By Damyant Singh Khanoria
With digital becoming more ubiquitous, marketing has undergone a sea change. Technology trends are so volatile that what works today may become obsolete tomorrow. As market conditions can change at any time, it is imperative for brands to future-proof their marketing strategies. A unified marketing approach that integrates an online and offline strategy can be powerful in increasing your brand awareness and protecting your strategies going forward.
Integrating online and offline marketing is quite a detailed process. Once you have determined the main objective of your campaign, there are many ways to integrate different channels together. For example, you can run an offline TV ad campaign and use the Twitter hashtag in that ad. Encourage your offline customers to log in and use this hashtag when posting the event to their timeline. In fact, hashtags can be added to all your outgoing methods such as print ads, broadcast, etc. Alternatively, TV and radio advertisements can be used to drive offline consumers to your website for an online event or promotion.
Hybrid model: the key to increased conversions
Combining online and offline marketing is the most effective way to optimize the customer journey across different touchpoints. There are many ways for brands to integrate traditional advertising with digital.
The most important aspect of bringing online and offline marketing together is to adopt a consistent brand image across all promotional channels by creating consistent campaigns. This means choosing the same logo color, design, fonts, and styles for all your marketing campaigns and activities. For example, your website color scheme should be incorporated into your business cards, while postcards and flyers should have a visual link to your social media handles. This helps create a cohesive visual flow that makes it easy for current and potential customers to identify your brand, whether offline or online. For a successful integration, the synergy between your offline and online branding is essential. Users must be able to recognize the brand regardless of the channel or route they are coming from.
Generate interactions via social networks
Another effective way to link your digital and offline marketing is to offer your customers the opportunity to interact with your brand through social media. For example, you can run campaigns that offer discounts if customers sign up for your email list or follow you on your Facebook or Instagram pages. Or you can encourage readers of a print article to comment on a particular topic by using hashtags with your business name or a specific topic. This way, your audience can interact with your brand in a digital format.
Additionally, linking your online (analytics) and offline (CRM) data can help build an in-depth customer profile and better understand the entire customer journey. Once integrated, this data can be used in your marketing strategy. Cross-promotion is another way to chain online and offline promotions. For example, if you want to run a smartphone ad for a specific event, increase your offline reach by using social media. Post a preview, countdown or banner ad on your website or social media.
As part of your marketing strategy, incorporate online calls to action (CTAs) into your offline ads. On your print ads and brochures, include your audience’s reasons for visiting a specific landing page where you can enter their contact information for further follow-up.
Mobile advertising can also help build brand awareness. Use trackable phone numbers, URLs and UTMs. URLs and phone numbers can be configured and connected to a particular print ad. Each URL will be specific to a specific ad. Always remember to use CTAs and lead capture forms when using landing pages and URLs.
Even the generations of audiences you’re targeting may not be at the same point in a buyer’s journey. Therefore, different generations of audiences will require different sets of marketing strategies. Companies need to have specific social media plans to tap into Gen Z, in addition to Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers. While others are already big spenders, Gen Z will emerge as big spenders in the future. So running authentic, non-traditional and meaningful campaigns will appeal to this generation. It’s also important to engage on social media not just with Gen Z, but also with Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers to better reach consumers.
Customer journeys are shaped by online and offline media consumption. People want product information on different channels anytime, anywhere. The widespread proliferation of marketing channels means that integration is necessary for brands to create a unified experience for their customers. The beauty of combining the two forms of marketing is that the pros of one outweigh the cons of the other. It gives marketers the best of both worlds and helps them prepare for the future.
The author is the Marketing Director of OPPO India
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