Offline Marketing: Is It Worth The Expense?

Posted on: 17 June 2015

You've undoubtedly heard about the importance of digital marketing for your small business: With 87 percent of Americans online and using websites, blogs and social media sites to conduct research on local companies, it makes good sense to concentrate your marketing dollars on strategies geared toward the 21st century. Before you let your outdoor signs spiral into disrepair due to neglect or stop printing out business cards and brochures, however, it's important to remember that there are still many people who are going to be swayed to buy by your offline marketing.

Do You Live in a Small Community?

While people in small towns are just as likely to be technologically up-to-date as their big city counterparts, there's often a feeling of loyalty toward small businesses in the area. If you are running what could affectionately be called a "mom and pop" shop, it's important to make sure the outside of your building, including your signage, looks just as good as, if not better than, the inside.

Remember that anywhere you are, whether your business is located in a large city or a tiny village, people are talking. Don't think that they won't notice that you are not paying attention to your sign, your stacks of brochures or your billboards, and they might assume that you no longer care.

Are You Considering the Impulse Shopper?

Even the most stringent planners occasionally stop in a shop on a whim, and your offline marketing needs to be positioned to encourage them to stop in your shop when they get the notion. Since those out and about on a drive aren't likely to be consulting their smartphones (or at least, you hope that's not what they're doing while their eyes should be on the road!), your signage, billboard and even a radio spot could be the factor that gets them in the door.

Is your lettering still readable from the street? Are your sign's colors bright and attractive? Be sure to drive by at night if you've already left for the day before the sun goes down; is the neon still well-lit without flickering? Any deficiencies in these areas could dissuade someone from stopping, no matter what it says on your website.

Do Your Customers Feel Rewarded for Their Loyalty?

Direct mail pieces sent through the postal service can go a long way toward making your customers and clients feel appreciated. Implement a loyalty program, whether that's in the form of a punch card or a referral incentive. Getting a postcard with a valuable coupon in the mail amidst the bills and credit card offers can really make your brand stick out in the minds of your clients in a way that a social media post just can't.

Are You Considering Your Target Client?

While the vast majority of people do go online in the USA, just over half of the people in the 65+ age group are using the Internet, according to the Pew Research graph referenced above. Individuals with lower incomes or who live in rural areas are less likely than their urban, high-income counterparts to get online. Depending on your target clients, you might be barking up the wrong tree by focusing more on digital marketing and less on traditional types of marketing.

The takeaway from all of this is that while, as a business owner, should be investing time and money into your website, PPC ads, remarketing ads and other digital marketing strategies, keeping your offline marketing materials and signage updated and frequently disbursed is just as important. Remember, too, that a first impression means a lot; if you have shoddy workmanship on your brochures or your neon signs are not lit up at night, potential customers could be turned off even if they do like your website or if they follow you on their social media site of choice.

If you want more information about keeping your signage good shape, you can check it out by clicking here.