Despite the fact people seem to be staring at their mobile phones 24/7, despite the fact Facebook has more than a billion users, despite the fact Google processes more than three billion searches a day — offline marketing is still indispensible, as a supplement to online marketing or as a replacement.
It’s easy to overlook the value of offline marketing, since things such as social media and search engine optimization get all the attention. But, consider:
- The sheer volume of online marketing activity makes it extremely difficult to stand out from the crowd. To expand brand awareness and generate leads requires an ongoing and expensive investment in money and human resources.
- Offline marketing enables you to maximize the timing and focus of your message. For example, if you exhibit at a trade show, your target audience is there — and is there specifically to evaluate products and suppliers.
- Relationships are fundamental to businesses that rely on repeat sales. Face-to-face marketing engagements such as trade shows, speaking engagements and networking events build connections and loyalty in ways that can rarely be matched in the virtual world.
The infographic noted below, 25 Tips To Build Your Business Through Offline Marketing, presents an overview of the most effective techniques. Chances are, you will discover some you haven’t considered. Techniques discussed include:
- Billboards. It’s not often prospects seek out a marketing message, but long-distance travelers on the Interstate who are low on gas or high on hunger would love to see your billboard. Similarly, in big-city traffic jams, drivers enjoy the diversion of a useful and interesting billboard. Don’t overlook the sky-high conversion and brand recognition power billboards offer.
- Branded Products. Private labeling turns what could be perceived as a commodity into something special. Private labeling increases brand affinity and recognition, stifles competition and promotes customer retention.
- Brochures. Done properly, brochures make small companies look large and sophisticated, and convey complex product and service models with clarity and precision.
- Business Cards. You have only one chance to make a first impression. If you strike up a conversation in an airport terminal with a person who turns out to be a great prospect, will you write your name on a napkin or present him with an elegant business card? Little things like this make the difference between mediocre sales and mega sales.
- Neighborhood Canvassing. Going door to door (with a terrific brochure!) is tried and true, and pays off for local businesses and charitable organizations. Remember, many homeowners are generally skeptical of service providers; they want to look their new landscaper, plumber or contractor in the eye before hiring him or her. Relationships matter.
- Charitable Activity. When your company supports a charitable cause, you not only improve your brand image, you improve engagement and morale in your workforce, and most importantly, give people in need a helping hand. What’s the downside?
- Collaboration. Small and large companies forge strategic alliances to rapidly and significantly expand the scope and capabilities of their businesses. Collaboration is win-win marketing, and often can be implemented with little or no out-of-pocket expense.
- Community Action. People do business with people they like — and companies they like. Doing good things in the community is a way for your business to make a meaningful difference in your backyard, and as a side benefit, put people in a mood to do business with your organization.
- Holiday Cards. In our fast-paced, digital world, people seldom bother to send greeting cards. Make the effort. You’ll stand out from the crowd, and show customers and prospects you’re willing to put time into the relationship.
- In-House Community Events. Show off your facility by bringing people in for a fundraiser. You’ll get great press and win over skeptics.
- Mobile Billboards. Another way to target local customers, only easier on the legs and with greater reach than canvassing (#5).
- Networking Events. These events occur everywhere, and generate the best type of leads — referrals. If you want to get through some really big doors, network.
- Newsletters. Done right, newsletters bring people in the door, improve sales, and define your brand. Trader Joe’s — a very successful operation — uses print newsletters with great effectiveness.
- Pole Banners. A banner on a lamppost or street sign brings in foot traffic — perfect for small-town and big-city businesses.
- Press Releases. Mentions in print news publications still carry a lot of weight. When something remarkable happens at your company, let local and, if warranted, national journalists know about it.
To learn more about these and the rest of the 25 top offline marketing techniques, see the infographic here.
Author bio: Garrett Peterson, Vice President at Downtown Decorations, has been working with the company since 2003. His father, Ted, established the company as a small holiday décor business. After years of growth, Downtown Decorations is now a premier provider of decorative services with a portfolio spanning projects of all sizes around the globe.