Marketing should at all times be regarded as one of your primary concerns as a small business owner. After all, if your potential customers do not know that you are there, or what you are selling, then your business does not exist. Adding to this problem, you are simply one voice in a sea of thousands, unless you are blessed to have a fairly essential business in a rather small area with no competition. So marketing is an essential part of your business practice. The temptation nowadays is to embrace the 21st century and go solely with a digital marketing campaign, but what’s to be said of traditional print marketing?
The Internet and Marketing
The internet is a fantastic and powerful tool, of that you should few doubts. Through it you have the world at your fingertips, and making you and your product known to the public becomes not only easy, but very cost effective as well. This much is true: you must have a website, and a well-designed one, and an e-mail if you are to be taken seriously as a business. Social media, such as a Facebook and Twitter profile, are also essential to your success. Going without these will simply make you look backward and difficult to access.
Advertising on the internet is also remarkably cheap. In the past, trying to get advertising to a large number of people meant hiring an advertising slot on TV or the radio, something that was very expensive to do. Now the internet allows that some coverage with several times less the cost. Social media alone allows you to spread a message or marketing campaign quickly and easily to a vast number of people within a matter of days and weeks. This costs only as much as the internet itself does, and requires only the assistance of a few friends and family members. If you do well, it becomes very much like a snowball pushed down a hill – as it goes, it gathers momentum, and the more momentum it gathers, the bigger it gets.
However, you should not rely too much on digital marketing campaigns. They have their uses, sure, but a wise person never places all their eggs into one basket. No more is this true than marketing. You need every angle if you want to succeed, offline as well as on.
The Value of Traditional Print Marketing
One thing about the internet is that it is not always there. Even in an age of smartphones and iPads, there comes a point where it is switched off, and attention diverted to the physical world. While Google Glass and Microsoft’s HoloLens seek to bridge the gap between cyberspace and real space, in the meantime we have to acknowledge that there’s a gap between the internet and everyday reality. As such, they are incapable of seeing or engaging with your digital marketing campaign whenever they are not actively using the internet.
In this instance, traditional print marketing is the only way you can engage with the street and draw attention.
There’s also the matter that, except through accident, people rarely stumble across things on the internet, let alone pay attention, that they were not already interested in. If you are not looking for things such as greetings cards, carpets, or used cars, you are not likely to see anything else relating to them. There’s also a very good chance the user does not even want to. Think about it yourself – when was the last time you paid attention to a video ad on Youtube, or an advertisement banner on a website you frequent? Here’s an even better question: how many of you have installed apps like AdBlock onto your browser, precisely so you do not have to pay attention to adverts?
You see now an immediate problem with online marketing. The internet is highly tailored towards user-preferred experiences. Nobody sees anything on the internet that they do not want to. Usually, anyway, accidents do happen. However, what good is your digital marketing campaign doing if no one even wants to see it and can actively take steps to prevent themselves from doing so?
Where the internet is highly tailored, and can be switched off, reality is the exact opposite. If you have a sign, for example, advertising your latest offer in-store, nobody can block that from their vision. They have to take notice of it. This is even more true if you take advantage of human psychology to make them pay attention to the sign, such as by making it flash and move, or using bright eye-catching colors. In this way, you’ll inevitably draw more people into the store simply by virtue of not being able to ignore it.
Further, when traditional print marketing is used, it is often found in places where the interest in the things being marketed are of interest. You’ll find billboards advertising roadside diners on major roads and highways, where hungry and tired drivers are more interested in finding a place to eat and rest. You’ll find posters advertising bands at bars and coffee shops, where young music lovers are more likely to be found. When someone is out at the mall, they are probably more receptive to commercial advertising because they are there to shop. They want to find stores they did not know existed. They want to find out about new deals that can save them money. They want to find out what they can buy there.
Steel is Stronger than Iron
So you see, there is an immediate value in using a combination of traditional print marketing and a digital marketing campaign. The internet is highly useful in getting the message out to people quickly and cheaply, especially people looking specifically for the things you are trying to advertise. Meanwhile, printed media is more useful for getting the word out to people who are not online, as well as to get through to people who would normally block off internet advertising.
Nature shows that compounds – materials made by combining two base elements – are far stronger than their respective parts. It seems the same holds true for marketing as well.
The writer of this article, Christian Mills, currently manages his own small business and is managing to do well by mixing online marketing and traditional marketing practices into one. For those needing signs to advertise their store, he recommends getting one custom made at qualitysigndesigner.com. You can learn more about Christian on Google+.