With the world literally in the midst of a technological revolution, marketing is increasingly being focused on the digital more than the traditional. Trading familiarity and personal interactions with convenience and a global reach, online marketing has changed the very nature of how businesses get the word around about their products and even how customers browse and shop for their items. With all of these developments, the first thing you might think is that printing and all of the other offline marketing strategies are well on their way out of the picture. And here’s the deal, you’d be wrong. In a world where people are constantly shackled to the compulsion of the internet and social media, there is still a surprisingly big room for offline marketing.
Is one without the other ineffective?
How interesting it is that marketing has come to a point where online and offline methods, instead of working against each other, actually go hand in hand. In fact, the absence of one might very well lead to incomplete and ineffective marketing, which simply means that you aren’t maximizing your marketing efforts. It is therefore important to understand both these methods, not exactly to the point of perfection—though it wouldn’t be bad— but just enough to integrate these two strategies together.
On one hand you have offline marketing: more tangible results; relevant personal interactions; but more limited reach. On the other, you have online marketing: fast; conveniently accessible to anyone with an internet connection; but hard to measure response and to build strong relationships (of all kinds). Each has its own disadvantages, but put them together and these disadvantages will be accounted for. One specific example of how to do this is handing out PrintPlace.com business cards which directs recipients to any one of your online sites, whether your business website or one of your social media sites. Turn things around and you can put in a map or contact numbers in your website to direct people to your offline marketing alternatives.
The less there is of something, the more precious they tend to be, which is proven by how expensive rare gems can be and how currencies which have more prints in circulation have less value. In the case of the online vs. offline marketing debate, there has been an increase in the use of social media, email, and other online marketing strategies which, to an extent, has caused a decrease in the amount of printing we do for marketing. The wrong notion here is that print media is losing its value, but in reality, the less there is of print media, the more value there is to the “surviving” printed materials.
There are so many different campaigns that remind people just why print media has survived through all these years, just why we still need paper despite gadgets starting to rule our world. As far as cliché sayings go, “it’s just not the same” and there would always be that certain appeal to the use of ink and paper that cannot be duplicated by pixels and gigabytes. Print is precious and it is effective, so enjoy it because it is here to stay.
Don’t forget to budget.
We’ve established that despite the onslaught of online marketing, offline marketing is very much alive and kicking. So now what? The next step is to then find that balance between the two strategies so that you could get the most out of both of them. As it is, “balance” has a lot to do with your budget and how much funds you allocate to each.
Remember that offline marketing is not only limited to print, which means that you might end up splitting your money several times in order to fund different offline marketing strategies (face-to-face, print, etc.). On top of that, online marketing requires a certain amount of funding as well, even if social media is costless up to a certain point. A lot of businesses have crumbled to the ground because of budget concerns, so be sure to plan this aspect carefully. One good tip is to review your 2012 marketing strategies and use that in knowing where to reallocate your funds.
Marketing nowadays entails a lot of time glued to a computer or a cell phone screen posting and replying to customer comments. However, it is not a bad thing to disconnect yourself once in a while in order to work on your other marketing strategies as well. Offline marketing is not really obsolete, but if you continue to believe it is, then it will be.