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360 Degree Marketing: How to benefit from online and offline marketing communication

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With advent of online and mobile platforms, marketing managers now have both offline and online marketing assets to increase their brand reach and customer engagement. However, many companies do not plan and execute a marketing strategy that meshes assets available on different media. Moreover, companies do not use an extensive embellished strategy to keep in continuous touch with customers. In this white paper, Browne & Mohan consultants show how to integrate offline and online marketing assets systematically and build a strong extensive content strategy to develop from low cost low information intensive assets to costly high information intensive assets.

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360 Degree Marketing: How to benefit from online and offline marketing communication

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  2. 2. Page | 1 Benefitting from 360 degree marketing Introduction A senior marketing director in a recent conversion blurted out that while her marketing budget has increased YoY, the ROI seems to be elusive. What was bothering her was the fact the company spends substantially in curated events managed by respected analysts, and yet Sales find the coverage insufficient. While number of events their company showcased increased management was not sure what beyond the local noise could be used to sustain branding. While such a strategy could have worked earlier, with increasing internet and mobile penetration, de-emphasizing the role of social media does not auger well for any company. As shown in Figure 1, marketing spend on various media is spread across both offline and online media vehicles. In many developing economies, the print and physical media still play a dominant role, but the impact the social media has in attracting and influencing millennials can’t be wished away. A good marketing program must blend variety of offline and online assets shown in Figure 2 to maximize reach and increase brand loyalty. While online assets may have certain advantages including high reuse of content, higher reach at lower cost, offline assets like events, F2F seminars, etc. provide high customer contact. A common problem with most companies is they focus on few marketing assets and lack an integrated approach. Some believe in only the physical networking events and other lean heavily on social media platforms. With internet penetration increasing and mobile adoption driving the customer behaviour marketing is witnessing major upheavals. Even established brick-and-mortar brands cannot just sit back and rely on traditional marketing channels anymore and risk losing market share. Many companies have jumped onto the bandwagon, created social media accounts on various platforms including Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. Most outsource online activities to an agency and hope they would be able to assimilate their brand strategy and engage and drive prospective customers. Many companies have invested in a small internal marketing team that holds the reins for both physical and online medium, often confused and lost in coordinating several activities at the same time without much of a thought why the particular activity. Many companies hope presence in these platforms and isolated activities in physical space maximise their brand reach and lead to sales. But very few actually know if they are leveraging on your social media marketing efforts correctly. Several studies across marketing managers indicate: 1) 50% of marketing budget is wasted 2) Only 34% of feel their content marketing works 3) 25% had no marketing strategy
  3. 3. Page | 2 4) 44% had no alignment between various marketing media ROI on marketing dollars can be only improved by 1) exploiting both offline and online assets in a well-orchestrated manner, and 2) by tightly aligning internal marketing teams with external agencies. In this paper, Browne & Mohan consultants share how these two objectives can be achieved by sticking to the basics, understand why marketing, what unique advantages various marketing assets offer and intertwine them in a seamless synchronous way to maximize marketing reach and revenue growth. Marketing objectives and marketing assets Before we look at how to bridge seamlessly the offline and online marketing assets, lets us first understand the objectives of marketing programs and how to attain them. Any marketing activity is to help consumers associate with the brand, help differentiate its offerings and seek higher revenues. There are four main objectives that are fundamental to a company’s marketing program are Inform- Listen-Influence-Advocacy. The Inform Stage which typically consists of information and knowledge exchange amongst the producer and the consumer groups. Companies use various marketing assets to communicate to the interest group their unique existence, product/service offering set, pricing and other advantages. The primary focus is to choose media assets that help reach larger set of consumers. This is similar to “eyeballs” principle employed in many online businesses. The objective is maximise reach at an affordable cost. Next marketing objective is to listen how the marketing message is being received by the target audience. The listening stage stresses on initiation of conversations with the identified target audience, identifying the nature and source of conversations, collection of valuable suggestions, ideas and feedback from the current customers. It is extremely important to know the source of conversations to gather idea on which media platforms the prospects or consumers are currently active and how to engage the organization’s media resources and strategies accordingly. For an effective conversation listening organization requires the dedicated systems and process at the company level. Understanding the user behaviour, motives and expectations from the conversations is extremely important for an organization which wants to take future engagement. Objective of all marketing programs is to direct the intent to direct and influence the purchase intent of the consumer towards their products and services and gain revenues. Companies use several approaches to drive influence. They could engage decision influencers or community heads or celebrities to endorse their products. Companies also effectively use third party credible parties who may be perceived “neutral” such as academic institutions, analysts and R&D organizations to canvass for their products. Awards, citations, sponsored industry events, directed online community forums are all effective mediums of influencing consumers. Smarter companies marketing cost can only be contained and more effective if they can outsource inform and influence part of marketing to external agencies. The objective is to minimize total costs of managing disparate activities with highly fragmented consumers. An effective marketing program creates converts who would act as ambassadors, influencers and gatekeepers for the brand. Advocacy is the final objective is a evolved marketing plan. The objective is to enlist willing individuals who would eschew the role of brand ambassadors and drive positive word of mouth. Each marketing asset offers certain natural advantage at different stages of marketing objectives as shown in Figure 3. Assets that have lower cost of creation, bundling and distribution work best at inform stage. Assets that are traditionally available to disseminate
