Digital Age & Its Marketing Challenge
As our world is now becoming increasingly digitalized, marketing and advertising are also undergoing a dramatic transformation. The data published by Nepal Census 2011 highlights the fact that there are nearly 12% internet users in urban Nepal and internet penetration has grown further to nearly 5 million people now.
In this digital era, most brands and companies face the new challenge to determine the right mix of online and offline tactics when planning an advertising campaign or overall marketing strategy. Well, the simple answer is there are numerous factors to consider while determining the right marketing mix for your brands or a company, such as types of products/ services you offer, marketing goals to achieve, target audiences to reach and budget hindrances. And there is no magic formula to actually tell you what combination will give you the best results.
Consistency Breeds Trust
But at the same time, it is becoming equally important now to ensure that you communicate your brand both online and offline in a very consistent manner. It is one of the most critical factors to consider these days because it helps in building trust and recognition for your company and a brand on both platforms. While both these touch-points might require different approaches & technical know-how, they should both follow the same overall creative directions, positioning and desired outcome.
A brand is an intangible element of our business. We all understand that it is more than just a logo and tagline or a distinctly different wrapper to help it get recognized in the cluttered shelf space in the retail unit or the mind-space of the consumer. Essentially, your brand is how your company is perceived in your customers’ minds. So it is very important to ensure that you are communicating the same message or “brand voice” consistently through everything that you do. The benefits of this should be obvious; a common look and feel throughout all of your marketing efforts will build recognition and enhance trust in your brand.
Split Brand Personality
Failing to maintain a consistent brand image across marketing channels can result in conflicting messages and ultimately, the weakening of your brand image and value. At the same time, it has become more critical to maintain a consistent image in online and offline media today, which is now becoming increasingly digitalized. Not bringing consistency in both online and offline media creates uncertainty in the mind of the customer and gives an image of a split brand personality. It is obviously not a good situation for any brand because this will confuse consumers’ minds, giving them an altogether wrong impression to trust you.
Simple Online-Offline Integration Route
Here are the quick three steps you should take to integrate your offline and online marketing efforts and maximize your business results:
1. Always convey a consistent message
To convey a consistent corporate image and message, ensure your “brand voice” and tone, logo, fonts, graphics and other identifying elements are consistent across both online and offline touchpoints. Consistency builds trust and familiarity, making it easier for consumers to recognize your brand and ultimately results in brand loyalty. Moreover, a consistent brand image reinforces your messages and strengthens your brand positioning.
2. Always try to cross-promotes your online & offline activities
Further to bringing consistency in the message, a brand should always try and look for cross-promotion opportunities between online and offline activities. Make sure your offline marketing materials like posters and brochures provide the URL to your websites and landing page, Facebook page, or Twitter account. Similarly, you can utilize QR codes to provide consumers with a quick and efficient means to access your company’s website via smartphones.
Similarly, you can also integrate online activities with traditional marketing channels or your ground activities. For example, we can utilize your social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter to promote your offline events in a big way, or a sales promotion drive offline.
3. Always track your brand in the online space regularly
At the same time, don’t forget to track your brand using google and other search engines to regularly check if your online image is consistent with your offline persona or not. Look, if there are any negative comments posted by disgruntled customers. Please make it a point to address any questions that are being asked in these digital forums.
Also, you want your brand to be the first to come up when it is searched by potential customers in search engines or when looking for a similar product offering like yourself. If they are having difficultly finding you online, chances are they will go to someone else that pops up in the search results. You need to consistently track your brand image in the online space through domain names, websites, social media posts, blogs and responses to your posted images.
About the Book
Ujaya Shakya’s Brandsutra is a collection of inclusive & incisive thoughts on Nepal’s marketing & advertising field. This book tries to introduce all of the 360-degree communication touch-points, elucidating the Integrated Marketing Communication model, or convergent branding.
Published by FinePrint
Ujaya Shakya is the founder and managing director of Outreach Nepal based in Kathmandu and the author of ‘Brandsutra’.