Digital marketing can take your company far, but if you also operate a brick-and-mortar shop, you need a strategy that combines traditional and digital methodologies. Focusing too much on one or another can limit your market reach and leave your brand identity feeling half-baked. Instead of spending on two separate campaigns, start creating content (advertising, articles, etc.) that works equally well in traditional forums as it does in digital.
Going With the Blended Flow
Digital marketing has a leg up on most old-fashioned tactics, but that doesn’t mean traditional marketing is obsolete. In fact, the nature of a traditional approach has significantly changed; digital marketing allows companies to expand into new, global markets, while traditional marketing creates a feeling of comfort and exclusivity in legacy mediums such as newspapers and magazines.
For all the time humans spend on devices, we still walk through stores, glance at billboards, and pick up a magazine in line at the grocery store. Traditional marketing enhances the brand experience, giving physical form to the images of the digital world. Providing consumers with a seamless transition can yield significant, measurable results.
Streamlining Your Campaigns
Help your customers easily interact with your brand online and in the real world with these tips:
- Identify distinct mediums. A digital campaign extends beyond the desktop. Successful multi-faceted campaigns may include desktop, mobile, IoS devices, traditional and digital radio, billboards, in-store signs, pamphlets, and packaging. Each medium represents an opportunity to engage with the consumer at a different level. Although the channels vary, companies need consistent messaging to create a cohesive campaign.
- Create a strategy. Every campaign has an overarching design. Decide early on how your company will represent that theme online and in the real world. Use the same color palettes, similar promotions, and voice for all content.
- Develop a transitionary document. When an online menu reads like a Michelin-rated restaurant sampling and your actual eatery uses basic fonts and uneven spacing, the result can appear comical. Everything that goes into the digital campaign needs to carry over seamlessly to the on premises experience. Add details to the document regarding the type of language to be used, key phrases, level of formality, where certain pieces of content will appear, and in what format. Distribute these guidelines to anyone working on a campaign, from advertisers to graphic designers.
- Reference differing mediums. Use the online space to refer to the offline world and vice versa. In the store, make your Twitter handle, website, and other digital information easily accessible. For instance, Target mixes mediums with the Cartwheel app that allows in-store customers to take advantage of digital deals. Online, display images of your brick-and-mortar setting, customers, and the area. Using both mediums to drive traffic to one another creates another opportunity for brand/consumer engagement.
- Build a community. Retention makes more sense strategically for most brands than acquisition, and companies with physical locations have an opportunity to create a community online and offline with their marketing campaigns. Create content and a marketing approach that helps customers feel welcome online and in stores. Offer a loyalty program or create a local event to inspire engagement, and interact with the community. Express your company’s mission and value proposition locally to earn customer loyalty and retention.
- Direct mail is alive and well. Consider expanding your latest digital promotion or email campaign to a good old-fashioned snail mail campaign. Many companies have abandoned direct mail, which creates an opportunity for you to shine in a person’s mailbox. Direct mail still delivers results, and most people look through their daily mail. If your digital messages aren’t getting through, go back to the basics with a value offering or sample.
- Embrace blending in other departments. Blending extends beyond traditional and digital marketing. The rise of digital marketing has also seeped into sales, customer support, and traditional communications or PR. Instead of viewing each entity as a separate part of the business puzzle, encourage collaboration between all client-facing personnel. Blending these departments improves the consistency of the message, whether a consumer reads your blog online, hears a radio advertisement, or speaks to a customer support representative.
- Refresh content as necessary. Digital marketing gives companies a deeper insight into the activities and patterns of users. Companies can use the information online metrics yield to optimize a print marketing campaign. Spend some time analyzing how success in one medium influences success in the others, and use that information to tweak each subsequent campaign. Freshen up the content you produce to align more with what consumers need to hear to convert.
- Use video to your advantage. Screens are omnipresent in brick-and-mortar facilities as well as online. Create short, engaging videos for your physical location along with your digital presence. Show customers using products near the actual display case. Run an entertaining advertisement at the registers. Video is a remarkable crossover tool for spreading a message to consumers.
- Tap into the power of on-location blended marketing. In the ultimate blending of traditional and digital marketing, some retailers are using sensors in stores to monitor traffic around the floorplan. They also use geolocation to send updates, promotions, and other messages to nearby consumers. These new approaches to marketing help companies provide an even better in-store experience.
Many brick-and-mortar stores have successfully created transitionary campaigns that work together to produce customers. Taco Bell has an active Twitter presence, and its marketing turnaround has fueled its recent menu updates and success in the marketplace. Many retailers still use scannable QR codes for promotions and additional information. Several local and global brick-and-mortar stores also have apps for purchasing and engaging with the brand on-the-go.
Your company may have naturally created some blended marketing without thinking about it, but a strategic blended marketing campaign could really send your ROI through the roof. Next year, however, you may want to look more closely at the potential of both digital and traditional marketing campaigns to boost overall brand awareness and customer retention. If your message online and offline is currently different, you could be sending a mixed or ineffective signal.
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