Are Offline Media Buys Cost Effective in 2012?

For years, you have heard over and over again that media buys can be effective but only if you are smart and only target highly specific, niche traffic on the Internet. Offline media buys are so “last century” and are a huge waste of time for such untargeted traffic.

Like all new trends, however, Internet advertising has settled into the mainstream and many advertisers have realized that instead of a replacement for traditional advertising, it is a good supplement. A well rounded marketing campaign is one that uses all available tools – not just the ones that people are buzzing about. That’s why offline media buys are still important and in 2012 can be a cost effective way to market your business.

Finding an Offline Market

Before you consider offline advertising, consider your market. If you sell to a global marketplace consisting almost entirely of web-based entrepreneurs, you may not find the kind of results you are looking for offline. However, if your market is local or if you target individuals or offline businesses in your area, it may be in your best interest to look for low cost offline advertising opportunities. These include:

  • Classified Ads – Newspapers have cut their ad rates dramatically in recent years due to declining revenues. Many others are focusing solely online. If you look carefully you can find uncharacteristically low ad slots in major publications in your area.
  • Magazine Ads – This doesn’t necessarily work in major magazines like People or Newsweek but smaller, niche publications that are on the brink of collapse will sell ad space however they can. If you are in a small niche with a very specific audience, look for publications with slashed ad buy opportunities that need any advertiser they can get.
  • Radio – Radio hasn’t suffered the way that print or even TV media have in the wake of online advertising. People still listen to the radio and always will because it is in the car and at work. However, radio spots have never been exceptionally pricey either. As long as you avoid rush hour time slots, you can get some good deals on the radio.

Offline media buys are definitely not for beginners. You need to have some capital set aside and a clear marketing plan so you know what demographic you are targeting and what you expect to gain from the campaign. If well run, however, an offline marketing campaign can result in substantial returns on your investment.