In this guest article by Jerico Lugo (pictured), media relations manager at SavvySME, he discusses the importance of having offline strategies, the old-school networking strategies that still work a charm, and how direct mails and well-planned cold calls can generate leads and sales.
If you equip your brand with a strong marketing strategy, you will set up a strong concrete base for your business. For me, strong marketing strategies and growth have been synonymous to each other. If you investigate the history of any successful business, you would find that they both complement each other.
All this thanks to the World Wide Web that has radically transformed how the way we market our brand online. The internet is a vast ocean in which every now and then a new fish is discovered. There are a lot of fruitful opportunities up there to discover and use in your business. Never hold back or else, you will end up losing that one golden opportunity you have always desired for.
Old is gold
Don’t ever challenge or dismiss the efficacy of offline marketing.
Irrespective of the easy-to-measure, cheap and quick turnaround benefits of online strategies, offline marketing is something which gives the roots to business and helps it flourish. To have a well-grounded, well-structured and of course established business, you cannot cut slack on your offline strategies.
In fact, recent studies show that print media is still relevant for small businesses and is being effective through these varied platforms.
Keep in mind that marketing is the essence of a business and offline marketing is the fragrance or perfume to it. With more and more consumers going online, offline strategies are being underrated and ignored. Around the globe, around 80% of the people have access to the internet, but what about the ones who don’t? Or forget that, do you think the 80% who are online, don’t operate offline at all?
They commute, go for events, swipe through magazines and live a life away from the screens – so why would you want your brand to be devoid of all the multiple opportunities available there? In fact, the right mix of online and offline strategies is the actual barometer of excellence.
Remember, the community of the ‘best’ is the only place which is not crowded. You surely want to be a part of that group as well, and so we have listed down some offline strategies for your online business:
1. Network the old-fashioned way
Something which has always attracted me about traditional businesses is the kind of effort they put into networking with their customers. They never miss out on that handshake with the customer and understand the importance of face-to-face connections. They value brand loyalty and new connections.
You have no clue what a handshake or an eye-contact can do and communicate. So, dig your own opportunities to appear in the events of your associations or organizations, and don’t just appear, make sure you are heard and valued. Face value in literal senses can create a lot of difference – like how many of us would have known Patanjali if it was not for Baba Ramdev? And don’t forget that one lasting impression will eventually drive your audience to your online identity.
2. Engage people with your speaking skills
When we are talking about the credibility of traditional marketing is, how can we forget one of the first ways of marketing, that is, engaging people with your speaking skills. Speaking engagements are tremendously important for several reasons. But for me, what makes it so important is that you are pitching, or talking to a group of people, who are interested, ready to pay attention, and could be your potential customers.
When you are speaking to a group of such people, you are putting forward your thoughts, which increase your credibility beyond your efforts in the digital world. But yes, if you are just starting your journey, securing such opportunities might be a challenge. So, go slow, take one step after another and grab every opportunity laid in front of you even if they are unpaid. Do not be afraid and go with the flow.
3. Print media is invaluable
Day by day, blogging is replacing print publications. But what people fail to understand is that offline marketing strategies are simply incomplete without the incorporation of print media. Undoubtedly, blogs and online content result in exceptional results and benefits to almost every
brand out there but print publications can offer you a dominating voice in your industry. Apart from that, other benefits are brand visibility, expertise, and outreach.
So, remember, it has got no substitute. Look out for relevant industry magazines, newspapers, and journals which your target audience seeks and check where you can fit or rather stand out. Don’t just be there for the sake of being there, it’s just going to a waste of resources, time and effort. You need to be selective and creative with content you are going to publish. Don’t make it all text based. Create infographics and post them on your business magazine. Do not forget to only use a reputed medium, or else, you never know when it can fire back on you!
4. Direct mails initiate personalisation
You might think that we are taking you back to email marketing, and yes, in some ways we are. Also, if you know about email marketing, you would know the exceptional amount of benefits it serves you. However, direct mail is a process, in which you directly mail your customer or client with the message that you want to tell them. It could be information about discounts, exclusive offers, new stock notification, or anything else. The only (but the most distinctive) difference between a direct mail and an email campaign is the aspect of ‘personalization.’
There will be a group of people in every target audience who prefer direct mails and direct communication than any other medium only because it leaves a sense of ‘wanted’. Also, this practice of direct mails is advancing day by day. Direct mails are a bit costlier than other techniques but let’s not forget the quick turnaround and the far-fetched results of the same.
5. Make cold calls
Now that you are aware of the importance of personal touch and contact, we bring you another marketing strategy that incorporates them. Making cold calls are common. There are more chances than not that you have received one. What makes them different from direct mails is that they are MORE personal. Also, they demand an instant response. Both of this could have extreme effects in both good and bad terms.
You not only look out for prospective clients while making cold calls but also keep an eye on potential marketing partners and business partners. You may never know what one phone call could bring you – it could be an opportunity to collaborate, make content together, be a part of an amazing webinar, you just never know! The key rule to a cold calling is to keep your content strong and be mindful with your calls. Of course, be persistent but see where the line must be drawn. Remember why you are calling and always keep your heart strong. You would not end up converting most of your calls but keep trying.
6. Consider print advertising
This runs along the same lines as print media does. As the name suggests, it involves running print advertisements which your potential customers could see. We all know that this is one of the most expensive forms of marketing or even advertising. Apart from that, it is very difficult to track its conversion rates or its return on investment. So, be careful before executing this option, and run through all our previously mentioned points, before going ahead with this one.
The positioning of the advertising can also be tricky, and if you aren’t wise with it, it will lead to no results at all. Check the proportion and density of your target audience in local areas, their behaviour with print media, frequency and several other factors before you finalize the publication. A QR Code or URL to your advertisement can prove to be a wise technique to help you track your advertisements on paper, to further calculate an average ROI.
7. Trade shows are irreplaceable
Trade shows are a technique where every bit of your time, money and hard work is worth it. Reason being, it just combines the benefits all the above-mentioned points in one. It could be in-person networking or print advertising in the form of big banners and hoardings – it would all be under the same roof.
You could even, pass out some print materials like brochures, booklets or pamphlets. Trust me, the return on investments and conversion rates will bring a smile to your face. The combination of all approaches, mixed with some online support, will create a multi-fold effect on your brand’s visibility, which in turn again puts your online presence in a great position to leverage.
Offline marketing cannot be replaced with online marketing and vice versa. You also cannot alone depend on online marketing. Agreed, that marketing has been a paradigm shift with the emergence of the internet. Yes, they are remarkably effective, but remember, the roots of a business are only concrete if your offline marketing game is strong. For the same purpose, this article would help you achieve excellence, reduce mistakes and rise that inch above your competitors.
They would help you reach out to the audience, which is the main agenda of any business. Put your best foot forward and succeed in your selected sphere! All the best!
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