Gone are the days when television, newspapers, billboards were the building blocks of marketing – channels used for transmitting the message of the brand to the public. Sure, these channels do exist and are still preferred by a lot of companies as it’s tactile and tangible, and is the key to the online presence.
But, ‘Digital Marketing’ was the new wave that took the world by storm. They said – ‘Digital is the king’. Some studies even said why businesses should only invest in online marketing and put the offline side to rest. A dawn of new era and the demise of traditional marketing, they said. The truth is seldom so straightforward!
Reality is, for a business to reach the apex of success both (Online & Offline) have to walk hand in hand.
The Rule of Seven
One of the oldest concepts in marketing but still relevant. It says that the prospective buyer/client must see or hear the marketing message at least seven times before they decide to buy the product or take any action. While the rule is still relevant but the number seven is quite obsolete in 2017. Today, the rule of seven can be treated as the rule of seven(ty).
And, this is exactly where the marketers are going wrong. There is a wrong assumption that it is necessary to throw a bunch of marketing campaigns everywhere, over every blank space. If you need to follow the rule of seven(ty) to maximize your reach, just don’t focus on making the loudest noise but try to maximize your audience reach by opting for both the Online and Offline marketing strategies. Bridging the gap between the online and offline marketing is crucial for any business today. Let’s take a look why integration is important to reach the desired market segment.
Let’s start by looking how marketing has evolved in the last 10 years. There has been quite a transformation in customer expectations. The passive customers do not exist anymore. Companies need to interact whenever and wherever the customer wants to interact. Everything is real-time and round the clock today.
Previously, the major channel for marketing was television, radio, and print but today customers and clients operate in a multi-channel world, and your marketing should too. A new medium that has taken charge is the social media that uses the power of the internet to connect the companies with the millions of people that are their target audience. The greater your presence online, the greater the probability of cracking a business deal offline. Not sure whether your clients are on Social Media? Think again. Facebook has over 1.94 billion active users followed by You-tube, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Staying active on social media channels is an essential part of being relevant in any industry.
The Rift between Online and Offline Marketing
The last thing you would want to do is create confusion in the head of the customer about your brand if the Online and Offline marketing strategy is not in sync with each other. Sure, there are differences between the Online and Offline marketing but the message conveyed to the public should be the same regardless of the platform. Imagine the customer disconnect if the offline and online advertisement is not in tandem with each other. This drift is one of the important reasons why the online and offline marketing strategies must be integrated for the smooth functioning of the business. Under ideal circumstances, the offline and online activities must be housed under one function, so that the alignment is uniform. Since this approach is not practical, it is prudent to develop a manual that describes the message and tone for marketing activities.
Integration of the channels improves the Return on Investment
As mentioned above – the rule of seven(ty), our consumers go through a series of campaigns/advertisements and now reviews before making a decision on a product or a service. They collect the pieces of information from different channels and box them together, in their decision-making process. Data gathered from different channels, through the different stages of buying cycle are the backbone of sales. Integrated messages make a compelling case for purchase. Evenness across the Online and Offline channels increases the chances of conversion. Integration is more than just brand synergy – it is about improving Return on Investment.
Integration of both the channels is no rocket science. All you have to do is opt for the right approach and have a marketing strategy that makes both the channels connect the dots. It denotes that an offline advertisement on the magazine should encourage the customer to visit the company website. A social media advertisement must make the reader/visitor enthused to join the marathon that the company is organizing. Basically, point channels to each other.
At the end, it’s All about Marketing
The need of the hour is to stop thinking that digital marketing and traditional marketing are the two different spokes on the wheel. Integrate the two. They complement each other and strengthen your overall engagement with your customer.
At Teleperformance, our marketing strategy is based around Omnichannel Customer Experience management and blending the online and offline marketing strategies to help our clients in over 160 markets around the world strengthen their relationships with their customers. That is how we transform passion into excellence every single day.
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Contributor: Neha Sethi @nehacsethi