Offline Marketing

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Perhaps the most important piece of advice we can give you in this guide is this: Don’t restrict your

advertising and promotional efforts to the Web. Online stores often rely too heavily on online advertising

at the expense of more traditional advertising vehicles that may actually produce better results.

It’s important not to get too dependent on online marketing for your success.

Think about the types of customers you are trying to attract and what the best methods would be to reach

those customers. Rather than spending your money advertising on the Web, you may find that a

more effective strategy would be to place advertisements in a couple of well-targeted magazines.

For example, Noggintops ( ), an online hat retailer, has spent very little on

Internet advertising. Instead, the company did some marketing research and identified a number of

magazines that appealed to the company’s target market: outdoorsmen. Ads featuring the company’s

Web site address were then placed in those magazines. In fact, the bulk of Noggintop’s marketing

budget has been spent on offline ads. The point is that you shouldn’t ignore traditional advertising

vehicles. Think about how you can use both print (e.g. newspapers, magazines, journals) and

broadcast media (radio and television stations) to reach your target audience. Be realistic with your

expectations. In years past, many Internet companies invested millions in television ads with often

disappointing results. Many companies quickly learned that brands can’t be built overnight. It can

take years to build a successful and recognized brand name.

That being said, if you develop any print or broadcast advertising, make sure that your Web address

is featured prominently in your ads. You may want to even consider purchasing advertising for the

sole purpose of promoting your Web site.

It is important to use your imagination when looking for ways to raise awareness of your Web site.

Don’t limit yourself to radio, television, and print media. Why not advertise your Web address in

buses or subways, or on the transfers handed out by your local transit authority? How about on

newspaper polybags (the plastic bags that newspapers are wrapped in when they are delivered to

your front door)? Or in movie theatres? Some organizations have even gone so far as to include

their Internet addresses on bananas! The possibilities are endless.

In many respects, as with any product or service, the challenge is to find innovative ways to get

the word out!


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