The debate which is better offline or online marketing efforts have different reactions and schools of thought. Otherwise, the “old school” market firmly believe in offline efforts minimize the impact online. On the other, the “new school” market is the complete opposite; yet each of these two groups is right in his own way. Offline & Online Marketing are both unique in the way, both provide a positive return in the respective weight; even combined it is a lethal combination, if done correctly.
No one can deny the impact media (TV, Radio, OOH, Print … etc) campaign could have on footfall for electronics retailers, queries for real estate developers, the number of units sold in the FMCG, for example. (Except in some cases when they get it completely wrong – remember the cheese brand a couple of years ago that won advertising awards for creative messages and ZERO market?).
Building on the example of electronics retailers, let’s say they are promoting a specific LED TV; if you have seen the ad, you would be tempted to check it out online (reviews, features … etc.) – that is if you are living in the 21st century – imagine not find the information you want (directions , contact numbers, features, supply … etc.; & website) online for that particular vendor or product they are promoting. The next logical thing to do is to look at the competition, ie potential lost business.
This is where both integrated effort can lead to more effective, so as to maximize the returns on marketing efforts. Here’s how, but first let’s remind ourselves of the basics:
Website: Get your website or digital presence of any marketing materials, email signatures, brochures, leaflets, posters, business cards, outdoor, press and even on TV. Digital Your presence is alive 24/7 unlike in business. This will provide potential customers with another touch point to explore and know more about the product / service on their own free time. Besides, how much information can squeeze in fact 30 sec commercial?
Consistency: Another important and indispensable element of the basics. Your message, look & feel will be stable. Why do we feel “comfortable” with the brand we know and trust? Imagine going to a fast food restaurant and they do not have a consistent identity. Every store has a theme; Each theme has a different look and feel to it. One is to promote the value, the other is to promote health and wellness. It will be a mess. Online presence has also to be in line with the whole look and feel. It seems trivial, but you would be shocked at how this is not catered.
Format: One size does not fit all. Press advertising will not look pretty on the outside sign of the amount of text and information, it would also not look good in the online world due to land on your website means that you’ll give me more information than the tool you used to bring me here (site / shop … etc). Also In the 21st century, we have three types of screens. The BIG, which is referred to as television; The agent is also known as a computer / laptop, and small sized tablets and smart phones. What might look impressive on the big screen will not look like the small screen. Each vehicle needs to be addressed with the appropriate format, still with the same consistency of message, look and feel.
After checking the basics are right, let’s look at a few other hints and tips to maximize your marketing investment.
1. QR Code:
Much discussion is going on about the importance and effectiveness put QR codes in your marketing – if you are not familiar with QR codes, please see visit (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qr_code) for further information – the question becomes: what have you got to lose? Try it, reserve a place for it in print ad or a poster and testing functionality. Just recently, a car brand started using QR codes, indeed all offline marketing efforts is pushing potential customers online, and have been using QR codes as one of the vehicles to direct traffic to their website … Try it out, we did and it worked.
Make sure that the product / service you are promoting is placed above the fold in the relevant landing page, with all the features and pictures. There is no point to direct traffic to your site, just to not-to find what you are promoting, or the hidden somewhere on the inner pages. Provide incentives to “buy now” always pays dividends. Be creative with your offers / incentives.
3. Paid Search:
Always use offline keywords (line sales, product names, … etc.) as part of the paid search strategy, to ensure that you are delivering consistent messages across platforms. Allocate more money to the keyword product / service you are promoting to ensure top placement and provide viewers with an additional touch point for interaction.
4. Social Media:
“Social” by definition (according dictonary.com) is “to try and enjoy the companionship of others, friendly; sociable, gregarious.” This is exactly what brands need to do to communicate with his audience. Brands should not be saying how great or unique they are; but providing content related to both products and customers. This is very difficult to achieve, but not with the right partner. Finally, add a link to your site to monitor. One of the many advantages of Digital Marketing is measurement and ROI calculation.
It is never too late to begin to implement, or even tweak existing implementation. What is important is “Will”. The ‘Will’ to try things differently, exploring new possibilities and learn from mistakes. The above example of cheese brand is a typical case study of “Will” to try something different and learn from mistakes. Although the impact of the first efforts was a disaster, though, they want to try something new. They have done it again in the summer; but this time it was done correctly. They had always wanted to try something else, and they did by having a fully integrated campaign, with TV and Digital that spearheads. They have learned from their mistakes, and tried something new in the form of Digital Marketing.