Integration of your digital and offline local marketing campaigns

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Even established brands are still thinking about how they should allocate their marketing budgets in 2016. One of the biggest mistakes they make is trying to choose between investing in digital or offline marketing campaigns.

Martin Barraud

There is no denying that digital marketing is extremely effective. US retailers spent $60 billion on digital advertising last year. However, digital advertising is even more effective when used in conjunction with offline marketing efforts.

Both digital and offline campaigns create a brand image.

The rule of seven sets a powerful standard that every marketer should follow. The idea is simple: the average consumer needs to be exposed to a brand’s message seven times before making a purchase.

Of course, this statistic should not be taken entirely at face value. Some customers only need to see a brand’s message five times, and others won’t make a purchase until they’ve seen it nine times. But the underlying principle is the same: you must constantly get your message in front of your audience to convert them into paying customers.

Related: 7 Online Marketing Ingredients You Can’t Ignore in 2016

Reinforcing the message is easier if you reach your target customers through different mediums. You can convert people faster if you reach them through multiple channels, and your message will have more impact if it’s carefully coordinated.

But there’s another simple trick that too many marketers overlook: keep your brand message consistent across all mediums. Consumers are more likely to convert if they see the same basic message no matter where they hang out.

Synchronize your online and offline marketing efforts.

How can you leverage your digital marketing campaigns offline, and vice versa? Here are some tips to consider.

Improve engagement with cross-device marketing.

Cross-device marketing is a powerful way to drive engagement. For example, interact with customers watching TV while using their desktop or mobile devices at the same time. A Google study found that retail marketers can increase conversions by 16% using cross-device marketing.

Share QR codes online.

Using QR codes can help you link your online and offline marketing strategies for powerful branding. There are several ways to use QR codes in your marketing efforts, but offering discounts is one of the most popular options.

Share QR codes for special promotion on your website or Facebook page. Your customers will be able to use it in your physical business to get special discounts. Kissmetrics has a number of other ideas for small businesses using QR codes.

Related: 3 Online Marketing Strategies to Boost Stagnant Sales

Attract people to events.

Events remain one of the most effective ways to engage people. This is especially true for pubs and other local businesses that rely on event marketing.

A local pub owner won’t get as many people excited about a Facebook meme as a live band hitting the stage. But the company can use Facebook to publicize the upcoming event to maximize attendance.

Share your literature social media information.

It’s long been the standard for business cards to include an email address and a website. Savvy business owners are also finding other places to advertise their social media presence.

Menus, commercial vehicles, and flyers are all good places to post your social media information. Also encourage customers to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter or Foursquare.

Who are your main customers and what platforms do they use the most? It’s hard to advertise all of your social media profiles, so choose the ones your customers use.

Use social media surveys for market research.

Access to big data and real-time information is one of the biggest advantages of online marketing. You can track almost anything, which makes optimizing your campaigns a lot easier. Smart marketers will integrate data from their online marketing campaigns into their offline strategies.

Your market research should be the backbone of every campaign. You need a detailed understanding of your target customers, their interests, and the products they most want to buy.

Every brand should actively solicit customers for feedback. Conducting surveys on your website, Facebook, and other social media platforms is a great way to find out more about them. You can use this information to more effectively execute your offline marketing strategies.

Related: Chris Brogan on Ways to Cross-Promote Your Online and Offline Marketing

Track your online conversions and incorporate your results into your offline marketing efforts. For example, you could:

  • Create a Facebook campaign with an online conversion goal, like selling products through your online store or encouraging customers to sign up for a newsletter.

  • Split test different ads, landing pages, audience demographics, and targeting options to see which customers and marketing messages convert best. You should learn as much as you can about split testing to optimize your campaigns.

  • Use this data to create more effective print ads and select media that appeal to your most converting audience.

It’s easy to make bad choices and take on too much with your offline marketing strategy based on limited data. For example, you might think your ideal buyer is 5-10 years older than they actually are, so you’re targeting the wrong demographic. You’re better off using information from your online marketing campaigns as the basis for your offline efforts.

Remember that offline customer behavior works a little differently. For example, online customers generally prefer ads with less text. Use your judgment when integrating the results of your online marketing strategies into your offline campaigns.

Think about your overall marketing strategy. Rather than having separate marketing goals for your online and offline campaigns, think of them as part of your overall marketing strategy. Create a consistent message that resonates with your audience across all mediums.