When marketing your products, you have two choices right in front of you. Will you go the online route? Or will you invest in offline marketing?
The digital age has been in full swing for years, which might sound like a no-brainer. After all, online is where it’s at! However, traditional marketing has its benefits that you might just be missing out on if you don’t stop to consider it.
What’s The Difference Between Them Anyway?
Currently, the most popular online marketing channels include social media, Google My Business optimisation, SEO, and pay-per-click advertising. On the other hand, offline marketing uses platforms for advertising, such as TV, billboards, radio, and newspaper ads.
Before we dive deeper into these two types of marketing and their effectiveness, let’s first talk about what makes them so different from each other:
- Offline marketing emphasises products and services, while online marketing is content-heavy. In our very digital world, content is king and without valuable, helpful content, generating inbound traffic is challenging.
- Online marketing makes distribution considerably easier since you can serve thousands or millions of customers in just one place without worrying about additional costs. Scaling offline is substantially more difficult and expensive.
- Online marketing requires fewer human resources, making it a cost-effective option. You can still run a campaign on Google Adwords and Meta when you’re in a pinch. Offline marketing is not ideal for budget-conscious businesses as it requires a larger workforce, and marketing costs are typically much higher.
These might already sound like a lot, but the differences listed are only the tip of the iceberg. So let’s further dissect each channel below!
Online Marketing: What’s It All About?
With how attached we are to our devices, online marketing is one of the best ways to drive business in today’s world. You might also know it as internet marketing, digital marketing, or web marketing.
It involves everything that you do within the world of the internet. From social media and email marketing to setting up Google ads and optimising your website, brands use online marketing to connect with their target audience in their frequent digital hotspots. Think Google, Instagram, TikTok, and even Amazon.
What are the Benefits of Online Marketing?
Businesses nowadays focus their marketing efforts on online marketing as it offers the following benefits:
1. Easy To Measure
Measuring marketing metrics helps advertisers understand what works and what doesn’t in the content they produce and the campaigns they create. With their data analysis, they can modify their strategies to make future endeavours more effective.
All thanks to analytics and insight tools such as Google Analytics and Ubersuggest.
A massive amount of data comprising thousands to billions of people is now segregated and segmented into bite-sized pieces. With the right person on the job, they can turn binaries into statistical information and devise strategies to reach desired KPIs.
2. Easy To Target Specific Audiences
You’re no longer shooting your shot in the dark with email marketing tools, performance marketing platforms, and many other specialised software and solutions. Instead, you have complete control over who sees your ads, allowing you to reach people in your specific target audience.
Meta ads targeting allows you to list the target audience’s interests, recent locations, country, connections and behaviour. By doing this, you can save money by only presenting your content and ads to quality leads that are more prone to slide down the conversion funnel.
3. More Affordable
Online marketing tends to be more cost-effective than its offline counterpart. Online marketing makes it easy for new businesses with limited resources to connect with their target market, especially when using virtually cost-free strategies like social media. Therefore, knowing the approximate social media marketing costs will help you navigate your budget more efficiently.
Online marketing typically involves operating and optimising ads on Google, Meta and Instagram, to name a few. The minimum cost to run ads on those platforms per day would be RM5. Compared to traditional marketing that involves securing a slot in a newspaper or magazine, billboards or TV ads go up to thousands of Malaysian Ringgit.
4. Long-Term Exposure
Some online marketing strategies like SEO and sponsored ads can provide you with long-term exposure. Online marketing options like these are cost-effective because you’ll see long-term benefits without losing a lot of cash. The gradual and consistent effort that comes with SEO means you’ll establish yourself in the market longer and not without progress.
4.3 billion people are using Google to key in queries and find any information on the internet! Ranking your brand in SERP (Search Engine Result Page) means you can access billions of potential customers. Just like social media thrives on visual content, Google or SEO thrives on content in general, especially quality written content.
5. Greater Reach
With almost 30 million internet users in Malaysia, many eyes are on you as long as you create content and ads that consumers will react to and engage with. If you are lucky to go viral, your product or services will spread further than you can imagine.
Your content can reach millions with the right social media marketing strategy. Now nurture the effort with a strong team of graphic designers and copywriters, and you now have a content-producing powerhouse. Content is king, as they say. Especially appealing visual content can change the public perception of your brand and boost brand awareness.
