How to complement your online strategy with offline media


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Complement your online and offline media strategies to ensure that your business is not cut off from the market and is not using only one channel to market. Make sure you are not missing out on valuable sales and capturing potential leads.

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How to complement your online strategy with offline media

  2. 2. 13internet marketing magazinejune 2013HOW TO COMPLEMENT YOUR ONLINESTRATEGY WITH OFFLINE MEDIA> USABILITY TESTINGBy the end of 2015 it’s expected that there will bemore than 3,400,000,000 global internet users (e-consultancy, 2013). In 2012 e-commerce sales grewto top $1 trillion for the first time and global mobiledata traffic grew 70 percent. Over 144 billion emailsare sent daily and users spend an average of 3.2hours a day on social networking sites. (Cisco, 2013)Clearly the future of marketing on all fronts is toride the digital wave right?Or is it that simple?I see so many businesses and marketers today thatseem to be solely focused on using digital for alltheir marketing. They have become so focused thatthey’ve cut themselves off from what’s actually go-ing on in the market and forget they are in realitymarketing to only just one channel – online.Think about it, whatever industry you’re in andwhatever product or service you sell, it’s likely thatdespite the recent growth in online there’s still asimilar or even bigger potential customer base con-suming media offline.Potential customers who are looking for solutionsto their problems that aren’t jumping onto Googleor Facebook every day - BUT, still read posted mail,still watch TV four to five hours per day, still listento the radio 1-2 hours a day and still read magazinesand newspapers.And, if you’re still not convinced here’s also anotherkey point to mention.What if not integrating offline media was costingyou online traffic and conversions as well?Even if people are consuming your online advertis-ing, there’s plenty of evidence that offline directresponse marketing not only generates returns in itsown right, but also boosts online traffic, revenueper click, even social media & affiliate activity in-creases.In a recent iprospect study about this ‘halo effect’,consumers were asked what prompted them tosearch online for a company, campaign, product, orservice. The results were:• Television advertisement: 44%• Word of Mouth: 41%• Magazine/Newspaper Advertisement: 35%• Radio: 23%• Billboard: 13%Just looking at one path to market for most busi-nesses, without looking at offline options to en-hance your online strategy to me just doesn’tmake business sense over the long term – and inmy opinion is akin to playing a game of footballand leaving half your team sitting on the bench!So, whether or not you’ve considered moving for-ward with integrating your online strategy withyour offline efforts like TV, print, radio, directmail, etc, I believe going through the process ofcontinually looking at and analysing what’s hap-pening in the wider market, what message yourtarget market is exposed to and benchmarkingthe results you’re getting online versus what islikely offline is important.By Andrew Benikos
  3. 3. 14 internet marketing magazinejune 2013And the good news is, despite the seeming com-plexity of integrating offline and online media andchanging consumer behaviour, if you’ve been suc-cessfully marketing online already (especially usingpaid campaigns) you’ll probably be able to imple-ment direct response offline campaigns using skillsyou already have.Like anything, success starts with asking the rightquestions. Here are four key questions to ask be-fore you make the investment.1. Do you know your definition for success?Any offline direct response campaign starts andfinishes with knowing your numbers. Data needsto be your best friend. Without understandinghow much you can spend on customer acquisition,you’ll have a difficult time defining what successmeans for your particular campaign. When thosefirst results come in, you’ll need to know immedi-ately whether or not it was a success. Fortunate-ly, the great thing about having a fully developedonline strategy in place is you should know someof the key metrics which you can use as a startingpoint, such as:- Average cost per lead- Average cost per acquisition- Average lifetime value- Average ROI of your campaignsNot only will these numbers guide your decisionsthey will also let you know how much you can/should spend on direct response offline advertis-ing.On a side note, in my experience lead quality foroffline can be substantially higher than onlineleads. So, while the cost of advertising may seemhigher, your conversion rates can often timesdouble or triple (especially using longer formprint and TV). Testing your offline campaigns willtell you the full story of course, but it’s an over-looked point that you should look out for whenstarting out.2. Are you ready to test?Many companies try offline advertising once, andif they don’t get the results their after straightaway they often blame the medium itself ratherthan looking at all of the variables. It’s essentialto test different methods (offers, executions,calls to action, etc) with several trials first in or-der to find out what works best. There can bemany variables involved in direct response offlineadvertising, you have to approach it with a test-ing – rather than a one-time-mindset.Two other key points to remember:I. Make sure you have a quantifiable test bud-get in place. Unlike online where campaigns canbe switched off with a moment’s notice, most of-fline campaigns require a commitment for ad spaceover a period of spots or time as an example (evenfor a test) so have this budget in place before com-mencing.II. Offline advertising can be very effective veryquickly, but you have to be ready for the amount ofleads and orders that could come your way. Proj-ect your cost per lead and cost per order and thenwork backwards. Can your business handle thismuch volume? Run the numbers first before youspend. It would be a shame to lose out on thoseleads due to a lack of planning.3. Where can I get the best “message to mar-ket to media” match?Is your campaign fishing where the fish are? Thegreat thing about mass offline advertising (i.e.TV, print, radio, etc) is that you have the poten-tial for massive reach. But, your customers oftenconsume media in very specific channels and spe-cific places.While testing will play a large role in ultimatelydetermining the right media to advertise in, hav-ing a strong knowledge about your target custom-er and in particular which media they’ll likely beconsuming is critical. Once again, analysing on-line metrics and surveying your database will giveyou a great guide to begin with.
