Offline Marketing Basics for Businesses

Online marketing has become a rage. Marketing has become digital, whether it’s through online advertising or social media. However, offline marketing is just as powerful in helping businesses grow their reach and raise brand awareness. 

Offline marketing simply means any marketing activity that does not take place online. It can be done in a variety of formats and media, including billboards and printed ads. Offline marketing comes in many forms, with each having its advantages and drawbacks. 

Let’s take a closer look at some offline marketing basics and ideas for getting started.


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What exactly is offline marketing?

What is Offline Marketing?

Which are the key elements of offline marketing?

Which are the biggest advantages of offline marketing?

Which is the greatest drawback in offline marketing?

Unusual Ways that Companies Use Offline Marketing

Does Offline marketing have a future?

What else should I know about offline marketing?

You Can Grow Your Business With Small Biz Sense


What exactly is offline marketing?

Any activity that aids a company in gaining more customers or increasing brand awareness is called marketing. It can sometimes be difficult for offline marketing, which has to compete with the online version of it. But offline marketing has its advantages.

For instance, offline ad campaigns are usually easier to track than online ads, since you’ll usually know exactly how many people saw or heard the ad. Also, studies have shown that radio ads tend to capture people’s attention better than online ads do; TV ads are even more effective, because they make it very easy for customers to identify with the product being sold. This offline strategy is even more efficient if you target an older audience that will consume traditional media offline.

What is Offline Marketing?

First, create a campaign to test your offline marketing strategies. The first step is to create a sample campaign. Next, you will need to set a budget and write the copy. Finally, the ads must be designed. It’s important to remember that not all offline marketing is exclusive to the offline world; usually, these ads are paired with some form of digital advertising, like banner ads or social media posts.

After you’ve created your ad and budget, it’s time to start shopping around for ad placement. Online marketing is more expensive than offline. A billboard, for instance, costs much less than an ad on TV. Once you know how much you’re able to spend, the next step is choosing where to run your ad—geographically, and/or what time of day. 

Tracking the performance of your ads and measuring your ROI is the final step. Since it’s challenging to get exact numbers with offline marketing, you’ll need to research certain effective metrics, including: impressions (how many people saw the ad) and cost per impression (how much each viewer cost). It is also important to evaluate your advertising costs against similar ones online.

Remember that offline marketing is not a replacement for online ads; it’s another tool in your arsenal. To get the best results, you should use as many strategies as possible. 


Which are the key elements of offline marketing?

You can do offline marketing in many ways. This comprehensive list will show you how to use offline marketing platforms in order to expand your reach. 

Radio Ads

Radio advertisements, just like television commercials can help companies communicate their brand’s voice and image. In addition, they’re usually less expensive than TV ads, and they’re more flexible since they can be changed at the last minute. On the other hand, radio ads do not usually provide detailed information about a product or service; this is something you’ll need to add in later with another marketing channel like print media.

Advertisements on TV

Although TV ads are expensive, they provide a great way to grab people’s attention quickly. TV ads can really make your product stand apart from others. Of course, you also have to keep in mind that many companies run TV ads simultaneously with their radio ads; this means it’s important to prioritize which ad is more important for your company.

Promotional products

Promo items work well because most people don’t have enough clutter. Small flashlights and USB drives with the company logo will build brand awareness and demonstrate appreciation for customers. How these products are distributed will depend on what your budget is and how busy you have.

Print ads

A print ad might be the only option you have if you’re dealing with a smaller budget. Although they are less costly than TV ads and take more time to make, they do tend to be cheaper. Because people actually do read print ads, they are ideal for product features. Print ads can also be used to promote offline ideas.


Sometimes, your billboard advertisement can be seen by large numbers of people. However, it’s important to note that billboards only provide a picture and a company logo; it’s up to the viewer to do additional legwork to find out what product or service is being advertised. Billboards can be very affordable to make and maintain.

Magazine Ads

This type of ad is usually inserted into a targeted magazine that’s read by your target customer demographic. It will not be seen by as many people as other media. However, it will cost less. Magen magazine ads can be great as features, because it allows companies to discuss specific products in depth.

Newspaper Ads

Newspaper ads can be a cost-effective way to advertise small businesses. They’re also a good choice if your target customer demographic doesn’t have a computer or smartphone, which means the ad will reach the largest number of people possible. 


The downside, however, is that newspapers advertise in many different areas; this means it’s difficult to track your ad and see if a specific area is getting results.


Flyers are perfect for when you want to get the word out about an upcoming event or sale; it’s also a great way to get your brand in front of people who may be interested in what you offer. Just remember that it’s hard to track how many people saw the ad, so you’ll need to do some math.


It’s a fantastic way to connect with your target audience offline by sponsoring events or organizations. If you sponsor an event or organization that your target market is likely to be interested in, they’ll be more likely to learn about your company and what you have to offer. 


