What is the current marketing strategy for your business? Does it include a mix of online and offline tactics? Or, has your team laser-focused on your online marketing? Some blogs and digital agencies may make you think offline marketing is outdated, and it’s not worth the investment. It’s true that offline marketing has taken a back seat as digital marketing is the focus of what we are told to focus on as business owners. But, building a sustainable business and consistent referral flow is not all about Instagram and Tik Tok.
Many of the clients I work with are initially found through a direct referral, from meeting at a networking event or group, or forming a connection through a mutual friend online. No matter where a lead finds you initially, they will always Google you before forming a full opinion. Do you not always do at least a quick online search before reaching out to someone new? Even if given a glowing review from a close colleague, a poor online presence can make or break an opportunity.
Fact: Online + offline marketing need one another to perform effectively. Not placing equal importance on both could be ruining your chances of strategically building relationships with your customers.
Why Offline Interactions Need Online Support
To be successful in marketing, businesses need to provide customers with real-time, personalized experiences. This requires you to think outside of the box and use some creativity to encourage customer engagement. For example, consider all the events your company does throughout the year that are offline… Any philanthropic endeavors you take part in? These events make for great content to post online for discussions – whether that information is shared via blog posts, social media posts, articles, or even just pictures of your team in action.
Taking those events and showcasing them online is also a great way to magnify the impact. And, using those online marketing campaigns that include promotional ads can attract more consumers to your offline events or your brick and mortar location.
Why Online Interactions Need Offline Support
You can create a lot of interest through online interaction. But in many cases, consumers still want to be able to physically see and touch your products – or talk one-on-one with your team – at a traditional brick and mortar location. And, don’t discount the phone call. It’s like we need that peace of mind that the business we are dealing with is a real person, real business, and can be reached offline. Because, as we all know, technology does fail and scammers are out there.
Importance of Online and Offline Customer Engagement
Customers prefer different types of engagement. Products and services need to be effectively managed online and offline to attract different types of individuals and spark interest. The two need to support one another using cross-promotion strategies.
If you’re still not convinced, here are 3 reasons why you still need offline marketing:
Creating a seamless experience – This is where you will want to integrate both marketing options. For example, if you’re hosting a sale in-store, then you will want to get the word out both online through social media, email, digital ads, as well as potential paid advertising, like a radio spot or a print ad. Partnering with other businesses, brands or individuals to support a promotion can be a fusion online/offline strategy.
Maintaining offline interaction with potential customers to build trust – It’s true. Many of us are now addicted to the technology we have at our fingertips. But, authentic, in-person interaction is what helps to build a company’s reputation and trust with consumers.
So, consider getting out to speak at local events. Represent your company at local philanthropy gatherings. This is also a great way to meet new people and talk about your business. And, actually talk with your customers – listen to their needs/wants. Make sure your customers know that you care.
Consumers are tired of a digital-only approach – Today’s consumers are starting to gain a new appreciation for an offline experience. Even if you make a genuine connection with someone online, don’t you want to take that relationship offline to get to know them more? Many are starting to see just how much technology can overload us, damage interpersonal skills and completely isolate us from the surrounding world. Sure, we love the convenience of technology and digital services, but we also want to be able to turn off our devices and engage face-to-face.
Companies that can integrate their online and offline marketing, and do it with a consistent strategy, will see an increase in customer loyalty and a greater return on investment. If you’re interested in learning more about online + offline marketing strategies, or want professional help in evaluating your current marketing strategy, schedule a no-cost initial consult to learn about my Strategy-First Marketing Plan and consulting opportunities.
@ 2023 Alissa Paik Consulting