Online and offline marketing can offer a range of benefits when promoting your brand’s products and services. However, there can also be disadvantages or challenges that both methods present.
By combining the two methods, you can often overcome these challenges by meeting your audience on more than one platform.
In this blog post, we’ll analyse the advantages and disadvantages of online and offline marketing methods, alongside reasons why you should be combining the two.
- What Is Online Marketing?
- What Is Offline Marketing?
- Advantages of Online Marketing
- Disadvantages of Online Marketing
- Advantages of Offline Marketing
- Disadvantages of Offline Marketing
- Harmonising the Two
What Is Online Marketing?
Online marketing — commonly referred to as digital marketing — is marketing which uses the internet to promote brands, products or services. With 98% of people in the UK able to access the internet at the start of 2022, it’s no surprise online marketing has soared in popularity over the last few years.
Some popular forms of online marketing include:
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Video marketing
- Paid search/PPC
- SEO/search engine marketing
- Content marketing
Online marketing allows businesses to reach their audiences in various ways. Combine this with low cost and you can understand why more companies are implementing online marketing into their outreach strategy.
What Is Offline Marketing?
Offline marketing is any marketing that takes place outside the internet, sometimes referred to as traditional marketing.
Despite the various online marketing techniques available to businesses, offline marketing still holds great value. Some examples of offline marketing include:
- Printed materials (leaflets, flyers, brochures, posters, etc.)
- Direct mail
- TV/radio ads
- Telephone communication
Offline marketing can help you to break through the digital noise and build trust with your consumers. In a consumer survey, 42% of respondents said print advertising was somewhat trustworthy, compared to 18% who gave the same answer for internet websites.
Advantages of Online Marketing
Online marketing can benefit your business in several ways. Let’s take a look at some key benefits of successful digital campaigns.
Global Reach in a Cost-Effective Way
One of the main advantages of digital marketing is you can reach your target audience in a cost-effective and measurable way. You’ll open up the capability of global reach for a small investment by taking your marketing online.
Building Customer Loyalty
By reaching your target audience through channels such as social media, you can market to them and build loyalty. Being responsive and open with consumers on social media can create a reputation for being easy to engage with and approachable.
Personalisation and Measurable Success
Thanks to modern methods, you can also personalise your online marketing to tailor the experiences users have with your brand. Linking your customer database to your website means it can pull through consumer information and provide targeted adverts or personalised messaging when they visit your site.
Practising methods such as personalisation can lead to improved conversion rates, which is another advantage of online marketing. Users are only a few clicks away from a purchase on a website, whereas they may have to take more time-consuming steps — such as a phone call or visiting a shop — to take action on offline marketing strategies.
Measuring the success of your online marketing campaigns using web analytics also makes it simple to see the effectiveness of your current marketing strategy
Disadvantages of Online Marketing
Low investment for global reach sounds great on paper, but online marketing can have challenges. If not executed correctly, it can lead to poor results and even harm your brand.
Fighting to Stand Out
One of the main advantages of online marketing can also be a disadvantage. Having the opportunity to reach a global audience means you’re up against global competition. With such a saturated market, companies can find it challenging to stand out from the crowd.
Plus, with market saturation, users can experience digital fatigue — a state of mental exhaustion when people constantly use several digital tools and applications. Holding something tangible can be a welcome break from a screen.
Your team will also need the right skills, understanding and training to succeed in digital marketing, which can lead to added costs. Not only this, but in the world of online marketing — particularly social media — trends, tools and processes are always rapidly changing, meaning your team will need to stay on top to match your competition.
Negative Feedback Seen By All
While interacting with your audience directly can help you build relationships with your customers, this can also provide challenges. Any criticism or negative feedback your company receives online is likely visible to other customers, affecting their perception of your brand.
Data Compliance and Trust
To contrast the advantage of personalising experiences for your consumers, several compliance regulations and legal requirements exist to consider when collecting customer data. To comply with data regulations, you’ll need to ensure your processes comply.
