The Search Engine Marketing Integration Study
conducted in April 2008 by iProspect and Jupiter Research revealed that
45% of search engine marketers do not integrate their efforts with
The study also showed that larger companies with greater than $50
million in revenue and more than $1 million in their marketing budget
integrate offline and online marketing more often than smaller
companies do. Lack of budget, human resources, or simply not
considering online/offline integration were all cited as contributing
factors for lack of integration.
Yet online/offline marketing integration should be considered a mandate
— whatever your company size. The more that online and offline
marketing efforts are integrated and comprehensive, the greater impact
you can achieve in gaining visibility in your market, qualified leads
and sales and higher return on your marketing investment.
For example, offline marketing such as direct mail and print
advertising can drive prospects online for product research and
purchasing. And, in the other direction, many offline purchases are the
result of research that customers initially undertake online.
Most prospects gather information about products and services from
different sources to build a complete picture. They read an article or
see an advertisement in a magazine, they search an online product
catalog, they view an online banner. When you create a consistent
message and brand experience across all channels, the repetition and
reinforcement helps capture and retain a prospect’s attention,
increasing your brand awareness and opportunities to gain new customers.
Here are several tips for integrating online and offline marketing:
Include your Web address in every offline customer communication.
This is the most basic integration device. From print ads and direct mail to company letterhead and invoices, your Web address belongs in a visible location on all offline customer communications. This will help reinforce your online presence and drive customers and prospects to your Web site.
Use campaign-specific landing pages associated with offline efforts.
Let’s say you’re marketing a product or a special offer such as white paper or event through several offline and online channels. Create landing pages that are specific to the offer with simple urls such as http://www.company.com/specialoffer and include them in offline communications. Not only will you send customers online to accept your offer, you will be able to use online metrics to measure the success of your integrated campaign by tracking conversion rates on this specific landing page.
Use the same imagery, headlines and other creative elements – both online and offline.
If you are running print ads or direct mail, as well as online banners or e-newsletter sponsorships, use the same creative elements to help reinforce your brand, establish continuity and increase recognition among customers and prospects.
Using the same creative will also save you money: with proper campaign planning, you can create graphics and copy once and re-purpose them across multiple online and offline media. In other words, you don’t have to keep re-inventing the wheel.
Use online marketing to promote offline events, and vice-versa.
If you are exhibiting at a trade show, you can drive more prospects to your booth and get a greater return on your investment in the trade show if you promote your appearance through e-mail marketing, e-newsletter sponsorships, banner ads and other online tactics. In addition, you’ll be able to reach prospects who won’t be going to the trade show but will still find your message relevant to their needs.
Also, if you are hosting a Webinar, you can use online marketing as well as direct mail or print advertising to invite prospects. Again, using specific landing page urls to register attendees will help you gauge the effectiveness of your campaign and make it easy for prospects to convert.
Work with marketing agencies that know both online and offline.
Some traditional advertising agencies haven’t established online marketing expertise, and some online marketing agencies don’t see the value of offline tactics. When working with an outside agency, make sure they understand how your target customers use both offline and online media, and know how to develop integrated marketing programs to help you achieve better results for your budget.