Monday, 4 August 2014

Online v's Offline Advertising and Marketing for Small and Medium Businesses in South West England

Business in the South West of England and Companies throughout the region need to market and advertise their products or services to the appropriate target audience

Companies advertise in order to inform, persuade, remind or raise brand awareness or brand loyalty. The aim of such advertising is of course to increase sales and thereby increase revenue and profits.

In doing so businesses in the South West will have many questions which need to be answered in relation to their advertising and marketing needs. Such as:

Q: How can we effectively and efficiently target our adverts to reach our desired target market?

Q: What form of advertising should we use to maximise the potential of reaching that target market in a way that is minimising the cost to do so?
Businesses in the South West
Online advertising (websites, pay per click, static ads) and offline advertising (newspapers, paper directories, radio, and television) all serve those same broad advertising goals.

The thing to remember is that each medium of advertising has its own set of strengths and weaknesses.

As a business you need to decide which medium is most suited to the needs of your company.

Some offline advertising is either not appropriate or out of reach of many small or medium sized businesses in the South West.

Such mediums such as television or radio advertising can be expensive. Newspaper advertising in some cases can be outdated or inappropriate for that type of product or service.

There may well still be a need for paper directories, but they too have been affected by the many changes and the tide of progress through many new advertising choices there are. Particularly with the increase demand for all types of internet marketing and advertising which can be accessed efficiently and effectively by consumers and businesses’ alike.

The medium of offline advertising does have its place. The question to as yourself; Does it serve our company or business well or could we do it better elsewhere? Such as the internet?

Well here at Bath Business Web we meet company directors and business owners from the many towns and villages all over the South West on a daily basis.
Bath Business Web Ltd
Whether based in Bath, Bristol, Wiltshire, Somerset or Gloucestershire we help them get the most from their advertising and marketing.

At Bath Business Web we recognise the need for small and medium businesses to consider how they market and advertise online.

This may mean building a professional and purpose built website to advertise or market your product or service.

It may mean advertising the whereabouts of the business on Google Places. Create an advertising campaign based round pay per click, ad-words or utilising advertising space on social media sites.

But what of other forms of advertising?

Well television and radio is often out of reach for many small and medium businesses’. It may not even be appropriate and could flood a business or send advertisements to far flung parts of the South West which have no relevance if you’re a local window cleaner in Chippenham.

The decline of newspapers has been prominent in the news for a number of years and the internet has contributed directly or indirectly to the closure of a number worldwide. It is true that a number have successfully transferred part of their industry online and do have space to advertise and market local business.

There are other forms of paper advertising such as the local or national phone or business directories. Editorials or adverts in local magazines. Flyers, posters or Billboard advertising.

Well I guess they all have their place. So what you need to do is get to grips with how they will work for you.

Find me a person of the modern age who doesn’t think that a business should have a profile of one sort or another on the internet, because to think that way will not help grow your business
A Website or Online Marketing Presence for your Business

The advertising you choose does not have to complicated or over the top. The local electrician who runs round town in his white van and is too busy keeping his business afloat to be able to walk the streets with leaflets or flyers. The car valeting service who wants an automated service to book people in or the hairdresser who wants to show off all the latest styles and trends to their customers can do so easily and cost effectively online.

At Bath Business Web we believe that both online and offline advertising will remain robust in the foreseeable future. Offline advertising is very diverse using media such as illuminated poster boards, direct mail, promotional literature, magazine reviews, flags, stands and banners at business fairs, and because of that will help it continue to be a source of necessary and useful marketing.

But remember not all these mediums will be relevant or suitable for your business
Online Search Engines
To an extent the nature of your business will determine the nature of the advertising and marketing you prescribe to.
Many offline advertising mediums rely on the fact that potential customers will be in the right place at the right time to happen to see, read or hear their advert.

The only difference to this is when a potential customer goes looking for a company or business.
That's where the internet comes into its own.

Search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing allow the customer to do this with ease and speed.

This is where 'once upon a time, long long ago' the paper directory had come into its own and had been of such great importance since its conception. Well until now that is.

Did you know that the very first telephone directory in the UK was published in 1880?

