Business marketing with physical and offline advertising (full sample)

Business marketing with physical and offline advertising (full sample)

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Traditional, offline advertising is still one of the best marketing methods for local businesses. This article explores the various types of offline advertising, including direct mail, leaflets, billboards, and print advertising. The article is designed to give business owners and marketers a broad overview of various physical advertising methods, including the advantages and disadvantages of each.

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Local businesses spend most of their marketing budget on physical, offline advertising. A more traditional part of the advertising world, offline advertising has several well-established techniques to reach customers. The best marketing methods depend on the right budget and the best promotional methods.

Direct mail

Direct mail is used to send out messages to all the people in a particular niche, demographic, or location. It normally introduces a business and provides incentives such as discounts or coupons.

  • Advantages: A good way to communicate with a large number of people, direct mail can reach customers who can't be targeted by other means. The right incentives can get a better response.

  • Disadvantages: Tracking responses to direct mail campaigns can be difficult. Many people see direct mail as annoying or wasteful.

Flyers and leaflets

Printed leaflets and flyers are used to reach people in a specific location. A well-designed leaflet can get the attention of a potential customer, but getting them to take the next step can be difficult. Flyers can often be hand delivered to all the addresses in a particular area.

  • Advantages: They are relatively inexpensive to design and deliver. They're a good way to target everyone in a location. With the right incentives, they can be more effective.

  • Disadvantages: Tracking responses to flyers can be difficult. They have a poor response rate. Many people will just put a flyer in the trash.


With the right budget, advertising hoardings and billboards can be a good way to promote a brand and business. Billboards are a proven local marketing technique and have been used successfully for many years.

  • Advantages: Billboards provide localized advertising. In high-traffic areas, they will be seen by a large number of people. They are a good way to build general brand and business awareness.

  • Disadvantages: Billboard advertising can be expensive. Besides renting space on each billboard, the advertising will need to be created by a specialist designer. Billboards are not targeted. It can be difficult to track responses to billboards.

Print advertising (newspapers, magazines, and periodicals)

One of the most traditional ways to advertise, a newspaper or magazine ad can be effective. Newspapers are best for more general, local ads, while magazines can be highly targeted.

  • Advantages: Print advertising can reach a large audience, locally or nationally. Advertising in specialist magazines can be a good way to communicate with potential customers. Newspaper advertising is often a less expensive option than many other marketing techniques.

  • Disadvantages: Some advertisements will need to be professionally designed by a specialist. The response rate to print advertising can be low. It is difficult to track responses to print advertising.

Display, A-frame, and sidewalk signs

One advertising technique used by all local businesses is the display sign. In addition to the signs on the business itself, A-frame signs (sandwich boards), sidewalk signs, and lawn signs are also effective.

  • Advantages: Once the initial cost has been paid, there is little other expense. Signs tell customers exactly where to find a business.

  • Disadvantages: The initial cost of a sign can be expensive. Hiring a professional designer will need more of a budget.

Word-of-mouth and recommendations

Some of the best publicity is created by word-of-mouth. A customer recommending a business to a friend or colleague is a good way to immediately build trust.

  • Advantages: Referral is a no-cost way to promote a business. Train employees to provide excellent service to increase customer satisfaction.

  • Disadvantages: Word-of-mouth advertising is unpredictable. A poor customer experience can result in bad word-of-mouth and lost business.

These advertising techniques are useful for any local business. Although it can be difficult to track responses to physical, offline advertising, it should still form part of any local marketing plan. The right local advertising can make a big difference to customer awareness and sales.

Content originally written by Paul Maplesden, a freelance writer, and edited by me.

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