Digital marketing or offline marketing? It is not necessary to make a choice because the perfect integration of these two systems makes a strategy stronger and more complete, as several companies have already discovered.
This new approach can give excellent results. In the internet era, we hear more and more about digital marketing as an optimal solution for small and medium-sized companies that want to increase their visibility and authority even in the online world.
Therefore, online marketing is a new approach that must undoubtedly be implemented to stay caught up and give new life to one’s web market, taking advantage of those new channels that open up different avenues of development. Many are asking whether directing the new strategies online means abandoning the offline ones. The answer is: not. On the contrary, multi-channel integration is not only feasible, but it is essential, and now I will explain why.
Online Marketing Versus Offline Marketing
Let’s start to see what tools distinguish the two types of marketing.
Among the offline ones, which we all know very well by now, we have:
- Advertising board;
- newspaper and magazine advertising;
- mail advertising campaigns.
The main tools of online marketing are instead:
- advertising campaigns on social networks;
- search engine advertising;
- email marketing;
- advertising banners;
- promotional items on e-commerce;
As we can already see from this list, several solutions can be adopted. Unless you have a considerable budget, focusing only on a few is good. Always remain focused on what we want the final result to be and optimize the resources available to keep them from unnecessarily dispersing among the many strategies.
I want to emphasize how offline and online marketing tools, albeit in different ways, always have the same purpose: to strengthen the brand of small and medium-sized businesses or professionals, acquire new customers, and retain existing ones. So if we make a good mix of online and offline (cross media marketing) we can obtain exciting and undoubtedly positive results.
Why Integrate Online And Offline Strategy
Using online and offline marketing tools means making full use of the whole range of opportunities that the communication sector offers today. Using only one or the other without integration means losing opportunities and giving way to our direct competitors.
If, for example, we offer a service (or product) that we have advertised only through a flyer, then with an offline tool, and a potential customer searches for it on the internet, he will surely find a similar service (or product), offered by one of our competitors if we are not found on the web too.
The result is that we have lost a potential customer , but even more serious is the fact that we have paid out of our own pocket to advertise our contender. This small example makes people understand how the online and offline worlds are connected. That as long as the tools to do both activities still exist, we must exploit both naturally in a prudent way and according to our possibilities. The important thing is not to focus on one leaving out the other , having very clear what the goals to be achieved are.
First Step: The Purpose
The first step in integrating online and offline marketing strategies is to establish our purpose , that is, we must know beforehand where we want to go and what kind of results we want to achieve. It seems trivial and obvious, yet most strategies fail because the end needs clarification.
On the other hand, if we open a company we have to draw up a business plan , which clarifies what are the points to touch and develop, the budget and the expenses to be faced.
A marketing strategy needs its own business plan , i.e. we must first know the various steps to follow and what they entail, and the ultimate goal to be achieved. Let’s remember that, for example, if we have a corporate website , a good portion of online traffic is generated by offline activities. A customer who has become aware of a product or service offline must also be able to find it online , for example by wanting more information and details or looking for reviews from other customers.
How To Integrate Online And Offline Marketing Activities Effectively
Once we have established the purpose and which online and offline means we can use, the most complex part remains to be implemented, namely a marketing strategy. There are no strategies that are good for everything, or rather, there are techniques that can be used for different sectors. Still, they must, in any case, be adapted according to the variables:
- The place.
- The period of the season.
- The type of product or service.
- The type of target to which it is addressed.
There is, therefore, no magic wand or algorithm capable of guaranteeing results. Everything must be studied in advance, one or more strategies are implemented and they are also changed during construction according to the results we gradually obtain.
Some Tips And Small Strategies
So how can we integrate online and offline marketing strategies ? Here are some tips.
Launch The Two Campaigns Simultaneously
In this way we can make sure that the message we want to convey is the same for the two strategies and the potential customer is able to find the same product or service that we are promoting both in the offline world and on the web.
Study The Customer
Understanding the target audience is essential, as both the online and offline marketing strategies must address the same type of potential customer. Try to understand the tastes, the kind of language, the interests, but above all their needs.
For this activity, online tools are more suitable, as they allow you to obtain helpful information about your potential customers and understand which keywords are used to search online for the product or service we want to promote.
Use Online Channels For Advertising Offline
Using social networks , for example, to encourage a development you have on sale in your store, or invite your potential customers to a particular event. Social networks are also helpful in maintaining a warm bond with your regular customers, making them feel part of your world and pampering them with personalized discounts.
In offline activities, always refer to your online position, trying to maintain a certain continuity not only in terms of message, but also in terms of graphics, otherwise your customers could quickly get confused, even mistaking you for some of your competitors.