Integrating Offline and Online Marketing

More and more of our lives are affected by technology. We spend countless hours on social media, make weekend plans based on GroupOn and research every aspect of our lives from common cold remedies to the best places to take your car for a tune-up on Google. Businesses need to have a presence on the web, there is no doubt about that, but there needs to be a balance between online and offline marketing.

Most companies have both offline and online marketing initiatives, but to reap the maximum value of all investments a holistic approach to your marketing strategy is the key.

Branding and Winning More Businesses

Marketing is all about meeting people where they are and communicating with them in the way that they prefer. Some clients are only on Facebook, while others are exclusively on Facebook. Some may read the Westword for upcoming events and hot new businesses to try. People’s preferences can even change depending on if they are at home or on the go. For example, finding a restaurant for dinner at home is way different than finding one while you’re already in the car. If you are in the car, you’re more likely to use an app that finds restaurants based on location. Ensuring that your business is represented in all mediums builds your brand and increases the likelihood of winning new business.

Ways to Start the Integration

The key is start thinking how each marketing avenue affects another and how to capitalize on it.

  1. Make sure that all of your branding is the same. For example, your emails should have the same look, feel and voice as your brochures.
  2. Put your website address on EVERYTHING.
  3. Create email signatures that link out to your website and social media but also have a quick couple words on your most recent promotion, offer or event.
  4. Encourage sales reps, customer service reps and anyone else to ask people to join you on social media. You can even run a promotion to encourage more “Likes” and follows.
  5. Use Adwords to promote featured products or services.
  6. Make sure that all offline promoted items are easy to find on your website. If you are running a radio ad for special pricing on a particular product, put it right on the home page.
  7. Use social media to create a buzz about events, promotions or sales.
  8. Think of ways to get some great PR while also getting some online referrals. For example, if you’re a restaurant you can give away a free dessert or appetizer when someone checks in on Foursquare or Facebook. That customer will appreciate the free item and remember that the next time they are deciding where to go eat, and now all of their friends know about you too.
  9. From an advertising perspective, make sure that you are using multiple mediums – like print, web, radio, etc. and make sure that everyting is consistent throughout the different mediums. If you are focusing on an offer online, well get that out in print as well.
  10. Try out QR codes. Add them to all printed materials, signs, displays etc. and have them take people to anything from a landing page for more information to social media or an event sign up.
  11. Use your invoices or receipts to talk about a promotion, ask for social media engagement, testimonials or referrals. Just keep it quick and to the point.
  12. Have very clear calls to action whether online or offline.

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