Whether your business is online or offline-driven, the market today demands that you use online and offline marketing channels to grow your company. Instead of thinking online marketing or offline marketing, we need to think integrated marketing. This means that in 2017, we need to merge online and offline marketing. In fact, Gartner’s CMO Spend Survey states that over 95% of marketers feel the need to incorporate online and offline marketing strategies in their marketing mix.
So, let’s say you’re an online business. You might devote a majority of your marketing resources to advertising on the internet and social media but if your competition is taking that a step further by advertising their online products offline as well, odds that their brand has greater recall and they perhaps have greater sales. For example, a huge portion of Amazon India’s marketing budget is devoted to offline or traditional means of marketing like newspaper ads and billboards. Similarly, running an offline business successfully requires a lot of digital marketing as well. Often, online marketing may even be more productive as the benefits of online marketing trump offline marketing strategies.
Here are 5 ideas to merge your online and offline marketing :-
- Using Online Influencers for your Business
A rapidly growing trend in modern marketing is the use of influencers. They help increase trust and brand equity. Today’s consumer is more likely to trust a third party with expertise and authority in a field rather than the brand’s own advertisements. Different campaigns require different influencers and it is crucial to identify the right ones for your brand.
- Online Coverage of Offline Events
How do you tell your audience how fantastic your event was? You can’t physically get your entire audience to that event but you sure as ever can get them to experience the event online. Whether it’s through live coverage on Facebook and YouTube or just an e-mail report, you can heavily engage with your users and entice them into attending the next event. The possibilities will only increase down the line once Virtual Reality really kicks in!
- Consistent Branding
This is as simple as it sounds- don’t say one thing on a billboard and another on your Facebook page, it will only annoy a customer. If someone sees that your company is giving him a 15% discount on website purchases on a nearby billboard but a 10% discount on the Facebook page, he is likely going to be a bit turned off. Whether it’s pricing or brand messaging- consistency is key!
- Tease them to bounce from one platform to another
If done incorrectly, it can backfire (see point number 3!) but shifting people from one platform to another, if done well, can work wonders for your brand. For example, Internet behemoths GoDaddy often air semi-family friendly ads on TV and encourage users to go to their website to view the entire thing. A few years ago the Lung Cancer Alliance placed billboards and posters all public places in the USA with controversial messages like “cat lovers deserve to die” or “hipsters deserve to die”, with no explanation. When people went online to research who did this, they were redirected to a landing page with a countdown. At the end of the countdown, they revealed themselves as the Lung Cancer Alliance and began spreading awareness on lung cancer. How’s that for a teaser campaign!?
- Discount Codes
A super-popular method of increasing online (and even offline) sales is to generate discount codes. From a quick tweet saying discount code Summer25 to a 20 by 20 billboard on the freeway, a discount code can be placed anywhere. While you do need a good, optimised website to do this, it is generally worth the investment as discount codes really drive traffic to your website.
If used strategically, the integration of online and offline marketing can yield wonders for your brand!