This post was inspired by a post on morecaffeineplease. Greg was wondering whether offline only marketers were “leaving money on the table” and also why online and offline marketers are often so divided against each other.
Jeremy commented that he thought offline marketers were well, lazy, entranced by big numbers and splashy ad campaigns, rather than conversations.
I do agree that there are many brand advertisers who are captivated by big campaigns, and big awards. Neither of those result in conversations and don’t necessarily even make any money.
Conversation, Not Shouting
Whether your marketing is online or offline, it still has to follow the same rules. Both will fail when they don’t build trust, offer value, or treat customers fairly.
A few days ago, BMW hijacked the front page of the New York Times online with an ad that couldn’t be shut off or bypassed. Clearly, they had no respect for the newspaper’s readers.
On the other hand, Jack Daniels bourbon has been having an ongoing conversation with a friend for years. He’s the proud squire of 1 square inch of Kentucky land near the distillery. They sent him a deed, and regularly send letters asking if he’s seen a lost mule, or enclosing pennies and odds and ends they “found” on his property. It’s all offline, and impossible to do online (until someone invents the Star Trek transporter).
Online is Faster
The primary difference is that online companies can respond to problems or opportunities much more quickly. I posted a Freebie Friday SEO Fast Start report on my blog two months ago. A few hours later, the author left a comment saying a new edition was coming out in a few days.
This is one important lesson many offline marketers have failed to learn. Word spreads, and it spreads fast.
I complained online about a bad experience at Victoria’s Secret (in short, they require a driver’s license or a passport (?!?) in order to return something, even with the receipt). Nobody has contacted me, apologized, or responded in any way. They clearly are not interested in having a conversation, only in glitzy marketing campaigns. I will never, ever buy anything there again.