Marketing: Online Versus Offline? Part 1

You’re a business owner…and you know you need to market/advertise in order to increase business, expose your business/name/brand/and everyone telling you something different – who should you listen to?

Let’s assume you’re a new Business Owner. Everyone wants to help you with your marketing efforts.

There are different magazines/newspapers vying for your marketing dollars, with each magazine/paper telling you just why you need to advertise your business with them. You will hear about the success other Business Onwers had while advertising in this magazine, the online marketing this magazine will do for you, the included design services for your add, the additional leads you’ll be able to receive from their online presence and more. It’ll then come down to “How big of an add would you like?”…and “It’s best to have a full page”.

Then there are the TV ads, promising you the best exposure, with extremely targeted advertising on special channels. Again, with add on promises of leads, exposure, branding and profit.

In addition, there are Radio Ads, and why not, a potentially huge number of potential customers might be listening to the radio and their way to and from work, waiting to hear about your business/product or service. For a small price – in comparison to the number of listeners you can potentially reach – you can take advantage of this medium as well.

Business Cards – how else would you remind people of what you do when first meeting them.

Email address based on your business name – wouldn’t want to look unprofessional, would you now?

Signs – no better advertising for your business/product/service and yourself.

Personal brochures, Give-aways like pens, cups and t-shirts, an assorted other promotional items to be used at Expos, Events and more.

Then you can have 800 numbers, specialized license plates, car wraps, ads in the yellow pages and more.

If you’re thinking that this might put a serious strain on your finances, you are right. But keep in mind, you’re not done yet – now have to consider all the online marketing options.

Website, SEO, Pay per click, Adsense, Social Networking, Podcasts, Videos, virtual tours and blogging to name a few. While some of these might not cost as much as traditional marketing, they can be quite time intensive.

Take blogging for example. If you plan to successfully leverage your expertise via a blog, you have to stay on a schedule, blog regularly, provide interesting content and be engaged with your audience.

Social networking: The signing up and creation of a profile is just the beginning. Then the real work begins. You have to participate and interact, form new relationships and offer value.

Your website – it’s not just a “static thing” that can be designed and controlled by someone else – it has to be a reflection of you, your business style, values and what you can do for clients.

Pay per click – you’ll need a well designed campaign to obtain maximum results. You have to know your target audience, and speak to them directly. You can’t be vague and use generalized terms.

Podcasts – do you know what you want to ‘get across’?

Video/virtual tours – great way to advertise your product and/or expertise, show off uses of your product/service, show off your community (if that is part of your business) and lets people meet you online – but again, time intensive if done right.

With all those online options – which ones are right for you?

Or should you just stick to traditional marketing? After all, it always has worked, and it seems there is a lot more help (outsourcing) available…

We’ll take a look at all the different options that are available to you in the next parts of this series. But while studying marketing – both off- and online, I’ve come to the conclusion, that the best marketing/advertising/branding/etc is a combination of different options available, based on your business/product/service and – most importantly – your clientele.

Looking forward to your input on this series!

Keep in mind: When it comes right down to it – it’s not about your business, about you, or what you can offer – it’s all about what your clients expect, where they go for information and what’s most convenient for them. So you have to know what they want, in order to stay on top of the ‘game’.

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About Sabine
Mom, Sister, Friend, Traveller, World Citizen, Realtor, Optimist

7 Responses to Marketing: Online Versus Offline? Part 1

  1. Allan James says:

    Superb information and overview Sabine!

    And it got me to thinking…

    Knowing what your clients / customers / subscribers want is
    is hugely important, but often difficult to gauge, and I’m attracted to the idea of surveying my subscribers to find out exactly what their needs are, so as to be able to meet them.

    I haven’t tried it yet, but I saw this paid service the other day that looked suitable for this task and will make use of it in the near future.
    http://www.surveymonkey.com/Home_Landing.aspx

    Obviously, once you *know* whats wanted, then you can respond appropriately.

  2. Sabine says:

    Allan,

    I’ve participated in surveys set up by survey monkey previously – and they seemed to work out great.

    Sabine

  3. christophercdean says:

    Great overview of what marketing is all about. It’s going to be interesting to see where you go with this series. When I speak with both clients and prospective business owners, they usually look at advertising and marketing as a maze. Understanding what options are best for each business is crucial.

  4. Kanupriya says:

    Hi,
    Good post and quite informative as well. DO you think online is really cost effective as compared to traditional marketing? Which route you would suggest if your objective is just lead generation.

  5. Sabine says:

    Christopher,

    Thanks. I think that’s where consulting comes into play – because one size does NOT fit all…and that’s true for marketing as well.

    Kanupriya,

    It really depends on the type of business. If you would like to email me privately with some more details, I’ll be able to give a more detailed answer. Thanks.

    Sabine

  6. Pingback: Marketing: Online Versus Offline? Part 2 « Colorado Highlands Group

  7. Marketing leads that are targetted can arguably make or break a business if employed correctly.

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