6. Creates Strong Relationships With Your Customers
Your target demographic will probably see your content and ads several times over. Ideally, this will enable people to recognise your brand, which is good news for your brand awareness. Eventually, they will trust you more as they see more of you. This recognition and trust might be what they need to strengthen their brand loyalty to you.
Tools like Meta Business and CRM (Customer Relationship Management), such as Zoho, makes managing quality lead and content publishing a click away. These tools allow you to optimise your content to cater to the audience and makes it a lot easier to turn interested prospects into buyers and loyal customer.
Cons of Online Marketing
As with all types of marketing, online marketing is not all sunshine and rainbows. Here are some of the most common cons of this route:
1. Trust is Not Instant
One of the most significant disadvantages of online marketing is that your customers won’t trust you from the get-go. The number of new businesses planting their brand new seed in the online market and some overselling themselves to prospects created an overcast of doubt within the public.
It’s harder to find businesses that uphold their ideals, not opportunists or seeking to mooch off without delivering their promised services and products. It’s a whole debacle! Reassure them that you’re protecting their data at every step of their customer journey so that they’ll feel safer with your business.
Entrepreneurs’ relationship with the online metaverse is like a moth to a flame. The fierce competition in online marketing is one of its main drawbacks. With businesses worldwide fighting for customers, making your brand and content stand out may take time and effort.
People are aware of the tides of technological transformation and are not hesitant to embark on its path. The internet is a gold mine of possibilities and lucrative business opportunities. It’s no mystery that so many are trying to demystify the internet landscape.
3. Requires Skill and Knowledge
Despite many tools and solutions, you still need a great deal of knowledge and skill to succeed. Since the internet is constantly evolving, digital marketers and analysts need to keep up with the pace.
Social media platforms are continually coming up with updates, and new features and metrics are constantly being introduced. Online marketing could be daunting without vigilance or fire for knowledge and skill acquisition.
Offline Marketing: What’s It All About?
Any method of marketing that doesn’t use the internet is referred to as offline marketing or traditional marketing. Before the internet boomed, these were the strategies that brands would use.
Even with so many internet marketing tactics available today, there is still a place for offline marketing. This is especially true for businesses looking to expand their reach locally or improve brand recognition.
What Are The Benefits Of Offline Marketing?
Of course, there are advantages to offline brand marketing as well. Although some techniques seem a little old-fashioned, they can still be helpful in various ways.
1. Provides Customers & Prospective Buyers With Something Tangible
Sometimes, people want something tangible over something digital, just like some of us prefer vinyl records over streaming platforms. The same is true for advertising. People still prefer to hold and keep pamphlets, business cards, or branded merchandise.
The traditional form of marketing has been around for decades, a century even and is familiar from generation to generation. A form that our grandfathers and their grandfathers can relate to without missing a beat.
2. Builds Trust Faster
The thing with customers is that they perceive businesses that use high-quality traditional marketing media as more credible and trustworthy. After all, you’re probably an industry leader when you’ve got something to show.
Take the local newspapers, for example, News Straits Times and its inception in 1845 (177 years ago); Berita Harian in 1957 (56 years); Utusan Malaysia in 1939 (83), meanwhile Astro has been around since 1996 (26 years).
In comparison to the boom of social media, Meta first became known in 2004 (18 years), followed by Twitter in 2006 (16 years) and Instagram in 2010 (12 years). Trust comes faster when a brand has established itself through critical historical events.
3. Catches Your Audience’s Attention While They’re Attentive
People reading newspapers or watching TV are typically quite concentrated on what they are doing. In contrast, people who are online or scrolling through social media are less attentive.
Consider this: with a TV or newspaper ad, you can be seen by attentive people who will pay close attention to your marketing. Offline brand marketing excels at doing this.
When it comes to Malaysia, we are culture fanatics. We LOVE having traditional, ethnic and cultural celebrations. On top of that, we love seeing them on television! We can probably recall a few Hari Raya, Deepavali, and Chinese New Year’s ads on TV that left us yearning for home or wanting to reconcile with our loved ones.
Based on Astro Malaysia’s Integrated Annual Report 2023, the statistics on Astro and TV consumers are as below:
- TV viewership share of 72%
- Over 1.0 million Pay-TV customers on Astro GO
- 208 minutes average weekly viewing on Astro GO
- AWANI is Malaysia’s Most Trusted News Brand in 2022 by Reuters Digital News Report
Safe to say that Malaysians still prefer conventional media entertainment. Giving leeway for traditional or offline marketing to make their marks.
