Get More Bang for Your Buck with Offline Media

Offline Media Examples

By Fletcher Pickett, VP Account Director, Hawthorne Advertising

Are the days of offline media numbered? Maybe not! Digital media like ads on websites, mobile apps, social media and connected or over-the-top (OTT) TV are often relatively pricey in comparison to other marketing options. Perhaps obviously, these channels of media are incredibly effective among younger demographics while producing data that can help marketers target and retarget consumers with high propensities to buy. This is a big answer to the question “Why? as brands are increasingly gravitating toward digital channels for ad campaigns.

That said, offline media is still highly effective, so marketers shouldn’t overlook its capabilities. “Offline media” generally includes everything else that’s not digital, such as ads on linear TV (i.e., scheduled network programming), terrestrial radio, billboards, print, etc. Offline media is mostly very efficient upon reaching large numbers of people, especially linear TV, which often outperforms other offline media categories.

Specific Use Cases for Offline and Online Media

Because it reaches many people efficiently, offline media like video ads on linear TV and audio channels such as non-digital radio are great options for businesses that are launching a new brand or expanding from a regional presence to a national footprint. Offline tactics are somewhat not as targeted as connected TV ad campaigns in comparison, but brands executing in these channels will yield more efficient impressions and often reach more people on a dollar comparison basis when they run on linear TV.

Another great use case for offline media: rolling out a new product from an established brand. If the company is already well known and has a popular family of products, offline media can be the best way to get the word out about a new product while leveraging the brand’s strength. Offline media also works incredibly well to introduce a new product type for the same reason it makes sense for brand launches: it reaches large numbers of consumers for less when compared to digital media.

That said, in some cases, a digital media-first strategy can make more sense. Indeed, if the marketer needs to reach a highly specific group of consumers — people who might be interested in buying a specific truck bed liner, for example — online media’s targeting capabilities are valuable. But for broad product categories, like adhesives, offline media is cost-efficient and highly effective.

Another use case where online media is a marketer’s best bet is when the product is targeted to younger consumers. To reach people in the 18 to 34 age group, digital media like connected TV is highly effective; people in that age range typically watch less linear TV and make up more than half of the connected TV audience. However, for reaching viewers in particular for aged 35 and up linear TV is a great option.

Offline media is also an excellent option for marketers who want to drive traffic to brick and mortar retail outlets. For example, a company that sells a product online through an ecommerce platform but also has a national distribution channel via retail partnerships and prefers to drive customers to those channels may have better luck using both strategically booked local and national offline media for that specific objective.

Think “Both And” Instead of “Either Or”

Online and offline media each have distinct advantages, and most marketers find success with a campaign that combines the two. For example, an established brand that is rolling out a new product might invest in offline media to announce the product launch and advertise on digital channels too, using the data generated to retarget likely buyers.

It’s more difficult today to reach the youngest consumers with offline media, but non-digital channels are enticingly efficient relative to other options for targeting older demographics. The bottom line? Keep in mind the value that offline media delivers, and tailor media buying strategies according to campaign objectives and consumer demographics. Think “both and” instead of “either or” because in many use cases, offline media still delivers more bang for the buck.


Fletcher Pickett has been at Hawthorne Advertising for 10 years, managing campaigns in excess of $250 million in total expenditures.

How 10 Agencies Are Adapting To Recent Market Shifts

Business leaders expect to make many difficult decisions to help their companies succeed. What they can’t anticipate, however, are the actual market shifts their organizations will inevitably face.

Forbes Agency Council

Unforeseen circumstances—such as the Covid-19 pandemic, the Great Resignation or even the ever-growing social awareness of a younger generation of consumers—can present real-time challenges that companies must address quickly and in the right way to ensure their continued survival.

Below, members of Forbes Agency Council explore different ways agencies are adapting their outreach and offerings to better accommodate market shifts in 2022.

1. Shifting To Digital Marketing Techniques

In the B2B space, more and more decision makers are becoming younger and younger. So there is a huge shift from traditional marketing techniques to digital marketing techniques in the B2B space that is far outpacing the B2C space. – Scott Miraglia, Elevation Marketing

2. Deepening Social Impact Through Partnerships

We have doubled down on our paid digital service offerings and deepened our partnership with our sister agency, Ethos Giving, which focuses on supporting companies to do good in the world through social impact efforts. – Nathan Miller, Miller Ink, Inc.

3. Developing Systems For Attribution And Visibility

Working heavily in a B2B/software as a service space, we’ve had to adapt to this industry expecting and needing attribution and data visibility in terms of revenue impact. Clients need to see the true revenue or customer impact from every effort—even trickle-down ROI from upper-funnel channels. We’ve had to develop data services that build out the systems to do this at scale and go beyond just pure ads execution. – Brian Walker, Statwax

4. Ensuring Evolving Employee Needs Are Met

An agency or brand must constantly be adapting and evolving with market trends, from employee needs such as remote work and work-life balance to the physical machinery and tech platforms that will ensure they can perform their jobs as quickly and efficiently as possible. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne LLC

5. Focusing More Heavily On Paid Media And E-Commerce

Over the past five years or so, we have adapted to market needs by focusing more heavily on paid media and e-commerce. While we were built on SEO, pivoting has been necessary in order to drive results faster. These two channels allow for greater flexibility when it comes to dealing with short attention spans and growing competition. All demographics want valuable information fast, so these channels bridge the gap. – Bernard May, National Positions

6. Offering A Full-Service Experience Within A Campaign

We’ve always offered a full-service experience, with strategy, content creation and platform management included. Now, we’re focused on that experience within a campaign. We know that all of our ideal clients need landing pages, transaction (checkout or sign-up) pages and content to funnel leads through, so we designed packages and programs around that. – Vix Reitano, Agency 6B

7. Constantly Tracking Where Consumer Attention Resides

We are constantly adapting as we work in the social media space. We have one North Star, and that is to ensure that we understand where consumer attention resides. Recently, for example, consumer attention shifted away from platforms such as Facebook and moved to TikTok. Attention shifts all the time, but if you track where attention is, you can smartly adapt your offerings and channels. – Aliza Freud, SheSpeaks, Inc.

8. Keeping Up With Current Events, Industry News And Platform Updates

We have adapted to market demographic shifts by remaining informed of current events, industry news and platform updates. This keeps us aware of where our clients’ customers spend time and the content they engage with. For example, we onboarded a client who had a primary audience segment of 15- to 20-year-olds, so our team recommended a 20% budget reallocation from Facebook Ads to Snapchat Ads. – Tellef Lundevall, Accelerated Digital Media

9. Paying Attention To Target Clients’ New Pain Points

We have paid attention to the new issues and problems our target clients are experiencing, with most of them being in the creation of video content and/or making sense of TikTok. With that understanding, we have not only developed services that help educate our audience as to best practices but have also created services that would help alleviate these concerns. Open your eyes. – Christopher Tompkins, The Go! Agency

10. Grouping People Into Audience Segments By Behavior

We are shifting away from grouping people into audience segments by demographics. Instead, we are focusing on how people behave, such as their stage in the sales cycle or propensity to convert. By integrating first-party customer relationship management data with media performance and site engagement data, we can run our own analyses to determine how to group and target individuals beyond just their demographic info. – Donna Robinson, Collective Measures