Long gone are the marketing mantras of decades past that preached absolute and unquestioning obedience to one narrowly focused field or marketing—fads which were by and large the result of the limited types of media that the masses had at their disposition until the end of the last century. Nowadays, with our mentalities fully within the context of the 21st century—and all that entails regarding communications media—marketing strategists are turning to new, comprehensive plans to get the word out on their product or their company. The idea is to take advantage of as many media avenues as possible, thereby executing a highly integrated marketing strategy.
Support and Promote
The basic dichotomy comes down to exploiting online marketing vs. offline marketing of a product or a name. No chief marketing officer that has his head screwed on right will commit the folly of solely embracing one to the detriment of the other; rather, it’s a question of having both offline and online marketing initiatives mutually support and promote each other. Though accomplishing this sort of a scenario is a bit of an art, there is no magical secret that has to be extracted from some guru: it’s about reading up on best practices (especially those online, which are relatively newer for marketers) and making a concerted and careful plan.
The beauty of online marketing is that it can be so cheap and yet so wonderfully effective. The beauty of offline marketing is that it gives a personal touch, and is more likely to be seen (well, unless you have a highly competent SEO team on top of your web marketing). Getting these qualities to prop each other up is easier than most companies would imagine.
A Simple Answer
One clever method is to get your offline marketing material to reference and promote your online marketing material. By doing so, you will be increasing market awareness of your site and your brand in general, and will be drawing in more customers to a convenient platform from which to make purchases. For example, consider launching a campaign in which special coupons will be released (falling under the offline category, of course) that provide a code or reference with which the consumer is guaranteed special, strictly online benefits (discounts on purchases, credit for future purchases, etc.). This is one of the most classic examples of integrating online and offline marketing techniques, and it has proven to be one of the most effective for many firms.
It is a One – Two Punch
Make sure that all offline marketing material that is issued (whether paper prints, TV or radio ad spots, and so on and so forth) contains a written or spoken reference to your company’s site or even your fan page. Furthermore, make sure that whatever promises you make in your offline marketing is reflected in what is currently to be found in your online marketing material—mismatches in this regard can be a costly error. Finally, try monitoring the different marketing approaches’ effectiveness through sales numbers and other data (site clicks, for example) to see which avenue of marketing is proving to be the most efficient for you. Finally, remember that even though one avenue may be more fruitful than the other, that does not mean you should do away with the lesser-performing of the two. It is the one two punch that gives you the ROI.