Online Marketing vs Offline Marketing

Advertising and gaining exposure through the internet is quickly becoming the core foundation of many marketing campaigns. Online marketing presents itself in many different forms. There is Google Advertising; Google offers a variety of different marketing strategies, such as pay per click ads or display ads. Another form of Google advertising is SEO, which is all about optimising the website so that it appears in the search results certain keywords. Visit the Kelsall SEO website for more information. Social media can also be a very effective marketing strategy due to the many millions of people who now use social media.

One of the main advantages of online marketing is the cost efficiency. The internet allows businesses to reach out to targeted groups of people, those that are most likely to pay for their product or service. Google, for example, gives a website the ability to appear in the search results when people are looking for something which is closely related to what the business provides. It also allows businesses to advertise on websites that share a similar target audience to help increase exposure to the right people.

Another advantage is a number of people that you can reach instantly. The internet has made it incredibly easy to advertise in front of a huge number of people. Take Facebook as an example, around 60% of the world’s population has a Facebook account. Facebook advertising allows a business to set up a Facebook ad and instantly target that towards their target audience at a small cost. Promoting a business on Google is the same and with Google search slowly taking over the internet, this makes it a great place to advertise.

However, online marketing does have its downsides. There can sometimes be difficulty gaining trust from potential customers or clients. Putting trust in a company that you have never met physically can be very difficult. This gives old fashioned marketing the edge, where people would meet face-to-face to build a relationship before taking any further steps.

Another disadvantage is the competitiveness of the online market. Because of its advantages, this has made the market very crowded and this means that it can be incredibly difficult and expensive to make an online marketing strategy effective without the right expertise. This is why a lot of businesses choose to steer clear of the online routes.

Offline marketing can be considered to be the more old-fashioned approach as the internet is, inevitably, taking over the world. But with solid ideas and good strategy offline marketing can be just as effective. Some good platforms include; TV advertisements, local magazines, radio ads, networking, cold calling, direct mailing and more.

Some of these methods mentioned above have a much stronger chance of building trust with potential customers or clients. This is especially true when it comes to methods that involve physically meeting people. Also, having a friend or work associate refer someone over is an extremely powerful way of earning instant trust. Once people trust your business enough to refer work, this can be a very efficient way to build your business. One referral can lead to another, replicating a snowball effect and as this happens, it allows a business to continue acquiring customers or clients without any marketing costs what so ever.

Another major advantage of this is that it allows a business to expose itself to audiences you may otherwise not reach. For instance, the older generation. The problem with online marketing is that most people over the age of 60 do not use a computer or mobile phone enough for it to be effective. If a business wants to target the older generations, they may be better off investing in offline strategies, such as adverts in magazines or face to face meetings.

The main drawback of marketing in this way, however, is the associated costs. For example, it can be extremely expensive to advertise on television at peak time. Advertising on ITV can cost over £60,000 for a 30-second advert, if requested at peak time. Adverts in papers and magazines can be equally as expensive. For this reason, it is questionable as to whether money is better spent here rather than online, where advertising can be much more targeted and be achieved at a similar cost.

To conclude, both methods can have varied results and it is, therefore, very difficult to say which is more effective in terms of generating new business. The strategy and platform you choose really depends on many factors such as whom you are targeting and what market sector you are in. Every business is unique and, because of this, the best advice would be to test both to see which is the most effective for your company. Record and analyse the data and results from each campaign. The proof is in the pudding!