Offline channels are essential to the branding efforts of your company. These offline channels drive brand awareness and help you engage with customers first-hand.
But measuring the effectiveness of your offline campaigns is challenging, as their overall impact on marketing and sales is not tracked actively in tandem with other online channels.
So how can your brand optimize its offline marketing touchpoint performance and overall marketing? This article will touch a little on everything you need to know about offline marketing channels.
In a world where online marketing channels have made it much easier to reach a global audience, you might find it easy to overlook offline channels. But the truth is they are still as relevant to your business today as they were a few decades ago. Here is why!
One of the most significant advantages of offline marketing touchpoints is direct customer engagement. Most offline channels like expos, seminars, and conferences will allow you to have face-to-face interactions with your potential customers. This personal engagement level helps build connections and relationships in a way that your digital interactions cannot.
Offline channels will make local and hyperlocal targeting possible for your business. Online channels provide a massive customer base thanks to the broader reach. Unfortunately, this also makes it easier for your marketing campaign to stray from the original target.
Local and hyperlocal targeting makes it easier for you to understand what your customers want so you can concentrate more on meeting their specific needs. You can use offline channels to do local targeting by participating in local business expos or advertising in your local newspaper.
If you plan to run a multichannel marketing campaign, you need offline channels. Many experts define multichannel marketing as communicating with customers across multiple channels, both online and offline.
Besides supporting your multichannel marketing, offline channels can surprisingly also help drive more traffic to your online channels. Having your website and social media handles on your offline marketing materials helps drive traffic to your online marketing channels. Ensure your marketing materials, like business cards and brochures, reflect your current brand identity.
You will get a strong brand recall value from offline channels. Many people are more likely to glance at your business card and flyer or look at your billboard than they are likely to pay attention to popup ads and notifications on their computers and smartphones.
Offline channels have their fair share of challenges that you need to consider before utilizing them. Understanding these challenges allows you to develop a workaround for your offline campaign to be more successful.
You have to use multiple channels simultaneously with offline marketing, as relying on just one will not be very effective. Most campaigns will involve using print media, radio, TVs, and BTL activations
The problem with this multichannel marketing strategy is that you will not be able to calculate the impact of each particular channel. It will be hard to tell which channel is working best and which one is not.
Most offline channels make it hard to collect first-party data from your customers. For example, when advertising through TV or print media, you cannot collect information on factors like customer demographics, sales interaction, and purchase history.
This first-party data is vital for your marketing campaigns and product or service offering as it makes it easy to understand customer needs, purchasing patterns, and other habits.
Traditional offline marketing channels use a wide-net approach, and there is minimal traceability and measurability, making it hard for you to determine your (ROI) return on investment.
While it is easy to tell when your offline marketing is successful, it is hard to determine the actual returns from the amount you invest in the channel.
Advertising on offline channels like TVs and billboards can be pretty expensive for your business. These channels have tangible and intangible costs that can quickly stack up and leave you with a massive marketing budget.
For example, if you are advertising on TV, you have to pay for the airtime for your advert and others associated. These other costs include what you pay for video production and voice-over.
The first step in creating trackable offline touchpoints is knowing all of them. Also, you have to know the target audience for each of your offline marketing campaigns and how the prospects will interact with the marketing message.
Here are some of the most common offline touchpoints:
Customers differ in many aspects, so their journey through the purchase funnel will differ. Therefore, the touchpoints for your business often differ from others, including other companies in the same industry.
It is essential to understand the specific touchpoints for your customers. You can then choose an appropriate trackable asset for data collection based on this particular mode of interaction.
Here is an overview of the best assets you can use to create trackable offline touchpoints:
Trackable assets like QR codes and custom URLs will give you an easy time when tracking your offline touchpoints. But, it is essential to note that not all QR codes are trackable. You can only track dynamic QR codes, so using static ones will not be a good idea.
QR code generators make it easy to generate dynamic QR codes that will help you track essential metrics like number of scans, number of unique visitors, and the time and place of the scan.
Including a shortened custom URL in your offline marketing materials like billboards, magazines, flyers, and radio or TV adverts adds a ton of value. These links will help you track your offline marketing effort and increase your conversion rate by directing more traffic to your online channels.
Creating custom landing pages specifically for your offline marketing is one of the best ways to track your offline touchpoints. Custom landing pages will allow you to focus on your offline campaign's main goal and target a specific audience to increase your conversion rate.
It will be easy to tell the number of people who visit your custom landing page from your offline campaign, the time they spend on the page, and your conversion rate.
Since the potential customers often have to type out the landing page URL from the offline channel, make sure it is short and straightforward. Few people are willing to type a complicated URL.
