In Focus 20 Jul 2021 Offline Ways to Prom ...

Offline Ways to Promote your Retail Products in India Today

Published Jul 20, 2021, 7:24 pm IST
Updated Aug 3, 2021, 12:22 am IST
Although India has one of the largest online markets in the world, around 50 percent of the population do not have access to the internet
 Hang tags and custom labels are a surprisingly powerful way to catch the shopper’s eye.
  Hang tags and custom labels are a surprisingly powerful way to catch the shopper’s eye.

It seems that whenever marketing or promotion is mentioned these days, it concerns the internet. Social media marketing, pay-per-click advertising, SEO & SEM, and digital marketing strategies, are talked about widely. And, for good reason.

Finding official figures is almost impossible, but a significant amount of businesses likely have an online presence of some kind. However, not everyone has access to the internet. Although India has one of the largest online markets in the world, around 50 percent of the population do not have access to the internet, according to the World Economic Forum.


With a vast amount of people unable to easily browse websites or use social media, businesses have to find other ways to reach these people. This sometimes means using tried and tested methods, and other times being a bit more creative.

Why use offline marketing today?

As you have already read, a large number of people still do not have easy means to use the internet. However, this is not the whole picture. Some offline advertising is more effective than online, depending on what the product or service is.

The internet is a vital tool in today’s marketing strategies, but it cannot always match some traditional advertising. The internet cannot replicate the feel of fabric or the smell of perfume, and in-store promotions can trigger impulse purchases.


Also, some businesses do not want worldwide custom, so they concentrate on localised advertising which doesn’t warrant an online presence. These businesses may have a social media page, but they are more likely to advertise within a specific radius.

What are the best forms of offline advertising in India today?

Television and print advertising are the two most popular forms of advertising, and also the most trusted. According to a study by the Advertising Standards Council of India, around 86% of people said that they trust newspaper advertising more than any other form.


Here are some of the many forms of advertising that can be done in India today, without using the internet.

Newspaper advertising

All around the world, newspaper and magazine circulations are in decline. Many think that advertising in this form of media is archaic and unnecessary. However, as the figures prove, this is not always the case, especially in India.

With nearly 90 percent of people trusting newspaper adverts, it would be naive to dismiss this method just yet. Also, the circulation of some newspapers gives reason to think that print advertising is not dead yet.


The newspapers, Dainik Jagran and Dainik Bhaskar have a combined circulation of around 120 million according to a report on Statista. Other countries may be seeing their newspapers’ circulations dwindling, but in India, there is plenty of life left.

Public transport

With around 25 million people using public transport every day, there is huge potential for advertising on buses across the country. Buses, trains, and tuk-tuks provide a captive audience for the length of the journey. This means that any visible advertising is likely to at the least, be browsed.


This type of advertising can work very well with businesses that are located close to bus or train stations or en-route. This is because people are more likely to make an impulse purchase while the advertising is fresh in their minds. An advert for a delicious drink or snack is going to be more effective if the bus terminates close to the seller’s business.

Hang tags

Hang tags are a form of advertising that you may not have heard of. They can be used on many products but are very common with fashion. They could be described as a customized clothing label, but they are a bit more complicated than that.


Hang tags are designed to stand out in a retail environment and catch the shopper’s eye. They are a way of advertising a product in-store and can carry a wealth of information. Not only do they advertise the brand, but they can also explain the benefits of the product, and show the company’s mission statement.

A hang tag can help a shopper decide between two items, by listing the benefits of buying a product. They may have information about eco-friendly practices the business indulges in, or they might have a promotional offer attached.



Packaging and labelling can have a huge effect on potential buyers. Colourful packaging and informative labels can grab a shopper’s attention, and sway them towards a purchase. Some labels are required by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India to display information regarding the ingredients, but other labels can be quirky and help to make sales.

Labels can come in all shapes and sizes. Clothing labels can display the materials used and the country of origin, and this is a form of promotion in itself. Proudly displaying a garment that is made from organic materials, with no chemicals or dyes used, and that it was made in India, may help with a sale.


Attractive packaging can help with sales too, and when it is done correctly, it can make a product look superior to others. Packaging and labels are often overlooked areas of advertising but they are important. Even a quilting label is a form of advertising, albeit a very personal one, where the artist’s name appears along with the reason for making the quilt, and the start and end date.

Neon lighting

Although this is an old form of advertising and signage, it is making something of a comeback now. Neon is a very atmospheric way to light a storefront, or restaurant, and can be seen clearly from some distance.


A hungry individual walking down a street will spot a neon sign advertising a restaurant and hurry towards it. Modern neon signage has many benefits that other lighting doesn’t have. Today neon-style lights are made with flexible LED strips that come in bright colours, and last longer than traditional lights.

LED lights last up to 30 times longer than incandescent bulbs, and they don’t break as easily as traditional neon tubes do.

Posters and glossy magazines

When it comes to fashion, the internet cannot beat a glossy poster or magazine. Fashion brands use influencers to increase growth online, but they still know the power of a good magazine advert.


Fashion magazines are one of the few areas where circulation is still strong around the world. One of the reasons for this is the quality of photography used as it can help immerse the reader into the world of fashion. The internet just cannot convey models and clothes in quite the same way.


While the internet is definitely the most powerful tool in a marketing agency's armoury, there is still plenty of room for offline advertising. Hang tags and custom labels are a surprisingly powerful way to catch the shopper’s eye, and newspaper advertising is trusted by most people.


TV advertising is still very strong in India, with around 83% of viewers trusting this medium. Interestingly, celebrities are also a good way to make a product appear attractive and trustworthy. Seventy percent of respondents said they would trust a product that was endorsed by a movie star, singer, or other celebrity.

While having a digital marketing strategy is essential to some businesses, smaller local firms may want to look at a simple newspaper advert, perhaps with Akshay Kumar endorsing it...

Disclaimer: No Deccan Chronicle journalist was involved in creating this content. The group also takes no responsibility for this content.