In a recent discussion among fellow marketers, there was a debate about how to successfully mix online and offline marketing…
Some said “Online: Offline Marketing Mix should be 100:0″
Some said “Online: Offline Marketing Mix should be 80:20″
Some said “Online: Offline Marketing Mix should be 60:40″
Some said “Online: Offline Marketing Mix should be 50:50″
And it ended there. No one suggested that offline marketing should overtake online marketing…
After the discussion, I was thinking about this. I mean, in theory, we can all argue about the right marketing mix online: offline – And come up with very scientific, logical, analytical and data-driven explanations for our argument – And rightly so THEN!
Everything you try to market – books, blogs, products, services, people, organizations, brands, etc.
Have we reached the level of maturity where online marketing should be at least the same as the offline marketing mix?
Here is my take – The online:offline marketing mix would generally be based on:
(1) Where are your existing/potential customers? Ultimately, the goal of marketing is to reach your existing/potential customer to trigger a potential sale. And the mantra of marketing success is to reach, connect and communicate with your customers. But first, do you know who your customer is? If not, then find out!
If your customer is more receptive to the online world, do online marketing.
If your customer is going to be more receptive in the offline world, do offline marketing.
Takeaway => Know who your customer is. Go where your customers are. Online: the offline marketing mix is incidental
(2) Your industrial ecosystem Each industry has certain dimensions that are unique to it and create a distinct ecosystem. For example: The way you market agricultural machinery is very different from the way you market a book is very different from the way you market a computer service. And the online:offline marketing mix will be influenced by the industry ecosystem. Sure, you can innovate and leverage best practices from other industries, but the core of how the industry works takes decades to change. So make sure your marketing strategy is aligned accordingly
Take away => Align Online: Online Offline Marketing Mix with the Industry Ecosystem
(3) Your brand image Every product/service has a brand. And a brand is really a “perception in the mind of your customer”. One of the factors that influences your online: offline marketing mix is your brand image. For example: when I was consulting with a high-end designer fashion brand, the designer mentioned that she did NOT want to do too much online marketing as it could negatively impact her brand image. She had her reasons based on her clientele – And rightly so! So we designed a marketing strategy that included significant offline marketing, and it continues to do well today!
Takeaway => Branding is important, personal and subjective. Make sure your online and offline marketing mix matches your current brand image and the brand image you want to create for the future
(4) Your marketing objective Last but not least, what is the specific marketing goal you are working towards? Is it a realization? Is it customer engagement? Are these sales? Is it brand building? Is it a repositioning?… Anyway, your online: offline marketing mix must be aligned with this objective.
Take away => Your online and offline marketing mix should be in line with your marketing objective
In my opinion, there is no one right answer. It depends on your marketing objective.
What do you think? Leave me a comment to let me know