It was published by The Telephone Company and it was made of cardboard. It contained 248 names and addresses and individuals and businesses jn London. At that time telephone numbers were not included as subscribers were always asked for by name when they got through to the local exchange.
Over 134 years of Business Directories
Following that publication the Post Office Telecommunication, a division of the GPO (General Post Office), launched the very first Yellow Pages in 1966 in Brighton and Sussex.

By 1973 the Yellow Pages was rolled out throughout the rest of the UK.

The offline paper directory has been with us 134 years. It stared off very small and grew very sizeable indeed.

So big in fact that there were competitions to see who could tear one in half with their bear hands. Eventually this sad pastime was left to the few strong men capable of such a feat.

However, since those days and in particular the conception of the internet offline paper directories have been losing their grip on the ‘look up a business’ market for everyday people of the modern age.

No doubt there are people out there who still prefer to look up there local pet shop by going into the Yellow Pages or Thompson paper directory. They may well be the same people who play gramophone records, only take the Morris Minor out at weekends or don’t have a mobile phone.

What the offline adverts don’t do or can’t do
  • Show an interactive map detailing the whereabouts of your business
  • Be able to pin point the exact location of your business in relation to a customer’s address
  • Calculate the distance from the customers address to your business
  • Send an email directly to your business account
  • Show page after page of the products, services and resources which you have in your business
  • Allow the customer to link immediately and directly to another associated business or association
  • Go into detail regarding the history and makeup of the business you have created
  • Allow the customer to swiftly and easily find the exact business they need with 2 or 3 key words
Reasons why small and medium businesses in the South West should develop or strengthen an online presence - online marketing v. offline marketing

It is clear that the internet is having a significant impact on how we behave as customers. The way we do business over the internet or the way we shop online. The need to get in touch with business or other consumers through social media.

It has dramatically altered the way we think when searching for a business or the expectations we have for each and every business to be online so we can see what they are all about prior to any contact with them.

Here are 8 reasons to consider with online v's offline marketing:

1. Any company or business can compete on equal footings with its rivals regardless of how big or small they are.

2. Your business can advertise and market itself at very little cost online, compared with the equivalent type of advertising offline.

3. Unlike offline marketing you can see minute by minute or day by day how your online marketing is doing or achieving for you so you can change or adapt as necessary to improve results. There are many ways to analyse or measure the effectiveness and performance of your online marketing and advertising.

4. You can see immediately with online marketing how many potential customers are engaging with your marketing or advertising methods.

5. A website which is well maintained and with high quality content will add value to your business by providing lead generation and focus directly to your target audience.

6. Your business will be seen anywhere in the world from one marketing source. Imagine doing this with paper advertising and having to send adverts to all the newspapers of the world.

7. The latest offers, messages from your business or updates about the service you offer can be sent out at a touch of a button. No need for flyers that nobody reads or posters which cost more than the return you get from the business they attract.

8. Your customers and potential customers can engage with your business like never before. With online marketing you can encourage sales through discussion and readership. Not only can they read about your business on your website, but customers can talk to each other on social media or read the latest blog. There is so much more contact and potential contact which enables you to spread the word or let your customers do it for you.

At Bath Business Web we fly the flag for online marketing and advertising
However, we also recognise that offline strategies still have a place for certain businesses.
Internet Advertising
Though we have conveniently divided marketing methods between online and offline, at the end of the day you need to decide what is more like to work for you and your business.
It is important to remember that successful companies constantly experiment with different ways to reach their target markets.
What works for you today may not be what you need for tomorrow.
Online advertising and marketing has been growing rapidly over the past ten to fifteen years.
Consumers use the internet more and more to carry out transactions and find the businesses they need.
This growth pattern of online usage by business and customers alike will continue, at least for the foreseeable future.
The rise of the internet has meant accessibility to markets never experienced before by local small and medium businesses.

This is your chance to make your business work in the modern age of online advertising and online marketing.

The world definitely is you advertising oyster.

The cost comparison between the internet and paper advertising has meant business has moved away from those more traditional ways
Now businesses in the South West of England have found more cost effective methods to advertise by focusing on the internet and online marketing.
All the best,                          
Blogger for Bath Business Web Ltd
Your local Internet Marketing Specialist, Business Directory and Website Design Company

Call for a free consultation and find out more about how you can help your business grow
01225 920503

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