An increase in your direct traffic after launching an offline campaign is a good indication your marketing is working. You should use Google Analytics to compare the changes in direct traffic before and after the campaign.
While at it, also make sure you track the offline mentions of your website. You can do this using annotations and direct traffic. Knowing every time your website is mentioned in offline channels like TV can be very helpful when auditing the effectiveness of your campaign.
Custom discount codes are an easy and effective solution for tracking your offline marketing. If your campaign channel and location allow you, using discount codes will let you track your offline campaign's effectiveness by looking at the number of people using them.
Make sure your discount codes are memorable, as this encourages people to use them. Also, remember to keep track of all the discount codes you have and where you place them to avoid repetition. A simple spreadsheet can be handy for keeping track of your discount codes.
Tracking the impact of online ads and branding on offline sales is important in determining the performance of online ads. Tracking offline customer behavior on a platform like a CRM helps in streamlining your attribution efforts, which in turn can help you prioritize the effort you’re putting into a particular channel.
For example, businesses can track Google Ad Click IDs for different sessions, and track these IDs through subsequent touchpoints which eventually get stored in a CRM like Hubspot or Salesforce. In customer journeys where the sale is closed offline, tracking these sales on Hubspot or Salesforce and co-relating them to the Google Ad Click ID can attribute the sale to a particular ad campaign.
Hubspot can track these touchpoints and attribution data natively, and this data can be used to enhance Google Ads and Facebook Ads. Automation tools like Zapier can be used with other CRMs like Salesforce to enable offline tracking and attribution.
Measuring the performance of your offline marketing channels is more challenging as you do not have the same marketing metrics that you use for your online campaigns, but it is still doable.
To truly measure the performance of offline channels and optimize your campaigns, you have to work around the measurement challenges by keeping the points below in mind.
Offline marketing campaigns will utilize multiple touchpoints simultaneously. However, to get a good insight into the performance, you have to audit each touchpoint individually. You should do this with regard to each campaign, region, and other parameters.
You also have to check how the performance of each touchpoint contributes to the overall marketing metrics. Look at how many leads are generated from each touchpoint and how many are converted. For example, if the touchpoint is direct sales, you have to know how many people show interest in the product when you engage them and how many end up buying.
A/B test messaging is very effective at measuring the performance of online marketing such as emails, but you can also use it to check the performance of your offline channel.
For example, you can have different marketing content, target audiences, or offline content placements for the same campaign. You can then compare the performance of each group to determine which one produces the best results.
Any new marketing campaigns you launch should always be aimed at providing better results than your previous ones. Therefore, an easy way to measure the effectiveness of a campaign is by using timed sprints for each campaign.
Here you should use a previous campaign as the benchmark to know what to optimize. For example, you can run TV ads for a couple of months with preset goals in mind based on your previous benchmarks. If the campaign does not deliver desired results you have to optimize it or rethink your strategy.
It is important to know the return on investment for each offline channel you use. You can do this by measuring the revenue you generate from the marketing campaign you do with the specific channel and compare this with the amount you spend.
A multichannel campaign that incorporates both online and offline channels will be more effective at driving the overall growth of your business. Therefore, you need to optimize the relationship between your online and offline channels.
Besides ensuring both your online and offline channels are optimized, it is even more important to ensure you plan your multichannel campaigns. Properly planned campaigns will drive your overall marketing growth.
Start by looking at your overall marketing goal. Do you want to:
Once you identify your specific marketing goals, you should break them down to specific campaigns and channels to help make them easier to achieve.
For example, you can use offline advertising like print and TV to introduce your products to the new market and custom URLs to drive more traffic to your store.
You will also need to understand your customers' specific journey through the funnel when planning your multichannel campaigns. Remember, customer journey varies from one brand to the other, so it is crucial to do proper customer research.
When you know your customers, it will be easy to tell how different offline and online marketing channel campaigns can enhance their overall experience. Also, other factors like age and gender will affect customer experience, so you should not overlook them.
Leveraging offline conversion tracking will give you credible data to attribute the different touchpoints in the customer journey, and you must use these tools whenever possible to optimize your campaigns, improve ROI, and revenue generation.
Online channels have taken up the largest chunk of advertisement for most businesses. But offline marketing is still relevant and can deliver good outcomes for your business if you utilize it properly.
One of the most important things to do with offline marketing is to keep track of all the touchpoints. This allows you to know what is working and what is not and your return on investment. Trackable assets like QR codes and custom landing pages can be highly useful here.
Lastly, also remember to measure the performance of your offline marketing channels and make good use of well-planned multichannel campaigns to drive marketing growth.
Want to speak to us about your multichannel marketing strategy? We're here to help, contact us today.
What I have is a malevolent curiosity - I do tend to take a different perspective.
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