Nowadays, to be successful, your marketing strategy has to intelligently combine old and new mediums. Offline and online have to do more than simply passively co-exist, they have to support, nurture, and feed each other proactively.
It’s no longer effective to split your offline and online strategies; they have to be seen as a whole. Your shop, product, or branding experience should be mirrored on your website and throughout your digital footprint.
For example, in the offline world your point of sale display should have a QR Code, Twitter name or Twitter hashtag. This gives customers the ability to continue their journey with your business into the online world.
Once they make the effort to go online to see your virtual offering, make the journey exciting, interesting, and most of all, engaging. By offering customers money off vouchers for their next shop, the opportunity to win goodies, or let them download a free app, you’re on your way to integrating online and offline experiences. And you’ll be doing it in a subtle and fun way.
That’s just one simple aspect of an integrated marketing strategy. Every small aspect of your marketing strategy should be linked to the overall strategy. So if you’re giving people the opportunity to win free goodies, make them aware of it on more than one channel.
You can create one page on your website to direct people towards. Shout about it on Twitter, Facebook, on your own blog and through bloggers you’ve built a relationship with, e-shots, flyers, and small, mid season brochures. If you’re product is very visual, use Pinterest and YouTube.
Offline you want to replicate this sense of community with traditional one-off in store promotions, guerrilla street marketing, billboard and mobile advertising, and customer satisfaction actions such as vox pop, giveaways and tasting stands.
At designated stages throughout the year, your marketing team will be producing analytical data. Data is a really good tool for seeing which areas of your marketing strategies are working, and which aren’t.
Good analytics will also tell you which areas are interacting most effectively. This way you’ll see how well a combination of in store promotions and online competitions works together.
Used properly, data analysis helps marketing and sales departments pinpoint natural sales points and areas that need further work.
Don’t look at social media, in store promotions, special events, and billboard advertising as separate entities. View them as part of an organic whole. Each activity blends together to create an overall concept of your business in your customer’s mind.
If you don’t know what your over-riding message to your customer is, and how to parlay that throughout every aspect of your marketing, your customer isn’t going to understand and appreciate what you’re offering.
Creating a well thought out, integrated marketing strategy requires time and effort, but without one you’re left with a scattered approach that will be less effective, and more time consuming to correct, in the long run.