It’s the natural evolution of things. As we walk further into the world of living more and more of our lives online, we drop bits and pieces of our offline lives behind us. We choose to meet on Google Hangouts instead of hanging out at the local brewpub. We teleconference into work from our kitchen tables instead of going in to the office–even though we are perfectly healthy. We hang out and chat on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Snapchat instead of meeting at the local coffee house or talking to the people around us. We sell through Amazon and websites instead of a cute little retail shop downtown.
It’s true: the Internet has provided us with so many ways to connect and live and, for business owners, sell our stuff. For companies, in particular, the web has opened up entirely new markets and sales funnels that would previously have been totally out of reach. It’s no wonder that so much time, energy and money is spent on online marketing and advertising techniques. Focus is placed on links and page views and CEOs and entrepreneurs forget that there is a whole world out there, walking around and experiencing the tangible world that might not know about your products or services because they choose to go to the park and shop in stores instead of building stuff on Minecraft and clicking over to Amazon.
Seriously: those people really do exist. And you’re missing out on all of their money because you’re not trying to market to them. Why are you ignoring such an important part of your customer base?
Wait, don’t answer that. We’re pretty sure we know the reason: you’re not sure how. You’ve spent so much time mastering online marketing that you forgot to master the basics of offline marketing as well. Here are some tips that you can use to overcome that knowledge gap.
Where Do Your Customers Go?
You know how, when you were planning out your AdSense and web ad buys, you focused your money on the sites where your audience was likely to spend their time? You looked for blogs they’d read, entertainment sites they’d visit, games they’d play. This same strategy works IRL too.
Where do your buyers travel? Where do they shop when they actually go to stores? Where do they spend their leisure time? These are the places you need to put your message. This might be something as simple as creating a fantastic brochure, designing custom cardboard brochure holders and then setting up those displays at your local community center, game shop or independent retailer. You can place posters and fliers in the places your buyers frequent the most: favorite restaurants and shops that allow flier displays.
Where Do Your Customers Live?
We mean this literally. We’re not advocating that you show up on someone’s doorstep unannounced. We are advocating that you send them something in the mail. There are a couple of ways to go about this:
• If you sell physical products, make sure to enclose a couple of lightweight or small promotional items in the shipment (at no cost to them, of course).
• Send them mail letting them know about upcoming sales, new features, etc. Create a newsletter and mail it out periodically. Send holiday cards and birthday cards (if you have birthday information).
Guerrilla marketing can be really fun. There are small ways to do it, like simply wearing branded clothing and carrying branded bags. There are medium sized ways to do it, like “accidentally” leaving branded pens at the grocery store or bank and sticking your flier into the corners of bus shelters and into library books. Then there are the large ways to do it like what some of these guerilla marketing artists have done. The best part about guerrilla marketing is that you can get as creative as you like.
The point is: take all of those things that you learned about marketing for the web and put them to work in the tangible world. You need to have an offline as well as an online presence if you ever want your company to succeed. So what are you waiting for? Profits are going to look for you, you have to get out there and hunt them down!