Updated August 5, 2021
Much has shifted in physical marketing as we move through the pandemic and return to a new sense of normalcy. This moment in which people are starting to spend more time in public presents an opportunity to redefine how your company blends its offline and online marketing strategies.
In this update, we’ll look at how you can leverage brand activations to better align your digital marketing with your in-person advertising in the post-pandemic world.
When a product comes to mind, we can find it, evaluate it, and buy it within seconds online, then receive it within days or even hours. By 2023, it is estimated that 22% of global retail sales will be through e-commerce, but how could we forget about that 78% of sales that are happening in-store? While our big three tips still stand, here is one additional and essential way to combine merge digital marketing strategies with offline marketing in this rapidly changing world.
- Use Automation to Build Personal Relationships
How do you really build a sense of trust with your customers?
You let them know that you will go out of your way for them with no expectation of a reward.
Loyal customers are 5X more likely to initiate repeat business, so it is essential that we use all of the tools in our arsenal to turn one-time customers into loyal customers.
Digital technology allows us to improve 1-on-1 relationships at scale, but it’s still going to require personalized effort. You can contact your customers using the following guide:
- Use online information capture and current client lists to create a master email list composed of clients and prospects.
- Send texts or emails during lunch hour or near the end of the day. The best time to email clients is 4 PM, and the best time to text is 12 PM. Weekends, especially Sundays, are undesirable times for unsolicited emails and text messages.
- Send special messages and/or rewards for special events, like holidays and birthdays. Let your clients know you know them and care about them personally.
- Use personalized messages like:
- Hi [NAME], your order of [PRODUCT] just shipped! Thank you for supporting our business and shopping locally.
- Hi [NAME], we wanted to say thank you for your business. We appreciate you more than you know. Next time you return to our store, here’s a coupon code for 15% off anything: [CODE]
- Don’t get personal information wrong, and don’t overdo your messages.
- Always follow-up on these messages with emails, texts, phone calls, or virtual meetings.
We have so many ways to find out what our clients want, to contact our clients, and build relationships with them. Take that time to build relationships with the clients, and make every message as personalized as time allows.
The tide has officially turned: When you merge digital marketing strategies with your offline marketing plan, it is now the rule instead of the exception. As online purchasing soars, digital marketing has captured the hearts and attention of marketing teams, and for good reason. In a matter of minutes, an ad campaign can be up on Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, etc. targeting potential clients.
However, with companies focusing on digital marketing campaigns, how can we access the other half of businesses who are hopelessly expecting a cold call?
It is crucial that sales and marketing teams don’t forget about the old schoolers, and aren’t leaving potential sales prospects behind.
Picking up the phone is not outdated, however, not knowing when to pick up the phone is. By creating a marketing strategy that seamlessly combines both marketing channels, you can identify a strategy to cross-market effectively to your entire product audience. Combining digital marketing with offline marketing can produce real results when done right, not only driving sales but boosting presence in all markets.
Use these 3 tricks to merge digital marketing strategies with your offline plan to attract your entire product audience:
1: Apply brand consistency throughout.
Identify your company’s voice: Make sure your offline and online marketing exemplifies a consistent message and branding.
There is already a division between online and offline campaigns, so taking the time to make sure that the message and branding are consistent in both approaches is crucial. A pamphlet with your company’s logo and key points will make the incoming email much more recognizable.
- Match keywords, layout, and logos:
- Use the same keywords in print ads and online paid advertising to reach your goals through integration. This may seem like a fairly simple tip; however, I cannot tell you how many times companies have made the mistake of using different word choices, layouts, or even logos on different forms of advertising material.
- Maybe the assumption is that a mailed letter will yield an older audience who won’t appreciate your bold color usage or daring keywords. While the effort to personalize is a lot of times effective, it does not produce results if your brand is unknown to the prospect.
- By creating a uniform look and feel for your offline and online campaign, you are becoming more identifiable and using these different platforms to your business advantage. Familiarity is what creates relationships, and by targeting what the message of your campaign is early on, the combination of supporting offline and online marketing will familiarize your audience through multiple platforms.
2: Merge digital marketing strategies with your objectives by directing prospects from one medium to the other.
Remember that the channel where a product was discovered is not the same as the one where it is purchased.
The easiest way to direct prospects from offline channels to online ones is through calls to action.
This can be as simple as “Try out our (product, free trial, App) here, or listing another way of telling companies what to do next. A simple call to action paired with a creative or personal one can make beautiful outreach magic.
Below are a few examples:
- Virtual Events: There is no longer a need to buy snacks and nice pens for your in-person seminar. I suggest businesses take that as a win and pivot their efforts into holding virtual events. There are no limits to who your audience is and how many people can view your event. And if someone comes directly to your site from the event, you’ll know the event is what triggered further engagement.
- Referral/Testament Marketing: Odds are that companies who utilize your services know other companies who would benefit from the service/product as well. 84% of B2B decision-makers kick off their buying processes with referrals. Getting a testament from a company who already opted into your product can be extremely effective when prospecting other businesses in the same industry. Utilize those testaments by including them in the email campaign specifically for those targeted businesses. This will increase interest and familiarity regarding the value of your business and decrease the number of voicemails that never get returned.
3: Invest in a tool to convert viewers into identified leads.
