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My Experience with Offline Marketing in Abuja

Offline marketing is any kind of marketing-related activities including advertisements and promotions that are done using any of the traditional offline media such as banners, newspapers, billboards, TV and others. So many firms now focus much of their Integrated Marketing Plans and Approaches towards online marketing , and mostly ignore the offline channel.

Do they get results?

Sure they do.

However, due to the neglect of potential customers who are not in any of the online mediums to engage these ads, we have discovered that offline, there is a high possibility of getting more results for lesser cost compared to online, if it’s done the right way.

In this article, I shall briefly recant my experience in an offline flyer distribution campaign in Abuja.

Abuja, the capital and eight most populous city of Nigeria, located within the Federal Capital Territory is home to all kinds of people, but mostly characterized by small and medium sized businesses that support the federal agencies, parastatals, departments, and other organs of government.

Ordinarily, I’m focused on creating and managing online ads for startups, small and medium sized businesses as I always get the control needed in managing charges as well as specifically targeting an audience I want.

However, on this occasion, I decided to take on a different challenge using an Eye Clinic in need of more customers.

To achieve this, a combination of marketing channels was used – online and offline.

Offline advertisements are mostly locally targeted. Map out a particular area and form a strategy on how to reach as many persons in a set time and with an assigned budget.

Kubwa was identified as our target area and with a time frame of one (1) week to complete the campaign.

We first came up with branded t-shirts and face caps to use for the campaign, and also printed about 300 flyers.

This is the Hook.

Every marketing effort must have an offer. Something that the customers will desire. In addition to this offer, you should try to add a bait to the hook. This is what will interest and pique their attention, making them listen to you and want to try it out.

Most times it is FREE for a particular period; as stocks last; or for the first stated number of persons to grab the offer. A discount or price slash can also be used.

People are money conscious, and if you tell them their money won’t be at stake for them to try your product, they will jump in and give it a try.

In this case, I used a FREE EYE TEST.

I did this for several reasons, but note that in addition to all of that, I did a market survey that gave me an idea of the demographics of the proposed area. 

What kind of businesses are prevalent? What kind of shops? What are the ages of potential customers and their sex? Do they have any health awareness? and all of that.

Using a free approach would be good, but I cannot deceive the potential customers that it is free when the product or services isn’t. I managed that in some way to ensure that customers will come in with my flyer bearing ‘free’ on it and will get some kind of premium services including the ‘free test’. They will however, end up paying for the drugs. That’s where the honey lies.

This is business after all.

Timing is also an important factor to note when distributing flyers – in the morning when most people are going to work or in the evening when they are returning. With careful observation, the NNPC junction is usually jam packed with these folks at these times, and with a strategy of dropping-off, this would have been an ideal place and time to start.

But our strategy was different – we used just flyers to approach business owners, shop customers, sales attendants, and passers-by with careful explanation of the offer in the cool of the day. This way, there will be no distractions and hurrying, rather, they can listen for at least a minute. The listening part is important as they can be informed of the availability of a ‘free eye test’ close by, and why it is important they undergo a test, especially for certain ages of persons.

With our strategy well in place, we hit the streets armed with our arsenals.

Daily results almost immediately started trickling in, as at least 2 in 10 persons given the flyers head off to the clinic to get their eyes tested. With this urgency, we were even more encouraged to carefully explain the offer to everyone we had this interaction with.

It’s been observed and I confirmed that most people who accept flyers end up not reading the content.

They might be busy of course, or not interested at all.

The words they hear trigger to get their attention, this is what makes them pause and carefully go through the content of the flyer. The flyer says they have only 1-working day to redeem the ‘free offer’. Why won’t they hurry up?

Distributing 50 flyers per day for 6-working days should cover the entire 300 flyers we printed, which is workable as we  shared them across the team for timely and better reach.

Our focus was just with flyer distribution for the campaign, pasting posters could be used to complement this effort, but we did not see how effective and legal this would be, considering the area chosen for the campaign.

Other mechanisms would have been to use billboards, radio or TV ads which were far above the allotted budget. However, from the instant returns recorded, we can juxtapose that the campaign was a remarkable success.

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