What’s your corporate marketing strategy based on? Do you rely on Facebook? Video promotion? Maybe you hand out discount vouchers to the people that enter your store? All of these strategies are great but do you know what’s even better? Merging your online and offline advertising efforts in a solid plan and a comprehensive strategy.
Why is it so important to maintain the same style and build your reputation in both the online and offline realms? The answer is simple – you communicate with prospects and clients in both of them.
A Few Important Numbers
Statistics prove that online and offline marketing efforts can deliver much better results than individual strategies.
Online media are constantly growing but many traditional promo channels are also maintaining their reputation. A Harris Interactive study carried out in the US, for example, suggests that 69 per cent of people trust their local newspaper. A Nielsen study shows that 54 per cent of people still have high trust in magazine and print ads.
It’s also interesting to point out that offline influences have an impact on 40 per cent of online searches. In other words, everything is connected. People may go online because they’ve come across something relevant in the offline realm and vice versa.
It’s All about Perception
Just think about it – how do you choose the products and services that you buy on a regular basis? Like many other consumers, you’re probably looking for an optimal price to quality ratio and for reliable customer service.
These characteristics can be exhibited in both online and offline campaigns. They build an image for the brand, they form the perception of the potential buyer. You can’t have a stellar online campaign that isn’t backed up by high quality customer service. Clients today have the freedom to express themselves and shape up the content about your brand. Negative testimonials (based on a disappointing offline experience) can quickly ruin the reputation that you were trying to establish.
Understand the fact that 41 per cent of people trust word of mouth promotion. They may hear about a company from a friend or a co-worker. They may learn more about it from an online review. Both of these are considered word of mouth types of advertising. This is why you can’t view online and offline channels as individual entities. They’re connected to each other. Both give people information, both give you a chance to establish a brand persona. If you leave some possibilities out of the equation, you’re missing on a huge opportunity to improve and connect even better with your prospects.
Online Feedback in the Offline Realm
The merger between online and offline has a couple of additional benefits.
Online media facilitates the communication between companies and customers. People find it a lot easier to leave you a note, a review or a score on websites like Facebook, Yelp and Google+. These channels also give you access to tons of metrics about the age, location, occupation and interests of your prospects.
Marketers are becoming better and better at tracking online-to-offline metrics. Real-world data and the extensive use of smartphones make it increasingly easy to see how online campaigns are influencing the offline behaviour of potential customers.
Many websites have responded to this demand by offering specialised services. Google Store Visits and Conversion Lift Measurement by Facebook are just two examples. The merger is already becoming three-dimensional and realistic. In the past, it was difficult to tell whether an online campaign was producing any tangible results at all. With more and more real-world data projects being executed, the gap is starting to disappear.
How to Bring Online and Offline Marketing Efforts Together
All of this sounds quite promising but what does it take to bring online and offline marketing efforts together? There are a few steps you’ll have to complete, regardless of your company’s size and the desired outcome:
As time passes, marketers get more and more opportunities to do online and offline integration. As already mentioned, such strategies can be incredibly beneficial. It doesn’t take a lot to come up with a comprehensive campaign. Have a clear goal and maximise the number of channels you’re using. If you know where you want to go, you’ll soon find out how to get there.
If you need help getting your Online and Offline Marketing integrated, please get in touch.