Let’s say someone gave you the choice to have a piece of cake or a piece of cake with a scoop of ice cream. Cake is good by itself, and so is ice cream, but when you pair the two together, it’s the best combination there is (at least in my opinion).
Traditional marketing and digital marketing are like cake and ice cream.
Each is good by itself, but when integrated together, they’re a lethal combination.
The most effective marketing strategy your business can have isn’t choosing between traditional or digital only tactics; it’s finding the right balance between the two, crafting the perfect integrated brand message for your target audience and giving each customer exactly what they want.
Alignment in the Wild
Nordstrom is a textbook example of a brand that does just that. Whether in store or online, Nordstrom focuses on the
customer, giving them what they want, when they want it, and making everything visible to the consumer. Nordstrom shoppers receive above-and-beyond customer service in store and online, free shipping and returns all the time and you can buy something online and have it shipped to your home or to the nearest store to pick up. The user experience is seamless across Nordstrom’s digital and physical channels.
It even encourages social interaction while customers shop in-store. Take for example the 2013 ‘Popular on Pinterest’ badges that Nordstrom locations across the country affixed to real user-favorites on the widely-used app.
If you want to be like retail giant Nordstrom and correctly craft an integrated strategy of traditional and digital, then you need to consider three important factors:
What’s the customer journey?
What is the customer experience like for your customers, from that initial contact to a long-term, loyal relationship? What steps do your customers take to engage with your company?
What are the appropriate and available channels?
Print, radio, TV, website, social networking platforms, email, etc.
What’s going to move the needle?
Brainstorm and find the right process involving digital and traditional marketing to help achieve your overall marketing goals.
Know the Customer Journey
The customer journey isn’t what it used to be. There’s no longer just one path a consumer follows to make a purchase.
But no matter what path they take or what questions they ask, they want to feel as if the path they take and the content they receive on their chosen path were custom-made for them. You have to use the proper targeting and messaging tactics to personalize your marketing messages. And 52 percent of marketers agree, saying that being able to personalize web content is fundamental to a good online strategy.
With the myriad of platforms and technology available at your fingertips, you also have a long list of targeting tactics available. The two that will give you the conversion numbers you seek are behavioral targeting and content personalization.
Consumers visit websites and social platforms with different things on their minds, like doing research or wanting to purchase. Target these different types of consumers with personalized content using behavioral data, i.e. keywords they search for, whether or not they’ve visited your website before and their buying history. Besides interest-based behavioral data, use geographical and demographical data (location, gender, age, etc.) to create different types of personalized content for your different customers.
As for messaging, knowing your target audience’s online habits helps you determine what voice and tone to use with your messaging in your personalized content for them.
Marketing has always been about the customer, and you can ensure the customer stays at the center of what you’re doing by applying the three types of data you’ve gathered online — interest-based, geographical and demographical — and using it to help you better reach consumers at offline touch points. Integrating your online and offline touch points allows you to deliver personalized content to more consumers on more channels, giving consumers the answers they seek and helping move them along the customer journey.
Use the Appropriate Channels
Customers ask different questions because they’re looking for different information, and they use different channels to find those answers — channels and answers that hopefully lead them to your brand. The three types of channels you should focus on are social platforms, paid promotions and earned media.
|Social Platforms||Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+||Increase brand recognition, develop and maintain loyal brand-customer relationships, more opportunities to convert|
|Paid Promotions||Promoted tweets, PPC and SEO campaigns, content discovery platforms like StumbleUpon and Outbrain||Guaranteed audience, highly-targeted campaign|
|Earned Media||Media publications, industry influencer blogs and websites||Free, improves brand credibility, helps you become an industry thought leader|
Knowing which channels to use means knowing your audience and understanding the different consumer engagement patterns. The two engagement patterns are passive and active. Traditional methods are more passive, while digital is more of active engagement.
Think of looking at a print ad in a magazine. You may take the 15 seconds to read it, but that’s usually where it ends. It’s a one-sided conversion that usually ends right there, even if there’s a CTA to visit a website or call the company’s number. That doesn’t mean a traditional print or radio ad isn’t valuable. It reaches a widespread audience and is easily digested by your audience since it doesn’t take long to absorb the message.
But when consumers need more, they need online interaction. When traditional leaves holes, digital marketing fills them in. It provides immediate answers to consumer questions and allows you to maintain an active presence online with your customers.
Integrating offline with online channels maximizes your audience reach and provides both types of engagement so your active and passive customers are completely satisfied. Just be sure that as you marry the offline with the online, you make it easy and meaningful for everyone involved.
Move the Needle
Move the needle is a common phrase in marketing, but for any of you who’ve never heard of it, it simply means to take action that generates a positive reaction. That positive reaction you want from your marketing methods is achieving your marketing goals.
Just like how each brand has different goals it wants to reach with each marketing campaign, i.e. gain more website visits, double eBook downloads, increase revenue, etc., there are different approaches you can take to achieve — and maybe even exceed — your goals. The following are three different approaches you can choose to take. Knowing which one you should take depends on your goals and which one you believe will create the most positive impact for your brand.
If you don’t know who the Aspirational consumers are, you need to. According to BBMG and GlobeScan research, Aspirationals make up 36.4 percent of our population. They love shopping, wish for responsible consumption and trust that brands will act in society’s best interests. You want them on your brand’s side because they’re one of the world’s biggest consumer groups, guide companies to take a more integrated marketing approach and want to share their ideas and experiences with brands to help them create a better product or service.
Mitch Baranowski and Raphael Bemporad, cofounders of BBMG, gave five ways to reach and engage Aspirational consumers:
- Give them something to believe in.
- Give them something to belong to.
- Amplify their voices.
- Give them social status.
- Give them a platform for action.
Your aspirational marketing strategy needs to be all about emotion. Appeal to their emotions and their aspirations, rather than their realities, and give them a purpose for their purchase.
Most consumers are very tight-knit with their community, be it their city, state, sports team, political party, etc. If you’ve ever taken a dig at someone’s sports team or where they’re from, then you know just how passionate (and defensive) they can be.
With a community approach, you have to really understand your customers’ affections to their city, state or whatever community you choose to target and use that to your advantage. Are there common passions or loyalties your local audience shares that you can supplement or attach to your content? Not only will doing so personalize content for your local audiences, it will get those very passionate and loyal consumers on your side — and since you probably know how passionate and loyal they are with their community, then you also know how good it is to have them be that way about your brand.
A solidarity marketing approach means having a united front no matter what channel is being used. Everything you say and do with your traditional marketing methods needs to complement your digital methods.
If you put an ad in the local newspaper, be sure to include your website address and let readers know where they can find you on social platforms. Add your social URLs and website address to your business cards. Share your press releases you create and send out in print easily online. If you release a new product, be sure your website and social profiles are updated with the latest information regarding said product so any consumer who sees it in print and wants to know more can find what they’re looking for during their online research.
In order for your brand to be successful, and for you to reach your overall marketing goals, you need to utilize all that traditional and digital marketing methods offer. Properly aligning the two will drive the results you desire and take your campaign to the next level — just like how combining cake and ice cream takes the dessert game to the next level.