  4. 4. Page | 3 information may also enjoy cost & other competitive advantage, albeit not sustainable over long run. Hence, online marketing assets such as blogs, brochures, online forums enjoy huge cost advantages in the inform stage. Incumbent Offline marketing assets such as newspapers, TV and Radio enjoy competitive advantages and continue to play a role in informing customers about products and services. Social media revolves around conversations, community, connections and social networks. Social media encourages contributions and feedback from the interest group. For startups and established firms, social media makes a lot of business sense because the tools are free and easy to manage. While most marketing assets can be useful in receiving customer feedback, some assets enjoy certain unique natural advantages over others. Marketing assets such as online forums, Face to face meetings allow for bidirectional exchange of dialogues, iterative discussions on opinions and high depth of information that could be exchanges. Hence, these assets serve as effective feedback platforms and meet marketing objective “listening” requirements. Marketing assets such as curated white papers, case studies, conferences and magazine publications are very effective in directing the customer purchase intentions and shepherd them to its flock. These assets allow for experience sharing and position ‘expertise,’ and therefore help the company in moving branding from product-commodity to credibility. A key element of social media marketing assets is the level of involvement of users or employees in content generation, community building, etc. The main focus is on brand reinforcement and effective brand reputation management by cutting down the noise around a brand. The noise attenuation is made possible by representing the employees as brand defenders. These marketing assets also allow the company to deeply engage with the influencers who contribute in social brand building. These assets companies allow companies to enable influencers play a key role as mentors, and ultimately lead to significant contribution in engaging with the brand community. A company’s most tangible form of legitimacy, probably, comes in the form of direct support from its customers, supporters and its admirers. The fact that a company has their consent and support for its products is a strong source of legitimacy. Companies gain legitimacy and from advocacy when their customers, partners and ecosystem players endorse and push their products and services. Endorsements help drive positive word of mouth and serve as the best form of advertisement. Third party endorsements including awards influence all stages of customer purchase cycle, right from search, evaluation, negotiation and order. Extent of reusability of endorsements and flexibility in their packaging makes marketing assets such as Analyst case studies, award video’s etc effective means to lock-in customers. 3600 marketing Browne & Mohan consultants believe a company’s marketing program can only be effective if it judiciously combines all offline and online marketing assets at its disposal.
  5. 5. Page | 4 The key to effective marketing lies not just in extensive meshing of offline and online assets, but also an embellish strategy of marketing content. We call this 3600 marketing. This ensures messaging starts from basic assets and progresses to high scale assets. Marketing communications becomes extensive, both content depth and quality improves with each of the assets in a scalar form. The advantage of this is that content development and curation can happen in stages and stronger stories, messaging emerge with each insert. For example, an infographics can be used to reward the reader with rich insights with high level cause-effect. Marketing team may start with an infographic, high on information density and distilled functionality and communicate through high imagery. Next level, a blog, which is used to influence, informative or thought provoking, may extend the infographic content. The blog could contain rich arguments and silver line conclusion. The content could be further extended by creating a richer whitepaper which would help in positioning expertise, credibility and promote advocacy. Beauty of the embellish model is that content not only unfolds in a consistent manner, also all of them form independent hooks to improve visibility and customer engagement process is always on. Similar extensive strategy can also be used for physical platforms. Companies realize focus group meetings, followed by industry forum and curated events including analyst shows provide improve coverage and affinity. Browne & Mohan consultants propose a simple approach, shown in Figure 4, to implement 3600 marketing. The objective of pursuing 3600 marketing is to align the offline and online assets, but also benefit from embellished content strategy. Start with an ‘As-is’ analysis of all your marketing efforts. Evaluate the current budgets, assets deployed, their frequency of use, customer engagements and impact, identify the marketing gaps. It could be high reliance on a particular marketing asset, ineffective linkages of content within online, dropping importance of particular assets, etc. Rework the budget, top 4 marketing goals to achieve and activities to maximize reach and brand impact. Next, do quarter-wise and month-wise plan for various assets and detail activities. Plan and execute various activities in each quarter by adopting embellish strategy. Extend assets from low information load & low cost to high information load and costly marketing assets. Ensure the activities are nicely meshed across both online and offline environments. Conduct a monthly review to evaluate the activities conducted and their outcome. Replan assets and activities for the consecutive quarters based on the review to ensure maximum reach and integration. Selected Bibliography Asmussen, Bjoern, et al. "The multi-layered nature of the internet-based democratization of brand management." Journal of business research 66.9 (2013): 1473-1483.
  6. 6. Page | 5 Daffey, A. and Abratt, R. (2002), "Corporate branding in a banking environment", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 87-91. Dahlén, Micael, Fredrik Lange, and Terry Smith. Marketing communications: a brand narrative approach. John Wiley & Sons, 2010. Lomax, W. and Mador, M. (2006), “Corporate re-branding: From normative models to knowledge management”, Brand Management, Vol. 14, No. 1/2, pp. 82-95. Moretti, Andrea, and Annamaria Tuan. "Social media marketing and relationship marketing: revolution or evolution? A first step analysis." Sinergie Italian Journal of Management (2014). Pearson, Andrew. "Integrating social media with mobile, online and other marketing channels." Journal of Digital & Social Media Marketing 1.2 (2013): 192-200. Roberts, Mary, and Debra Zahay. Internet marketing: Integrating online and offline strategies. Cengage Learning, 2012. Schultz , D . E . and Schultz , H . F . ( 2000 ) ‘ How to build a billion dollar business-to- business brand? ’ , Marketing Management , Vol. 9 , No. 2 , pp. 22 – 28 . Smith, Paul Russell, and Ze Zook. Marketing communications: integrating offline and online with social media. Kogan Page Ltd., 2011. Browne & Mohan white papers are for information and knowledge update purpose only. Neither Browne & Mohan nor its affiliates, officers, directors, employees, owners, representatives nor any of its data or content providers shall be liable for any errors or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. © Browne & Mohan 2015. All rights reserved Printed in India

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