It’s true that the way businesses market and advertise their products and services is constantly changing as new and sometimes better marketing tools and platforms get created and a new generation of students leave schools and colleges, enter adulthood and become your new customers.
20 years ago, probably less, no one had even heard of those everyday marketing terms such as Adwords (Google’s Paid Search Results) or SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) let alone Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and other personal or business social media platforms, however, focusing solely on these modern advertising and marketing trends can be disastrous for some businesses and has resulted in many businesses failing within 12 months of launching.
Some businesses are exclusively online these days and do not need any other form of marketing or advertising to be done offline, these are mainly websites offering services and tools to help businesses succeed online or to help the online part of a business run smoother and more efficiently, sites such as Hubspot which market’s itself as a developer and marketer of software products for inbound marketing and sales, basically they let you organise leads and contact form data in a more efficient way and eSignlite which allows businesses to get important documents signed and returned electronically rather then posting out hard copies and waiting for them to get returned, signed.
Of course there are many other marketing and sales hub platforms and simply loads of eSignature websites out there because the modern trend of seeing a successful online business and simply copying it rather than thinking up your own idea is widespread at the moment but more about this in another article.
Not Every Business Operates Exclusively Online
There are still a lot of UK businesses around who operate partly or exclusively outside of the internet, think about all those local tradesmen such as plumbers, electricians, heating engineers, locksmiths, plasterers etc, these type of businesses all still meet their customers face to face and whether their customers are domestic (residential) customers or business customers they’ll still want to give out business cards so their details can be saved for the future or passed onto friends or colleagues, these business cards will need designing and printing.
These tradesmen will also try to attract new business by leaving leaflets and flyers with their customers showing prices, offers or the range of services they have on offer or they’ll leave these leaflets and flyers in public places such as libraries, leisure centres or a other business premises, with permission of the owner of course.
Local tradesmen also tend to drive around in a business vehicle, a vehicle that will need maintenance and regular new parts such as tyres, wipers, bulbs merely due to the time these type of people spend on the road driving to and from jobs, these tradesmen will not spend their days on the internet searching Google, shopping on Amazon or trawling though Facebook groups etc so businesses such as printers, garages etc will want to get their products and services in front of these potential clients using old, tried and tested methods such as large billboard adverts, banners, adverts on the side of buses or on the back of taxis etc collectively known as vehicle branding, vehicle wraps or vinyl wraps which are very good at targeting motorists..
There are also a few businesses who sell both equally offline and online but tend to neglect their offline presence to some degree whilst at the same time spending hundreds, sometimes thousands of pounds on internet marketing, website banner advertising and search engine optimisation, usually after being targeted by dishonest salesmen in boiler rooms selling dreams of search engine dominance and more clients than you can handle. Remember, genuine internet marketing companies will never cold call you; they’ll work mainly on referrals or they’ll target their clients through the medium that they are claiming to be experts in, the internet.
If an internet marketing company needs to cold call you to sell you their services then it’s probably a good indication that they are not any good at internet marketing.
Does Shop Signage Still Make a Difference?
If you are a business with a shop front on a relatively busy high street or in a shopping centre or precinct then you shouldn’t underestimate the power of that first impression obtained through high quality exterior shop signage, pavement boards, A boards, swinging boards and advertising banners all of which can bring in passing trade and customers that without professional eye catching signage would simple walk by or worse, choose a nearby competitor instead.
Due to modern, money saving, manufacturing techniques, more affordable, large scale laser printers and easy to use desktop design software, professional sign makers are now more affordable than ever and having your whole shop front transformed can cost the same if not less than as a single month worth of online advertising and marketing yet can bring in new business for years since good quality, well maintained signage can stay looking as good as it did when it was first installed for many years making it a very cost effective advertising medium.
A couple of well designed, weatherproof, robust large advertising banners placed strategically around your village, town or city advertising your business, your latest offers, services or any current discounts can get the attention of a lot more people than a graphical banner placed on a website due to the fact that many people nowadays have become desensitised to this type of internet marketing tactic, subconsciously scrolling past advertising banners as if they were not even there yet these same people will take notice of something new they see whist walking or driving in their own village, town or city.
High street branding and signage still plays a very important roll in brand recognition and awareness too and shouldn’t be overlooked in favour of yet more internet marketing and an increased PPC (Pay Per Click) budget, most of which is simple money down the drain anyway…
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes… Do you take notice of each and every graphical banner and ad you see whilst browsing the internet, or are you, like everybody else getting a little tired of them to a point that you no longer take any notice? Did you notice the ad banners on this page? Now think about walking down the high street and seeing a business with a brand new shiny or backlit sign or think about a seeing a large 10 metre by 3 metre banner appearing one day along your route to or from the shops? The power of physical advertising is here to stay and will never be replaced completely by its online counterpart.