Comparing online channels to traditional channels

27 Jan

If you’re in online marketing, you probably get a lot of questions about the different channels to use. When catering to a person that isn’t that internet savvy, it is helpful to compare online to offline channels. This way, you can dispense with a lot of questions. I thought it might be handy to create an overview.

Ad words => advertising in the yellow pages

You are looking for something and your search engine gives you sponsored links that cater to your needs. When looking through the yellow pages, you will also find ads of the category you are browsing through that provide a solution to your problem.

Banners => magazine ads

The word itself says it all. Banners are very similar to magazine ads. You are browsing through a site and next to the content you are viewing, advertising is present.

In-house push mail => catalogues, targeted mail you asked for

A generated email to a list of contacts your company has gathered. These people have actively asked to be contacted and expect to receive communication from your company.

Push mail to an external list => targeted mail you did not ask for

This is a different type, mainly because your list doesn’t consist of people that have asked your company for communication but rather a third party. This company shares or rents out their contacts. The recipients usually do not know where you have found their information but they have on one occasion given the permission to this third party to use their contact details.

Oft mail => flyers handed out in stores

An outlook file template is something that you give to your dealers or distributors. They can send out an adaptation of your mail to their contact base. You provide all the information but the dealer tells their customer to buy it in their store.

Websites => catalogs / the store itself

A site on the internet is open to anyone who wants to see it, but you have to first get there. When you read a catalogue, you have taken it or asked for it somewhere. If your company has ecommerce, the analogy with a shop is quickly made.

Facebook/myspace etc => flyers/magazines about your products that others give you.

Social networking sites have the possibility to make fan pages, product pages etc. You can look for them on the specific site but mostly they will be referred to you by your contacts.

Twitter => Word of mouth

This is not really a marketing channel but can get the word out pretty fast. It is a platform where anyone can speak and if people like what they hear, they tell it to others.

Affiliate marketing => flyers that are sent with other brands

This is a channel that piggybacks on the contacts of one brand to promote another. The only big difference is that sometimes, the “pig” receives a percentage of the sales amount from the other brand when a sale is made directly through this channel.

Blog => a column in a periodical

Literally a web log, this channel is designed to give information to those who want it. You can read it and if you like it, you’ll read it again next time there is a post.

The main true difference to offline communication is that there usually is a click through possibility. True, it would be very convenient to have that in traditional ads, but we’re not there yet.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this. If you use it, please do not forget to mention this blog. Thanks for your attention.


Posted by on January 27, 2010 in Advertising, blogging, internet, Marketing, social media


Tags: , , , , ,

2 responses to “Comparing online channels to traditional channels

  1. pussycatpline

    January 27, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    What do you do with integrations? It can go from advertising pages to almost couponning…

    • mdepiere

      January 27, 2010 at 3:41 pm

      That all depends on what kind of integrations we are talking about.


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