Online Versus Offline Marketing: Strategies & Examples

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Online or offline...which marketing strategy is a better fit for you? You might be surprised that most marketers still use both. In this lesson, you'll learn more about the strategies for online and offline marketing.

On or Off

You're flipping through a magazine at the doctor's office when you spy an ad for a new makeup palette that you've been eyeing. Later, on your car ride home, you hear a commercial for the same company on satellite radio. After dinner, you're browsing the internet when your gaze lands on a banner ad promoting the palette. Just before bed, you catch the same item in the newsfeed of your favorite photo-based social media channel. What gives? Everywhere you turn, it seems like the makeup palette you've been clamoring for is right in your face.

Magazines, radio, television, direct mailers, banner ads, social media, email newsletters, consider them all tools in the marketer's toolbox to reach consumers with relevant and timely marketing messages. Marketers need to understand which strategy is best for each product, message, and target audience. That can be a little tricky. Let's take a look at the strategies available to marketers both online (using the wide world of the internet) and offline (relying on traditional, internet-free tools).

Online Marketing

There's much ado in this day and age about online marketing. Since consumers spend so much time on computers, smartphones, and tablets, being able to reach them digitally is not only quick and efficient, but cheap. Here are some of the more popular online marketing strategies marketers use today.

Online marketing wields the power of the internet to connect marketers to their audience.
online, offline, marketing

1. Websites: Everyone has a website these days. Smart brands have websites that are mobile-responsive, meaning they look just as good on a smartphone or tablet.

2. Blogging: Blogs are a type of online diary that everyone from makeup lovers to software companies use to discuss topics of interest. Disney operates the Disney Parks Blog attached to its primary website and packs it full of articles about upcoming events, new attractions, and park tips organized by topic and park location.

3. Social media: Social media is all around us, from the short-form tweets of Twitter to the photo-sharing platform Instagram. Pepsi is making use of the social media channel Snapchat by putting Snapcodes on its bottles of soda. Users who snap a picture of the code can unlock extra features and filters in the app.

4. Email marketing: We've all gotten emails from our favorite brands detailing new products, offering promotions, and providing more information on relevant topics or hot trends. Email is a quick and cheap way to reach customers.

5. Pay-per-click advertising (PPC): PPC works by placing ads high on search engine results that customers can click. Advertisers pay for each click received.

6. Display ads: These ads show up on various online websites, combining graphics, photos, videos, and text to draw a reader's eye. uses a display ad that details a free book offer for new sign-ups alongside bright, neon colors.

Offline Marketing

It might seem like the focus has been shifted away from offline marketing, but that's simply not true. Advertisers and marketers still rely on traditional offline tools to reach consumers, and consumers have not abandoned these channels completely. Here are some of the more popular offline marketing strategies still used today.

Offline marketing may be taking a back seat, but it is not dead yet.
online, offline, marketing

1. Television: Television ads have long been the standard for marketers trying to reach an audience. Look no further than the Super Bowl halftime to see that television ads do still matter.

2. Radio: Radio ads are particularly successful for advertisers in local markets, where drivers are the target. McDonald's even named a recent radio ad, ''Driver,'' trying to reach late-night road warriors who might need to swing through a drive-thru for a caffeine pick-me-up.

3. Print collateral: Brochures, flyers, signage, and pamphlets all make up the collateral category. These are frequently handed out at events or directly to customers.

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