Saturday, 15 January 2011

Online Vs Offline Marketing - Should You Be Doing Both?

Are you interested in making a splash with your marketing efforts? Are you wondering where to concentrate your efforts between online marketing and offline marketing? It's important to do both online and offline campaigns. But your unique business model and your goals impact where you should concentrate the majority of your efforts and your advertising budget. The biggest 'bang' for your buck may happen online, though so don't discount the potential of the Internet. This all depends on your business.

How will you stack up against competitors? What will be required for you to grow your business/ Your strategy should depend on a number of factors and one of those should be your niche market and your geographical area. If you're a small local business in a rural part of the country, you may want to focus your efforts more locally, through print advertising, radio announcements, television, and direct mail. The web can be advantageous anyway. Sure, you'll grab attention through coupons and flyers but many people looking for whatever it is that you sell will probably look online to help them decide who to call / where to go, etc. This can be especially important when trying to grow or when trying to penetrate a market that's served by an established competitor.

One of the great things about online marketing is that you can quite easily measure total cost of ownership and return on investment. Traditional campaigns can take months to measure but internet campaigns can take little to no time to see how they're working out. The internet can have more longevity as well. Spending money on a campaign could pay dividends now and dividends on an ongoing basis where print marketing can have a much shorter shelf life.

As a business owner, you'll want to spread your efforts out over multiple mediums. Email marketing, print advertising, direct mail, search engine optimisation, article marketing, press releases, blogging, social marketing, and other areas can all contribute toward your success.

If you're not sure where to start or don't have the cycles to manage this on your own, consider seeking help of a consultant. Look to a marketing consultant who can help with both online and offline strategies.

Some consultants have expertise primarily offline but some consultants have expertise in both the web and the brick and mortar world. Be sure to work with someone who will listen to you and who can show you measurable return on your investment.

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