Merging Online and Offline Marketing: How to Do it Right

One can balance checkbooks, buy dog food, and purchase a Valentine’s Day gift for a loved one online.  However, all of those online things are associated to one’s life taking place offline; life is lived offline after all.  Businesses sell goods and services, sometimes online, to real people living in the real world.  Offline events and marketing can’t be ignored.

Nielsen did a study of smart screens placed in a mall, finding the ‘4th screen’ or offline ad, emulating a traditional billboard, makes impact on mall goers. (1)  75% of the mall traffic noticed the advertising implementations, the average commercial on a given screen catching 30% of viewers’ attentions, impressive enough to catch the eyes of businesses still seeking to leverage traditional signage.

Branding is mutually inclusive to marketing.  Signage promotes the birth of branding, alerting customers of available goods and services, further seeking to ingrain brands in consumer memory.  Here’s how to do it amid modern, digital times.

Use Google Plus to Reflect Offline Branding

Off and online branding should be reflexive, reminding customers of brands, the process creating association.  While the web hosts scores of textual content, it is a visual resource as well.  For example, Google Plus like Facebook, is a highly-visual platform.

A marketer from a digital company observes the affect of Google Plus on real-time searches, whether from mobile phones, suggesting, “Be descriptive and use multimedia (photos, videos, etc.) in your Google+ posts.” (2)  Signage supports visual branding, creating connections between consumers and companies.  Make on and offline signage and logos reflexive, giving your advertising extra branding power.

Include Your Hashtag

As referred, social media sites like Facebook and Google Plus are used for social as well as commercial pursuits.  A growing number of businesses use social media to fuel their revenue streams, whether specific endeavors and events are taking place on or offline.

Justin Bieber helped advertise for the Billboard Awards, leveraging hashtags to promote the to-be show.  (3)  Businesses can invest time in the same on-to-offline fashion, ensuring offline signage includes brand-related Facebook addresses as well as Twitter handles and apropos hashtags.  Imagine an engaged couple, driving down the road, passing signage about a wedding caterer with the company’s Twitter handle indicated.  The bride-to-be can immediately use her smart phone to learn more about the company.

Checking In?

Another social tool, Foursquare, is used to promote and share information about commercial places, such as stores and restaurants, making consumers ‘check in’ to physical locations, alerting online friends of their present endeavors.

A number of businesses use in-store signage, alerting offline consumers to remind their online friends about the services and goods at hand. (4)  For example, a restaurant may engineer napkins, featuring signage that prompts customers to check in to Foursquare in exchange for a future discount or coupon.  25 million Americans use coupons each month. (5)  Integrate offline prompts and signage to further capture the interest of online parties as well.

Scott Quinlan is a marketing consultant with a eye for business branding. He enjoys sharing his expertise through blogging. Visit Impact for business branding ideas.

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Ted Hosford is a business software consultant. He shares his insights on running an ecommerce business through his articles which appear on business software blogs. Click the link to find out more about Amazon shipping solutions.

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