such as festivals, fundraisers and career fairs are often less publicized online and instead flourish verbally.
Talking to your local community will give you a deeper understanding of your customers’ needs and allow you to incorporate your brand into their personal conversations. According to Nielsen, “92% of consumers worldwide say they trust earned media, such as recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising”. With offline marketing techniques such as giveaways, endorsements and vendor trade shows, your brand can be what customers recommend to each other.
Don’t underestimate the power of offline marketing
While the online world is still growing every day, there are many more ways you can promote your business and reach new customers. Ignoring those opportunities will be detrimental to your brand. Offline marketing offers many unique benefits that can make your business stand out from the crowd.
A strategy that includes online as well as offline marketing is vital for a business that wants to outdo the competition. Push the boundaries of what other business owners are doing and show your customers that you are different. They’ll appreciate it in the long run, and those connections will go a long way. If you are wondering how to start offline marketing, check out our article
20 easy offline marketing ideas any business can use.
Team Writer: Ari is a writer, blogger, and small business owner based in Washington State.
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