Digital and offline marketing are often thought of as two entirely separate things, and while there are some important differences, they can often be utilized by the same company. Businesses should try to use every tool at their disposal to reach their goals, especially when they have the budget to afford it, and overlooking either online or offline marketing might be a mistake.
Online marketing is often completely overlooked by small businesses because they either think that it’s too complicated or not effective for local companies. Both of these opinions couldn’t be further from the truth, and digital marketing and web design is the biggest channel for advertising spend by the most prominent companies in the world.
The Advantages of Digital Marketing
By the nature of the internet, digital marketing methods like local SEO has the potential to reach a huge amount of people in a very short period. But there are some critical advantages besides this, including the ability to measure and track your results as well as saving all significant advertising dollars. Digital marketing is the most significant percentage of advertising budgets around the nation because it’s more cost-effective, and it generates tangible results.
Easy to Measure and Track
When you’re spending thousands of dollars each month on marketing you want to know precisely what it’s being spent on and the results that are generated. With offline methods, this is impossible, sure you might see your phone ringing more, but you will never know if that’s because of your offline marketing or if a customer recommended you to their friends.
Whereas with digital marketing you have complete control over how and where your money is spent, and you can see it in real-time. By using analytics software, you can track users as they arrive and leave your website, allowing you to see their entire journey through your company and therefore attribute sales to specific ads, landing pages, and keywords.
By tracking your results, you can ensure that your marketing efforts are both cost-effective and generating a profit. With offline methods, it’s far more difficult to come to the same conclusion, and for this reason alone, digital marketing can be superior especially for businesses that need to be careful with a marketing budget.
Offline marketing techniques are often cost prohibitive because they require businesses to invest large sums of money up front to pay for months of TV, radio or print spots. Digital marketing is the complete opposite, where you are usually paying for each click individually or each month of your SEO as you go.
For small and medium-sized businesses it’s a no-brainer, online marketing allows you to get started with far less cash and then re-invest the profits as you’re going. With many affordable options for digital marketing including SEO, Google AdWords, and social media marketing, these companies choose to head online first rather than having to budget for expensive offline techniques.
The Advantages of Print/Offline Marketing
While digital marketing is an innovative and powerful method that no business can ignore, we shouldn’t overlook print and offline marketing methods. When you’re comparing digital marketing vs. print/offline marketing, there are often cases when these traditional methods can be more useful and sometimes even have a greater impact.
For the average company, the goal of marketing is to bring in customers at a lower cost than they can profit on a low number of transactions, such that they make a net profit. But for multi-national corporations that you see on the stock exchange, the goals might be different. Often, they go for brand awareness, and the cost of conversions is just a rounding error on their balance sheet.
Large and Broad Reach
While online methods might give you a larger potential audience, the reach of offline methods is large and incredibly broad, especially when using television and radio ads. For brands that want to maximize their presence and brand awareness, these channels while not affordable offer great reach.
However, it’s important to note that the number of people that pay attention to these ads is small and for this reason investing in SEO or PPC is often wise even for these larger company. With SEO, you put yourself in front of individuals who are actively searching for a company like yours, rather than using interruption marketing to get sales.
Easy to Get Started
Online marketing might seem easy to those of us who are experienced in it, but it takes a relatively large amount of effort to get started. You need to create a website, ensure that it looks good, set up ads, work on your SEO and then be patient while the customers start to take an interest.
With offline marketing methods, the effort is far less, especially with print and radio. You could hand out flyers the same day that you make them, and the phone would start to ring within hours, getting an ad in the paper takes an hour of planning and radio isn’t too much longer.
Digital Marketing vs Print/Offline Marketing
One isn’t better than the other; they are both tools in the same toolbox and companies should strive to use them both whenever the problem calls for it. However, digital marketing is the ideal solution for small and medium-sized firms that need a cost-effective and easy to track method of marketing. Print and offline methods are far more beneficial for large companies that are looking to maximize brand awareness and improve their mindshare.