Friday, December 11, 2009

Online Marketing v Offline Marketing



I was reflecting on our offline retail plans and the fact that our biggest website traffic and sales spikes have come from bring written about in offline media and I realised that our experience with Shoes of Prey is completely the opposite to the experience of most other retailers - we are discovering offline retailing and marketing for the first time, while traditional retailers are discovering the online world the first time.

When I was working at Google a big challenge for the Retail sales team was persuading retailers that their customers are spending time online, and that as a retailer, you need to have a strong online presence to engage with those customers. Retailers are starting to test the waters, some more than others, and those that are doing it properly are doing very well.

We on the other hand, are sold on the benefits of online retailing and marketing, and are now just discovering the wonderful world of offline retailing and marketing! And it makes sense that offline retailing and marketing works too. Despite the impressive growth of online, the bulk of media consumption time and retail dollars are spent offline. So we'll soon be embarking on a PR push that is focused on offline as well as online media, and we're talking to offline retailers about selling our shoes in their stores.

If, like us, your background, work experience and frame of reference is predominantly online, what can you do for your business or career that is offline?

7 comments:

  1. Interesting concept - moving OFFLINE to do your marketing.
    Fish swimming against the stream and all that.

    Have you done any work on comparing reach vs. conversion rate?
    I would think it would be much higher online as people simply need to *click*, rather than actively remember the URL, go to their computer, and consciously type in the URL

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  2. Good point Dean, and that's the trade off. Online = easy reach, low conversion rate. Offline = harder to reach but higher conversion rate.

    We do 2 things to drive people online after visiting us in store:
    1. A Shoes of Prey business card
    2. We offer to have customers try on the shoes so we can work out their Shoes of Prey size. We then get their email address, create an account for them, add the sizing info to it so they don't need to worry about sizing, and send them an email with the URL and account info.

    Our sales are split pretty much 50/50 online/offline so far, so it's looking like both angles are worth going down. :)

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  3. Micheal, I read your advert about shoe production in different sizes in the Blogger, I need some sizes of your product for me to sample to my customer. your can get me through my Google Blogger address or kind mail me at bishoptesy@yahoo.com for me know if my resquest will be granted

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  4. I think this is a good idea. We need more entrepenuers and hustlers in this world.

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  5. Good learning's Foxy - its like online is there just to capitalise on the demand driven by offline. Online provides the opportunity to engage at relevant times and drive specific actions so is very powerful. The offline activity not only drives demand but also increases your brand awareness which is key to earn the trust of consumers so they will actually buy from you! Is offline more powerful to grow your brand than online? Its all about integration and lots of touch points, but what mix maxamises your ROI? The acid question!

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  6. Thanks Obinna and BlackJewelDaGod.

    Jasper - good thoughts, it sounds like online and offline are very complementary. And you're right, where we focus our energies and what mix is right is something we're going to have to work through as we go along.

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  7. I dont have anything to contribute to this discussion, but good luck to you guys on a very cool concept. Private, custom cobblers are a dying breed and the art needs to be preserved. kudos.

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