Don’t underestimate the power of offline

This week I went to a networking event organised by a very bright, venturesome duo (you guys get the joke ;-)). The curious thing about such occasions is that wherever people meet, ideas grow. And not just ideas. Great ideas. Out-of-the-box ideas.

Anyway, that was a happy little chitchat coming from an enthused little me. Now back to the story. At the event I spoke with inspiring people, from all sorts of backgrounds. Completely absorbed in the conversation, I heard myself say something like: “But maybe offline could very well work for your business. Don’t underestimate it.”. It blobbed out of my mouth and I meant it. And when I cycled back home past a construction zone that seemed never-ending, it got me thinking.

Everyone is constantly hiding their faces behind a screen. Smartphone screen. Computer screen. Television screen. Old news, though. My point is that it has gotten to a state of overload. History shows us that society relatively rapidly went from doing business (and actually just anything) offline to doing everything online.

Okay, that’s cool. But now be honest. Have you ever caught yourself getting distracted because something in your environment, something unusual attracted your attention? I’m not talking about two vehicles crashing into each other – that is quite rigorous. I’m talking about something “advertising”-wise. Whether intended or not.

Perhaps something caught your attention because it was positioned in an odd place. A bicycle on a lamppost. A bottle of Sprite in a urinal. Or maybe it stood out to you because its use of materials or colour was so surprising, that you couldn’t help but quickly glance and keep staring.

Don’t underestimate the power of offline. It still works. Not for everyone. Not for any business. But maybe it could work for you.

Many companies have already picked up on offline tactics like personalization. After customers have placed an order online, they are followed up with a handwritten letter in their mailbox. Kiehl’s cleverly does this. So does Dutch bag retailer The Little Green Bag.

But you can take it to the next level. Especially by talking to many people. From different fields. With different backgrounds. So get brainstorming! Which original offline advertising examples have you come across? And perhaps more importantly: why did you like them?

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