Tips For Bridging Online and Offline Marketing EffortsIn all my years in the industry, I’ve never seen things change so fast as they have in the last few years. We’re in the midst of a giant transition in the way we communicate with our customers. But embracing emerging technologies is just one challenge for my business and yours. The real challenge is figuring out how to communicate the right messages to different audiences through the right channels – both online and off.
For example, we’re dealing with three to four generations in the electrical trade right now – everyone from the seasoned baby boomer who has been in the business for 30+ years to the young electrician who is glued to his smart phone. That means we have to take a 360-degree approach with our communication. There is no denying that we have to embrace social media, but we also need to maintain our use of traditional communication – print advertisements, hand-written letters and physical collateral. Social media is a cost-effective form of communication and provides real business efficiencies. However, there are still those in our industry who want to hold a physical magazine or catalogue in their hands.
So how as a business, do you strike the balance between online and offline marketing efforts? It’s all about building bridges.
- When deciding where to spend your marketing dollars, consider both digital and traditional advertising and public relations, as well as social media and tradeshows. I recommend that you document all your communication touchpoints and make sure there is an adequate balance between the digital and physical realms.
- No doubt, print materials are still relevant. But every print advertisement should, at the very least, display your website URL. The same goes for your tradeshow booth collateral and customer brochures. Also, consider using QR codes on your print materials and at trade shows that directs customers to your website or a relevant landing page.
- Tradeshows and conferences are great for building in-person connections, but you should nurture those connections online. When attending a conference, use the designated hashtag on Twitter to find out who else is attending. Stay in contact with potential customers and new connections via email. Also consider hosting or attending tweet ups.
In the spirit of evolving trends and technologies, the best marketing efforts are truly integrated. What are some of your thoughts on bridging online and offline marketing efforts? Tell us in the comments!
This post originated at Madison Electric Products.