Online VS. Offline Marketing: What’s the Best Option?

Marketing Strategy
"In today’s digital world, having an online presence is crucial for any company’s success. Not only are your competitors already vying for sales in this space, but your potential customers expect you to be online too."
by Shelby Dennis

Businesses today have seemingly endless options for reaching potential customers. This can make it feel like your business is spread too thin across many platforms, rather than gaining the competitive edge with your marketing.

You’re wise to research the most effective way to spend your marketing budget. Today, we’ll discuss online vs offline marketing and how to discover which is the best option for your business.

What is Online Marketing?

Online marketing, also known as digital marketing, is when you use online/internet channels to distribute messaging about your company’s products, services, or branding to your potential customers.

In today’s digital world, having an online presence is crucial for any company’s success. Not only are your competitors already vying for sales in this space, but your potential customers expect you to be online too.

85% of consumers conduct research before they make a purchase online, and among the most used channels for research are websites (74%) and social media (38%). Consequently, businesses need to have an effective online strategy to increase brand awareness and grow.”

–Forbes

Examples of online marketing include marketing emails, social media campaigns, Pay Per Click (PPC) ads, and publishing search-engine optimized content.

Advantages and Disadvantages

One of the biggest advantages of online marketing vs offline marketing is your ability to harness the power of search engine optimization, or SEO. This requires following specific and ever-changing best practices to get your content showing up in potential customers’ Google search results.

Effective SEO requires investing your time into learning, or your money into an agency which offers this service. When done properly, customers everywhere will discover your business before discovering your competition. This is a huge advantage, especially in industries with aggressive competition.

Online marketing is also typically more affordable, easier to measure the success and ROI benefits of, and more effective for long-term exposure than offline.

The only real disadvantage of online marketing is the saturation of your industry market. Online, you’re facing competitors worldwide and trying to cut through the noise. If you don’t know your target audience, you won’t address their problems and you won’t get their attention, which is why it is important to work with a full-service agency like Incognito Logic.

%

of all Customers Research Online Before Purchasing

What is Offline Marketing?

Offline marketing includes all types of marketing that aren’t distributed via the internet. This includes a wide range of formats and channels, like billboards, radio or TV ads, seminars, live demonstrations, and direct mailers.

For both online and offline marketing, the preparation is similar. You need to know your budget, target audience, desired action, and how you’re going to track the results.

Advantages and Disadvantages

By far, the biggest advantage of offline marketing is that you reach your audience while they’re the most attentive.

When it comes to social media, emails, and blogs, it can be difficult to get your target audience’s attention, if you show up at all. This isn’t the case with newspapers, magazines, TV, or the radio. Once you pay for a slot, you receive air time. If your target audience is listening – that’s a whole other story.

But there are several disadvantages of offline marketing. For example, your target audience might not look for businesses and services on these platforms, and your pool of potential customers is significantly smaller.

It is also much more difficult to measure the results of these offline campaigns. Magazine ads run for only a short period of time, and the investment costs are typically far higher than online marketing for the same return.

%

of all Customers Shop Offline Only, or Mostly Offline

Which is the Better Option for Your Business?

When you’re comparing online vs offline marketing, it’s important to consider what type of business you have and who you are trying to reach.

Overall, you’re likely to see the most benefit from a strategic combination of both methods within the local area; but many businesses choose to focus entirely on online marketing and see great success with this method.

There is one important thing to remember: you don’t have to do it alone. The safest investment is hiring an online marketing agency to tailor a  targeted marketing campaign to your business. When you work with a team of dedicated marketing experts, the sky’s the limit for how many potential customers you’re able to reach!

References
  1. Forbes, Building A Brand: Why A Strong Digital Presence Matters, https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2020/07/02/building-a-brand-why-a-strong-digital-presence-matters/?sh=6d6c0c9349f2

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Shelby Dennis

Shelby Dennis

Author

Shelby initially became known for using her management experience from several very unique niches to solve her clients’ challenges in new and creative ways. As the daughter of two successful small business owners, she knows the value of staying relevant and constantly evolving in an ever-changing landscape.