There is currently a push from some quarters to get businesses to change their marketing mix to abandon off-line media and make all their marketing on-line and inbound, i.e. clients find you rather than the other way round. There is a major drive to make it all about web sites, SEO, Google Adwords, blogs, social media and e-newsletters.
There is an excellent reason for this:
People are getting better at filtering out marketing messages and it is far more effective to have someone looking for or following you than it is try and find them.
People don’t want to have marketing rammed at them but would rather engage with you on their own accord. However, you have to put yourself out there to start with and build up a following, move up the SEO ranks, write a blog etc and all of these things take time and effort.
My view is that the on-line channels have not replaced off-line channels but they have added to them. Off-line, outward channels are still effective when used properly.
Direct mail can still work well if done properly. Yellow Pages adverts can produce good results as well. In fact, one of my clients uses this as his main marketing tool.
Why? He deals with older clients and when looking for his service it is still there first point of call. People engage with and react to different channels.
For example, my parents, who are both retired, go on holiday several times a year on cruises. They would never dream of looking on-line and while they do shop around they deal mainly with high street travel agents and they do respond very well to offers sent to them through the post.
On the other hand, there are many companies who do very well using inbound channels such as blogs, social media etc.
The most successful businesses use both on-line and off-line media.
So don’t get carried away by this relatively new approach and throw everything else away. Work out how to dovetail it in with your current marketing plan, e.g. many companies use postcards to drive customers to their web site, follow them on Twitter or like them on Facebook.
Try all of these things and keep what is successful but don’t give up the winning actions for something new.