Volume 43, Issue 9 - September 2008

Online Bylines

Working Together
Effectively Combining Online and Offline Marketing
by Scott Orth


Most of us are faced with marketing decisions regularly. Should I spend money on radio advertising? New brochures? Or maybe a television commercial? And now, you have the Internet to contend with. With all these possibilities, where should you put your money?

But how do you organize all these activities? And how do you determine which ones are truly profitable vs. ones that are a waste of precious marketing dollars? Okay, I’m sure you already know where I’m going with this … enter web marketing.

You may be tired of seeing these statistics in my columns and presentations. Too bad. They’re important, and you need to know them to succeed in a changing marketing environment:

• 59 percent of people state they start online when looking for a local business; and

• 86 percent of people surveyed say they research online prior to buying offline.

There’s no question people are online looking for businesses like yours. But what does that have to do with offline marketing?

When I started Internet marketing about 10 years ago, I felt that money spent on any marketing other than search engines was wasteful. What I didn’t realize then was how much of the web’s traffic actually originates from traditional marketing. Here’s a sample:

• 89 percent of people surveyed state that after reading an ad in a newspaper, magazine, or other print material, they go online to do additiona

• 83 percent of people surveyed state that they go online immediately after watching a television commercial that interests them; and

• 65 percent of people said that after hearing a radio ad, they then go to the Internet to find out more information.

To be successful today, you need to mix your marketing efforts. But to grab the best return for your marketing dollar, I recommend using your website as the hub, and basing all other marketing activity around it.

To start, plan what type of activities, videos or interactive tools you’d like to have on your website and which might market well offline too. When preparing this, think about what you can display on a television commercial easily or with which you can build consumer interest on the radio.

When designing your site, or elements on your site, think about what type of imagery you’d like to use on a billboard ad or what type of message you would want to present in your radio or print ad. Thinking about online and offline together allows you to create a similar brand presence in each marketing channel.

For offline marketing, think “catchy.” Use a funny word or memorable tag line in your message; something that your customer will think of when they go to the web. Make sure your organic and pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns are optimized forthose catchy words or phrases as well.

For great results, create a campaign that directs the customer to a particular page of your site. If you’ve advertised “Free Quotes,” for example, you should send them directly to the quote page. This helps build a preferred consumer experience.

You’ll want to do several things to make this work best:

• Create a simple page name for the web page (i.e. www.bobsglass.com/ GlassQuote);

• Place an image link (something that matches the offline marketing) on your homepage to connect your offline message/image, in case the customer types in your main website without the page name;

• Plaster the URL all over your offline marketing materials, videos or audio;

• Optimize your organic and PPC campaigns around the “free” or “glass” quote search terms and send traffic directly to the quote page; and

• Install tracking code on pertinent pages so you can monitor how well the campaign is working.

Now you’ll have an effective mixed marketing campaign that exposes your brand and marketing message offline, grabs online searchers whether or not they’re exposed to offline marketing and gives the bulk of today’s market a strong site to go to when interest is peaked from an offline message.


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No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.