The  integration between  online and offline marketing

The growth of digital and online marketing means that traditional, offline marketing plans often end up low on the list of priorities. But it’s essential to realize that offline marketing strategies are still viable and eminently capable of getting you a good return on investment (ROI). Offline marketing can get you a wide reach, build trust and act as an effective customer touch point. When used as part of an integrated marketing plan offline marketing can boost your overall marketing efforts considerably. According to recent research by iProspect and JupiterResearch offline media channels including DRTV, radio advertising and print influence 39% of the online searches that result in purchases.

And it’s also important to remember that not everyone has an internet connection yet. Last year 88% of Americans were connected leaving a fair few still in need of being targeted via TV ads and newspapers.

The gap between online and offline marketing activities is often very wide, they often end up assigned to different parts of the marketing department who act completely independently of each other. However the customer on the receiving end sees the same brand whether it’s via the website or direct mailshot. They can see a print promotion, kiosk ad or social media campaign within seconds of each other. That’s why it is essential to create a seamless brand experience throughout all channels so that each channel can leverage off each other and boost the ROI of your marketing efforts. This means integrating online and digital marketing strategies.

How to integrate

It can be a challenge to integrate the two different strategies, but social media is a good start as a platform for offline integration. A recent study by VisionCritical found that social media can spark offline purchases as well as online sales.

Social media can be used to boost traffic and generate interest at events and tradeshows, for example. To boost attendance you can advertise competitions on Facebook involving prizes that can be picked up at offline events. Social media can also be used to improve lead generation. By finding out what your leads on LinkedIn and Facebook are doing, what their interests are, and their background you can find ways to target them offline, e.g. via mailings, advertising etc.

Or consider a print or TV ad. This can be used to supply a Twitter hashtag to drive conversion on social media. Calls to action can direct viewers to online videos.

Tracking

Always put your website details and your URL on any offline advertising and promotional material. Then you can create unique tracking URLs for each offline advert or print campaign. These can act as re-directs that you can trace back via web analytics. In this way you can integrate the offline world with digital space, and obtain more information about your marketing strategies, and find out which are working and which are not. Google AdWords offline conversion tracking is a good way to track online ad clicks that go on to convert offline.

QR codes

QR codes can have a big impact on digital marketing strategies, and are an aspect of mobile technology that’s become hugely popular. When a consumer scans a code with a mobile device the code prompts an automatic action, for example pulling up your website. They form a clear bridge between what customers are doing offline – and effectively bringing them online, making QR codes a powerful integration tool.

Whatever channel you use to communicate marketing messages to your prospects, the main thing is to target the right audience at the right time. Companies that integrate online and offline strategies have more control over their value and brand, and get the highest numbers of conversions.