It may seem that in the digital age, all you need to market your new business is a good website and some knowledge of social media marketing. Of course, your web presence is absolutely vital to winning customers, and marketing yourself in just about every niche there is is easier than ever.

However, for most startups, discarding offline advertising would actually be a costly mistake. Offline advertising includes printed media like flyers, coupons and brochures, TV and radio advertising, advertising in the printed press, billboard advertising, face to face direct marketing, and telemarketing.

While for most startups it would be impossible or at the very least inefficient to use all of these methods, a good mix of online and offline advertising is usually the strongest approach. Here, we look at why:

Saturation can be a problem on the web

Most people are now online the vast majority of the time in one way or another, with their phones able to notify them if they have new messages to read on Facebook or Twitter (or their other various social media networks), and checking their email or browsing the web being something they do everywhere.

Because of this, it is assumed in marketing that most people see around 2000 messages a day, including those from friends, and those that are promotional (adverts, tweets or posts by companies, and commercial results in searches).

All of these posts are fighting to get their attention. This means that unless an ad is especially engaging, timely or relevant, the user may ignore it completely, their eyes never even drifting to the part of the page ‘where the ads always are’. This means that other forms of marketing have a chance to get their attention simply by being delivered in a different way.

Offline advertising can be less disposable.

Offline marketing, particularly in print form, is less easy to simply discard without looking at than online advertising. An email can be deleted in a click, and a tweet can be skipped, but if you give someone a beautifully prepared brochure or flyer they are likely to give it more value as an object, and at the very least look at it before deciding whether it interests them or not. Use a good next day printing company and get material made that your target audience will want to not only read, but keep, and you are onto a winner.

You can build a rapport.

Social media is a great way to market because you can build a dialogue with the customer, but the impact of this is even stronger when they get to speak to a real person representing your company face to face or on the phone. Direct marketing can therefore be a great part of your mix as it allows you to build a rapport and really reflect the kind of company you are.

Direct marketing and print marketing are good offline approaches for startups, and usually not prohibitively expensive, where TV or other offline mass media advertising can be. Consider these when designing your perfect marketing mix!

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