Offline promotion techniques

Offline promotion

Using traditional media such as TV, radio and print to direct visitors to an online presence.

Online web site promotion techniques such as search engine marketing and banner advertising often take prominence when discussing methods of traffic building. But we start with using offline communications to generate site visitors since it is one of the most effective techniques to generate site traffic and the characteristics of offline media are such (Figure 8.4) that they often have a higher impact and are more creative, which can help explain the online value proposition. 'Offline promotion' refers to using communications tools such as advertising and PR delivered by traditional media such as TV, radio and print in order to direct visitors to an online presence.

Despite the range of opportunities for using new online communications tools, traditional communications using offline media such as TV, print and direct mail and others shown in Figure 8.1 remain the dominant form of investment in marketing communications for most. As we will see in the section on the communications mix at the end of this chapter, even organisations which transact a large proportion of their business online continue to invest heavily in offline communications. Consider the travel sector where both travel suppliers such as BA, Thomson and easyJet and intermediaries such as Expedia and Opodo transact an increasing proportion of their sales online, but are still reliant on offline communications to drive visitors to the web to transact.

When the web analytics data about referring visitors is assessed, for most companies who are not online-only businesses, we find that over half the visitors are typically marked as 'No referrer'. This means that they visited the site direct by typing in the web address into the address bar in response to awareness of the brand generated through real-world communications (others may have bookmarked the site or clicked through from a search engine).

So offline communications are effective at reaching an audience to encourage them to visit a site, but are also useful as a way of having an impact or explaining a complex proposition as Mini Case Study 8.4 shows.

Mini Case Study B.4

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