4. Lets You Be Creative
Offline brand marketing efforts offer flexibility. For example, you can create buzzworthy sponsorship branding for a significant event, use memorable jingles for TV or radio ads, or take a risk with out-of-home advertising coupled with a flash mob.
The possibilities are endless, and you have much more room to play around. Without the restrictions of technology and with extra sensory stimulation, offline marketing provides many more possibilities than online and lets you think outside the box!
An excellent example of that can be seen in McDonald’s initiative towards making Kuala Lumpur a prosperous city by 2030 by implementing McDonald’s ‘Fries Crossing at the main intersection of Bukit Bintang.
5. Can Be Used Alongside Online Marketing
There’s no need to limit your scope to offline methods! Combining the two offers several advantages because there are numerous ways in which they might complement one another.
Cons of Offline Marketing
Although offline marketing has many benefits, it is not without drawbacks:
1. Hard To Measure
One of the most significant disadvantages of offline marketing is that it’s challenging to track. Although there are ways you can follow some offline marketing materials for their effectiveness, this form of tracking still needs to be improved.
While both online and offline marketing can produce great results for a business, it’s crucial that even offline marketing can be measured so you can assess how effective it has been in delivering results.
2. Too Costly
Print advertising is indeed relatively more inexpensive than other forms of offline advertising. However, billboards, magazines, and television ads will cost you a pretty penny due to the cost of labour, production, distribution, and ad space they will incur.
3. Limited Reach
In offline marketing, everything is based on your budget. If you have a limited one, it will be harder for you to target locations outside your neighbourhood.
But What’s The Best Method For My Business?
While it’s tempting to incorporate every single advertising strategy into your campaigns, going overboard isn’t the answer. Your budget won’t allow it, and you wouldn’t want your audience to experience ad fatigue.
So instead, focus on a few key strategies and ensure you master every aspect. When choosing between offline and online brand marketing campaigns, keep the following factors in mind.
The amount of money you have should be, without a doubt, the most important deciding factor for your business. Assess your business’s financial status and decide what you can manage. Even a less expensive marketing approach can produce exceptional results.
2. Target Market
If your product targets preteen girls, there’s no point in setting up a webinar or spending money on newspaper ads. Your target market will never see either of those! Instead, you might experiment with YouTube and TikTok in-app advertising.
Know who you’re targeting so that you’re not wasting time and money on too general of an audience.
3. Brand Identity
Remember to consider what would benefit your brand the most. While some marketing strategies may help you develop more robust brand recognition, others may work against you. It would be best if you chose reliable marketing and promotion strategies to strengthen your brand identity.
Get the Best of Both Worlds!
Marketing can be fickle. It can be a hit one day and a miss the next. What might work today might do the opposite tomorrow. But as long as you remain flexible, there shouldn’t be too much of a problem!
The secret here is to experiment with a few different approaches until you find the right balance of offline and online marketing strategies. What’s important is knowing what works for you and your brand.
Fortunately, you have a wide range of offline and online options to choose from. The sky will be the limit once you find the ideal offline and online blend!
Looking for more articles on digital marketing, SEO, and social media marketing? Check out Kode Digital’s Blog!
How Kode Digital Helped Our Clients’ Through Online Marketing
SUNLAC Skim Milk: We are partnering with SUNLAC to lend a helping hand in managing their Social Media content. They wish to drive online traffic that will convert consumers who will not hesitate to purchase skim milk powder products. Our responsibility is to increase their credibility online by raising their brand awareness, and audience engagement on their Social Media feeds.
DAILYLAC Whole Milk: Our team is asked to brainstorm the overall design and elements based on the packaging provided by DAILYLAC, as this brand has never had an identity in the digital world. We extended our services upon DAILYLAC’s request to plan out the advertising budget to ensure that we can maximise the budget, get the most out of what they invested and gain more followers on their social media platforms.
Chatty is a freelance writer from Manila. She finds joy in inspiring and educating others through writing. That’s why aside from her job as a language evaluator for local and international students, she spends her leisure time writing about various topics such as lifestyle, technology, and business.