That’s a perplexing question that baffles many small business owners and independent retailers.
What works for multinational corporations with deep pockets doesn’t work for small businesses with shoe-string budgets.
Even though today’s empowered consumers expect to interact with brands across a wide range of touch points, that means a strategy that integrates both an off- and online approach is becoming increasingly important. A recent Google/Ipsos study indicates shoppers are feeling increasingly comfortable hitting the “Buy Now” button using their mobile devices, but the wise retail marketer knows the best way to make a sale is by integrating their message across both the “old” and the new media channels. Print and digital campaigns are now tightly intertwined.
The Internet has undoubtedly changed the world of advertising forever and a successful advertising campaign must embrace this medium in order to be successful. Yet one may think that a purely online approach is the answer, however it’s also important to remember that physical promotional items (and advertising) still reach people that online advertising can’t.
Plus, you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of having information that prospective buyers can take with them to analyse and review at their convenience and discretion. That’s why niche magazines remain popular and why print is far from being “dead”.
Most businesses and brands realise that a balance of online content and physical information is necessary, but many are not sure how to achieve this balance. More often than not, the answer comes down to budget and desired outcomes.
One thing is for sure: combining online and offline media is now a must.
Even though social media has played a large role in toppling foreign state political regimes, I am not a fan of social media marketing for small businesses who need to produce tangible sales results.
Instead of wasting time, money and effort on something that is marginal, why not direct it to something tried and tested?
But print won’t work on its own anymore. Print needs an online component to facilitate and enhance the conversation that needs to take place. Without the web, that conversation now falls on deaf ears. With a fully developed online presence, print advertisers can direct their offline leads into fully automated online systems that create a much more fluent, enjoyable and valuable customer experience.
Yet, without print or physical media, often, the catalyst doesn’t exist and “nothing happens”.
Therein lies the conundrum – in many instances, the fastest, easiest and most economical path to prospects is print. Physical (niche) publications have distribution networks that reach people in pockets of interest that are well established. These networks are entrenched geographically, culturally and economically. They have been around for years or even decades, reinforced across generations.
Therein lies the power of the PHYSICAL REAL WORLD network.
But that power remains impotent without the Internet as its new ‘enabler’.
Traditional media such as print, radio and television advertising often has better brand recall than digital media which suffers from source credibility syndrome.
The challenge for small business is focusing on what works to produce measurable outcomes versus and not be tricked by the smoke and mirrors evangelised by the providers of the new media services who keep referring to deep pocket campaigns that the lone Aussie Battler simply can’t afford.
We have solutions for all budgets – contact us and we’ll help you get results within the next week that you can measure. No smoke. No Mirrors.