Creative Offline Marketing Ideas for Retailers

Offline marketing is all the activities that you can think of, from poster campaigns to handing out leaflets on the street, direct mail, outdoor banner stands and other printed kind of media. Many people wrongly assume that in the digital age, offline marketing has had its day. Let's take a look at some more offline marketing ideas and how you can use them to promote your business.

The digital age and online marketing are no doubt important. But, putting offline marketing out to pasture could mean that you are missing a beat. Rather than assuming that everyone is online, why not assume that offline and online marketing combined, can be a powerful force for your business.

With this in mind, business owners look at their offline marketing plans and actions; what they see if the ‘same-old, same-old’ of activities. The time has come to add some pizzazz to offline marketing… try these creative ideas:

Shift the focus from selling to customers

Many businesses assume that they need to sell, sell, sell to every customer that crosses their threshold or sends an email enquiry but, by focusing too much on selling, you are losing the customer in the mix.

Offline marketing offer several ways to regain this important but lost ground:

  • Membership packages
Many small businesses assume that these are only for the ‘big boys’ but there is nothing stopping you from developing a membership package. If you have the type of product that can be bought on a monthly or frequent basis, why not create a better and more enticing product for repeat customers? There are many examples of small businesses creating successful membership scheme…
  • Special events
More and more retail and business experts are suggesting that shopping is no longer a single activity; creating an events is a way of revitalising the high street and creating an event at your business is a great way of bringing people in. Be careful that this doesn’t just become a selling forum, make sure you are demonstrating or being informative too.
  • In-store scavenger hunts
Print off gift vouchers or ‘golden tickets’ and hide so many in store on a given day (pick your slowest day), and invite customers to find them. You can release so many per hour and have a range of tantalising offers…
  • Party fun!
Not for the faint hearted but, having an event that is not linked to anything other than to have fun, and introduce prospective new customers to your business, a ‘party’ or themed event is a great way to do it. If you have the budget, you can really push the boat out, with cartoonists on hand, butlers with bubbles and all sorts… invite only (which need to be professionally printed, with logo and money off coupon!)

Hone your demographics

Knowing who your customers are is important but, this can mean that we neglect other groups of customers who actually may like to buy our products. For this reason, take some time over your offline marketing to pinpoint certain customers;

The grey pound

This may or may not be a pleasant term for those of a certain age, but it is becoming apparent here in the UK, that the older customer has the cash that so many businesses are chasing.

The older demographic however, are rarely marketed to but they are also savvy shoppers too, so don’t assume that they will be sucked in with rubbish deals that get them nowhere. It also doesn’t mean that you have to patronise them either… so take care that graphics, photos and language are not alienating this important shopping group.

The green pound

But, there is another marketing strand in the ring that has been shown to be successful with some groups; highlighting how your business is eco-friendly seems to be one way of harnessing people’s attention.

For example, making it clear you only print on recycled paper, your bags are made from recycled materials etc. and telling people about these eco-credentials has started to work as a one marketing hook. People like to feel good when they shop; they prefer taking their custom to a business that has values and it seems that green credentials is one of them!

But, what about competing with the BIG brands?

It can be tough on the high street. Competing with big, powerful brands who seem to have a huge marketing budget, constantly pushes your store in to the shade. It can be easy to become disheartened but there are small business and stores out there who are thriving… and their secret? Concentrate on the customer, not ‘just’ the selling.



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