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This guest post from Anthony Burke is part of the #JUMPchallenge, a blogging competition designed to raise awareness of how to join up online and offline marketing, launched to support Econsultancy’s JUMP event.
It was originally published on the WSI blog, and looks at how some offline marketing techniques can be integrated with online marketing...
Consumers continue to turn to the internet for business, purchasing, finding information, and a host of personal and networking uses. In addition, the continued rise of social media is changing the fundamental business marketing model from “advertising” to “engaging”.
However, some businesses are still in online denial mode and believe that old media or offline marketing is still the only way to market. So they still use the telephone, print ads, tradeshows and direct mail as the sole way of marketing their businesses. These offline methods are not obsolete, and can still be effective, but they should be adapted to the new media mindset of customers and prospects. Take the best from both worlds to create a go-to-market plan that enables you to:
- Reach your market with the right message.
- Make the right offer to create awareness.
- Increase qualified prospects.
- Convert them into lifelong customers.
There is still a place for traditional marketing within a blended or integrated approach. The key to your marketing success is taking a comprehensive approach to your marketing strategy.
Such an approach treats marketing as a single integrated strategy and process, rather than a list of stand-alone marketing initiatives. While you may still gain benefits from executing standalone marketing initiatives, the benefits of implementing an integrated strategy are well worth the effort.
When combined with traditional marketing initiatives like print advertising, direct mail, telemarketing, and tradeshows, there is an even better chance of business success. So how do you decide what to include in your integrated go-to-market plan? Well, it goes back to basics and knowing your target market and answering some basic questions:
One of the benefits of online marketing techniques is that they can be started, stopped, and changed almost immediately. This enables you to react to, and even anticipate changing market conditions, and get ahead of them. It’s not as hard as may sound but you do need to commit to the process.
So, let's look at four offline marketing techniques and see how they can be better integrated with an online marketing plan:
The best use of the telephone is to call all the leads you develop through your online marketing strategy. However, the telephone is still a powerful way to reach new prospects and can be used in more innovative ways.
So instead of just cold calling for sales prospects, think of some more creative ways to use the telephone. For example, call people to conduct a survey on a trending industry topic. You can invite them to take a survey on the phone or online. If they prefer the online survey get their email address and send them a link to your online survey.
Be sure to offer them a free copy of the survey results. Once you have their email, then keep them informed by email in the future. Don’t just use the telephone for selling to prospects. It is better to try and engage with them so that the prospect will remember the content experience about your brand and possibly buy from you when he or she is ready.
Many businesses advertise in print but have no idea if the advertisement is working for them. If you are advertising in a relevant publication, put a clear call to action on the advert and make this call to action accessible online via a unique landing page that you can link back to the advert.
This way you can measure it and work out if it is working for you. Remember, you can't manage what you can't measure. If you have a phone number in the advert, make sure it is unique so you can measure the results of the advert.
For many businesses, the main aim of print advertising is to build or strengthen brand awareness. However, make sure that the reader can engage your brand online in a way that can be traced back to your ad.
Tradeshows are still a great way to get your products and services in front of your customers and prospects and they usually offer up a great networking and learning experiences, though they work better for some industries than others.
There is a great opportunity to blend and integrate your tradeshow marketing with your online strategy. For example, if you are exhibiting or even just attending a tradeshow you should always talk about the event online before, during and after the event.
If you use LinkedIn, you can communicate to your connections that you are attending a particular tradeshow. Make sure that you use your online PR, your blog, Facebook and Twitter channels to discuss your contribution to the event. You can use Flickr and YouTube to share photos and videos from the event. When you meet people at the tradeshow, then make sure that you connect online to keep the relationships going after the event.
Direct mail still has value in an integrated marketing plan. Similar to print advertising be sure to have a measurable call to action. Consider linking the call to action to personalized URLs or landing pages. This will allow you to measure the results of your direct mail campaigns very clearly with online interaction attributable to your direct mail campaigns.
So how are you integrating your online and offline marketing?
This is one of the entries in the JUMP blogging challenge, and we're looking for more bloggers to contribute by posting an article. The deadline is Friday, September 17.
The winner will receive a 'blogging hamper', which includes an iPad, a press pass to JUMP, free Econsultancy membership, some strawberry jam and more. More details here.