Combining Digital with Traditional Offline Marketing

Digital vs Offline Marketing
We’ve seen how the Apple’s ‘1984’ commercial released in the same year revolutionized the marketing world. This commercial is a direct predecessor of the viral videos that are breaking down the internet in the Digital Age. This is a clear example how one company’s bold move can disrupt the whole advertising niche. Digital marketing has come a long way since its introduction. In the beginning, it was a revolutionizing new concept, used by a small number of innovative marketers. Today, it is the most effective and the ‘one and only’ marketing method, used by all major corporations.

Marketing is a very dynamic niche. It doesn’t stand still, while we wait for another big disruption. One of the ways how marketing is changing, as we speak, is by combining traditional and digital marketing techniques in order to create more effective marketing strategies. Although some traditional marketing techniques have been declared dead for a long time, they can still effectively engage consumers, especially when being paired with the advanced technology.


Consumer behavior

Consumer behavior is the most important element of every marketing equation. Although the technologies used in the marketing niche are constantly changing, today’s consumer behavior can still be described by the behavioral patterns used for creating the Apple’s ‘1984’ campaign. The similarity between consumer behaviors in different decades allows us to use many traditional marketing models in the Digital Age.


How to combine digital and offline marketing?

By combining traditional and digital marketing techniques, companies are saving money and improving the ROI of their campaigns. They can combine these techniques in many different ways, including:


1. Active and passive marketing strategies should complement each other


Traditional marketing methods are much less engaging. One of the best things about digital marketing is that companies and marketers can have instant feedback from their consumer group by following and communicating with them on social networks. In the ‘good old days’ marketers needed to ‘keep their ear to the ground’, follow their revenue and sales oscillations and conduct gazillion surveys to determine the campaign’s impact.


The idea of combining active and passive methods and adding them to the marketing mix, is developed so companies can get instant feedback about their campaigns. One of the best examples of this mix is Coca-Cola’s ‘Share a Coke’ campaign. The idea of the campaign was to personalize one of the most universal products on the market. This idea is as old and traditional as the market itself, but Coca-Cola decided to execute it in a completely different way. They organized a huge online campaign in order to get instant feedback from customers and use their personal social media accounts as an efficient marketing channel. Coca-Cola customers massively shared the bottles with their names, and the campaign turned out to be an instant success.


2. Find the perfect mix of digital and offline marketing channels


Spreading the marketing effort across both digital and offline marketing channels will definitely benefit the company’s brand recognition. There are plenty of examples of companies that advertise their offers across different types of channels. McDonald’s is one of them. They use billboards and leaflets customers receive on their plate. These printed materials often contain the addresses of social media pages or popular hashtags McDonald’s is launching at the given moment. This way, the company directs different types of consumers to their website and other online presentations, where they can enter the sales funnel and subscribe to company’s special offers and other promotional announcements.


3. Event marketing goes digital


Event marketing is a very important component of the marketing mix because it allows marketers to come in direct contact with potential customers. Event organization has been constantly changing since the introduction of social networks. Facebook and other social platforms can be very useful for advertising various promotional events and they also allow organizers to follow the attendance list and track and engage the attendees. These are some of the ways companies can increase their event attendance and their following on social media:


  • Programing the conference (or any other event) by measuring feedback and using crowdsourcing through apps like: Tweet Poll or Crowd Campaign;
  • Creating separate event pages on: Facebook Event, Eventbrite, Upcoming or LinkedIn;
  • Organizing social media contests for event attendees, where promotional products will be shared as rewards. This form of contest can produce a great ROI, especially since printing services and promotional merchandise in general are so widespread and affordable;
  • Creating a hashtag for the event and motivating attendees to share their experiences from the event on their social media timelines;
  • Sharing event videos, audio and photos on social media and motivating attendees to do the same.


4. PR stunts look even crazier on social media


Some people think that there have been no PR stunts before Twitter, but actually this is one of the oldest marketing methods. For example, in 1951 Leonard Lord, the owner of Austin Motors, bet that his employee Alan Hess couldn’t drive around the planet in a new Austin A40 Sports car in 30 days. Hess managed to do it in only 21 days and this public stunt drastically improved this model’s sales in the next couple of years.


With the introduction of social media and video-sharing platforms, PR stunts organized by big companies are receiving huge following around the world. One of the companies that have built its image on PR stunts is Red Bull. You’ve probably heard about the annual fly days (flugtag) organized by this company. These events gather enthusiasts who attempt to pilot home-made flying machines. This competition is massively advertised on social media and it represents an annual PR stunt.


Another popular PR stunt organized and financed by Red Bull, which has received a massive following on social media, is the Red Bull Stratos. It’s one of the most popular space diving events, where Austrian skydiver and daredevil Felix Baumgartner jumped from the height of 39 km in a branded Red Bull pressure suit. The fall took more than 10 minutes and it is the longest skydive in history.


In order to successfully add traditional offline marketing techniques to the digital marketing mix, you’ll have to ask yourself what kind of marketing strategy you would implement if the internet didn’t exist. After finding the right answer to this difficult question, finding the winning combination of digital and analogue marketing techniques and channels will be a piece of cake.


About Author:

Emma Miller is a Sydney based writer with a degree in marketing. Interested in digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends. She’s a contributor at Bizzmark blog.

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