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Similar Techniques in Online and Offline Advertising.

The author

Neil Astin

Head of PPC

There are a lot of websites and articles out there that compare online and offline advertising. However, most of these articles focus on the differences between the two, picking out advantages and disadvantages to each approach. There are obviously a lot of differences between online and offline advertising, but what are the similarities? Let’s take a look at one online advertising platform, Google AdWords, and see how some of its options can be compared to techniques used in offline advertising.

Now the whole idea behind searching for a specific product or service, and being presented with a list of companies or providers is old news. Think directory books like Yellow Pages, pick your keyword from the index, turn to that page and there are your search results! So what options within AdWords could you say are borrowed from older offline techniques? How about location targeting? After all, regional yellow pages meant I was always looking for local suppliers. I didn't look up a mobile car repair service, a builder and a vet from the other side of the country that time I swerved my car into my garden wall whilst trying in vain to avoid my neighbours escaped dog. How about the option of advanced bid changes? Do you ramp up your bids to 130% of their default between 2 and 4pm because that’s when most people are searching for your product? Does a sandwich shop send out someone holding a sign advertising their new thinly sliced ham with homemade mustard between 12 and 1pm because that’s when most people are looking for sandwiches? My sandwich shop would. Do you run on the display network? This is a network to get huge impressions for your ads from people who may or may not necessarily be looking for you or your product, possibly as a way of building up brand awareness. Sounds like those carefully placed billboards I pass every day on my way to work. What about mail shot remarketing through your letterbox? I once ‘showed an interest’ in being updated with the latest developments in the world of Lego (I was mainly in it for the free lego astronaut they were offering in exchange for my address) and some years later I’m still being updated on the new Lego Atlantis range. Some of the best campaigns now include some sort of remarketing i.e. a way to display your ads your message across again to those who showed an interest by visiting your site but maybe didn’t convert. No matter how many adverts you see and how many third party endorsements they put on there, you’re always weary that their ultimate aim is to make money from you. So are advertisers trustworthy? Sure they are governed by certain standards, but no better endorsement exists than word of mouth. When one of my friends recommended a local barbers for their discreet and professional nose hair trimming service, I knew I could trust them.…. +1 on your AdWords ads? These are just some ways in which older offline advertising techniques may have influenced current methods of online advertising. Can you think of any others? -@Nastino