As the world consumes iPhones, iPads and iPods at a rapidly accelerating pace, it appears we are moving to a near paperless society in which your product or service will be need to be advertised through magic screens and megapixels to maintain market share. But don’t go investing every penny of your marketing budget in online advertising just yet, here’s why:
Marketing should be a multi-pronged approach to reaching your audience. Business cards have been in use since the industrial revolution, while the phone and fax were essential tools to advertise and communicate for the past sixty years. As we enter the digital age, websites, QR codes and social media are enhancing the methods of transmitting information which should enhance and compliment, not replace, your current marketing efforts.
The majority of consumers are looking online to research products and compare pricing, but are not yet completely comfortable making every purchase from their home computer. While applications such as Google Wallet are making it easier and more accessible to pay for purchases through your smartphone, many consumers still have security concerns (or prefer instant gratification at the store!) preventing them from making purchases on the internet. Experts believe it will be another ten to fifteen years before buying habits shift more to the digital dollar than our traditional paper or plastic, which gives your business plenty of time to adapt.
Online businesses use offline advertising- because it works. The reason you see a Groupon ad on your TV during the big game is because they realize the new customers they are trying to attract are still using other technology to gather information; TV’s, phones, computers are just part of the puzzle. Print media and promotional products are two of the best ways to drive more traffic to your site.
Ad specialties and print media are tangible. One of the strongest senses for memory retention is touch; sending a personalized invitation on a quality textured stock is going to leave a more memorable impression than an e-mail invitation. There is still a very large percentage of consumers who have not joined the digital age, even more who still prefer the traditional tri-fold brochure to browse your products, or business card to file in their Rolodex. (For anyone under 30 reading this article, a Rolodex is what people used before cell phones became the address book!)
Dividing your advertising budget between several mediums is the balanced, and possibly smartest, approach. The only difference between targeting a younger audience with text message advertising and faxing homeowners deals for dream vacations is the technology being used to communicate; the point is, these businesses are attempting to connect with whatever the latest technology is available. The fax would ring, buzz, then spit out a grainy black and white picture of some island for Bob the home remodeler to find, never having to leave the home office in a hunt for a travel agency to book his vacation, and “just a phone call away from sunny skies.”