Two thirds of all people who search for a product online are driven to do so by exposure to some form of offline marketing. Television, magazines and newspapers, flyer and word of mouth influence well over 80%.
The iProspect study asked users what encouraged them to search online for a certain company, product, service or slogan. The results were: TV: 35%, Word of Mouth: 24%, Magazine/Newspaper/Flyer: 22%, Radio: 13%, Billboard: 6%
So there is a clear link between offline and online. How you take advantage of the above offline methods depends on your industry and product.
What forms of offline marketing can you utilise to drive more potential customers to your online business?
TV campaigns are extremely expensive when considering the professional production and network airtime costs. Without doubt, we'd all like to deliver our message to people sitting in thier own homes on mass for maximum exposure. Depending on the network you choose to deliver your message, you can reach millions of people and have thier attention for 10, 20 or 30 seconds. You will need deep pockets for TV, so probably only a realistic opportunity unless you are targeting a specific local market and can strike a great deal with a local TV station.
Word of Mouth is always a great channel to exploit, but you must have identified a unique selling point and then be able to deliver that message to your first round audience, and actively encourage them to tell thier friends. We've all had friends that cant wait to tell us where they got a great deal, saved money or bought the latest and greatest product. Group comforters always encourage people to follow them and do the same as them, so they can feel good about thier own decisions and purchases.
Publishing channels such as Magazine/Newspaper/Flyers need careful consideration and a great deal will depend on what industry and market you operate in. Glossy big title magazines and national newspapers tend to used more for brand awarenes and positioning, whereas niche market magazines and local newspapers will provide a platform to deliver a more direct sales/call to action message. Flyers are always a good way to start any offline marketing campaign as the flyer can be dropped through an entire town or regions letter box or distributed as an insert through a 3rd party such as a magazine, newsletter etc.
Radio is currently in 4th place as a branding delivery medium, but is showing signs of gaining traction on the print media channel above it. With more people now listening to digital radio on thier computers and TV's than on an actual radio itself, the power of internet technology giving birth to a global on-demand services means that you can reach your audience through audio message. Again, radio commercials can be be cost prohibative to many looking at national and top rated stations, but you can start with some local campaigns as a test and then roll out regionally once you have fine tuned your campaign.
Billboards are hanging in there and most productive placed with the greater footfall. For billboard advertising to be successfull, you have to understand who your audience will be and then deliver your message that will make an impression. Due to the static nature of billboards, demographics of the passing traffic are relatively easy to assess and targeting your message to your passing eyes is key.
Offline marketing success will vary depending on the creativity of your advertising, exposure volume and how targeted your campaigns are.