In a world run by the persuasive power of advertising, millions of messages go in one ear and out the other, every single day. Think about the last commercial you heard, brochure you skimmed through, website you visited, or business card you received. Can you actually tell me anything specific that stuck out to you? 

We humans have a knack for filtering out the noise, and we’re pretty good at paying attention to what we want to. It doesn’t matter if a message gets delivered to us via traditional marketing or through some type of online marketing platform – if we don’t want to pay attention to it, well, odds are, we won’t.

So, as a business owner in Louisville, KY, how are you supposed to sell products and services if nobody cares what you have to say, anyway? How do you make potential buyers WANT to pay attention to the products and services you’re selling?

The million dollar question, right?

Traditional marketing and online marketing use totally different tactics and strategies when it comes to addressing consumers. However, both channels are encompassed with the task of delivering a consistent message across these different platforms. How do you know what’s working and what’s not? More importantly, how in the heck do you make these two worlds collide and successfully work together? 

Sit back and relax, my friends. We’ll take over from here. 

Establishing the Difference Between Online and Traditional Marketing

Creating an omnichannel experience for your consumers starts with understanding the very basics, aka, asking the following question: What exactly is the difference between traditional marketing and online marketing? 

Sure, the vague answer is rather simple. One’s online and one’s not. Duh.  Well, there’s a bit more to it than that.

Traditional Marketing:

For a lack of better phrases, think “old-school”. We’re talking brochures, billboards, word of mouth referrals, cold calling, newspaper ads, radio commercials, trade shows, and even direct mail courtesy of the good ole USPS. 

Traditional, or offline marketing campaigns often have the advantage of “staying power”. They can become iconic, and instantly familiar to your consumers if you have a message that sticks. Although traditional marketing sources are tangible, memorable, and compelling, they sometimes can also be slower to reach consumers, making it more difficult to track their impact. 

Online Marketing: 

Online marketing, often referred to as digital marketing, is the “high-tech” side of things. Online marketing material includes anything that your consumers reach via some type of digital means. Most commonly, this is your website (hopefully full of content and good SEO techniques) or your social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. We can’t forget about digital ads like, PPC (pay-per-click) ads and digital ads, or any email marketing campaigns your business has invested in. 

With such a wide array of means of reaching consumers, online marketing expands the ability to reach your audience and the rate at which you reach them. Online marketing and proper digital strategies, more or less, allows you to deliver a message to consumers almost instantly, right at their fingertips. However, if done incorrectly, online marketing can make it harder to stand out among competitors and can seem unappealing, particularly if you overkill or oversell your message. 

Understanding Your Target Audience

In order to understand how to best sell your products and services to those in Louisville, KY, you first must know who exactly it is you’re trying to sell to. This, ladies and gentlemen, is what we like to call your target audience. In layman’s terms, your target audience is a particular, often predetermined, group of consumers who are identified as the recipients for a particular advertisement or message; it’s who your message is aimed at. 

Ask yourself these questions to get started:

1. Who am I trying to target? 

Your target audience can be defined as a desired group of consumers who are likely to purchase your products or use your services. Knowing the demographics of who makes up your target audience provides better insight for trying to reach them. Are you looking to connect with men and women, or one or the other? How old is your average customer? What about their ethnicity? Or their income level? What part of Louisville (or your own city) do they live in? The more specific you can narrow this down, the better. Just don’t make your message so inclusive that it becomes exclusive to those who may fall just outside of your intended audience.

2. So, how do I reach my target audience, exactly? 

Well, that depends. If your target audience consists of an older generation, your best method of reaching them may be through tangible marketing material, such as a brochure or business card. But if you’re reaching out to the millennials, a stellar website or interactive social media campaigns may do the trick. The good news is, you have a lot of different methods of getting your message out. The trick is to make them all work together (and don’t worry, we’ll cover that later, too).

3. What is my message, and more importantly, is it consistent? 

The problem lies within the fact that across all platforms, traditional marketing and online marketing have to work together so consumers don’t get lost in the mix. Knowing what you want to say and how you want to say it is key to making sure your message is consistent across all your marketing collateral. Your customers need to be greeted by the same messages and branding online that they’re used to seeing in your retail space and vice versa.

The Best of Both Worlds: Why Combining Your Strategies Matters

Combining your digital strategies with your traditional marketing efforts makes for one, well-oiled machine in Louisville’s matrix of small businesses. Nearly every company who sells a product or service uses one or more methods to create a flourishing, overall advertising campaign. Your advertising campaign can, and should, encompass many different techniques to reach consumers. Making sure everything’s working in sync means your business, your mission, and your products and services are put in front of consumers and actively sought out by those who are seeking what you’re selling.

