Why Active Offline Advertising Can Prove More Beneficial

April 13, 2009 by  Filed under: Advertising 

Offline advertising can often be forgotten or ignored with the progress of internet technology. But to ignore the opportunities which advertising offline, or ‘real world’ advertising, has to offer, is to cut off a significant portion of your potential success. Internet technology might reach customers on the other side of the planet, but if you’re a regional business how is this of any help to you? Distributing mail shots, slipping flyers in with the local free paper of displaying adverts in shop windows will be more likely to reach the customers you’re actually after.

Internet banners are seen, and almost immediately forgotten. No one bookmarks a web page because of the adverts. However, with offline advertising there is a very real chance that people will see your advert time and time again. How much would it cost you to print off a few hundred flyers, and slip them under the wipers of every car in the town center car park at the weekend? For the sake of a few pounds and a couple of hours of your time you could reach hundreds of potential customers.

Certainly many of them will throw the advert away, just as they might click off a web page, but for those few, who might just be interested, you provide a document which can be kept, filed, referred to and which acts as a regular reminder, long after a banner advert on a web page has been forgotten. Offline advertising provides scope for greater variation, more imagination, and above all, far greater durability.

Of course, this isn’t to ignore or forget the online advertising and other forms of brand impression which your business will be seeking to employ. It is important that the brand image is translated seamlessly from one medium to another, and any offline advertising must match online advertising, and any other promotional literature which your business publishes. Brand image is everything, and if your advertising is merely to help impress your business or product name upon people, then this will prove to be more successful through continuity and consistency.

However, having said that, there is a time when sometimes breaking the mold is better and proves more advantageous for your business. When you are considering an advertising or promotional campaign, in whichever medium you choose, it will be important to occasionally consider breaking the rules. Knowing what the rules are gives you a better idea of when to break them. It’s also important to know why you are breaking them.

Let’s consider a scenario – that your business is seeking to expand the sales of a particular product or service. One of the crucial questions you will need to ask is why such an expansion is necessary. Give yourself a rap on the knuckles if you instantly assumed that the reason was to make more money or increase profit. Business is rarely a charity, and so quite clearly any decision or action will be employed in order to try to further the business in this way. However, what you may need to consider is why such expansion is necessary.

The answer may well be because your current clientèle only represent a specific portion of the potential market. If you have carried out effective marketing you may have discovered that your product or service is being entirely missed by a significant group or category of people, and it is those people that your offline marketing campaign will be trying to reach.

To some extent, marketing and reaching out to specific groups online can be a good deal easier, since you can use cookie trails to identify potential customers, you can advertise through known sites frequented by the kind of people you’re after, and you can track searches and alter your advertising and promotion on the basis of the keywords being used. In the real world this can prove a little more difficult, and it will be necessary to combine good, effective market research with hard work, and often, leg work too. It will need you to go out to the customers, rather than exploit known patterns online and wait for the right customer to come to you.

To a large extent it will be reasonably obvious that if you are trying to target successful businessmen, there are ways in which any advertising campaign is highly likely to fail, and inserting your adverts into publications rarely read by such people is a guaranteed way to lose your company a fair chunk of money. But it will also be important to consider ways in which you can get the attention of those customers you are after.

Offline advertising can prove to be much more successful, as it can involve active promotion, rather than passive promotion. For example, actively putting documents into people’s hands as they pass in the street, actively arranging a publicity stunt in the town center, or actively giving away products which might really be useful will all help ensure that those suitable people passing by don’t just pass by.

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