Ignoring certain aspects of online or offline marketing activities can put you at risk of losing prospective consumers and limit the potential of their campaigns.
On the other hand, combining the efforts of online and offline marketing strategies can be an effective measure in:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Effectively reaching your brand’s target audience
- Increasing your market share
- Ensuring you remain competitive in today’s global market.
Finding the right mix
With that being said, it’s important that businesses employ strategic brand marketing when crafting brand activation campaigns. Not every marketing channel, both digital and traditional, will be an effective tool to reach your target audience.
Below are several best practices that can harmoniously balance both your online and offline marketing initiatives for successful brand activation.
1. Using QR codes
QR codes can serve as a bridge between your offline marketing efforts and online presence. QR codes are an effective tool for creating consumer engagement as the array of black and white squares tap into our natural curiosity. And when customers deploy these machine-readable codes, they can be lead to a social channel or your website to drive engagement.
QR codes can be used in digital marketing, but they are best employed in traditional forms of advertising. Mediums such as posters or billboards or event print ads in newspapers and magazines can be grafted with a unique QR code that gives access to highly integrated digital marketing channels.
2. Consistent hashtags
While hashtags are predominantly associated with the realm of social media, in recent years, hashtags have been cropping up in offline marketing campaigns to develop a brand conversation, enabling consumers to become part of your strategic marketing campaign discussion.
When deploying hashtags across online and offline channels, consistency is key. Hashtags serve to digitally enhance real-world discussions.
So when using hashtags as an offline marketing collateral, a high degree of consistency is required. Otherwise, users who want to engage with your brand story may become adrift in the ever-expanding world of marketing hashtags.
3. Mobile Check-Ins
Another great way to marry online and offline marketing is to encourage customers to interact with digital spaces with physical locations. Many brands can employ mobile check-ins to enable their target audience to broadcast brand engagement. Indeed, mobile check-ins have become a popular trend across social media as mobile activity increasingly ramps up.
To further encourage engagement and increase mobile check-ins, savvy businesses provide exclusive content or rewards to customers participating in the marketing interaction. When consumers check into a physical retail store, retailers can offer discounted items which can promote desired consumer behavior.
In terms of events, mobile check-ins spur social interaction, allowing patrons to engage with a like-minded community to engage with your brand.
4. Custom URLs
The latest intersection of offline marketing and online presence is the iteration of custom URLs. Tailoring and personalizing URLs serves two primary purposes: It provides crucial cross-channel marketing integration and as well as produces measurable results.
Custom URLs can be deployed across multiple traditional marketing channels to direct traffic to specific custom web pages or campaign-specific digital content. Strategic marketing campaigns can even employ various custom URLs to perform measurable split testing.
Along the same lines of hashtags, custom URLs need to be consistent so prospective consumers can avoid being redirected to a 404 or 302 error page, which can increase customer dissatisfaction and diminish brand loyalty.
5. Measure online and offline integration
Data must be sourced from both online and offline marketing channels and quantified to effectively determine the success of an integrated campaign. Marketing tools like custom URLs and QR codes complement digital data acquisition with real-time information.
The ability to mine data across both digital and traditional mediums provides comprehensive insight into user preferences and which marketing channels effectively intersect with one another.
Creating an omnichannel experience
In order to maximize the effectiveness of brand activation campaigns, brands must capitalize on strategic initiatives that complement both online and offline channels. Implementing and integrating a cohesive online and offline experience will be key to setting your business up for success.
Stuart Harris is the Creative Director at Yellow, a Dubai branding agency, digital partner and advertising company working with progressive businesses to build bold, meaningful brands.