Over the last decade, marketing has evolved at an exponential rate. Earlier the primary means to expose your brand to the public eye were magazines, televisions, and billboards, but now a new dawn has arisen in marketing which has taken the world, or should I say digital world, by storm.
Some experts even go as far as saying that digital marketing has overthrown traditional marketing, whereas others say that digital marketing is just the flavour of the season and its importance will eventually dwindle.
Well the truth is, the two can coexist harmoniously and work together to establish and expand your brand like never before.
When it comes to marketing, brands need to look beyond the binary thinking approach if they wish to remain relevant in today’s fast paced hyper-digital world. In order to stand apart from the crowd and be remembered, Brands will need a combination of multiple marketing strategies and tactics to maximize the potential of their advertising and marketing.
The Great Divide Between Online and Offline Marketing
Although businesses have begun to understand the importance of utilizing both online and offline marketing strategies, very few of them have integrated the two to reap the maximum benefits.
Typically, brands have viewed online and offline marketing as two different machines which require two different tactics. Are they different? Yes, they are. But the last thing you want to do as a marketer is to create confusion about your brand, a high probable outcome if you have two different marketing departments working independently of one another.
Nowadays, it is not uncommon for a potential customer to see an ad on a billboard, and then casually check Twitter and see a social media ad for the same brand. What if those two ads, those two campaigns, are using different tones, voices, and strategies? For the consumer, they will see it as one brand only. In such a case you two marketing efforts would be at odds with one another. This chasm between the two marketing strategies is just one reason why the online and offline marketing campaigns should be integrated.
Follow the 4Cs in integrated campaigns
Both the digital and traditional mediums should be utilised to carry out the same campaign. For instance, print ads should have the same voice and design that an online ad would have. Print ads should also encourage the customer to go online, whether to the website or social media accounts or both. Create a useful and unique hashtag for your current campaign and use the hashtag in all your marketing efforts. This is a great way to get your customers involved while also reaching a larger audience.
Brands should always keep in mind 4Cs in order to maximise the ROI on their campaign. They are:
- Coherence – different communications are logically connected?
- Consistency – multiple messages support and reinforce, and are not contradictory?
- Continuity – communications are connected and consistent through time?
- Complementary – synergistic, or the sum of the parts is greater than the whole?
The best example of integrated online and offline marketing
communication is ‘The Coca-Cola Foundation.’ Consistent messaging is the hallmark of the Coca-Cola brand – at least their primary brand, that is. There are thousands of brands under the Coca-Cola umbrella, so many in fact that most people have Coke products at home and don’t even realize it. What people do recognize thanks to this company’s unwavering integrated marketing efforts is Coke Classic brand.
Coca-Cola has a global brand recognition of 94%. The red background with white lettering is so recognized, in fact, that it is said that there are three words common to most languages in the world today.
What can brands take away from this? That it is important to focus on one key piece of communication and then expand from there. Both online and offline marketing efforts should be seamlessly linked to one another for a successful campaign that will drive business without confusing the customer.
Experts believe that in order to drive home the message, increase brand recall, amplify awareness in today’s world, it has become necessary to tap each and every medium that your target audience is consuming on a day to day basis. It is of utmost important to be present on multiple touch points. Brands just need to strike the right balance between their online and offline marketing activities. And no brand has managed to strike this balance better than MTS with its #MTSInternetBaby campaign.
The core message of the campaign enumerates that children today are born with an innate ability to be tech-savvy, handle phones, tablets, TV as efficiently as their parents and even end up teaching them a trick or two. The brand used multiple online and offline strategies to drive their message across to the audience – YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Print, Outdoor etc.
Although the campaign garnered mixed responses from the people in the industry, it was very well received by the consumers. According to several reports, 4 weeks after the birth of #MTSInternetBaby campaign, the MTS dongle sales went up by 10%.
Let the Campaign Flourish On Social Media
With social media Brands have the opportunity after the campaign has been launched to interact with their followers and potential customers and MTS has done just that.
As many of these interactions require immediate, real-time responses, it would be wise to create a style guide for your campaign, one that you can refer back to when interacting with online users.
A brand’s style guide can include key phrases, tone, voice, specific word usage, and images that are approved for use during the campaign. Social media often requires real-time responses and having a style guide in place will help your digital marketing team maintain the consistency you established before the campaign took effect.
Brands need to stop thinking about digital marketing and traditional marketing as two different machines which need to be tackled separately. Integrating offline and online marketing activities is not just about strengthening brand presence; it’s also about leveraging the existing brand capital and assets to make a memorable & powerful impact.
With relevant, personalized campaigns that permeate the customer’s online and offline worlds, Brands can synergize their marketing efforts to provide a powerful brand experience to the consumers.