First website was launched on August 1991. It gave the world wide web a window to look into somebody’s public content, from wherever. Of course, marketers were not behind in leveraging this new found platform in the name of Online marketing. Online marketing is the coolest form of marketing (okay, flash mobs are cool too). There are many reasons why you should focus more on online, than offline:
Targeted Reach: Online medium gives you the advantage of filtering your audience base to the last detail, so you know your messages are reached to the intended people. You may reach out to females, age 16-30, who lives in Chicago, and who’s interested in paintings. See the level of granularity?
Virality: Digital campaigns have this amazing blessing of getting viral. Even your organic campaigns can get picked up and shared on internet on a large scale, if it is interesting, informative or funny. Your reach has no bounds on digital platform, unlike offline promotions.
Interactive: Online marketing is a must when you are seeking engagement with your customers over your promotional message. You have no or minimum engagement over offline channels, that is a setback on a marketing age when listening to your customers is the most important thing you can do as a marketer.
Measurable: We often hear marketers say that only half of their marketing budget works, but they don’t know which half. This happens when we can’t measure the spent and performance metrics of our marketing efforts. The beauty of online marketing is, you can control budget and track performance in real-time. To sum up, if we want to know if our marketing worked, we need data.
Personalized Messaging: Okay, so this could be the biggest reason for you to consider online marketing over offline marketing – Personalization. Target your audience in a delightful messaging that was solely intended for her. It increases the chances of converting her into your customer by many folds.
Cost Effective: One billboard on a busy street will cost you thousands of dollars for a day. That doesn’t even guarantee you people coming to your store/website. For that kind of money, you can run you ad campaigns for entire year and pay only for people landing on your website. Of course, the objective of billboard and online ads may be different, but in crude terms, online ads cuts down your budget immensely.
Offline Marketing, obviously, has its own set of advantages. It helps tremendously in building a brand. But you need to take a call when to stop marketing and start building a brand. Yes, there’s a difference. You build a brand when you’re successful enough and your target audience builds a brand persona for your brand. This is not easy, and comes at a price of your time and marketing budget. My sincere advice here is to not focus on branding. If you’re doing ok with your marketing consistently, you’ll eventually build a brand.
Offline marketing gives you more flexibility in terms of creativity you can apply in your campaigns. Look at this smart pinch from McDonalds. How smartly they proved a point that they have way more number of outlets than Burger King.
But wait. Burger King didn’t sit quietly. Check out their kickass reply.
The point is, even though offline marketing can be very attractive, but it needs an online medium to go viral.
Big brands, today, are more focused on engaging with customers over online mediums for the stated reasons. They are also seeking technological help with applications like FirstHive that takes care of their customer engagement online, with smart insights for targeted campaigns. Sign-up for FirstHive for free, and try a campaign today.