In Belgium, many companies still regard online marketing as nice-to-have alongside all of their other marketing efforts and this is also obvious among our own customer base. We are often unaware of offline promotions that are underway, which would be perfect for the online environment too, so that they could reinforce one another.
Let me explain what I mean by online and offline. Online marketing is any form of marketing that reaches a person or customer via the internet: websites, social media, email, etc. Offline marketing, in contrast, includes 'traditional' channels such as TV advertising, radio, print-work or billboards.
There is no exact science when it comes to which channels a company should use, but one thing is certain: we are increasingly living in an integrated world. This means that these two forms of marketing are becoming more and more interconnected. TV programmes, for example, have become more interactive.
Another good example of a company that combines on and offline is Facebook.
Yes, you read that right... Facebook! I can hear you saying to yourself, 'Eh? Internet giant Facebook is going offline... no way!' I had the same reaction when I heard Gary Briggs, Facebook CMO, talking at a Web summit in November.
He was talking about creating a brand in this mobile world and, more specifically, about the recently launched Facebook Live. This is a 'new' feature which allows you to publish live videos/films that you make via your smartphone, so that you can interact with followers and attract new fans. As the name suggests, these short films can be shared 'live' on Facebook and create a direct connection with your fans/followers.
In order to publicise this new Facebook feature to a wider audience, the company set up a separate campaign for the USA and the UK. At the beginning of October, Facebook broadcast a few adverts via television and Facebook itself, with a short description of Facebook Live. These adverts, together with a few billboards, served to create awareness. Users are inspired to go live.
A few weeks after the awareness campaign, Facebook issued tutorial videos and billboards to provide a step-by-step explanation of how to use Facebook Live and not only show the results of live streams. The billboards that the company used for this campaign were also harmonised with the location at which they were used; there was a billboard in Times Square, for example, with the message 'How to Go Live in Times Square'.
Bron beelden: adweek
This type of campaign was not conducted because going live didn't work, but was implemented in order to help Facebook users get the most from the feature, according to Briggs. Precisely because people would be using the feature, Facebook could receive feedback for improving the tool and adapting it to the needs of the users.
It was a real eye-opener to hear that an online giant would also use offline communication to raise awareness about its new features and also strengthen the brand itself. The combination of on and offline communication remains the ideal mix and the right way to reach out to new customers and communicate with existing ones. Focusing on one domain has the disadvantage that you miss a huge section of your audience and therefore also miss out on possible leads or sales. This combination, however, does not mean that you have to set up individual campaigns for both.
On and offline, the result is more than just the sum of the channels used. All channels must talk to each other or be harmonised with one another, however, the impact and practicality of a specific channel very much depends on the aim and the target group.
In other words: who is your target group, what are their expectations and what do you want to achieve with them?
Just because the digital component is taking an increasingly prominent role doesn't mean that you can only consider digital channels.
Let marketing channels play out opposite one another! Test, test and then test again. This is a process of trial and error. Use various channels to see which work best for your customer. The emphasis is on the word 'marketing'. So try to create synergy between all of the channels. Draw a connecting line between online and offline. Just like they say in the marketing world: 1 + 1 = 3. And, by making digital components count, you could uncover new opportunities in your business, business model and/or your approach to tackling and expanding your business. In other words, make sure that everything intertwines efficiently and is effectively harmonised. A good marketing experts knows how this works ;)
Do you have any questions on this blog or would you like to define your on/offline strategy? Then get in touch and we will be happy to help.