One Campaign: How to Fuse Online and Offline Marketing

December 11, 2013 8:00 am0 comments

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Blend Two Marketing Strategies In To A Single Formula

Digital marketing is a hot topic encompassing a multitude of online tools that keep growing and changing. This constant shifting of the rules can leave you feeling overwhelmed when it comes to choosing the best way to market your business.

You likely already have online and offline marketing tactics that work, so why not bring the two together to create a powerful new way for customers to experience your brand?

Use Time-Honored Tactics

Marketing in both physical and digital realms involves the same techniques you’ve always used when advertising your business. Focus on engaging your target market, test out new ideas to see how they perform, and always be aware of what your competition is doing.

When online marketing was in its infancy, there was a feeling of it being completely different from traditional marketing and banner ads were flying around everywhere and popups were in your face constantly. Marketers were embracing the new medium, but throwing everything out there because it was so new. Over the past decade, online marketing has evolved to mimic the high quality and highly planned tactics used in offline marketing for decades.

Focus on the Campaign

The best way to merge two types of marketing is to stop thinking of them as separate entities. Your online and offline strategies should merge into one unified whole. Considering both as one campaign allows you to concentrate on your initial advertising ideas and work out the best way to deliver a positive brand experience across all channels regardless of medium.

Don’t Treat Digital Marketing Differently

Global brand building officer Marc Pritchard recently proclaimed digital marketing as a separate entity dead when he proclaimed:

“Try and resist thinking about digital in terms of the tools, the platforms, the QR codes and all of the technology coming next. We (Procter & Gamble) try and see it for what it is, which is a tool for engaging people with fresh, creative campaigns…the era of digital marketing is over. It’s almost dead. It’s now just brand building. It’s what we do.”

In essence, digital marketing should not be seen as an isolated unit of marketing, but is just a part of the whole campaign, as it should be. Some industry experts hope digital marketing as a term dies out because it give the impression of being special and not part of the main campaign, when in fact it should be.

Harness Creativity

Your marketing team is full of creative people whose ideas can drive sales both online and off. Couple that talent with your marketing ideas to design campaigns that work on all types of platforms. Build images, write taglines, create content and come up with ad layouts that all focus around the core ideas of your brand to bring them to a wider audience. Instead of creating assets specifically for one platform, identify the core style, tone, and design of your campaign and then adapt those deliverables to the platform they will be use in.

Stay Away from Distractions

Online marketing offers so many platforms that it can be easy to get hung up on deciding which to use. There is no best answer to this since every business has a different target audience. Use past performance data to choose the venues that give you the most conversions and stick with those. It is useful to test new tools, platforms, and ideas, but you should keep a good balance between testing, refining, and executing on the best platforms.

Grab Attention—and Keep It

In both the offline and online aspects of your campaign, you need to get the initial attention of your customers before you even have a chance of making the sale. With online campaigns, it’s about catching attention of visitors with marketing that stands out and answers their questions. Whether it’s through Google AdWords ads that solve the problem they are searching for, or banner ads that alert them of a sale you are having, it’s important to catch their attention by being bold and keeping their attention while you move them to the next step in the buying cycle.

With offline campaigns, it’s the same general concept. Customers may be walking by your storefront in which case, custom signs and decals that you hang in your shop windows can draw attention to your products as people pass by. Lead “real life” customers to your online presence by including website URLs or scannable QR codes on these banners and signs so they can use to get more information and continue to engage with your brand on your brand’s website and social media addresses.

Make Personal Connections at Trade Shows

Attending trade shows and other industry events brings your brand to a wider offline market. Take the time to create a unique booth with custom signs and banners featuring your logo, slogan, and website address. It doesn’t matter if these events are small and local or big and national; the goal is to make connections and generate interest in your products and services.

Create a Cohesive Experience

Customers should get the same feelings and messages from your brand no matter where it appears. As you work to combine your traditional and digital marketing campaigns, ensure that your store, website, social media profiles and other branded promotions create a consistent image across the board.

Why do people love Chipotle and Starbucks? They know the product will be consistent no matter what city they are in, and they don’t have to make a difficult decision of what to eat and drink. You should aim to deliver a consistent, excellent message and experience for your customers, no matter where they come in contact with your brand.

Bringing it all Together

Merging your offline and online marketing tactics into a new form of advertising ensures that your brand is present in a variety of venues. Giving customers a path from one platform to the next expands the reach of your company. If you focus on creative campaign ideas that generate a positive image for your brand, your marketing techniques should come together into a cohesive whole.

Image: iStockphoto

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Mark Krenn
Mark Krenn is the founder of Coastal Creative Reprographics, a printing company based in San Diego, CA. Founded in 2012, Coastal Creative Reprographics specializes in wide format printing including signs, trade show displays, banners, and vehicle graphics. Mark enjoys keeping active outdoors, and traveling in his free time. Connect with Mark on Facebook and Google+.
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