Marketing a business or product online is often seen as the way of the future. With the vast majority of consumers researching products and services online before making a purchase decision, businesses can afford to have a significant presence on the web.
However, did you know that the vast majority of consumers still prefer to discover products and services offline? In fact, according to HubSpot Blogs research, 77% of consumers prefer to learn about products and services through in-person interactions and only 3% want to learn about products and services through online searches.
So, if you’re considering a digital marketing or online marketing strategy, be sure to incorporate offline marketing tactics as well.
Why Should You Use Both?
The advantage of having a marketing strategy that incorporates both online and offline marketing is that you can ensure you’re reaching your target audience regardless of whether they’re browsing online or offline.
In addition, engaging with customers and potential customers both online and offline offers a deeper level of connection and trust. When a company creates a memorable and unique experience for a customer through an email or social media campaign, for example, that customer is more likely to trust that company in the future.
Through video demos, case studies, or other forms of content, marketers can create a memorable experience that draws in potential customers and nurtures customer relationships. In turn, that can lead to higher click-through rates, more purchases, and greater loyalty.
Which Is More Effective?
Before you decide which strategy to follow, it’s important to understand what makes one more effective than the other. Here are a few important things to consider:
- Offline Marketing Is More Permanently Effective
- Hygiene Is A More Important Consideration
- You Need To Measure The Results Of Both
- It’s Important To Have A Variety Of Marketing Channels
- In Person Events Work Best
- Email Marketing Alone Often Doesn’t Work
Let’s examine each of these factors in more detail.
Offline Marketing Is More Permanently Effective
This one may seem fairly self-explanatory, but it’s important to understand that not everything online is created equal. Some websites are more effective than others at drawing conversions and, therefore, stronger at promoting a business or brand.
Based on how a business or brand’s website performs, you can determine the efficacy of an offline marketing campaign. If a company’s website isn’t converting well, then it probably doesn’t matter too much whether they engage with customers and potential customers through offline methods.
With that being said, there are many instances where having an online presence can be more effective than going without an online presence altogether. Some businesses might not need to actively engage with customers and potential customers through social media or other online platforms because they have a strong enough brand and reputation that customers know who they’re dealing with.
In those cases, having an offline presence might not be as important as creating and maintaining a strong brand presence online.
Hygiene Is A More Important Consideration
No one wants to market to customers or potential customers if those customers are not fresh. To ensure you’re not wasting your time and money with inactive or dormant accounts, you should only be engaging with people who are likely to be interested in your product or service.
If you go through the motions of establishing a healthy social media presence without a clear action plan or marketing strategy, you might end up with hundreds of accounts that you never use. It’s better to spend your time and energy establishing a following of engaged customers and potential customers who are more likely to convert into leads and into sales.
On the other hand, if you go through the motions of establishing a physical presence without a clear plan, you might attract people who aren’t interested in your product or service. For example, if you establish a storefront and begin to regularly host in-person events, but you never develop marketing materials or launch a marketing campaign, you’re probably wasting your time and money.
In those cases, having a strong digital marketing strategy that incorporates both online and offline methods can help ensure you’re reaching your target audience and are establishing a memorable experience that encourages those audiences to engage with you.
You Need To Measure The Results Of Both
If you’re establishing and executing a digital marketing or online marketing strategy in isolation, without having a handle on the results of your efforts, you might be tempted to throw more money and resources at the problem.
As we discussed above, not all online marketing is created equal. Some businesses and brands will perform better than others based on various factors. To determine which ones perform the best, you need to put in the work of measuring and analyzing the results of your online marketing efforts.
In addition to establishing a clear plan for your online and offline marketing efforts and sticking to it, you should be measuring the results of your campaigns regularly and reviewing them against benchmarks. If your plan is to establish a strong social media presence and begin to engage with customers and potential customers through status updates, you should be tracking how many people you’re actually reaching and engaging with.
If you’re measuring the success of your offline marketing efforts, such as cold-calling or going to potential customers and clients and offering them a free sample of your product or service, you should track how many times you’ve made that call or sent that sample and how many people you’ve reached.
It’s Important To Have A Variety Of Marketing Channels
To determine the effectiveness of your marketing strategy, you need to look at both the results of your online marketing efforts as well as your offline efforts. If your plan is to use social media to gain support from influencers and create buzz, you should monitor the activity of your social media accounts to see how many people are engaging with your content and how many are just seeing the status updates.
To be effective, your social media strategy should incorporate both content that’s specific to your niche and should appear interesting and unique as well as popular. If you can combine the two, you’re likely to see the greatest results.
In Person Events Work Best
Based on the research conducted by HubSpot Blogs, direct consumer marketing, or retail marketing, in-person events work best for marketing.
The blog post’s headline suggests that consumers mainly prefer learning about products and services through in-person interactions rather than online searches, but the research didn’t support that assertion.
Specifically, the research showed that consumers prefer to learn about products and services through (1) personal interactions with people who work for the brands or businesses (2) watching online videos (3) reading articles (4) going through a company’s website (5) searching for products and services that interest them.
To learn more, read the full HubSpot Blogs research report here.
You can implement several tactics from the in-person events section of the research, such as hosting a silent auction, holding a product launch party, or organizing a food truck rally.
Email Marketing Alone Often Doesn’t Work
Although email marketing is one of the most popular online marketing tactics, it alone often doesn’t work. To determine why, we need to look at the value that consumers place on email marketing and whether or not that value is worth the costs associated with sending out mass emails.
The average American adult receives about 40 email messages per day, or one message every two minutes. In light of this, email marketing alone might not seem like a bad idea. After all, if a consumer isn’t getting any messages, then it means they’re not interested. As a result, businesses can cut out the uninterested individuals and focus on delivering messages to those who are most likely to be interested in the product or service.
On the other hand, if you’re only relying on email marketing to generate leads and conversions, you might want to consider incorporating other tactics, such as social media or in-person events, into your strategy.
It’s Important To Have A Plan
Even if you’re executing a digital marketing or online marketing strategy in isolation, without having a plan for how you’re going to integrate the two, you’re wasting your time.
To be effective, your digital marketing strategy should incorporate both online and offline methods and should have measurable goals and objectives. For example, if you’re trying to increase web traffic, you might want to consider using both SEO and social media to gain popularity and increase the likelihood of engaging with your audience.