Don’t Forget to Market Offline

Written by | @stickybranding

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Digital marketing is important, but don’t forget about the real world too. I’ve been shocked recently to see a number of B2B companies abandon their offline marketing and focus exclusively online.

It’s easy to focus your marketing resources online: social media, search engine optimization, pay-per-click, blogging, newsletters, webinars, you name it. Marketing online is fast and cost-effective. You can engage thousands of prospects and customers for not a lot of money.

Digital is also the hot topic. Shiny, new objects are far more interesting to understand and implement than the tried and true. At the same time there’s also the pressure not to be left behind.

It may be easier to market online, but it’s a risky move to focus on it too much. We live the bulk of our lives in the real world.

Focus on the relationship

Rather than following the trends and copying what others are doing, look at your customers. The best way to find the optimal marketing mix is to cater to the relationship.

  1. Who are your customers?
  2. How do they prefer to interact with your brand and your people?
  3. What are your prospects’ and customers’ expectations?
  4. How can you establish rapport so they like you, trust you and choose you first?

If you’re clients would prefer a handwritten note over a Tweet then it’s time to work on your penmanship.

Mix it up. Change it up

Relationships change, and expectations change. Email newsletters were very popular 5 years ago, but then everyone jumped on the bandwagon and filled up our inboxes. Don’t get caught up on one communication platform, because it used to work.

I find a mixture of communication programs to be the most effective. Email works for some, but not others. The same can be said about events, lunch-and-learns, social media platforms, and so on. There’s no one size fits all.

Follow the numbers, and don’t be afraid to mix in new marketing options every now and then. I like to experiment with a new communication stream every 6 to 9 months. I track my numbers, and if it works I keep it. If it doesn’t, at least I learned something. I use the same process to decide what to drop. My goal is build relationships versus committing to tools and technologies.

Offline is the new hip

Another way to look at offline marketing is it’s the new hip. Digital marketing is common place. Throw an event or two. Get out and shake some hands and build some relationships. You will stand out by being a little retro.