Plus, building trust online can be complex. With fake news and personal data at the forefront of many minds, gaining the trust of your online consumers can be a challenge.
Advantages of Offline Marketing
Offline marketing can help you build trust and leave a lasting impact on your audience.
Leaving an Impression
Traditional marketing methods are fantastic for leaving a lasting impression on your audience. Offline marketing methods often implement tangible materials, such as brochures and flyers, which can provide various benefits.
Print advertisements are adverts that stick around and offer a longer-lasting effect — consumers who receive them keep them for an average of 17 days.
Building Trust and Breaking Through the Noise
Print is also trusted more by customers, with 82% of respondents saying they trust print advertising the most when making purchase decisions. Plus, by putting some of your budgets into print marketing, you’ll bypass the overload of online digital information and supply your consumers with a direct, tangible message.
Aside from print, face-to-face interaction is also beneficial during business events. By networking with potential clients or consumers directly, you’ll be able to add a layer of personality to your marketing that online methods struggle to match. Adding print to your event marketing can enhance the impact you make when looking to impress clients.
Meeting Your Audience Where They Are
Traditional marketing can also reach a demographic that online marketing finds hard to do, such as CEOs or busy executives. These people may not have the time to read online advertisements or emails when they see them, but they can be reached via TV, radio, or by having printed material which they can keep.
Disadvantages of Offline Marketing
We’ve looked at the benefits that offline marketing can bring to your business, but what about the disadvantages?
Offline marketing methods, such as advertising on TV or radio can be expensive. There are advertising fees to pay and the expense of video production or voice actors, which can add up fast.
Adverts Can Interrupt
With TV and radio, some viewers or listeners perceive advertisements as intrusive as they often interrupt entertainment services. If interrupting a service is seen as annoying from the consumer’s perspective, it can often render the advert ineffective.
There’s also the disadvantage of measuring and tracking the success of some traditional methods, which is straightforward with online marketing thanks to analytics. Print, TV and radio marketing is put in front of a wide range of people with the hope that the audience will take action on the offer or service that the advert displays.
However, there are ways to integrate online and offline marketing to achieve the best results and measure ROI.
Harmonising the Two
Combining online and offline marketing methods can yield excellent results. Although online marketing has perks, it can be challenging to stand out in a digitally crowded space. As we’re bombarded with more emails and targeted ads than ever, offline marketing methods such as print can offer relief from the waves of promotional offers we see online.
Implementing offline methods into your marketing strategy doesn’t mean you have to abandon the other, and there are ways you can effectively combine the two to work in harmony.
Not only can print methods work in supplying your audience with a tangible message, but you can also encourage your offline audience to interact with you online. Ensuring all of your offline marketing has your website URL and social media handles mean you can direct users online, where they can discover more about the product or service you’re offering.
You can also add a QR code to your offline marketing, offering a direct path to a landing page or social media account you wish to promote. For example, your print material could advertise an exclusive offer which can only be redeemed by scanning a QR code that takes them to a landing page where they can redeem said offer.
By encouraging your customers to interact with your brand both online and offline, you’ll have a better chance of conversions and fostering relationships with your audience.
But what about tracking the results and effectiveness of offline marketing methods? One way of tracking ROI is to create a dedicated tracking system which includes a dedicated URL or phone number specific to a specific campaign or offer. Doing this will help you measure the effectiveness of your offline efforts.
Take Your Print Marketing to the Next Level
Looking to reap the benefits of adding print to your marketing efforts? By partnering with a sustainable print partner such as B&B Press, you can ensure timely, high-quality print and do your bit for our planet as well.
We offer a range of services which can suit the needs of your print campaign — big or small. Plus, by carbon balancing every print job we perform, we ensure our work doesn’t come at the expense of the environment.
If you’re interested in producing brilliant print, get in touch with a member of our expert team today.