Online and Offline Marketing Hand In Hand
In this age of information technology, a business should take advantage of the technological benefits of sending messages at an instant to any part of the world. Timing is very critical in marketing, especially now that the world is bombarded by myriads of different products and brands to choose from. For a business to be sustainable, it should actively counter the many threats from competitors. Therefore, it would be better to explore the benefits of a combined online and offline marketing.
The traditional offline marketing, which involves the different media such as the broadcast media, the print, and other methods, still works because the mentioned marketing means are the most convenient sources of news and entertainment for the masses. However, with the advent of the internet where advertisements can be posted in numerous websites in an instant, a faster option is now available. The emergence of several social networking sites such as Yahoo Messenger, Friendster, Facebook, My Space, and others is a boon to advertising. These sites are very popular not only among youth and yuppies but also among career executives, housewives, and business operators. Therefore, ads posted on these sites have the advantage of a constant and a wide range of exposure.
Compared to the traditional networking and multi-level marketing, online advertisements can reach more potential customers than the personal selling employed by multi-level marketing. But although online marketing saves a lot of time and energy, marketing offline is still effective in terms of the following:
- Actual testimonies on the product’s benefits
- Soliciting of feedbacks from customers so that products can further be improved
- Making follow-ups for a return purchase
However, customers’ demographic profiles, preferences, and lifestyles do vary. So, employing offline or online marketing alone may fail to attract other potential customers. There are customers who prefer to physically touch, smell, and inspect the merchandise before buying it. In this case, a dealer or a sales agent would be helpful. However, there are also customers who would not want to waste time, energy, and privacy, so they rather scrutinize the products in the internet and purchase it online. This method particularly appeals to busy executives and celebrities who prefer shopping from the comfort of their homes. Therefore, it would be better to employ both online and offline marketing to cater to a wider range of customer class.
A business should still adopt the traditional ways of marketing such as promoting the products through seminars and product demonstrations to the target market segment and yet complement this with sending promotional emails, brochures, and business cards online to maximize the customers’ continued awareness of the products’ features and benefits. Inquiries and processing of orders should also be done both online and offline to accommodate the different preferences of the customers.
Since both have their own advantages and disadvantages, it would be better to integrate online and offline marketing for a more synergistic result. This way, the advantages of offline marketing will complement the shortcomings of online marketing and vice versa, thus producing an optimum outcome in terms of an increase in sales, increase in returning customers, attracting more potential buyers, and sustained product interest.