Online vs. Offline Marketing


Until 10-15 years ago marketing meant mailings, posters, billboards, and advertisements. Now however, with the rise of the internet, marketing has a whole new side. Since more people than ever are online, businesses need to make sure they are utilizing this resource for business. What many aren’t aware of is how much these two are interlinked. Studies show that 40% of online searchers buy something after seeing something offline. There are three easy things that can be done to bridge the gap between online and offline marketing. 

One is to figure out where you are and are not marketing. If you don’t know where you are marketing, you can’t figure out where you aren’t. Also, by identifying where you are marketing, you can see how to combine online and offline efforts. The more you can do with what you already have, the more you can move forward and not worry about repeating efforts. One of the best ways to bridge online and offline marketing is through mobile means like a mobile app. Then you need to figure out what marketing areas are complimentary and can work well together. For example, email and direct mail, mobile app and on-site advertising, and SMS and your website. Make sure everyone involved in these areas is aware and on board with the goals you have set for each area, which brings us to the second thing. 

The second thing you can do seems simple but usually holds people up. This is to set goals and success metrics. If you don’t set goals and success metrics you have two problems off the bat. One is that no one knows what you are trying to achieve which often breeds inefficiency and frustration. And two is that you cannot measure your success which will then hold you back from making effective changes and moving forward. Your goals for increase customers can be from a conservative 3-5% to a huge 20%, as long as it is something everyone agrees on and feel is feasible. Below are some examples of online and offline metrics you can use to help measure your success (be sure you get baselines before you start so you know whether there has been an increase or decrease): 

  • Website: page views, average session duration, most visited pages, bounce rate, conversions, behavior flow, keyword rankings, etc. 
  • Mobile: users, session length, time in-app, actions, retention, etc. 
  • Email: click-through-rate, conversions, unsubscribes, etc. 
  • Digital advertising: impressions, reach, clicks, click-through-rate, engagement rate, conversions, etc. 
  • Offline metrics: store visits or tradeshow booth visits, phone inquiries, offer usage, store purchases, etc. 

The third thing you can do is to get creative! This is where the fun part of brainstorming comes into play. Brainstorm on ways to make your customer’s buying experience seamless. Below are some ideas on integrating online and offline marketing: 

  • Email and direct mail: increase customer engagement with direct mail that is sent out based on triggered campaigns. 
  • In-store promotions: offer repeat customers coupons they can download online for in-store use. 
  • Geo-specific promotions: add SMS opt-ins to your online forms so you can send important information to customer on their mobile devices. 
  • Mobile app messages: send triggered push notifications or in-app messages based on a buyer’s email actions or non-actions. 
  • Events: use beacons to track and measure interactions with attendees and follow up with relevant and personalized content. 
  • Promote online marketing to offline: social handles, vanity URLs, and coupon codes 

Having an integrated marketing plan can make a huge difference on your organization. You will have more opportunities to spread your company’s message and products as well as be able to touch more people in more creative ways. It’s never too late or too early to develop an integrated marketing plan for your company. 

If you want to learn more about bridging the gap between online and offline marketing, or have other questions regarding your current digital marketing plan, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.  We love talking, and even more so, we love educating clients on what it takes to dominate online. 

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