At least for the past five years, online marketing has far surpassed offline marketing activity, with many businesses now eclipsing traditional advertising such as billboards, TV, print and events. However, companies particularly in the B2B tech sphere should be looking at a combination of both online and offline activity as part of their marketing mix.
The ‘Rule of Seven’ explains that for prospects to become customers, they must be exposed to your brand or product at least seven times. With the amount of advertisements we see continuing to increase, now more than 5000 a day, the reality is that individuals may need to have seen your brand or company even more than seven times before they are motivated to become a customer. Because of this, marketers need to maximise their reach by combining online and offline tactics, especially considering the huge amount of online noise we encounter daily. Offline activity feeds into public perception, which holds particular importance in B2B where you may not come into contact with your audience as often.
A study published byeMarketer in 2016 showcased the stark difference in trust levels between online and offline marketing. Of the participants surveyed, over 82% trusted print (magazines, newspapers and brochures), 76% trusted ads received in direct mail and 69% trusted ads in outdoor and public places. In the same study, only 25% trusted digital pop-ups with a further 39% trusting online banners and advertisements. The internet still lags behind when it comes to trust and authenticity. There is simply so much content online that customers do not know what they can and cannot trust. On the other hand, offline marketing is all about genuinely connecting with people without devices, and tactility makes your brand feel far more authentic. This is particularly important in the tech industry, where many customers often feel that they cannot connect with companies as they cannot understand the company or its jargon.
Due to being the favoured technique for B2B tech companies, especially startups and SMEs, online marketing channels are overloaded with competition. Even when consumers click a link, they can be distracted with video ads, popups and banners. This is not only frustrating for businesses, but customers too. Offline marketing is a better way to display direct information without the threat of other companies intercepting it with their own content without permission.
A powerful offline marketing tool for B2B tech marketers is events. Conferences, trade shows and launches offer a platform where B2B companies can meet customers and clients and impress attendees without the use of the internet. Events are a powerful opportunity for establishing a business as a thought leader in the industry, with other companies able to understand and trust your brand and make their own improvements. An eMarketer report in 2017 found that “even with the rise of more measurable digital marketing tactics, trade and marketing events continue to be a major avenue for building relationships, influencing attendees and sharing industry thought leadership.”
Whilst offline marketing can be particularly beneficial for your B2B technology business, it’s important to mix online and offline marketing together to accurately target the correct audience. At FMXA, we work with the most innovative companies in technology to engage their audiences and differentiate them from competitors. To learn more, get in touch with our team.