Avis, a car rental agency is one example of an organization that has successfully used sponsorship. In addition, they’ve sponsored several major sporting events like the Olympics and the Super Bowl.

Direct Mail

People often claim that direct mail is the best option to reach older customers. This type of ad works well for small businesses because it’s pretty cost-effective. Although direct mail may be in decline, it can still give your company a strong image and establish authority. You took time to write a compelling message that resonated with your target audience and target the most qualified for your product. 

It’s also worth noting that you should never rely on one marketing channel! Instead, it’s important to try different types of advertising to see what works best. You should track each ad’s results to determine which channels are bringing you the highest business.


Which are the biggest advantages of offline marketing?

Now that we’ve given you some examples of how to use offline marketing, we want to help explain the why behind it. Offline marketing has the advantage that it is very specific. While you may not be able to reach as many people as with online advertising, your ads are likely to get seen and converted by those who actually see it. 

If you’re a local company, for example, you might be more effective to put a sign up next to your store rather than creating an advertisement online that targets a large audience of people who may not have the opportunity to visit it. Offline marketing also gives you the chance to create brand awareness and establish a company image through localized visuals and accurate messaging, so that your marketing efforts feel authentic and tied to your business’s community. 


Which is the greatest drawback in offline marketing?

Offline marketing is also difficult to track. For example, it’s difficult to find out just how many people saw an ad and were influenced by it, and this means you’ll need to do that legwork yourself by tracking sales, measuring sales increases over time, and so on.

This is why in the battle of offline vs. online marketing, there is no clear winner and it’s important to think of offline marketing tactics as a part of a larger, more comprehensive overall marketing strategy. 


Unique Ways Companies Have Used Offline Marketing

Offline marketing can be used in many ways by companies to reach their market. Below are some examples of offline marketing to inspire your imagination. 

  • Purina has a program called “Paws for Pets,” which helps shelter animals find homes. Adoption flyers with photos of adopted pets are printed and distributed in high-traffic, local areas.
  • ADT has a program called “ADT Cares,” which helps victims of domestic violence. They print “Stay Safe” cards featuring contact information for local domestic violence shelters and distribute them to victims’ homes. 
  • Denny’s often holds grand opening events where free food and other prizes are given. 
  • Ford has a program called “Drive 4 UR School,” which raises money for local schools. They print donation forms featuring the school’s logo and distribute them to local businesses.
  • Back in the ’80s, Pepsi had a nationwide taste test to prove that people preferred Pepsi to Coke. It worked to Pepsi’s advantage; the majority of taste testers chose Pepsi over Coke, which led to an increase in sales for Pepsi. 
  • Coke sponsored the Olympic Games many years ago as an offline marketing strategy. You couldn’t turn on the TV or see an ad for the Olympics without seeing Coke’s bright red logo right alongside the rings. 


Does Offline marketing have a future?

Don’t underestimate the importance of offline marketing. Online marketing continues to grow in popularity, but offline marketing can still be a very effective method of reaching your targeted market. According to a recent survey, 84% consumers would prefer information on products and services via offline channels. 

Most people don’t even realize that they see offline marketing every day. It’s everywhere, from the ads in your local newspaper to the flyers taped to telephone poles on your local street. Although offline marketing can seem small or large, don’t underestimate their power. 

Amazon also uses offline marketing techniques. When an Amazon package arrives, sometimes it comes in a box with a new show or event displayed on it—Amazon just advertised to you even though you already bought from them!


What else should I know about offline marketing?

Online marketing is just one part of an effective advertising strategy. Although physical, offline ads are usually more affordable than online ads, they don’t always turn into sales on their own. Some types of offline marketing are also harder to track than others; for example, it’s nearly impossible to tell exactly how many people saw your billboard ad.

Since you’re using ads that don’t allow you to go into as much detail about what you offer, it’s even more important to make sure that everything you put out conveys the right tone and message. You may lose people’s trust if you give them a false impression. 


You Can Grow Your Business With Small Biz Sense

It is an excellent way to reach customers and promote your business online. You can choose from many offline advertising options, with each having its advantages and disadvantages. It’s important to try different types of advertising to see what works best for your business and track the results of each ad to determine which are most effective.

That’s where Small Biz Sense comes in. Small Biz Sense features a host of tools that can keep all of your shop’s activity in one place. We’re a one-stop commerce solution that powers businesses at all stages of their lifecycle. If you’d like to learn more about what Small Biz Sense can do for your business, click here.

Cyndy Lane

Cyndy is business journalist with a focus on entrepreneurship and small business. With over a decade of experience covering the startup and small business landscape, Cyndy has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, insightful and approachable journalist. She has a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing small business owners and is able to explain them in a way that is relatable and actionable for her readers.