Did you know that, in 2009, Pepsi decided to ditch their offline marketing strategy and focus on building a digital marketing campaign? Even though this idea was supported by millions of people online, it turned out to be an immense failure and cost the company over $350 million.
Now, you may think: “OK, that happened 10 years ago. Maybe switching to online marketing would be less painful in 2018.” Unfortunately, you’re not right.
Traditional marketing still plays a major role in every successful business’ marketing campaign, irrespective of its size. Here is why you should merge it with your digital marketing efforts.
Online Marketing Makes your Offline Events More Visible
Organizing an offline event is an effective way to humanize your brand and let your customers know who the people behind your company are. Given this fact, it’s not surprising at all that 79% of U.S. businesses use event marketing to boost sales. And, in today’s hyperconnected era, planning an event without a proper promotion on social networks is impossible.
Social networks give you an amazing opportunity to inform your target audience about your offline events and inspire them to participate. Most importantly, these channels will help you monitor your attendance list, offer real-time feedback, and measure the success of your offline campaigns more effectively. It doesn’t matter if it’s a product promotion, a publicity stunt or maybe a flash mob, creating separate event pages and building a detailed social media promotion plan will help you drive a higher event attendance.
Not Everyone Is Online
Today, having an awesome site and a solid social media marketing strategy is a must. These channels help you reach out to a wider audience, offer highly personalized customer support, and let you track your KPIs effectively. But, you need to keep in mind that not everyone is online. Most importantly, not everyone knows about you.
So, how can someone visit your site or Facebook page if they don’t know that you exist?
This is exactly where offline marketing steps in. Remember that people are still watching TV, reading newspapers, listening to the radio, or taking flyers on the street. So, here is what you could possibly do.
Use some simple means of offline advertising, such as business cards, flyers, or billboards to raise people’s awareness of your brand and inform them where to find you in the digital landscape. You could also give promotional products away, use side truck advertising to grab people’s attention, or create unique booklets and place them in crowded places like hotels, restaurants, bus stations, etc.
Together, They Build Stronger Relationships with your Customers
When launching a company, it’s important to know that there are hundreds or even thousands of brands and products similar to yours. And, they’re also highly available to your target audience. So, to hook people’s attention and inspire them to choose you over your competitors, you need to provide them with a valuable and highly personalized user experience.
Now, digital marketing tools and social networks make it simpler for you to conduct your target audience segmentation and see what type of products and content are relevant to your customers. Based on the results, you can create highly targeted content, provide customized offers, and tailor your brand image to their expectations.
But, why stop there? Use your online customer data to improve your traditional marketing efforts and integrate your online and offline rewards programs. Your loyal customers would love to get coupons, receive a handwritten note, or be invited to a party and meet your employees in person.
Online Marketing + Offline Marketing= an Omnichannel Approach
Today’s customers are tech-savvy and highly demanding. They value their time and don’t want to waste it on businesses that don’t provide them with the ultimate user experience. This is exactly what you need to have in mind when planning your marketing strategy. To provide them with the best experience possible, you need to guide them through all the stages of your sales funnel. And, the only way to do so effectively is to make their transition from print to digital simpler.
Let’s say your potential customer receives your direct mail. To learn more about your products, deals, and offers, they will have to conduct a thorough online search and browse through your site and social media profiles for hours. And, they will probably get bored. So, why not immediately lead them to the pages they may be interested in?
This is where Quick Response (QR) codes come to shine.
You can add them to your branded products, direct mail, business cards, flyers, storefront displays, and billboards to engage your customers and lead them to a particular landing page or social media page. Use them creatively to help your customers complete the desired action, such as making an online purchase, filling out a contact form, downloading an exclusive piece of content, or scanning a paperless ticket.
It’s All about Engaging your Target Audience
The sole purpose of marketing is to engage your target audience and to inspire them to actively participate in your campaign.
In an online world, this means getting them to review your business, comment on your posts, send user-generated content, share your content, sign up for your email lists, participate in your giveaways or loyalty programs and, of course, make a purchase.
But, to take this form of brand promotion to the next level, you need to implement offline marketing techniques, too.
For example, one of the most popular types of traditional marketing among small businesses is definitely guerilla marketing. And, you don’t have to be an experienced marketer to understand that the idea behind it is to grab people’s attention, surprise them, and inspire them to participate. For example, this is what Nivea did with their flash mob, Red Bull with their awesome publicity stunts, or Coca-Cola with their Happiness Machines.
On the other hand, your target audience can sometimes participate in your offline events without even knowing it. For example, Frontline, a maker of flea protection products for dogs has covered a floor of a shopping mall with a large photo of a dog. When observed from a bird’s eye view, the visitors walking across the photo looked like fleas and this marketing campaign has become popular almost instantly.
Back to You
Effective business promotion is not about choosing between online and offline marketing. On the contrary, it’s about walking a fine line between these two immensely important fields that are constantly intertwining. By merging them together, you will manage to reach out to a wider group of people, build a base of loyal customers, and skyrocket your conversion rates.
The integration of online and offline marketing depends on your niche, goals, and target audience. So, tell us, what techniques do you use to get the best of both worlds?