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Branching offline into direct marketing

Online advertising is a critical component to launching an effective marketing campaign. But recently, many businesses are embracing traditional mediums to maximize their exposure.

Flixster and Google are just a couple of these companies that are adopting offline methods to promote their services. Flixster, a social movie network, will introduce an in-theater campaign this fall, while Google has begun to embrace direct mail marketing in addition to print advertising in many different print publications.

"Even if you are an online brand, you can't constrain yourself to online media. You have to use traditional channels," said Steve Polsky, president and COO of Flixster, to Direct Marketing News.

Another business that utilizes offline marketing is CenturyNovelty.com, a party supply company that has traditionally used direct mail marketing to build a customer base. A more recent initiative will have the company sending letters that recommend certain products directly to customers.

There is also a degree of detachment from consumers that troubles online marketing. Companies with heavy web presences are beginning to realize that, in order to build customer loyalty, they must contact them directly. "Our consumers are not brand loyal," said Ian MacDonald, VP and general manager of CenturyNovelty.com. “If we can get something in their hands before their next party that reinforces our brand and includes a product they might be interested in, then we are more likely to get the sale.”

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