It’s important to understand that this takes time, energy, and money, but where there’s risk, there’s also reward. When your traditional marketing and digital strategies start working together properly, you start to reap the benefits in more ways than one.

Better Brand Awareness:

Exposure across multiple platforms is important to reach all kinds of potential customers who are actively looking for products and services just like yours. The more places your business can be found, the more familiar it becomes to consumers.

Increase Your Credibility:

Combining your efforts is critical in gaining the trust of your consumers. Think of it like this: If someone is given a word of mouth referral about your business, they may go visit your company website for more information. If your website backs up what they’ve already been told, they may be more willing to feel like they can trust in you as a business partner.

Build a Competitive Edge:

Through the use of both, traditional marketing and online marketing, making sure your business is at the forefront of multiple outlets means you are putting yourself in places your competitors may not be. This allows you the opportunity to establish yourself as an industry leader. 

Higher Return on Investment (ROI):

 If you take the time to invest the money and effort into combining your online and offline marketing, you give yourself the opportunity to come in contact with those who are actively searching for your products and services. Opening doors to more potential customer interaction also means a better shot at a higher conversion rate, which also leads to more revenue for your business. (And who doesn’t want that?)

Coming Full Circle: How to Integrate Your Efforts

Remember that really fancy phrase we used earlier? About creating an “omnichannel experience” for your consumers? Let’s jump back to that, for a quick second. 

Creating a positive interaction for your consumers begins by improving their user experience. By promoting a consistent message in multiple places, your communication channels and their supporting resources are designed and orchestrated to cooperate to the benefit of the consumer. 

It’s essential to realize that every piece of printed material is a chance to share and promote your brand; all of your offline marketing pushes back to your online marketing. The best part? You may already be doing this and not even know it.

If you hand out business cards or send out postcards in the mail that include your company website’s URL, for example, this is exactly what we mean. This is just one tiny example that showcases how your traditional marketing is pushing an interaction to your digital presence.

Other ways this can occur would be by placing online call to action offers on your printed material. Place an online-only discount code on the bottom of a brochure or slap a QR code on the side of your business card. Set up at a Louisville trade show and give people the chance to leave behind their email address, then send a followup stating how nice it was to have the chance to chat. 

In conjunction, the same techniques can be used online. Keep your website and social media networks up to date with unique offers and chances for consumers to interact. Take polls, ask for feedback, and give your consumers a chance to control their interaction with your company. 

Ah, but wait. What’s all this good for if you can’t keep track of what you’ve put where and how can you be sure of what’s actually beneficial?

Tracking Your Integration:

Deep breath, my friend. It’s easier than you think to keep track of everything. Implementing effective tracking methods can be performed in a variety of ways. 

Quite possibly the easiest way to start would be to monitor your phone calls with call tracking numbers, where different phone numbers are placed on different pieces of your marketing material. This way, when someone calls you, you’ll be able to know if they’re looking at your website or your business card. 

One fun way to track your marketing would be to implement unique and random offers across different avenues. For example, offer a 33% discount from the brochure on the table in your office, but highlight a 27% discount from your Facebook page. Distinctive and quirky offers like this make it easy to tell exactly where and when your consumers decided to contact you. 

If you’ve got an understanding of the idea, but not the time or resources to make it work effectively, you can always seek out a Louisville marketing firm or hire a professional to take care of this for you.

Still Missing One Thing? Choosing The Right Agency for Your Business

Bringing together your digital strategies and offline marketing efforts takes more cautious calculation and planning than you think, if you want to do it right. To ensure the success of your business, it’s always ideal to work with an industry expert or a professional marketing director in Louisville in order to bring your efforts together and optimize for the best possible ROI. 

Choosing the right agency or partner can take time and patience, but it’s worth the effort to find someone who knows what they’re doing so you can focus on running your business. Lucky for you, at One Thing Marketing, we’re pretty damn good at what we do. 

We’ll save you time and money (and a headache, or two) by speaking to all outside representatives who try to contact you. If Yellowpages or Yelp calls you to ask about something, just send them our way. We’ll also help you better focus on key areas to spend your marketing dollars and point out where we think your business could really thrive if an investment is made and tracking is implemented.

Already have a marketing pro on your side? Not to worry. We’re still here to offer advice and second opinions, or work in conjunction with your current team, if you’d like. We can take care of the things they may not be experts in or vice versa (nobody’s perfect, right?) 

We’re happy to offer Marketing Director Assistance to you, or the current firm you work with, to help bring big success to your small business. Contact us today, or collaborate with us over coffee and a free, one hour strategy session to integrate all aspects of your traditional marketing with your digital strategies and take your business to the next level.