It seems like nary a day goes by that a business man doesn’t wonder about how many new connections they’ve made on LinkedIn, or how many new “friends” do they have on Facebook. Maybe you’re thinking about how many Circles you should join on Google+ today, or how many new people you want to follow on Twitter. Lead generation has really taken off and gone online.
Many marketers are still unsure about using online channels to generate leads though and prefer to stick to traditional means and make use of offline methods. Aside from that, some marketers are even willing to say that online marketing is beating offline marketing. But is it really?
Your business can benefit greatly from offline marketing methods. It can also benefit from online marketing approaches. So why are some marketers thinking that online is killing offline marketing? Can effective lead generation programs only be achieved when done online, or does offline still work?
Well, to answer such a question, let’s take a little look into it.
What can online do that offline can’t?
Engage in numbers. That’s one advantage that online marketing channels have. Attracting new leads, like IT sales leads or software sales leads, nowadays usually means mass marketing and that is difficult to achieve when you stick to traditional methods of marketing your company.
For example, an online advertisement or a well-placed Facebook ad can help to attract new customers en masse and direct them to your website or squeeze page.
What can offline do that online can’t?
Engage and convert. This is an advantage that online marketing does not really have. Although it is possible to engage with your prospects through online channels and generate business to business leads, most online channels only let you do one thing – engage. What you need to achieve aside from engagement is conversion. What good would going online do you if you weren’t able to convert a prospect into a lead?
Is online killing offline lead generation?
If offline methods were dying then why do many marketers still value the use of outbound telemarketing? If offline was seeing its final days then why do you still receive direct mail advertisements from other businesses? So the answer to the question on whether online marketing is killing offline marketing and lead generation is no.
Online channels may allow you to engage prospects in numbers, however, engaging with them would mean nothing if you could not convert prospects into leads. Online marketing is great in that you can present your company to a larger audience and engage with them, but you should not be so quick as to forget about offline marketing methods to convert prospects into leads.
Instead of sticking purely with either offline or online methods, you would benefit more from mixing them together to engage and convert prospects effectively. If you want to generate more leads, this is the best way to do so – create an offline and online marketing mix. Online isn’t going to be killing offline anytime soon. Rather, they should breathe life into each other to achieve better results.