Offline Marketing- 3 better ways
By Bob Salvas

In today’s world of online clutter, many businesses are turning to offline marketing in order to stand out as well as to complement
their online activities. The question is where should they spend those offline marketing dollars? Here are 3 ways that might get you
results- I call these 3 ways the megaphone approach (one to many):
  1. TRADITIONAL MEDIA- I define this as TV, print and radio.This is where most businesses used to go but the golden days
of traditional mass media have long since passed. Survey results show 66% of consumers avoid TV commercials, 48% avoid magazine ads and 46% avoid radio ads. Additionally, there are so many options of what to read, watch, or listen to every day that we often have very little idea where our target market is getting their content from. The high cost to pay for multiple exposures in mass media can also be a deterrent.
  2. PUBLIC RELATIONS- There are certainly advantages to getting exposure from established media, but it can be a challenge to get things published. And the question again comes up as to where our target market is consuming their content from. If the Wall Street Journal runs a great story on my business but my market does not read the WSJ, the positive effect will not be as good. Hiring a Public Relations firm is a better plan but here again we are usually faced with high expenses and unpredictable results.
  3. SIGNS- If you have a physical location for your business, then a sign is a NECESSITY. If you are on the road all the time, car signage or vehicle wraps can be a nice plus. Beyond that, other signs, like billboards, can drive awareness of a brand or company but it doesn’t always do a good job of generating business. You are trusting that your information will be noticed AND remembered while drivers are trying to stay alive on the roads. By the time they can act on the information, they may have forgotten all about it. And while there may be some geographic targeting associated with outdoor ads, your sign will frequently not be seen by your actual target market. And, of course, once again there is the high cost.
NOTE: You can get results from any of these 3 ways, but you may have noticed that all three of these lean towards the expensive side and don’t really have true targeting. It is for this reason that big businesses with wide target markets are a better fit for the megaphone approach (think McDonalds, Budweiser, etc.). A smaller business or a business with a more specific target market might be better served with these 3 better ways- the personal approach (one to one):
  1. NETWORKING- There are no shortage of networking events these days and many of them are low cost (or even free). The important thing about networking, whether you do it at a trade show or networking event or somewhere else, is to do it with regularity and with the intention of building business relationships with many of the people you talk to. It also helps to have a high-quality business card that you can give to people. For more information on successful networking, listen to this podcast:
  2. DIRECT MAIL- Hard copy mail is alive and well and working better than ever. Is it any wonder that a hard copy note sticks out in a world of instant messaging and texting and emailing? The big issue can be the cost and that would be a fair criticism. Regarding that, here are two points: 1- direct mail has the ability to be SPECIFICALLY targeted so you do not have the waste that you have with other methods (so each piece counts) and 2- you can start very small -sending handwritten notes of ‘thanks’ or ‘nice to meet you’ will go a long way to building relationships and landing business or referrals. For more information on successful use of direct mail, listen to this podcast:
  3. PROMOTIONAL PRODUCTS- There are certainly lots of promotional ‘trinkets’ out there and they have their place but here I am referring to handing people (your target market of course!) a high-quality branded gift. This simple act of giving can impress or sway a client to come your way. And the advertising impressions will happen over and over again after only paying for the item ONCE! For more information on successful marketing with promotional products, listen to this podcast:
NOTE: With patience and consistency, you will get results from these 3 better ways. What you may notice is they are not only more personal but also more tangible than the megaphone approach. And when it comes to offline marketing, do not underestimate that benefit. Personal and tangible makes you stand out even more in a cluttered digital world!