If you want to sell, you need to be seen. And marketing can help you do that. But which one to choose? Is offline marketing or online marketing more worthwhile? And what’s the difference between the two? We’ve summarized all the answers for you in today’s article.
In the article you will learn:
- what online marketing is
- what offline marketing is
- offline vs. online marketing: the battle
- which one pays off
What is online marketing?
Online marketing is all brand communication on the internet. It doesn’t just include advertising, as some people mistakenly believe. Online marketing also includes communication on social media, web design or even sending out newsletters.
Tip: Build your favorite brand in 8 steps.
Online marketing tools include:
Most customers nowadays are used to going online. When a friend recommends a brand they’ve had a good experience with, or they want to read about a product they are interested in, they’ll start looking online. Therefore, a properly designed website plays a key role. If it is responsive, graphically interesting and has a good UX and UI, it can engage customers.
The best website is useless if no one can find it. That’s why one of the basic methods of online marketing is search engine optimization (SEO), which ensures that a website appears in the best possible positions in search results. Some of the most important SEO activities include linkbuilding and writing a company blog that contains keyword articles.
PPC advertising is a type of advertising where you pay for clicks. It can be displayed on search engines, on various websites in the form of banners and on social media among other posts.
Social media marketing aims to build relationships with your fans and to communicate. There are many networks to choose from: Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or even Pinterest. To be successful, you need to set the right tone of communication and impress: for example, with an original gif or infographics.
Email marketing includes sending newsletters, transactional emails, and promotional offers. If you’re successful at mailing, you’ll have a great marketing tool that allows for direct outreach, personalization and effective targeting.
What is offline marketing?
Offline marketing is a type of communication with customers that takes place outside the internet. This doesn’t mean that it doesn’t involve any technology: offline marketing includes, for example, television or radio. These are traditional forms of marketing that may seem to be on the decline, but they still have a place in the marketing mix – and quite a significant one.
The tools of offline marketing are:
Television is a medium that reaches a huge mass of people. And that’s why advertising on it is very expensive. Prices range from thousands to hundreds of thousands per broadcast. However, it usually has a very strong impact and covers a wide audience. Television advertising helps to etch itself in people’s minds, which is why it also serves as a great branding tool.
Radio advertising is cheaper and more flexible than television. It probably won’t surprise anyone that the time when radio has the most listeners is in the morning when people are driving to work.
Newspapers and magazines
Print advertising is a way of reaching very narrow target groups. For example, you can choose a magazine about model trains for your message. Local and interest-based targeting is typical of offline marketing in newspapers and magazines. In addition to traditional advertisements, you can also use commercial articles or interviews in the press.
Offline marketing is also an opportunity to meet your customers in person. At exhibitions, trade fairs, conferences and other events you can impress people with an original stand and present your products.
Online vs. offline marketing: 8 key differences
What are the advantages and disadvantages of both types of marketing? Let’s look at 8 aspects.
It’s hard to know how many people responded to your TV ad or how many pedestrians walked past your billboard. There are methods to get these results, but they are often costly and time-consuming.
In online marketing, by contrast, you can easily measure all the results in the relevant tools. Google Analytics will show you the exact website traffic, and Facebook will calculate the click-through rate. You can calculate customer lifetime value and other metrics quite accurately from the data that internet marketing provides. So, in terms of measurable results, online marketing wins hands down.
Online vs. offline marketing: 1:0
Are you familiar with the concept of banner blindness? It refers to the fact that people are so overwhelmed by ads in the online world that they start to ignore them. And no wonder. Anyone with access to the internet can start writing a blog, managing Instagram or setting up ads. You can easily fit in among the hundreds of other businesses on the internet.
In contrast, offline marketing is being used by fewer and fewer brands. So, there’s less competition and more opportunities to stand out.
Online vs. offline marketing: 1:1
Price is a tricky issue: offline and online marketing can cost tens of pounds, but also thousands. It depends on the medium. Just to give you an idea:
- Broadcasting a TV ad in prime time: around £3 000 – £4 000
- A radio ad in the morning (for 100 000 listeners): around £200
- Web development: prices can vary according to the complexity of the assignment: around £1 000 to £10 000
- Writing a blog article: £ 0
In general, online marketing may seem cheaper. Writing blog articles or posting on social media will not cost you anything. But it will cost you time, in many cases even several hours a day.
Offline marketing is usually more expensive. Online marketing is more time-consuming. Neither is free. So, nobody wins in this round of the battle.
Online vs. offline marketing: still 1:1
4. Speed and flexibility
You can create and change online marketing whenever you want. You can write a post in several minutes and publish it in a few clicks. If you decide you want ten blog articles in a week, you’ve got them. And you can create and launch an ad campaign in a matter of hours. If you want to delete or edit something, you can do it instantly. Online marketing is fast and time flexible.
In contrast, in offline marketing, most activities take longer. It takes a matter of weeks to write a script for an ad spot, audition an actor, and organize the actual shoot. And once you submit your ad to a magazine, you can’t retract or edit it. So online marketing wins in terms of speed and flexibility.
Online vs. offline marketing: 2:1
In offline marketing, there are often two cases:
- You target the mass of people, no matter how old they are or what their education is (TV advertising, radio advertising).
- You target regionally (local newspaper, billboard) or by interest (interest magazine).
It depends entirely on which medium you choose.
But in online marketing, the targeting options are generally broader and more advanced. You can target your advertising by age, gender, education, occupation, place of residence or even interests. You can easily set your post to appear to, for example, women in their 30s and 40s who have children and have just returned from vacation, or medium-sized business owners who are interested in colored socks.
Remarketing is also a huge advantage of internet marketing, not least the ability to target people who are searching for your products on their own and are therefore likely to be interested in them. Online marketing wins this round.
Online vs. offline marketing: 3:1
Online marketing can only reach active internet users. Especially seniors and children are out of your reach. For example, did you know that 5% (2.7 million) of UK adults have not used the internet in the past 3 months?
Offline marketing, on the other hand, can reach everyone. Point for offline marketing.
Online vs. offline marketing: 3:2
Anyone can post anything they want on the internet. And people are aware of it. They are therefore often distrustful and question the information they learn there.
Instead, people prefer to buy a product recommended by their favorite magazine or reporter on TV. We are more inclined to trust what we see in a newspaper or on a billboard, whereas on the internet we automatically have doubts.
Online vs. offline marketing: 3:3
Business is about communication. And in terms of communicating with customers, online marketing wins hands down.
While offline marketing is just a monologue of a brand communicating its message to customers, online marketing is a dialogue. Users can react and respond, post comments and send messages.
Don’t forget, communication with the customer is the key to a successful business.
Online vs. offline marketing: 4:3
What does this imply? And how do you know which marketing is paying off?
The results of the battle speak clearly: offline marketing is still not past its zenith, as many think. It just excels in different areas than its online counterpart. It pays off especially for brands that want to target a regional audience or that want to reach as many people as possible – including those who don’t use the internet. It is also more credible compared to online marketing.
On the other hand, online marketing is often cheaper, more flexible and allows much better communication with customers. Anyone with internet can try it (which is also why there is much more competition). You can easily measure its results and adjust your campaigns continuously.
Which one is best for you?
It’s all about knowing your target audience. If you’re trying to reach a younger audience, you’ll probably choose to be promoted online. If your customers are rather older people, you’ll choose offline marketing. And in many cases, you’ll reach for a combination of the two. There are many factors to consider, and a marketing specialist can best advise you on the final marketing mix.
Online marketing for your business
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