The digital age has transformed marketing and vastly increased the number of channels available to reach end users via ads and other bespoke content. However, it is important that you don’t adopt a binary way of thinking when it comes to marketing; digital and eCommerce is booming but it must be supplemented by more traditional methods such as print, TV, radio and billboards for best results. Getting these online and offline mediums to work together seamlessly is key to driving engagement, amplifying reach, and conversion and presenting one clear and concise brand image to customers.
Eliminating silos and integrating social media channels and online ads with offline methods remain a challenge for businesses. A recent survey found that less than a quarter believe they are integrating these channels well while just 29% feel eCommerce dovetails with their other business endeavors. When beginning to plan a marketing campaign, you should focus on delivering coherence, consistency, and continuity so all messages and communications support each other. For example, you should be driving your offline audience to log onto Facebook or Twitter to view your online content and vice versa. A great way to do this is through consistent and concise hashtagging. You could include these hashtags at the bottom of a print or TV ad to drive conversation through social media. Calls-to-action which bridges the gap between online and offline and get end users engaging both on the Internet and in the real world will do wonders for your marketing strategy.
The As Seen on TV style of marketing and its recent integration of eCommerce is another leading example of how businesses are using TV advertising and infomercials to entice viewers to log onto online stores. Integrating offline and online is key to pushing consumers along the buying cycle. As Seen on TV ads usually air as 2-minute shorts between commercials or as 30-minute shows and often include a call to action to visit its multi-vendor marketplace website that offers thousands of the products advertised. Social media is also an ideal platform to show off your latest TV commercial by hosting it in the ‘About Me’ section on Facebook or ‘pinning’ a post on Twitter. This style of marketing is so effective as it is connecting and leveraging traditional and existing initiatives with online to reach a mass audience. Similar efforts through radio are also emerging. Radio is one of the oldest forms of media in use but it remains incredibly popular – 59% of US music listeners still listen to radio in some form. It is especially useful for reaching consumers locally with a report by Nielsen showing it drives retail sales by 5.8%. The digital transformation has resulted in more people using Internet radio apps to listen to their favorite stations so you could introduce banner ads to reach the largest percentage of your target audience possible.
Traditional marketing and digital can also come together at live events where calls to action using a billboard or video can form the basis for a mobile campaign. This campaign could ask audience members to visit a website, opt-in for mobile communications or email or submit user generated content such as images to a social media page with the relevant hashtag.
Always remember to put the campaign on the medium. Building a cohesive campaign is much more important than the means with which it is delivered, to a point of course as you must try to take advantage of all the avenues open to you. A few innovative methods you could adopt to make your campaign more cohesive and to effectively blur the lines between online and offline include adopting mobile check-ins for physical locations. If you have a brick and mortar store then you can encourage customers to use mobile apps to check in, which is a boon for your brand an easy way to boost engagement. You could even offer a customer reward, for example giving customers 15% off their shop for a check in during off-peak hours. Advertising this offer via a billboard, print, radio or other traditional methods will bridge the gap further and get all your marketing channels working together, which is the aim.
Teaser advertising is another popular method for bringing marketing together. This involves posting a bus stop ad or print ad with a glimpse of your marketing efforts to capture the interest of the consumer. It could showcase your new product and service but it must then urge customers to log on to a special website address or view a specific video on a social media page to get the full picture. Moving through the mediums with the same campaign creates engagement and helps you to speak with one voice and deliver a targeted message. This lends itself to another marketing must – relevance. Making a lasting impact is incredibly important, as customers want to receive offers that speak to them specifically. This is where analytic data and insights play an important role. You must amass rich segmentation data so you can target customers with marketing campaigns that appeal to their challenges or goals and permeate their offline and online worlds. You should also use the respective strengths of traditional and eCommerce to deliver a personalized experience. For example, if a billboard has driven a consumer to a landing page, you can then deliver a dynamic experience using their registration information, which increases its relevance. Facebook and social media also play into this as you can target users who have liked and shared specific information by delivering a more personalized message.
An integrated marketing campaign is essential to a single viewing of one ad is not sufficient, it requires a multifaceted strategy with the ability resonate to drive consumers to take action. Nielsen Executive Vice President, Dan Beltramo adds:
“The goal of brand advertising is to positively influence brand opinions, generate brand lift, and ultimately impact sales. Simply being viewed proves only that someone saw it, not that they connected with it.”
Businesses must use the wealth of tech available to them and integrate it with traditional methods to create one magnetic brand experience.