Digital marketing brings with it so many advantages in terms of tracking what is working and what isn’t. But online marketing isn’t the only tool in a marketer’s tool bag. There are plenty of offline marketing efforts that you can and should be using to boost your brand. The question is, how do you make all marketing trackable? In other words, how do you make all marketing digital.

We’ll look at a couple of offline efforts to see how you could be using digital marketing’s technology.

TV/Print/Radio

These are the big players in the offline marketing sphere, but they aren’t enemies to digital marketing. Quite the contrary, they can be allies to knowing where and when your ads are working.

By using landing pages and specific URLs for each offline marketing piece we can start to determine which advertising channels are creating the most traffic. Additionally, we can use online promotional codes for a truer understanding of which ones are converting.

If you’ve ever listened to certain conservative radio hosts, they promote companies like LifeLock with a promo code. It’s a simple but obviously effective way to bring the advertising of their product from the radio to the web.

TV, Print, and Radio also have the added benefit of offering brand awareness at the same time. It takes dozens of touch points to commit a brand to memory. So while SEO, AdWords, and other digital marketing and advertising platforms are great, the brand equity you can gain from offline marketing has a benefit few things can match.

Billboards & Other Signage

I really like billboards. In seven words or less you have to convey a message to someone driving 60 MPH and make it stick. If it’s done well, it can really highlight your brand. There was a billboard on my commute a while back that I still remember. It said:

How Mad is She?
Hudson Florist

That’s it. That’s all it said and I still remember it 10 years later. Why? Because it was simple. Now if I were to do that billboard today I’d say something more like this:

How Mad Is She?
Hudsonflorist.com/mad

I get the brand in there, and on that landing page I can have perhaps a list of products and discounts from “upset” to “about to get served” to continue this ad onto the web. By having that landing page only available there I can show how much traffic comes from that, and how many conversions happened. But it has to be simple. Otherwise, the effect is lost at high speeds.

On the flip side, other print pieces such as brochures, business cards, and even signage on bus stops can be used in that same way but with more flexibility. There’s no speeding traffic to contend with. The opposite is true.

You have a captive audience for a few minutes. A person waiting at a bus stop probably has a smart phone on them so getting them to take some time to engage while they wait isn’t as hard in terms of time, you just better have something compelling to say.

The Truth

The hardest part about offline marketing is that you’re having to disrupt life in order to get some attention. This is growing harder each day. While someone is at a bus stop now, they are on their phones talking, and consuming content. When driving someone could be listening to a podcast or Pandora. Newspaper subscriptions are down, and people are choosing streaming over radio more and more.

This is all true for some audiences.

But it’s not the truth for everyone. My parents don’t stream music or podcasts. But they sit with devices nearby while they watch TV and sit at computers all day for work. They listen to the radio on their commute.

Huge swaths of the population are using these media outlets and are still tech savvy enough to grab a special deal online if it’s the right time. And while it’s harder, and not always 100% accurate, it’s at least something to help your business be more accurate in their advertising spending than they were before. And if it was easy and foolproof everyone would be doing it, not just the successful ones.

Published 03/15/17 by Eric Lynch