Offline Marketing Techiques

I just wrote some tips on online marketing and its techniques, so I decided it would be good to also write about offline marketing. These days the vast use of the Internet led the more traditional marketing techniques to be called offline marketing. A lot of firms have opted entirely for online marketing, which however, does not reach the whole population and may not reach all the people in the targeted audience. In the developed countries between 20 and 40% of the population either does not have access to the Internet or does not use it regularly. In Bulgaria, according to estimations about 3 million people are on Facebook, whereas in the US about 70% of the population is on the Internet, which means that there are about 70 million people who can’t be reached through online marketing. In addition, only about 9% of the population in the US is on Twitter, whereas in Bulgaria not more than few thousands use it regularly.

Of course, this may not concern your business because you may be very happy not to reach those who are not on the Internet. If you are selling smart phone apps, your target audience is people who have a smart phone (about 25%-50% of the mobile phone users worldwide with different density depending on the region). If your business or awareness campaign targets the vast majority, it is a good idea to use a mix of online and offline marketing techniques. In addition, it is not a good idea to neglect people who are not regular users of the Internet, suspecting that they have less purchasing power, because pensioners have low propensity to save and spend mostly all of their pensions. The group of elderly consumers also may include the wealthy elderly people, who rely on more traditional media for information. Obviously, in future online marketing will have bigger impact but today, offline marketing should not be neglected.

So what are the techniques for offline marketing?

  • TV and radio advertising: this is one of the most traditional ways to do online marketing with the widest audience. Recently, TV is losing on the number of very technical young individuals but still the number of viewers is high. In addition, the age distribution of the viewers is almost evenly distributed and the advertisements target more than one of the audience senses. In contrast, radio advertisements target only one of the senses and is reaches predominantly the 18+ people. Its main advantage is that by selecting a particular radio station, one can reach the preferred segment of the population of radio views. The downside is that both TV and radio ads are pretty expensive.

  • TV product placement: it recently became more popular with the spread of local TV productions. It refers to mentioning the product or putting the product in use during the show. It should be carefully targeted and it works better for brands that are already familiar to a wide range of people, otherwise, it is too expensive to make the brand recognizable.

  • Newspapers and magazines: they have the main advantage that they keep reader’s attention focused. The more efficient option is by paid publications because they are intended to solve a problem that consumers have. In contrast, with radio and TV ads, it is more likely that the attention of the audience is distracted by something that happens within the company or on the road of some other stimulus. Magazines are also good at targeting the audience since they have a specific range of readers.

  • Flyers and printing materials: they may not be the most eco-friendly or the most effective way of advertising your brand but they certainly help with spreading the word about special offers if they are distributed close to the office or the trade center. They can also spread awareness in campaigns or help with event planning for the promotion of concerts, fairs, etc.

  • Billboards, branding of buildings, branding of objects in the environment: they are suitable if the target audience is located in a small area. Otherwise, it is very expensive.

  • Event organization or sponsoring of relevant events: it is one of the oftentimes forgotten marketing techniques but is one of the most friendly ways to show you care for your target audience and support their ideas or share common goals. If your business is only involved in sponsoring, you should make sure the event will be well-attended and well-organized so that it leaves the participants with good feelings about it. If you are the initiator or the organizer of the event, you should make it perfect to the smallest detail because you don’t want to get the negatives from a bad organization.

  • Promoters and testers: it is one of those types of marketing one should be really careful with. It should not be intrusive and should not disturb customers. It is difficult to target it right.

  • Direct mail and postcards: since nowadays it is very rare to receive mail, this type of marketing creates a personal touch to the campaign. It is usually accepted well but may be costly.

  • Loyalty programs: these are also very well accepted if the loyalty program is well-conceived. In addition, it is usually used to keep the clients instead of to attract newer ones but the latter should not be excluded as a possibility either.

Useful resources to consider with respect to offline marketing are the Internet World Stats and independent searches by companies like Google for patterns in consumer behavior. But in general, brands that are advertised offline still play a leading role in online searches (according to Google study in partnership with MediCT). In general it is more expensive than online marketing so the campaign should be carefully designed to be cost efficient better by professionals.

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