E-Marketing: Judy Strauss & Raymond Frost, 7th Edition, Online PDF

Even though the internet has been around for decades, in-person retail meetings between businesses and consumers didn’t disappear overnight. In fact, according to HubSpot Blogs research, nearly nine in ten consumers (87%) prefer to meet in person with a salesperson when purchasing goods or services online. Furthermore, when given the choice, nearly half (48%) would prefer to meet with a salesperson in a coffee shop or restaurant. When it comes to B2C (Business to Consumer) e-commerce, many businesses still rely on outdated marketing methods that were used in the pre-internet era.

Print Magazine Ads

While there are several benefits to digital marketing (i.e., being able to target the right audience and monitor the performance of your ads), printed magazine ads are still considered a viable option for businesses that want to reach a more direct audience. Forrester Research noted that while 77% of consumers engage with online content, only 20% have actually been to a business’ website and 14% have purchased something online because of an in-print ad.

Let’s take a look at how traditional print magazine ads fit into today’s digital marketing world, and whether or not they still have a place in the ever-changing B2C e-commerce landscape.

The Need For Segmentation

Many marketers struggle with understanding how to approach advertising in a digital world. According to HubSpot Blogs research, only 16% of respondents feel very comfortable using digital marketing tactics, while 71% are not at all comfortable.

This lack of comfort leads to less-than-desirable marketing results. For example, if you’ve ever seen an unguided billboard ad, then you’ll know exactly what I mean. When a business doesn’t take the time to understand the unique preferences of their prospective customers, they often end up using blanket advertising tactics, which results in a watered-down message that may lose them a customer rather than gain them one.

The Rise Of The Person-To-Person Pitch

While many business-to-consumer (B2C) companies only consider online marketing when planning their marketing strategy, many brands and businesses are realizing the importance of going the extra mile — or in this case, the extra micron — to secure a sale. Even if a consumer decides not to make a purchase after being contacted by a salesperson, they may still be inclined to do business with your brand or company later on.

According to HubSpot Blogs research, 26% of consumers would be more likely to purchase from or work for a business they met online, while 75% would not. What’s more, only 12% would be more inclined to purchase from a business they saw in person, but didn’t meet.

So why is Person-To-Person (P2P) marketing gaining so much popularity? Several reasons could explain this trend. First, consumers like the idea of being able to build a relationship with the people they’re engaging with. Second, many consumers feel that they can get a better understanding of a product or service via a verbal description from a live person, rather than a marketing message in an online forum.

Traditional Magazine Ads Still Popular

While many companies are moving towards more person-to-person marketing, traditional magazine advertising remains popular. In fact, nearly one-quarter of respondents in HubSpot Blogs research said they prefer to use magazine ads as part of their marketing strategy. This is compared to 7% who prefer to use digital marketing tactics, and 15% who are not sure.

Additionally, respondents in HubSpot’s research said they feel traditional magazine ads help them identify with or understand a brand or product better (24%), make a connection with the audience (20%), and determine the effectiveness of the brand or product (17%).

These businesses want to reach their customers, and the only way they can do that is by connecting with them on a personal level. That’s why in-person retail meetings still matter, and why traditional magazine ads aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Why Should You Try Out Person-To-Person Marketing?

If you’re concerned about generating sales in today’s B2C world, then you might want to consider giving Person-To-Person marketing a shot. According to HubSpot Blogs research, those who try out P2P marketing see an increase in revenue of 24% compared to those who don’t. Additionally, respondents who tried out P2P marketing said they were slightly more likely to recommend a product or service they discovered online (6%), and 18% said their opinion of a brand or product changed for the better after trying it out.

Digital Versus Traditional Marketing

With more and more consumers relying on digital marketing tactics, the line between digital and traditional marketing is becoming increasingly blurred. While marketers must continue to evolve with the times to stay relevant, being tech-savvy doesn’t mean one tactic is completely worthless. Additionally, while most respondents in HubSpot’s research would prefer to use digital marketing strategies, they understand the value that comes with a personal touch.

In an effort to further explain the value of digital marketing and the unique advantages of P2P marketing, here’s a short video from HubSpot Blogs on the subject.