Online vs Offline Marketing... It's a Balancing Act, Not A Choice

The focus of the modern marketing environment has become increasingly online-based, with all types of campaigns running simultaneously via multiple channels – unfortunately leading to the inevitable neglect of an ‘old faithful’ marketing style. Offline marketing has big potential to be coupled with online marketing strategies in order to produce a holistic corporate presence that transcends an urgent dependence on the Internet. Unifying your Marketing Strategy is your Best Chance for Survival

In 2013, Andy Lombard posted an article on MarketingLand.com that is even more pertinent today than it was then. Lombard pointed out a major problem facing companies that adopt separate strategies for online and offline campaigns, often run by completely different departments; “Those silos only exist inside marketing departments. The customer’s mind perceives one continuous brand.” The key challenge here is the need to retain the customer’s attention, despite the fact that modern consumers experience multiple marketing channels within moments of each other.

Real-World Events Offer an Opportunity to Make a Lasting Impression

There are multiple combinations that can be explored to find the right balance between online and offline presence for individual businesses, however there are a few tips that remain universal. The best advice in the current climate is to combine online and offline marketing strategies into a unified message. Manobyte.com highlights the importance of real-world, offline events, which can be promoted online via social media or other such marketing channels. It’s also important to bring examples of your real-world customer interactions back to the online environment, to build interest in your offline events once again. The nature of this approach is reasonably cyclic, with one aspect feeding into another. The beauty of offline events is that they are a great content creation opportunity, building public interest on a level clients and potential clients can relate to.

Stop Hiding Behind Automation and Get Personal

Another great notion by Manobyte.com is to remove those impersonal automated email responses, and take the time to respond physically to enquiries, which can then be summarised in a follow-up email. The rapid shift to the online world seems to have left a somewhat bitter aftertaste in the mouths of customers, who are beginning to yearn for a more personalized customer service experience.  Another key example of including an offline touch in an online sale comes from eyewear retailer Warby Parker (Tintup.com), who pioneered the tactic of posting a number of frames for their potential customers to try on at home, to ensure proper fit and comfort. This made all the difference for the company who are now valued at approximately $1.2 billion.

Become Dependable on Multiple Channels

The concept works the other way around as well, as pointed out by Socialnomics.net who say, "Your websites should carry social media buttons, so that people are encouraged to share, implant, tweet, and email to help your website gain social traction.” The idea is to gain as much real estate within the customer’s circles as possible, retaining prominence in their mind and growing in influence. A high social media presence can be combined with offline reliability to create a sense of trust in your brand, in turn building customer loyalty. Over time, customer-relationships can be deepened as they learn that your company is dependable via any channel, whether online, or in the real world.