Online marketing is the relatively new kid on the marketing block. It includes any form of marketing that uses the Internet and covers search engine optimisations (SEO), e-mail marketing, social media, pay-per-click, blogging, QR codes, video, online advertising to name but a few. Its counterpart, offline marketing, encompasses the more traditional forms of marketing such as advertising (TV, radio, press, outdoor), direct mail, public relations and sponsorship.
Online marketing continues to grow in importance and the following statistics from the Office of National Statistics illustrate why:
- In 2013, 36 million adults (73%) in Great Britain accessed the Internet every day
- Access to the Internet using a mobile phone more than doubled between 2010 and 2013, from 24% to 53%
- In 2013, 72% of all adults bought goods or services online, up from 53% in 2008
- In Great Britain, 21 million households (83%) had Internet access in 2013
Online marketing also brings the following advantages over offline marketing:
Improved effectiveness: an online marketing campaign can be adjusted midway through to improve its effectiveness or capitalise on an opportunity that arises. This is rarely possible in the offline arena. When a leaflet or advert has gone to print it is too late!
Better targeting: online marketing can target specific demographic groups much more effectively than offline marketing.
Real time tracking: the performance of marketing campaigns can easily be tracked, and often in real time, using online analytic tools. Codes and coupons can be used in offline marketing but overall the results are much harder to monitor.
Cost effective: online promotions have unlimited reach and can be relatively inexpensive. Email is very cheap to send in comparison to postal mail. To advertise widely or send a large volume of direct mail can be prohibitively expensive.
Instant conversion: customers can be taken directly to your website where they may make an immediate purchase. Offline marketing techniques often have a longer lead-time to convert a customer into a sale.
Clearly it is extremely important that online marketing techniques form part of your overall marketing mix. However, offline marketing should not be forgotten and often the best marketing campaigns are those that integrate both. As with any marketing planning the key starting point is to determine who your target audience is and what is the most appropriate platform for them.
At Straight Marketing we help businesses to plan their marketing strategy, incorporating a mix of online and offline marketing techniques, and assist them to effectively implement it.