Integration vs. economy: print or online marketing

All you have to do is read some of the headlines on the news websites and see that some of the marketing “gurus” are beginning to advocate a shift from print materials to an online attack. I think they are way off base. Online material has its place in your overall strategy, but will never stand alone. Customers thrive on the personal touch of an ad, something they can touch. Tangible printed materials sway many customers to buy from you. Think long and hard before you follow this trend.

How many customers walk into your place of business or call your sales staff because of a new brochure or printed ad? I see a difference in sales every time I ship a new ad out. Within two days of the ads arriving, sales begin to covert. These are customers that I know get e-mail offers, but do not buy until they get the same thing in a hard copy.

I am not trying to say that online marketing is a waste of time. A business has to integrate both of these mediums in order to be successful. It pays to let customers know about any online store you may have by mentioning it in your print material. A small space on the back cover is fine, just remind them that it is there.

The old adage “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” is probably the best way to describe a successful marketing strategy, especially in the current economic climate. What is your take on this topic or the economy? Have you shift focus recently?