Today’s marketing landscape is more complex than it’s ever been. Companies have their pick of a seemingly endless number of tactics by which to market. From WiFi beacons to EDDM to social media, there’s no shortage of ways to market your brand.
That’s good in many ways, the biggest being that it allows you to directly target the right audience with the right tactic rather than simply hoping for the best with a scattergun approach. At the same time, it can be a source of frustration. With so many tactics at play, there’s ample opportunity for your brand messaging to become disjointed.
To prevent that from happening, your online and offline marketing efforts must be closely linked. Here’s how to rise to the occasion and present a bulletproof brand image:
Develop a clear brand... The start of any successful marketing campaign is a well-defined brand. What does your company represent? What are your values? What feelings do you evoke with your customers? How is all of that displayed visually? With a compelling story and logos to match, you’re well on your way towards having a marketable brand.
A good test: with your name removed from all your marketing materials, could would-be customers still tell that those materials belong to your company? If so, you probably have a strong brand. If not, it may be time to go back to the drawing board.
...And clearer brand standards. Of course, it’s also important to have an enforceable set of brand standards that outline how your logo should and should not be used, among other things. Brand standards don’t need to be complicated but do need to prevent marketing materials which could muddle your image. Preventing ambiguity about how logos and messaging should be displayed is essential to creating continuity on and offline.
Ensure your tactics don’t overlap. There’s a fine line between presenting a united marketing message and annoying consumers. It may not be the best idea to send a direct mail campaign that arrives in people’s mailboxes the same day they receive 3 promotional emails, just as ad retargeting can seem disingenuous in certain situations.
You want your different tactics to perform like an orchestra: each piece of the puzzle should contribute to the overall harmony, without overpowering other elements. Having a plan about which tactics and messages to use, and when, will keep the story moving and prevent waste, or worse, frustrated customers.
Coordinate online and offline actions. Continuing off of the point above, you should coordinate online and offline actions so that they complement each other. Having a keen eye for your target audience and your own business’ messaging can tell you a lot about which tactics will be most successful. Don’t be afraid to coordinate between different tactics.
A simple example of this is a direct mail campaign that links to an online sale or gives users a promo code to use in an eCommerce store. There are many ways to bounce back and forth between the two. Using online and offline tactics as part of the same campaign creates a sense of continuity for the consumer.
Put social media icons and web info on print material. This one is simple. If you’re on social media, put the most important icons on business cards, tri-folds, and other print materials right alongside your URL and other contact information. Even if there isn’t a strong call to action (“Visit us on social media!”) the presence of these icons and your other web-related information is a subtle link between your tactics offline, and your tactics online.
Tell a cohesive story. The most important thing to keep in mind as you deploy different on and offline tactics is to tell a cohesive story. It’s hard to go wrong if each piece in your marketing effort advances the story you’re trying to tell as a brand.
Linking your marketing efforts together and telling a cohesive story is difficult, but far from impossible when the proper precautions are taken. The steps we’ve outlined here will get you started on the track towards presenting a united brand.
Do you need help developing your messaging and unifying your marketing? We’d love to help. Get in touch by contacting us, or find us on Facebook or Twitter.