Regular readers of popular blogs like problogger.net understand the significance of the title here. To take the clock back a while, the domain of marketing is divided roughly into two forms: the traditional and the digital. The former comprises of the usual marketing machinery that are tried and tested over time. These include public relations, advertisement slots on TV or radio and other such forms of marketing. In a nutshell, they can all be billed under the umbrella: OFFLINE.
The other form of marketing known is the digital. In this section, we find SEO and social media marketing, to name a couple of forms. These, then, belong under the head: ONLINE. What modern marketing pundits are saying is that the divide between these two forms of marketing need not be as rigid as they are slotted to be. You can blend the two forms of marketing in a seamless way if you can get the basic tenets right. You must understand here that these two umbrellas are analogous in a number of ways. Here’s how:
Goals and Objectives: The goals and objectives of both forms of marketing are decided before the campaign hits the trail. For both these marketing forms, the goals are similar, though the metrics are different. For example, in the offline scenario, you are looking at how many people can watch a particular advertisement clip and in the online section, you are looking at the same figure of how many eyeballs your advertisement is getting. The difference is only in the numbers.
Research: Every marketing team requires research. In the digital marketing division, the team hunts for figures and data in Google Analytics and other online metric tools. Offline, research is conducted through polls, questionnaires and surveys. The idea is the same: knowing the mind of the customers and what they think.
Branding: Now that the research is done, offline media will take up branding by positioning the product or service according to the target audience. The data collated during the research stage will be crucial in helping the branding process. In the online leg, of course, extensive keyword research is done by the SEO professionals to figure out the best way to reach out the brand to the right group of consumers.
Appropriate Channels: Every form of marketing has its own set of channels. For the online team, there’s Google and the social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Information can also be given out through the website and blogs. The marketing message determines which channel is perfect for it. On the offline front, marketers pick out magazines and newspapers that the target audience is expected to subscribe to. The message is given out accordingly.
Content Creation: Creating the content of the marketing message is the fulcrum of the process in both divisions of marketing. The printed catalogues, brochures and press releases given out offline is the content that is developed and used. Print and audio-visual ads are created and released to grab the attention of the viewers. In the online segment as well, content creation is of utmost importance. The online audience is reached through pieces written for websites, blogs and online press release websites.
Evaluation: The evaluation process is specific to the form of marketing followed in the earlier stages. So, while the online evaluation will include a look at the tracking data picked up from Google Analytics to check the number of visitors to the website, the online lead conversion, etc, the offline marketing team will focus on how many media mentions the brand got, the readership numbers and other statistics.
Basically, Sides of the Same Coin
As evident from the discussion, the two forms of marketing are actually sides of the same coin. What you have to do as a marketer is to seamless bring points from one division to the other. For example, if you are developing a video for a TV ad spot, release it on YouTube and try to take it viral. Do not limit your choice to one segment of marketing only. A good catch-line for your radio TV commercial can also be your brand’s Twitter bio. The same line of thinking can be used for content creation. Why not publish the content of your blog as an advertorial in a newspaper? Are you getting the drift?
What you must do is try and ensure that the benefits of having an online chapter of your business rubs into your offline marketing division and vice versa. In itself, SEO or digital marketing will become a very limited and restricted field. It is only when other forms of marketing enrich it that they will be able to engage their audiences in a better and more complete manner.
Can you think of other points of similarity and segregation? Share them with us!