Offline Marketing- why it’s necessary and when to use it

Offline Marketing- why it’s necessary and when to use it

Online marketing may be all the rage right now, but offline efforts are far from fruitless. Here's when, how and why you should use offline efforts as part of your strategy, to reach your marketing objectives quickly and efficiently.
by Nonhlanhla Makamba
09. 17. 2021

Offline marketing includes any advertising that’s carried out using traditional media, such as television, billboard ads, radio, magazine, newspaper, word of mouth, taxi branding, vehicle wrapping etc. On the other hand, online marketing utilises media channels that reside on the internet such as gmail, social media, website search, as well as third party display ads, blogs, vlogs and so forth.

Most marketers today use digital marketing methods to get leads and make sales conversions. While this makes business sense in a rapidly growing digital economy, to solely rely on digital marketing efforts is to lose sight of the value offline marketing still has to offer. Here’s why we think you shouldn’t make that mistake.

Why marketers are shifting away from offline marketing

Offline marketing is really suited towards brands, companies and campaigns looking to increase mass brand awareness and potentially engage leads to conversions. This marketing includes efforts such as free perfume samples attached to a page in a magazine, or coupon codes in the newspaper for purchasing groceries and essentials. This is usually expensive and the true measure of results can’t really be determined. For example, the number of people who see a billboard is based on volume of traffic that road gets in an average day. So a busy or popular route is likely to be the best place to advertise. The drawback here is that it’s difficult to estimate the number of impressions a billboard grants advertisers.

Online marketing, on the other hand, allows you to easily pinpoint measurable results at a fraction of the traditional marketing cost. Say you have a budget of R5000 for a Facebook marketing campaign. You’re able to select the ad which best suits your business and marketing objective. This could be anything from newsletter signups, to car sales, to reading an article.

Not only can you estimate how many people you’ll reach, you can estimate (industry benchmarks) how many actual conversions (the desired actions mentioned above) you’ll attain- all before even spending a cent. Furthermore, you can measure actual performance post campaign, based on the previous industry benchmarks you set. This helps you see how your marketing efforts measure up and break that down into key learnings and insights. I.e. where are people dropping off (eg. if your customer abandons their cart after adding a new pair of shoes from your e-commerce store). All these learnings provide you with valuable insight and moments where you can take the opportunity for re-marketing to that customer, to help that conversion goal along.

Offline marketing is best suited in the following instances:

  • Your entire industry is still operating in offline marketing efforts - this would mean your company needs to do offline efforts, but to stand out from a sea of similar competitors, you should pioneer a future in digital marketing efforts.
  • If you’re a B2B company and your suppliers are still operating offline - again, the same rule as above applies.
  • Your customers are offline.
  • The communities in which you operate in are offline, or with little to no access to the internet. This rings true for an NGOs as an example- when trying to reach a vulnerable target audience, you may need to market to them through traditional marketing efforts. Alternatively, you could create a website that’s completely zero-rated, to reach those who have a smart phone but limited resources such as data). Even so, when marketing to businesses and individuals for funding, you can use digital marketing efforts. That’s why clearly defining your target audiences is the crucial first step. 

How to use offline marketing

It’s best practice to have an integrated offline and online marketing strategy. Whichever is your first touch point, the aim is to create a smooth customer experience and increase the chances of conversion. In addition, the combination of marketing mediums will help you plan and mitigate issues of one marketing method not yielding the expected results.

For example, skincare businesses that establish their brands via social media profiles, email notifications and website locations are able to keep up with their competitors and increase awareness through content around their brand. 

However, in the case when web marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO), mobile promotions, and videos don’t lead to expected outcomes, offline methods such as in-store promotions, electronic billboards, radio advertising etc. can be efficient in bringing the brand closure to the customer- increasing sales and driving traffic to online resources.

While offline and online marketing efforts each have their place (independently or used together) the decision is purely dependent on which industry you’re in, who your customers are, where they are, and what your goal is. 

If you need help implementing a cohesive on- and offline marketing approach, or you’re confused on which is best suited for your company, we want to help you. E-mail us on or connect with us on our social media channels- FacebookTwitter and Instagram.