Why Local Businesses Need to Be Online and Offline to Succeed
Marketing used to be simple. Image, slogan, jingle were key components for any mad-men era brand. But today customers are swamped with 10x the amount of advertising as they were in 1970. Fighting in this overloaded space brands can no longer just stick to one channel for marketing. In a survey conduct last year, 68.9% of small business owners stated they use both online and offline channels to market their business.
Based on the marketing theory of 7, your prospects need to come across your offer at least 7 times before they really notice your offer and start to take action. This theory is based on the psychological theory called the “Mere-Exposure” effect. This is a phenomenon in which people tend to develop a preference for things simply because they are familiar with them.
Leveraging this theory, businesses need to choose as many relevant channels as possible to target their customer base. Look at today’s most explosive brands, they are everywhere. A great example is Twitter, the social media platform that dominates the online space opted of an offline campaign to make an impact. But this strategy requires consistency as well. Based on research by HubSpot it was found that companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published between 0 - 4 monthly posts. Whatever your marketing strategy, the importance of frequency cannot be emphasised enough.
“As a famous quote goes, ‘A business without a sign is a sign of no business’ Few investments can have a high return like outdoor signage. If you’re trying to expose the same customer to your product again and again, an outdoor ad is a great option. People have regular routes and walk the same streets, drive the same roads, and eat at the same places. So, if your sign is on a corner of a crowded city block, the same 5,000 people are going to see your sign every day. After just a month, they’ve already been exposed to your brand enough to make a purchase.
The easiest online channel is Social Media. Social media is a difficult for many small businesses. Many business owners are too busy and worried to invest any time in this powerful engagement tool. But there is no need to be. When properly leveraged, social media is a fantastic marketing tool – allowing for repetitive exposure and engagement. Based on the rule of seven, social media is highly effective because it allows you to control when customers see your business. If you know that your customers are most active during the 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., then you can invest into targeting them during this time. Social media gives you in control of the message and timing, which is very valuable in the long run.
In conclusion, whether you are a local shop or an online e-commerce specialist, combining online and offline is crucial for success. Next time you’re out and about, chose a brand you appreciate and track where and when you see it. Odds are its performing in multiple channels both online and off.