We live in a world where marketers have more tools and channels than ever. That can be good news when they understand how to use them for one unified brand impact; it can also be bad news, when print, digital and social teams operate in silos.
It’s not hard to understand why silos lead to a weakened brand impact. Today’s customers shift between marketing channels within moments, and can view a microsite, digital banner and TV ad all while sitting on the living room sofa.
If those campaigns present a fractured brand image and disparate messaging, they won’t have as much power to penetrate the consumer mind. And because those silos collect data that stay in separate environments, marketers miss out on the deep insights only possible with integrated data.
If you’re like most marketers, you’re looking for momentum — that ever-increasing buzz across print, digital, social and mobile that draws consumer attention. Skilled marketing does this with online and offline campaigns that build on each other to create one high-impact marketing ecosystem. Connected and synergistic, these campaigns present a consistent brand message that reaches wherever your customers are.
We’re talking about, in other words, the power of persistent marketing.
Making Momentum Happen
When you dream of the perfect brand, you probably imagine a continuous and vivid presence that fills all devices and channels. That’s not just a pipe dream — it’s attainable, and it’s necessary, too. Consumers today expect choices when it comes to engaging with brands.
A customer might want to read about a smartphone online, but take a look at the phone in person before buying it offline. Another person might prefer to skip shopping at a crowded mall and buy directly from a retailer’s website. Smart marketers allow consumers to choose how, when, where and with which device they engage — and they do this by connecting their online and offline efforts.
The opportunities are endless. A print ad might supply a QR code to drive viewers to a microsite, while a flier could advertise a unique tracking URL. Moving in the other direction, social campaigns can publicize offline events and use hashtags to create online communities of offline consumers.
Of course, being omnipresent is only half the battle; the other half involves capturing attention once you’ve reached them. That’s where relevance comes into play. By injecting customized creative assets into your content, you can intensify the power of your promotions on every channel.
If you think you have “an audience,” you’re missing the point. You have hundreds if not thousands of audiences, all distilled by age, location, buying history, job title and other factors. By collecting segmentation data, you can identify these specific audiences and quickly launch campaigns that speak directly to their goals and challenges, their favorite recreations and even their neighborhood routines.
Right about now you might be thinking this is beyond your abilities. So here’s some good news: this power is definitely within your reach, and you don’t need to overhaul your system from the ground up. It’s true that the Gen 1 world required multiple tools to accomplish this kind of reach and relevance, but today’s next generation platforms can launch campaigns with customized creative assets and messaging across every channel — all while collecting the interest and attribute data you need to tailor future campaigns.
You’ll understand exactly how each channel and campaign influences the other, and have the insight to craft meaningful content that drives high response — even at regional, local and hyper-local levels. In short, you’ll create a nonstop loop of activation both offline and online that delivers ROI that siloed teams can only dream of.
Momentum In Action
To see how this all looks in real life, let’s pretend you’re marketing a soft drink. Your first step is producing tiered campaigns that complement one another. One-off promotions and longer-tail promotions work together within the same synergistic framework; banner ads, microsites, kiosks and circular ads all deliver the same brand look and feel, with each asset adapted to its channel.
Your next step is injecting some of your campaigns with regional flavor. Remember, your next generation platform gives you the ability to customize your creative assets. So, while many of your digital promotions will still work on a national level, for others you’ll create affiliated partnerships, such as with a local sports team, zoo or retailer.
Consumers will see your co-branded campaigns while seeing their favorite band in concert or shopping at their neighborhood grocery store. Instead of running a simple contest to win a pair of tickets to a football game, you’ll co-brand with that football team and cross-pollinate audiences.
By incorporating offline elements pulled directly from a customer’s real-life activities, you’re putting a familiar and friendly face on your brand. Not only are you extending campaign reach both online and offline, you’re collecting plenty of data to sharpen other campaigns. Best of all, instead of pouring resources into multiple platforms and production teams, you’ve reduced costs by leveraging assets and streamlining your marketing infrastructure.
It’s time to admit that disconnected marketing is an expensive, outdated and ineffective paradigm. Connect your offline and online marketing and you’ll create a supercharged ecosystem that reaches customers everywhere they are, with a brand experience that’s both irresistible and unforgettable.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.