5 Reasons Offline Advertising Still Works and 10 Ways to Do It

November 10, 2015 | blog | By Mike Sullivan

Every restaurant needs both a digital and traditional marketing plan to be successful and here are 5 reasons offline advertising still works and 10 ways to do it.  After all, if Mad Men’s Don Draper could create successful advertising campaigns without the Internet, why can’t you?

1 – Traditional/Offline Ads Can Reach Your Target Audience

Remember, not everyone is online. Statistics show that only around 80% of the U.S. population have access to the Internet. Those without Internet access tend to fall into the older demographic, so if you are targeting older generations, hard copy advertising is more effective for this audience.

Online ads, on the other hand, may never be seen by the intended audience or even by humans (most traffic is generated by Internet bots). A study by Nielsen of more than 30,000 digital ad campaigns revealed that roughly 60% of digital ad impressions reached the intended audience. The study further revealed that about half of digital ad impressions are not reliably viewable.

2 – The Digital Space is Crowded

Online marketing is certainly a necessary component for every Challenger Brand working to carve a niche in the competitive restaurant world, but cutting through the digital static can be tough. When you combine an effective traditional advertising campaign, along with a digital strategy, you can not only use your marketing budget to the best advantage, but better hone in on your target audience. Is your target market the millennial age group? Consider radio ads or print ads as an alternative newspapers. Aiming for college students? Good old door-hanger menus or flyers promoting student lunch specials distributed at dorms may offer better ROI than the pay-per-click rates some websites charge. Again, it’s all about the target audience.

3 – Traditional Ads Drive Sales

A recent study by marketing-analytics company MarketShare found that TV is still the most effective advertising medium. The study looked at advertising performance for television, online display, paid search, print and radio advertising and found that TV has the highest efficiency against key performance indicators, or KPIs, like sales and new accounts. When comparing performance at similar spending levels, TV averaged four times the sales lift of digital.

4 – Traditional Ads Are Brand-Builders

Brands that appear on screen and in print give the sense of ubiquity, luxury, and success. Studies show that radio ads have the ability to influence brand perceptionand drive word-of-mouth sales. People who heard a radio ad campaign were 44% more likely to recommend the brand.

5 – The Direct Approach Works, Too

Don’t rule out direct marketing as being too old school to be effective. You can try everything from flyers to door-hanger menus to mailing out coupons to promote your specials. You can also target specific groups, such as business organizations to promote your catered or boxed lunches for meetings and events.

10 Effective Offline Advertising Techniques

  1. Print advertising (newspapers, magazines)
  2. Television
  3. Radio
  4. Billboards
  5. Posters or signage
  6. Bus or bench advertising
  7. Event sponsorships
  8. Local team or mascot sponsorship
  9. Direct mail
  10. Sign Spinner / Live advertising

The key to a successful marketing plan for a Challenger Brand is sometimes a guerrilla approach. Ensure the campaign is indelibly imprinted with the personality of your brand, and then come at the consumer from all sides, traditional and digital, so that your brand and personality grab the consumers’ attention and capture valuable mindshare and market share.


Mike Sullivan

President at LOOMIS, the country’s leading challenger brand advertising agency


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