It is undeniable that the internet has changed everything about how businesses operate. Take for example marketing. Once upon a time, the only marketing option for businesses was print and media – newspapers, billboards, TV ads and mailing out brochures and sales flyers. Today, the internet provides a whole new avenue for advertising products and services, many of which can be free. Does that mean that traditional marketing, or what is commonly referred to as ‘offline marketing’ should be ignored? No way! Let’s talk about why companies should look at creating an effective and cohesive online and offline marketing strategy.
The Great Marketing Divide: Online vs. Offline
Since the inception of the internet and the introduction of social media and a plethora of other tools built to help businesses promote their services online, many companies have abandoned traditional marketing efforts. While price plays a major factor in why many have transitioned solely to online marketing, another major reason is the reach and sheer volume of people they can get their products in front of. But as we often know, bigger (reach) is not always better.
What traditional marketing provides to businesses is a more targeted and localized reach. This is of particular importance for brick and mortar brands looking to capture the audience within their community. The power of advertising in local newspapers or magazines and on local radio or television integrates a brand with its local audience, thus focusing the dollars spent on a higher value target versus casting a wide net and hoping to gain a few ideal customers.
What many savvy businesses are beginning to understand is that integrating the best of traditional marketing methods with the best of online marketing techniques into a cohesive strategy can have a tremendous value and ROI.
Creating a Cohesive Online and Offline Marketing Strategy
For businesses looking to maximize their marketing efforts, they need to develop a cohesive strategy that integrates their online and offline efforts to create a seamless brand experience.
According to an article from Marketing Land Notes:
“Marketers can capitalize on that feeling of a seamless brand presence to drive a stronger interaction between online and offline channels. What’s needed is a marketing system that integrates offline display promotions and print advertising with digital marketing such as paid ads, banners, and social media posts.”
It starts with driving offline audiences to online channels and conversely driving online clients to offline outlets to leverage reach and conversion. An example of this would be a radio ad that drives people to a website or television ad that includes a social media hashtag. This type of cross-channel strategy proves highly effective since it can lead to both offline and online purchases.
Don’t Forget Marketing 101
One thing that marketers need to keep in mind when looking to develop their online/offline marketing strategy is marketing basics – or what we refer to as Marketing 101. No marketing will be successful if you fail to follow simple marketing rules such as:
- Be relevant
- Create a customized experience
- Stay true to your brand
- Know which outlet works for best for each part of your audience and create your ads accordingly
While many marketing basics remain the same, the methods used to promote products and services has changed dramatically. Many colleges and universities have recognized this and have created specialized programs to help educate on the changes and in ways that work for today's busy professionals. Take, for example, the Bachelor of Arts in Marketing degree from Concordia University-Saint Paul. Their Marketing and Innovation Management degree is offered both online and on-campus (evening) so that busy adult students who are interested in obtaining their degree have the flexibility of attending class on their schedule and in just 7 weeks.
To find greater marketing success, take a look at your current marketing initiatives and see how you can improve your ROI by integrating your online and offline