Note that 98% of website views remain anonymous. This is the time in which it is necessary to invest in a way to identify these viewers, or else your branding and calls to action may just result in an increase in anonymous activity. So how do we actually convert strangers into leads?
There are several companies out there that tackle this issue, so what it really comes down to is figuring out which one aligns best with your businesses’ needs. While tools such as Google Analytics and other visitor tracking software provide some broader market feedback, tools such as LeadLander provide more granular, targeted data that converts anonymous website visits (such as those visiting your site due to your offline marketing efforts) into actionable leads.
- LeadLander provides specific details about each visitor on your website, their journey through your website pages, as well as company details including website, address, and phone number.
- Companies can identify the pages most viewed by their website visitors to validate the success of their inbound and outbound marketing automation efforts.
- Companies get instant email alerts from tagged companies visiting their website plus daily summaries of website visitors and weekly summary reports.
4: Use QR Codes to Drive Offline Customers To Your Online Ecosystem
To successfully merge your offline and online marketing campaigns, you need to seamlessly transport customers from one to the other. If this process isn’t efficient, most of your leads won’t want to take the time to bridge the gap themselves.
That’s why your company should begin seriously thinking about using QR code technology in its offline ads. They make bridging the gap between your offline and online marketing campaigns as easy as pulling out a phone and opening up the camera app.
When a person scans a QR code, their phone will automatically take them to whatever internet address the code contains, so you’ll have the ability to quickly send your customers to:
- A contact form on your website
- The app store on their phone to download your mobile app
- Webpages that share important information about your business
- Any other web destination you want to send them to
Some companies even offer exclusive deals to customers that scan specific QR codes. For example, you might run an ad in the local paper with a QR code that contains a discount for 15% off one of your popular products.
To access a deal like this, you might have the customer give you their email address first, which the person will be happy to give you to save money. And just like that, you’ve successfully taken an offline lead and turned them into an online one.
5: Offer Special Discounts to People Who Follow You Online
Focusing on bringing offline leads into your online ecosystem is often more effective than the other way around. That’s because online leads can be precisely targeted, and there are more channels for you to engage with them.
With that in mind, another idea is to offer special discounts to people who follow you online. This is a great option for local businesses like bars and restaurants that already have a solid standing in their community but wish to build a stronger online presence.
Imagine you run a restaurant, and your current marketing goal is to get more followers for your Facebook page. You could do that by advertising your Facebook page in your venue and offering people who follow the page a discount on a certain day of the week or a certain item from your menu.
They’ll be happy to follow your page in exchange for the deal. And you’ve just turned your offline customers into online leads that you can start targeting in more meaningful ways.
6: Send A Sign
Many companies use digital signage to share important information and in-venue advertisements. If you have these in your building, you can also use them to get your customers talking about you on social media.
For example, you can highlight user-submitted Instagram and Facebook posts on your digital signage. Customers who see what you’re doing will be more likely to take a picture and share it online with your business tagged in the shot. It’s another really easy way to take offline customers and get them talking about you online.
While these tricks are just a few of the many you can merge digital marketing strategies with offline marketing, they will ensure your brand is tapping into your entire audience and doing so tactfully. Rather than deciding whether to market to your online vs. offline channel, incorporate these cross-marketing strategies and gain an advantage on the businesses that have given up on offline marketing. That cold call may be a lot warmer than assumed…
Understanding brand activations
A brand activation is typically a one-off event that builds hype for a product or service. Companies often use activations when they’re releasing a new product or they’re redefining an existing one.
Brand activations are an excellent way to connect your offline and online marketing visions. You can use things like QR codes to get people to your in-person events into your digital marketing net.
Likewise, you can use digital communication channels, like email and social media, to get people involved with your company in the physical world. In this sense, hosting a brand activation can help you accomplish three really important things:
- Build consumer interest in and demand for an important product or service
- Get your online community involved with your company in the physical world
- Bring people from the physical world into your online marketing sphere
Clearly, brand activations can be highly useful. But what do they look like? How should your company go about hosting one?
Examples of successful brand activations
Marmite’s Love It Or Hate It Campaign
Marmite is a spread that’s pretty divisive. The company noticed that people were arguing about its product online and decided to take advantage of the opportunity. So they hosted a brand activation event in a cafe in the late 90s.
Customers were classified as either lovers or haters of Marmite based on their social media posts. Lovers were rewarded with free snacks.
The goal was to build awareness of Marmite’s slogan, “You either love it, or you hate it.” The company did that while successfully managing to bring the social media activity around the company’s product out into the real world.
Adidas’: Derrick Rose Jump Store
Brand activations are massive in the clothing industry. Pop-up shops build hype around limited releases and encourage customers to follow the company online to get notified right away when a new product is released.
Adidas exemplified this practice with its Derrick Rose Jump Store in 2013. The company launched a pop-up shop and gave customers a chance to win a new pair of D Rose shoes by jumping to get them from a shelf that was 10-feet high in the air.
Hosting a brand activation
Your company’s goal should be to create a fun, in-person event that takes advantage of our transition away from COVID-19 restrictions.
Like the two brands discussed above, try to develop ways to bring your social media or online presence together with the event. Do these two things, and you could build a significant amount of hype around a new product or an existing one while also merging your IRL and online marketing schemes.