5 Reasons Online Beats Offline Marketing

Most organizations perform a balancing act between online and offline marketing. With a few brochures and posters offline and some Facebook posts and email marketing online, the message usually spreads pretty well. But today, we’re going to discuss how online marketing is more cost efficient and effective for your recreation marketing.

According to figures released by eMarketer, online/digital advertising grew by 20% in 2011 and is expected to approach $50 billion is spending by 2015* (making it the second most popular ad format behind television advertising). Trends show that people are online (on their PCs, iPads, mobile devices) all the time, so that’s where businesses are going to reach them.  

Here are five reasons why you need to ramp up online and cut back offline today:

1. There is an immediate call to action 

Online marketers can make the call to action just one click away. Print advertising does not allow you to offer direct action and often requires extra steps (and time) for a potential customer to get more information, sign up, donate, or more.

2. You have better control of your audience

With online marketing, you can choose the people you’d like to reach and send them a targeted message. Advertise to as broad or narrow audience as you see fit, instead of being unsure who you are reaching in a more traditional forum (like a newspaper ad).  It’s also easier to work within a budget because you can pick and choose who you’re advertising to (most advertisers can target by geography, gender, age, interest, and more) versus being locked into one large-scale print buy or mass mailing within your town. The more targeted an ad, the more successful it will be and the better use you’ll make of your marketing dollars.

3. It’s easier to get detailed reporting and tracking

Online media offers extensive reporting, allowing you to track deliveries, impressions, opens, clicks, click rates, and conversions.This is particularly helpful when you’re trying out multiple advertising vehicles—you can easily determine what performed well and what didn’t.

4. You can mix it up

With online advertising it’s easy to target your potential participants with multiple forms of digital media, ensuring as many people as possible are exposed to your classes and programs. You can send them a series of emails, hit them with online ads, and throw in some social media posts and tweets. You have a variety of channels at your fingertips and the smartest marketers tie the messages together so potential customers get one overarching message. With print advertising, you simply don’t have as many options at such an inexpensive price.

5. Internet marketing is naturally inbound

What’s unique about online advertising is that is has shifted the marketing path. Traditional offline (outbound) marketing is a one-way street where messages are sent “out” to customers, such as radio and TV commercials, postal mail, etc. There is no interaction or conversation involved until the recipient decides to take action on it via another media channel, like logging onto a website or picking up the phone. With online (inbound) marketing, the customer finds you. As people surf the web looking for the next event or class they want to participate in or reading about activities they enjoy, your message can live there. Be it Facebook, Google, email, or blogs, you can market where people are searching.

What is your favorite marketing channel? Comment below.