Living in the information age has many advantages, but marketing to specific audiences and niches presents specific challenges. How can we best reach our target audience or attract new customers? Is there a way to bridge the gap between traditional and online marketing?
The simple answer to the latter question is, “yes.” In fact, doing so is no longer a matter of choice; it’s a matter of survival. Successful marketers know when and where to use each.
relying heavily on online marketing works for businesses that match one of two basic criteria:
- You have a brick-and-mortar company but you do a considerable percentage of your business online
- You only do business online (eg. e-commerce)
In both instances, a strong online marketing presence is critical to success because you are dealing with a customer base that extends beyond a single location or geographic area.
Using a print-based marketing strategy works if your company does not operate online or only does a small percentage of business online. Your marketing strategy should be weighted toward print if:
- You do most of your business face-to-face with customers or clients
- Your business regularly participates in conventions, trade shows, and other marketing events
- Your business targets a predominantly older demographic
These are, of course, very basic criteria and the needs of your business are likely to vary. To an extent, implementing aspects of both are usually necessary. Let’s take a quick look at a few ways the two work together to maximize the effectiveness of your marketing strategy.
Branding – When distributing printed marketing materials, branding should be consistent with what people see online and vice-versa. The more familiar people are with your brand, the more they trust it.
Content Marketing – Blogging and email are powerful marketing mediums, but so are white papers and case studies. Always have hard copies of your long-form content for customers who prefer more traditional approaches to marketing.
Hybrid Marketing – Include links to your social media channels, website, and other relevant online resources on business cards, fliers, and other promotional materials. Scannable QR codes and the like help bridge the gap between print and digital.
All of the above can help you lay the groundwork for a successful marketing campaign. How to achieve that balance has everything to do with your business and how well you know your customer/client base.