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Five industries where offline marketing still works

With all the talk of online and inbound marketing, it can be easy to forget that many offline and more traditional tools are still available for the marketing of your business. Here are five sectors in which offline marketing still delivers tangible results.

Of course, the tools you use depend on the business you run and the products and services you sell. Here’s a look at some of the sectors where offline marketing is crucial to the success of the businesses that operate within them:

1. Restaurants

In many cities, advertising to tourists in the form of leaflet distribution in the street works. Often, tourists end up overwhelmed by the number of places to eat when travelling and when staff give out information leaflets containing directions to the restaurant and their special deals, it can attract tourists to dine there. This traditional form of marketing is highly effective for the restaurant business, especially in areas where there’s a lot of competition.

2. Hotels and hostels

I recently went travelling and many of the hostels and hotels I stayed in had brochures detailing attractions to visit in that city. The lounge area and reception had many brochures ranging from pub crawls in the evening, to walking tours, to day trips outside the city.

Having an offline version of tourist attractions available in hotels allows people to read up on them at their leisure and then when they are ready, book them through the hostel/hotel. I signed up for two tours at the same hostel simply because I read through the brochures – they sounded interesting and the staff were also able to answer any additional questions I had.

3. City tours

I took many hop on and hop off buses on while I was travelling. Most had detailed information about what to see and do in the local area with a map outlining the bus route. This was really handy as I was able to orientate myself with the map and navigate my way through the city quickly, and I could then visit the attractions in the area without wasting time by getting lost.

4. Retail shops

Recently, I helped a local business owner who had just moved with the promotion of his newly located jewellery shop. The vast majority of his business was offline, as he had an actual retail store in a shopping centre. We decided the best strategy would be to promote his new store in the lead up to the official launch day. We had five hundred brochures printed at a local printing company and ran four weekly adverts in the local paper in the lead-up to the opening day. The end result? He made double the amount of sales he normally would.

5. Networking

We all know the best networking is done in person, as it’s very difficult to network properly online even with the advent of technologies like Skype and VOIP. Now that we’re living in the age of the internet, it’s even a more important to make face to face contact. How many emails do you receive a day? It’s important to be able to put a face a name, to speak to someone and find a bit more about them as a person and professionally. When you get home, you’ll remember the people you’ve met face-to-face and next time you send them an email, they’ll know who you are and will be more likely to respond.

It’s obvious that traditional marketing still has a place in today’s increasingly digital world, especially for those businesses in the service industry. Don’t underestimate the importance of working offline, but for additional exposure you should use a mixture of both traditional marketing with online marketing, as having a presence on the web can only help your business in today’s competitive market.

Jo Turnbull

Jo Turnbull

Jo Turnbull is a freelance SEO consultant and is the founder of <a href="//seojoblogs.com”">SEO Jo Blogs</a>, a site to help those in SEO, capturing many of the updates in the industry. Jo is the organiser of <a href="http://meetup.com/search-london">Search London </a> which holds events in the London, UK, featuring key search professionals in the industry. She has increased membership by more than 250% since taking over as organiser in October 2010. Jo is passionate about search and travel and this summer combined both as she took part in the first "State of Search Euro Roadshow", meeting SEO professionals throughout Europe and blogging about her experience on State of Search.

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