Why does the debate over offline vs online marketing continue? Since the advent of the Internet, business owners, marketing experts and ecommerce gurus have debated the pros and cons of offline vs online marketing. Traditional media outlets argue that print and broadcast media reach a larger audience. Experts in web marketing argue the benefits of marketing to a very specific market segment. Business organizations tout the human aspect of networking events and face-to-face meet ups.
The truth is, when discussing offline vs online marketing, both venues have their place. Both provide specific results and benefits that the other misses. When combined in an effective marketing plan, the two methods can compliment each other, provided you have the budget to support efforts in both arenas. However, not all of the old offline vs online marketing arguments are still valid today, decades after the Internet first changed the business world.
For the small business owner and home-based solopreneur, budgetary concerns create a deep divide when considering offline vs online marketing. For these individuals, the issues between offline vs online marketing are not merely conceptual or based on the potential return on their investment. Small budgets and limited start-up capital necessitate finding the least expensive methods for marketing products and services. While the debates over market penetration, market reach, and message delivery rage on, these entrepreneurs must focus on cost.
As more readers and shoppers look to the Internet for information and solutions to consumer needs, the arguments presented for offline vs online marketing become thinner and carry less weight. Today, consumers reach for their computer keyboard, rather than a phone book. They search online for products to meet their needs, rather than watching television commercials or browsing sale papers. As such, business owners with an understanding of internet marketing gain a greater advantage over those who focus on offline marketing venues.
Internet marketing efforts, especially those centered around social media, search engine marketing, and website conversions, are often free or have a considerably lower point of entry than offline efforts. In considering offline vs online marketing, few options provide the kind of flexibility and low start-up requirements as internet marketing. Viral videos, social media shares, and search engine results now replace television commercials, radio spots and print advertisements.
Rather than spending hours rubbing shoulders at boring networking events and stuffy business meet-ups, savvy business owners use social media profiles and automated tools to engage with potential customers. Instead of balancing peek broadcast times with cost, your marketing message can be set up to automatically reach targeted customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Many online businesses can be marketed while the owner still works a regular day job, forever ending the offline vs online marketing debate.
With an easier point of entry, lower risk, and the ability to automate many marketing tasks, new online entrepreneurs can easily see the benefits and drawbacks of offline vs online marketing. Internet marketing is simply easier, less expensive, and when done properly, more effective than traditional marketing efforts in the offline world. Even novices can get started with a profitable online business with just a little basic knowledge and the right tools.