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Great Marketing Plans Need Online and Offline Promotion

by | February 22, 2023

College students log lots of daily screen time, but real-world campaigns get attention too. Here’s how to mix online and offline promotion.
Main illustration for online and offline promotion

Today’s advertising is a blend of offline and online promotion. Yet when we envision traditional marketing through the ages, many of us picture bright lights and advertisements. 

Times Square in New York City. The gigantic billboards along Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. And it would be hard to imagine fashion brands like Gucci, Prada or Versace without their glossy print ads in magazines like Vogue. 

Today, content marketers use a mix of marketing strategies to reach consumers. Though Gucci may be known for their extravagant billboards and magazine ads, they also create video and social media content. Both online and offline marketing are key to building brand awareness.

What do the terms offline and online marketing mean anyways?

  • Offline marketing includes brand awareness campaigns in newspaper, print, radio, direct mail, and coupons, among others. 
  • Online marketing includes digital marketing methods like social media, email, blog posts, and search engines. 

Online vs. Offline = Both?

Offline advertising in New York's Times Square.

There are pros and cons to online and offline marketing tactics. 

Consider the following about offline advertising:

  • Offline marketing efforts like print materials, fliers, and broadcast ads give customers something physical to engage with. Those fliers go on the fridge, a commercial becomes the topic of conversation during Monday night football. 
  • Offline marketing helps people become aware of your brand before you send them more targeted marketing that expects them to take some kind of action.
  • Traditional advertising lends itself to more in-person interactions. Working with local radio or TV stations creates networking opportunities as well. 
  • Offline campaigns tend to be more expensive. They’re also more time-consuming to create and release to the public. 

Now switch gears to online marketing:

  • Online marketing strategies focus more on content rather than product. This builds brand personality and recognition. 
  • Nothing beats online marketing campaigns for reaching a targeted audience. SEO strategies allow brands to reach specific age groups, locations, and interests. 
  • Online marketing can reach people on their mobile devices when they’re traveling or running errands.
  • Digital marketing has the potential to be more affordable. You’re not paying for ad space, air time, or print materials. 

Here’s the thing: if you need digital content but have your heart set on a glossy print ad, you can have your cake and eat it too. Smart brands combine both online and offline promotions to create effective marketing strategies. Want to post a TikTok video dancing with that print ad? You probably should.

The On-and-Off Campaign Strategy

Online and offline advertising illustration

Ready to really blow them away? You want a marketing strategy with online and offline promotion. Digital marketing may be the way of the future. But there’s a reason we remember the Los Angeles billboards or still sing that hometown jingle thirty years later. 

1. Use One With the Other

Cross-pollinate your advertising content. Combine online channels and offline content in the same ad or post. Drive online traffic towards in-person consumption.

  • Post clips from a television ad on social media platforms 
  • Include a QR code for your web address, landing page, or brand socials on a direct mailer or flier
  • Have in-person customers sign up for white papers or online loyalty programs
  • Set up geofencing, a marketing tactic that detects when customers visit your location and follows up with digital ads

2. Scale Up with Landing Pages and White Papers

If you saw the terms “landing page” or “white papers” above and thought, huh? Rather than a website with multiple pages to browse through, landing pages are typically a single online page used to promote a product or service.

White papers are basically digital brochures or online infographics. Both white papers and landing pages mimic offline promotions such as direct mailers, loyalty card programs, or brand memberships. They’re sometimes called “lead magnets,” because they offer value in exchange for someone providing you with their contact information.

Here are some ways to use white papers in your marketing channels:

  • Link to landing pages on your social platforms
  • Feature some white paper content in an email marketing campaign to encourage customers to download the whole thing
  • Use white papers to educate consumers about a product or experience
  • Modernize hard copy programs such as class enrollment, loyalty programs, or brand membership with a landing page

3. Consider the Customer Journey

The best thing about combining online and offline promotional strategies is creating a customer experience. Let’s go back to Gucci. 

There’s something glamorous about driving down Sunset and seeing a high-fashion billboard flanked by palm trees. When you’re reading the September issue of Vogue, it’s exciting to see those new shoes. 

When you visit the Gucci store on Fifth Avenue, a doorman lets you in behind a velvet rope. The shoes from the magazine ad are glittering in a well-lit velvet display. Thanks to the Instagram influencer who posted pictures at a party wearing the shoes, you have inspiration for how to style them yourself. 

This marketing campaign has created an immersive experience. Use your marketing campaign to make a moment. That Gucci “G” is recognizable around the world, right? 

Ready, Set, Synergize!

Ready to create that moment? College Marketing Group can help combine online and offline promotion for incredible marketing moments. Using their years of marketing experience, CMG helps you design a marketing campaign to build your business like never before.

The Tub Thumper


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