  4. 4. 15internet marketing magazinejune 2013Test small in publications that offer low cost/highreach and are either very specific to your product(i.e. if you’re promoting a weight loss pill advertisein a ‘women’s fitness’ publication) or very specificto your demographic (i.e. using the weight loss pillexample again, women’s ‘gossip’ magazines or en-tertainment channels could be good choices). Read-ing the media kits of each publication/channel/listor using direct response focused agencies can helpfurther define your best target media for testing.Once this is in place, enhance the integration of thecampaign by:1. Making sure you create a unique & compel-ling call to action that is backed by a sense ofurgency will be one of the key reasons for suc-cess and help you cut through the mainly brandedcompetitor advertising.2. Using multiple response mechanisms to en-hance the performance of the campaign (includ-ing phone numbers, URLs in TV and radio ads, orplacing a QR code in your print ads or sales let-ters).4. Is the online campaign funnel set up to op-timise your offline campaign results?This is where I often see offline campaigns fall downand one of the first things I look for when consultingwith clients. I’ve seen it many times where a cam-paign is generating a positive response, but is letdown by ‘gaps’ in the campaign funnel (ultimatelyleading to your advertising dollars sending custom-ers to your competitors); a lack of proper trackingput in place; and a clear definition on which cam-paign source you attribute the lead to. Here’s anoverview on how to approach each of these issues:I. You need to be able to track where the leadis coming from – Each potential customer callingyou, filling out a form online, etc needs to beable to be tracked back to the advertising source.The bare minimums to put in place are:a. unique phone numbers for each campaignb. a unique url (preferably to unique landingpage also featuring the same offer advertised)c. if testing multiple campaigns in a particularmedium use promo codes on your advertisingwhich customers supply to you over the phoneor lead capture form when making their inqui-ry.d. it is essential that Google analytics goals areset up for all of your key campaigns sources.If you’re expecting large volumes, feeding allof this information into a central sales resultsdashboard is ideal and can be facilitated byseveral software options such as dynamic num-bering and the like.II. Optimise your online funnel - If consumersdon’t respond straight away to the call to actionin your offline advertising, it is likely they’ll endup online to do further research. In fact, in a re-cent survey Nielsen reported that 40% of televi-sion viewers are now watching with a tablet orSmartphone and researching in real time. But,only 12% of marketers simultaneously integrateand optimize their search campaigns.So, it makes sense then that two particular ar-eas be addressed when your media planning andbuying: -1. Your advertising must follow your con-sumers journey to your website and 2. All of youradvertising communication is kept consistent.
  5. 5. 16 internet marketing magazinejune 2013It is essential to optimise both your SEO and PPC campaigns (and evenyour social platforms) to ensure that when customers are searchingthey’ll be able to effortlessly find their way to your website andthat your don’t open yourself up to your competitor siphoning offyour paid for traffic. Think of online as a ‘capture’ channel for youroffline efforts. Matching the offer or style of offline advertising inyour online executions will also further prompt potential customersto take the action you want them to.III. Define where you will attribute the sale – A challenging areaof online and offline integration is exactly which advertising sourceyou’ll attribute the final acquisition of a customer to. There aremany rationales for either the ‘first click/contact’ or ‘last click/contact’ attribution approaches and beyond the scope of this ar-ticle. My suggestion though is start small by choosing one or theother in your reporting and use the data you collect from your initialcampaigns (like assisted conversion in Google Analytics) to guideyour final decision. Over time, understanding the consumer journeywill be an important distinction to make, especially if you’re doingserious volume.Summary.Even though online lead generation offers affordable access to a nearlimitless number of prospects, traditional offline techniques deservetheir place as part of your advertising profile as well. Not only canthese strategies generate strong returns in their own right, they candramatically boost traffic and conversion to your web and social me-dia sites. Taking a synergistic approach and finding the offline/onlineadvertising sweet spot can create the pipeline of customers everybusiness needs to sustain its growth.Andrew Benikosis an online and offline consultant specialising incustomer lead generation strategies, customerconversion strategies and strategic internet marketing.He is also the founder of web design and marketing firmThe Conversion Company. You can contact him directlyat