In an earlier post, we looked at the ongoing discussion of online versus off-line advertising, with the conclusion that either can be great, so long as you’re maximizing the return from your advertising budget.
The reality that we really wanted to hit home, however, is that Internet advertising isn’t in either-or proposition; you can – and definitely should – have an integrated approach to finding new customers. Using that mindset, you can break the process down to three quick steps:
1. Find your customers. Whoever your core group of buyers are, find out where they “live,” online or off. Once you know where they read, hang out, and discuss ideas (be it in a physical place, online, or in magazines and other mediums), you have good places to start your advertising campaigns.
2. Find approaches that work. Where you put your advertising is just the first variable; what you say is every bit as important. Work on creating messages that grab attention and are easy to remember.
3. Test different methods and ideas. With those two pieces in place, you start testing everything, from pay-per-click and banner ads to direct mail and other traditional tools. Over time, you’ll find out what works for your company in a reliable way.
That might not be as glamorous or exciting is talking about the latest Internet advertising tools and sensations, but it’s a proven formula for long-term success.