While digital marketing is largely recognized as one of the largest and most important marketing mediums, OOH or Out of Home is still important. Adopting offline marketing strategies will help you to connect with consumers in the real world, often in spaces and times they are specifically dedicating to shopping or looking for products. This will help you to gain traction and engagement. At the same time, it’s important to keep in mind that offline strategies face different risks and pitfalls.
For example, consumers are often more expectant of seeing signage in urban spaces and will often simply not pay attention to them. Snail mail and other tactics can be effective, but some consumers may be affronted or consider mail to be spam, which will lower their perception of your business or establishment. Reviewing the pros and cons and considering how to best approach an offline marketing campaign for your consumers and target market is just as important as for a digital campaign.
Print Marketing Campaigns
Print medium, including banners, flyers, magazines, and mail are extremely effective marketing mediums and can help you to drive sales and traffic. Here, your largest problem will be distributing print marketing media in a way that is welcomed by your audience. For example, if you’re using direct mail, you have to identify a target audience, prompt opt-in, and gather a mailing list. You can often do this by asking customers if they would like to opt in to receive discounts and coupons or other offers by mail when they make a purchase. For this reason, print marketing campaigns should be focused on retargeting and encouraging repeat sales to a targeted audience. If you send out direct mail to a non-targeted audience, it will be perceived as spam.
What print media can you include in direct mail campaigns? Coupons and discounts are popular. Companies like Bonobos, Large, and Ikea also use product catalogues mailed out once per year to remind customers of their products and encourage repeat purchases.
Your print campaigns can also take the form of ad space in local magazines, print interviews in newspapers, and even content marketing in magazines and newspapers. However, this must be carefully curated to ensure that the paper reaches your target audience.
Digital signage, also known as DOOH (Digital Out of Home) is one of the fastest growing advertising mediums, encompassing digital billboards and posters, kiosks and stands, and a range of tablets and other screen-based elements. Here, you purchase and install digital signage connected to a central network, and updated from a single hub, typically at your main headquarters.
Digital signage is highly advantageous over simply printing out posters for several reasons. The most prominent of those are that customers actually pay more attention to digital signage. With brighter colors, a range of media options including video and audio, and the option to synchronize live data. The result is higher engagement, with some 75% of people recalling seeing video ads up to a month after viewing them, and 55% recalling the actual content of the ad. That’s important considering the over-saturation of ads and media elsewhere, which many consumers simply do not recall seeing.
DOOH is more engaging because consumers aren’t as accustomed to seeing digital signs as they are to print banners and posters. However, DOOH also adds levels of engagement, with real-time media, context-based data such as weather, news and infotainment, and live feeds to hashtags and other information. Here, digital signage also reduces costs, removing the need to take on high-end print services. Instead, signage can simply be updated directly from a software service, typically from a single, central hub.
Signage is relatively easy to direct at a target audience depending on your shop or business, and your end-goal. For example, shops and retailers often see massive success with using digital signage inside stores to advertise products, at Point of Sale to upsell or make a final sale, and throughout the store. When paired with smart sensors such as product or audience recognition technology, in-store signage can help shoppers compare products, can recommend targeted products based on age, gender, or other identifying factors, and can function as a source of valuable information, with touch-screen input to help customers search for products they need.
Relationship building can be conducted both on and off-line but is significantly easier to drive through face-to-face interactions. Here, individual interactions with customers dramatically impact the customer’s willingness to return and remain as a consumer. This sort of marketing strategy relies on offering quality customer service, offering a pleasant experience to the customer, and in offering incentive to continue the relationship. It also means creating significant touchpoints throughout the year, even if those touchpoints aren’t face-to-face. For example, participating in local events, sponsoring community events, sending birthday and holiday cards to customers who have left their address, and offering recurring services that naturally push more touchpoints, such as a subscription box or repair service.
Simple loyalty programs and schemes are a common tactic to build return sales and build relationships, but many smaller businesses struggle with offering loyalty programs to the same scale as larger businesses. Here, most customers value discounts and money back more than they value winning free things. It’s also important to consider that repeat customers cost less in terms of marketing and acquisition, with some statistics suggesting new customers cost five times what a repeat sale does, and often only accounts for 1/3rd of the sales. If you can calculate what you spend on customer acquisition, you can easily determine what you can afford to spend on a loyalty or reward program, while still making a profit.
Offline marketing often requires taking a more creative approach than simply pushing ads, simply because most people don’t like ads. However, new technology makes offline marketing more interesting, engaging, and sophisticated than ever before. At the same time, many of your best offline marketing strategies, such as relationship building, are also valid online, and should be spread across both marketing efforts.