Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Integrating On and Offline Marketing

By Jon Paget

It amazes me that with social media continuing to grow in popularity and starting to play a central role in organisations’ marketing strategy, so many companies are missing out on the possibilities of integrating their various on and offline marketing campaigns (across various channels).

Cliff Findlay, a friend of mine from b2b marketing agenacy Latitude Solutions, calls it cross media integration, which I rather like.

But whatever you'd like to call it, most marketers would agree that a mix of on and offline activities work best reaching different audiences and working in different ways. They’d also be likely to agree that offline activities should be supported online and vice versa.

So why are so many companies investing in both but not maximising (or integrating in Cliff’s words) the potential gains?

Perhaps it’s due to the ‘old ways’ of thinking being applied to new marketing tools, perhaps it’s fear or perhaps it’s something else.

The Skinny Cow is a great example of a new and successful brand using and integrating on and offline marketing.

Both the website and Facebook pages have some great interactive features, encouraging conversation and supporting an online community. It’s also very easy to share content and introduce others. And with 45,000+ fans it’s very successful.

However, what inspired this post and caught my eye happened last week. I was flicking through a daily paper and saw some print advertising for The Skinny Cow Hot Chocolate. The advert promoted its facebook page so I took a look(http://www.facebook.com/skinnycowuk?v=app_6009294086).

I then wondered how many other companies were doing the same. So I searched that newspaper and found no other advert linking to any online promotions or campaigns. I tried several magazines. Nothing. Billboards. Yea you’ve guessed it. Nothing.

Of course there are other companies integrating their marketing but they’re a tiny minority. This week marketing profs latest research have published several items of research indicating social media is fast becoming pivotal to marketing strategies – if my observations are anything to go on, many companies, both big and small, are yet to realise the possibilities.Here is a great example of a great branding agency in London using both, online and offline media to promote their business successfully.

My next post – Why the industry isn’t helping!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jon,

    nice post, I think you've put your finger on the key theme that companies and their marketers face today: integrating marketing communications.

    While the concept of IMC has been around for quite some time, and research overwhelmingly supports the idea that companies that integrate their marketing communications fair better than those that do not, not enough is done to promote integration.

    Pelsmacker, Geuens and van den Bergh have listed a few reasons why companies might fail to integrate:

    *Functional specialisation in companies - this means that different people and different departments might be responsible for the various elements of the communications mix. Insufficient inter-departmental communication can be a major problem.

    *Functional specialisation in communications agencies.Perhaps keeping a smaller agency roster could solve problems here.

    *Turf battles and ego problems - enough said.

    *Lack of internal communications

    *Perceived complexity of planning and co-ordination

    I do believe that companies are starting to understand the benefits of IMC, but they will need alot of encouragement and guidance. The good news is that IMC works and there is proof in abundance.

    I am sure that you are adding to the pile of evidence daily!



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