Online vs. Offline Prospecting/Marketing: Why choose?
I recently read a tweet where asking “what’s the preferred method for prospecting for and marketing to clients?” The two choices provided were online (social media) vs. offline (traditional).
My simple answer to the question is, it depends.
As with many of our decisions in life, certain variables can dictate and better influence your prospecting and marketing decisions. As the old adage says,
“Fish where the fish are”
The type of industry you compete in, your business model, and the source activity to your previous sales (where did your customers previously find you?). One thing that is always constant, no matter the industry, is that you are in the people business.
Over the years I have conducted online and offline prospecting and marketing with mixed results.
My online prospecting efforts included prospecting through:
- social media messages
- online classified ads (craigslist)
- discussion forums
My offline prospecting efforts included:
- telephone calling cold and warm leads
- area canvassing
- product/service demonstrations
I recorded and maintained a paper (EEK!!) database, detailing the source of activity (where my leads came from), and adjusted my monthly prospecting activity accordingly. For example, if I earned five sales from area canvassing, and 15 sales from online ads, statistics show I should continue to prospect online (place more ads, reach out to more people, become more effective at the contacts I do make) as these sales account for 75 percent of my business (15 divided by 20 total sales = 75%).
As you may have guessed from the title of this blog entry, we don’t have to choose one over another. My answer to the question, “What’s the preferred method for prospecting for and marketing to clients?” is to prospect and market in both avenues, online AND offline. Analyzing your individual results, as long as you are able to track the source of your sales, can help you better pinpoint WHERE the fish are biting so you can become more effective and earn more sales.
Thanks for reading along and I hope you found some use out of this entry.
Have a question for me? Hit me up on the twitter machine, my handle is @ajros02 and you can use the hashtag #AskAJ. Your question may be featured in an upcoming blog, or may be answered directly on twitter.