Marketing is a now a combination of online and offline activities, but to get the biggest bang for your buck you need to link both.
People are now just as likely (or even more likely) to discover your store while they’re on their couch than by simply walking past, so it’s important that messages you’re sending in the real-world and the virtual world match up to a cohesive whole.
After all, customers don’t just engage with your company solely in the real-world or the virtual world – increasingly, they engage with it in both.
1. So, the first tip for linking your online and offline marketing is to see your marketing as a whole and not necessarily split the two.
Promote online, offline
You don’t just have online customers and offline customers – as most customer behaviour is a mixture of both. Many customers will research your business online before a purchase.
This means they may pick up a brochure or see your business while walking past and then look for you online.
That’s why it’s so important to promote how people can find you online in your promotion channels offline.
2. If have a bricks and mortar office, promote that your website is open 24 hours a day on your shop front, office window or hours of opening.
3. Promote your website address on your telephone on hold or answering message.
4. Make sure your brochures, business cards, car signage and other offline marketing collateral promote your website or social media accounts.
5. Include your website address on all advertising, including radio.
The more places people see your brand, the better – but you need to make sure that there’s a consistent look and feel every time your customer comes across your business.
You can dilute your branding or at worst confuse customers and potential customers if your online and offline marketing doesn’t match.
6. Make sure your online presence reflects your offline presence and vice versa. Ensure your photos, logos, colours, words and messages are consistent across all your collateral.
Share offline, online
7. Any offline marketing you’ve done should be shared online. Share any TV advertisements that you may have on your website or through your social media channels. Media articles can be shared along with photos of any marketing collateral you’ve developed.
8. Provide downloadable versions of brochures, manuals or information sheets that you have offline and make them available through your website.
9. Take photos of your uniforms or car signage or office/shop signage and show on social media.
Build seamless and similar sales processes
Brand consistency is not only about visual identity, but having a consistent customer experience both online and offline.
One area where many businesses fail to achieve this is in the sales process.
Businesses tend to have either a great online sales process or a great offline process. It’s important to makes sure that the method of sale is easy for the customer regardless of whether they choose to do it online or offline.
10. Have the same policies, enquiry options and processes. This can mean having the same payment options available to customers. For example, if your business offers Afterpay integration online, then it would be weird if your bricks-and-mortar store didn’t.
Communicate about your marketing to staff
Ever walked into a store after seeing a deal online only to find that staff have no idea what’s going on? Isn’t that just a bad customer experience?
11. Make sure staff dealing with the online aspects of your marketing, know what’s happening with your offline marketing and vice versa. Too often customers go into a store or a business enquiring about a promotion they saw online only to have staff say they are not sure about what happens online.
Online or offline, it’s all marketing and needs to be seen holistically even if the methods are different. So ensure all staff working with customers are fully informed of all marketing that is occurring in the business.