Offline advertising methods have already had their heyday. Don’t get me wrong, it still has its place, in a more generic way.
Marketing offline is usually a spray-gun approach as regards the people it reaches. Direct mailings, per se. Flyers are sent out to households without specific targeting. What have you actually achieved? How many of those households looked at your flyers? How many are interested in your business offerings? How many of them will visit you? How many of them will buy? You have very little chance of actually finding out. Also, you will have sent out plenty of flyers which get dropped straight in the bin – thus wasting your marketing budget.
So, how do businesses attract local customers to them and maintain a healthy bottom line?
The above example can make you seriously reconsider local advertising offline. It’s hit and miss – usually with more miss than hit! Some you win and some you lose. Who can afford that kind of thinking these days? Advertising should be getting you the most bang for your buck and reaching the greatest number of locally based customers interested in your particular product or service.
Many businesses turn to the internet as a way of reaching more people for a lot less money. Online marketing provides real-time results. You can count clicks, track where traffic originates from and put a number on how many click-throughs convert into sales. You can quantify online advertising and you can do so quickly. Online analytics give you a distinct advantage over the slow pace of offline marketing campaigns. Real time numbers allow you to see who is responding to your marketing strategy, if anyone is responding, and how they are responding.
The advantage of real time quantifiable results are numerous. You can respond immediately to interest and demand and adjust your campaign accordingly. Having success with email auto-responders? Increase your reach. Find social media is the way to go for you? Double your efforts right away! No response from those banner ads? Shut them down immediately.
Immediate assessment of online strategies allows you to modify keywords, reposition advertising liaisons or even scrap a whole campaign and regroup quickly. You’ll blow the offline competition out of the water!
Obviously, this will also save you money. The longer an advertising campaign runs, the more it costs. If you are not getting results, you’ll want to nip it in the bud and stop spending on it as quickly as possible. Conversely, if it is successful, you’ll want to step it up and build on it! It’s all about the bottom line. How much marketing budget do you have and don’t you want it to be as effective as possible?
Unlike traditional print, television and media advertising, targeting a specific demographic with the internet is better than hit or miss. The internet gives your business access to specific demographic groups based on age, gender, income, education, occupation and much more! You can use blogs, video, audio, email, newsletters and social media for a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising and also reach a much larger audience.
Still the best and most popular factor of the internet is the ability of the business owner to convert advertising instantly into interest and sales, and for the customer to gain instant access to your services.
The internet, when used wisely, gives interested parties all the information they could hope for with the click of the mouse. Even when you’re not open, anyone can find your address, hours, phone, email, web page for further information, your philosophy, services, products and more. By the time you open the following day, you’ve got a whole new group of interested clients!
As consumers, we’re so used to instant access to information, we’re most likely to purchase from a business savvy enough to take advantage of the internet. If you’re surfing the web looking for information on a product or service, aren’t you most likely to buy from a business who’ll give you what you want, when you want it?
If a potential customer can’t find you or find enough information on your website, they’ll move on. Conversely, if used properly, an interested party can become a customer instantly!