In the olden days, products were sold personally. They were marketed through cajoling, persuasion, and to some extent even manipulation. This is somehow humiliating on the part of the seller, especially if he is not born as a natural salesperson. This is also annoying to the targeted customer. Such marketing strategy wastes a lot of time and effort, both on the part of the seller and the buyer. With the advent of new technologies, new products and services were developed and invented. This gives rise to the evolution of offline marketing.
Today, there are already different forms of media used in marketing:
• Newspapers, magazines, radios, and televisions are now deluged with advertisements.
• Posters, leaflets, flyers, and banners are also used as advertising tools.
• Business cards and brochures are handed personally to people or sent through snail mail.
A Little History Of Marketing
During the industrial age, mass production became very efficient. More products were produced at a lesser cost and with lesser man hours used. This gave rise to more product variants such as several variants of goods like toothpaste and shampoo, as well as more models of machines like automobiles. More luxury products were also developed such as facial wash, nail crème, hair colorant, foot moisturizer, and many others.
To market these non-basic or not-so-essential products, the psychological psyche of the individual was targeted. Specifically targeted was the self esteem of a person, which was identified by Abraham Maslow, a renowned psychologist, as one of the needs of individuals. Very popular celebrities in the field of entertainment and sports were employed as commercial models.
The ads were very costly, although very effective, because the customers liked to be identified with their favorite celebrities, though indirectly, by using the products that they were endorsing. This part in the evolution of offline marketing is responsible for making the products and services very expensive.
Today, some more sensible businessmen use other forms of marketing strategies that are more cost efficient, such as the following:
• Giving product samples, free trials of products and services, price discounts, and product giveaways.
• Hiring staff to promote products through demos in supermarkets, schools, and other places where there are a greater number of potential customers.
• Showing testimonies of satisfied product users on TV, newspapers, and magazines.
• Providing before- and after-sale services like free deliveries and installation, warranties and free spare parts replacement, and toll-free twenty-four hour call center services that accommodate customer inquiries and requests.
All these methods effectively attract buyers, and even discriminating customers. More importantly, they have specific appeal to practical individuals.
In today’s modern time, advertisements are becoming subliminal. Articles are written by regular columnists in tabloids, newspapers, and magazines discretely, mentioning a particular brand of a product. Photos of popular celebrities wearing a particular product, in which brands are conspicuously shown, are seen in tabloids and magazines. These are effective to customers because many have the tendency to think that the product is really good, believing that the photograph and its publication is just incidental.
The creative evolution of offline marketing strategies provides a great relief to both the customer and the seller. For one, the buyer no longer needs to be directly pressured by persistent salesmen to buy a product or service, no longer wasting time and energy. And more importantly, it liberalizes the marketing process.