Over the weekend, on the 10th of March 2018, I was privileged to spend time with an amazing group of marketers- Moringa School Brand ambassadors. My mission was simple, to discuss offline marketing strategies and how best to fuse them with the current online strategies. However, once the session started, it was clear we would discuss more than just marketing. In fact, we played games and had the most fun.
But I digress.
At the end of the session I hoped that all the ambassadors and myself would understand;
- What is Offline Marketing?
- Understand the importance of Offline marketing
- Understand offline marketing strategies and how they fuse with online strategies
- Predict the future of offline marketing
- Plan an offline marketing campaign
- Test your understanding of offline marketing
What is Offline Marketing?
Offline marketing is simply marketing that is not done on digital media. Think about billboards, T.V, radio, posters and flyers.
Why is Offline Marketing Important?
While I had previously thought that I would be running the discussion, the ambassadors surprised me with their understanding of the importance of offline marketing. Using their own experiences they explained to me that offline marketing is important because;
- Human interaction speeds up decision making, that is, you are more likely to buy a product if you talk to a brand representative as opposed to coming across an ad on Facebook or Google
- Offline marketing creates the opportunity for brand represetatives to collect direct feedback from prospects as well as handle objections
- Offline marketing makes it easier to create urgency as the message or offer can be placed exactly where the pain is felt
- Offline marketing creates trust and credibility
- Offline marketing strategies are hard to block as compared to online marketing strategies, for example you cannot avoid seeing a billboard.
- Not everyone is online therefore online marketing does not reach everyone
Leading Examples of Offline Marketing
I think this is a leading example of offline marketing mainly because;
i) The image on the ad closely resembles its environment creating an interesting blend that draws attention to the billboard without shouting ‘I’M AN AD LOOK AT ME!’
ii) The ad copy ‘What Hill?’ is not only humorous and daring but also communicates clearly to drivers who are already using Shell V-power and indeed agree that the ascent is not a challenge thus boosting customer loyalty.
iii) It also communicates to those with revving engines struggling to pull the weight of the car up Valley Road, that Shell V-power is the solution they are looking for. How smart is that? Offering a solution exactly where they pain point is felt most.
We agreed, together with the brand ambassadors that it is most crucial to ensure online marketing campaigns are run where the pain is felt. For example, it is best for the ambassadors to target schools, government institutions and entrepreneurial hubs where there’s an interest in digital products but a lack of digital skills.
Offline Marketing Strategies
Offline marketing strategies are simply smart ways for a brand to get into direct contact with the target audience so you can pass your message or offer. Most common strategies include;
- Personal Networking- Where you attend the event with an aim of meeting and interacting with your target audience.
- Speaking Engagement-Where you are invited to talk about your profession, product or contribute to a conversation relevant to your industry thus positioning yourself as an expert
- Cold Call- Where you prospect for leads who have a problem you can solve, then you call them and introduce your solution
- Print Advertising- Where you place your message or offer on newspapers, industry magazines and flyers, billboards
- TV Advertisement- Where you have an advertisement running on television at certain times of the day
- Tradeshows- Where you exhibit your products or services to interested parties who have attended the show
Notice that the banner above marketing an event for Marketers Meetup is simply an offline marketing strategy since the attendees will get to know more about the Top Marketers Club and even experience their brand directly.
How To Fuse Offline and Online Strategies
- Wear your logo or hashtag
Hashtags #, are commonly used on social media to filter content and find exactly what you are looking for. In offline marketing, hashtags can be used to drive your audience online for more interaction and for tracking.
2. Donate your space to local meetups or groups
For Moringa School to improve their brand awareness and promote engagement, they could partner with organizations looking to create hackathons and web design trivias and host them. This will work to pull in their target audience and increases the chances of leads signing up. More importantly, Moringa School should ensure that the group being hosted gives an online mention to Moringa and credits them for the space. Moringa School could also ensure any resulting footage or content is branded.
3. Host an event of your own
Moringa School does this particularly well because I always receive invites. Events are an effective form of offline marketing strategy and can be even more effective if fused with existing online strategies. The most common way to fuse offline and online marketing in events are;
- Creating hashtags for asking questions e.g #AskMoringa
- Print ongoing hashtags on flyers and business cards
- Holding a social media related hashtag contest
- Create a strong call to action that leads event attendees to your desired online destination
4. Make your space and your product social media-worthy
Humans by nature are highly visual beings, therefore, providing an area, preferrably branded, where event attendees or you target audience can take and share pictures is highly advisable. Also, it pays to focus on your products packaging. Remember, your audience or target audience will only share images if they are impressive, entertaining or informative,
The Future of Offline Marketing
Being techies, it only made sense to brainstorm what the future of offline marketing could look like. There were mentions of Augmented reality, Machine learning and Artificial intelligence thrown around. For example, we have digital signage that uses AI and will show specific brand messages depending on who is seeing it. At the end however, we all agreed that whatever was coming, we were ready for it.
How To Plan An Offline Marketing Campaign
1. Goal setting and tracking
What is your goal? Is it to improve brand awareness? Boost conversions or increase engagement online? It is important to identify your goals to avoid wasting resources and so that you can have particular metrics to track and measure.
2. Campaign insight
How many offline campaigns have you run before? Which campaign was the most successful? Why was it successful? In using campaign data realize that the goal is always to do more of what is already working.
3. Segmentation and targeting
Who are you targeting? Where are they located? What are their interests and behaviors? This will help in craft and create a message that speaks to the challenges and solutions of your target audience.
4. Offer and message development
In this stage, you are creating the words/copy and offer that will entice your target audience. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you need to speak your audiences language and you need to communicate the value you are offering not just sell the product.
5. Budgeting and selecting the digital media mix
In calculating your budget, I think it is best to work in reverse, that is, if your goal is generating ;eads, how many leads do you target? If your goal is 100 leads, then you know you need at least 1,000 attendees. To host these 1,000 attendees it might cost 50,000. Would 100 leads offset the 50,000 cost holding the event?
6. Integration into overall media schedule or plan
How do you integrate your online media plan with the offline plan? For example, are you using blogs to market your event? What about emails? Remember, online marketing is faster and cheaper, but offline marketing is more effective and has long-time effects.
Offline Marketing- A simple Activity
To ensure that we had not wasted our time, we agreed that we would create an offline marketing campaign using sticky notes. This would help put into effect the lessons we had learned and help us pinpoint any challenges so as to ask for assistance from the team. We agreed the hashtag would be #AskMoringa. So if you see any sticky notes at your super market or in the matatu know that Moringa School Brand Ambassadors were there and that you just experienced the power of offline marketing. BAM!!!! 😉