Brands are always getting headaches when they think about the way they should face their communication strategy for the products or services. Some of the decisions made will determine the line that separates success from failure. The visibility of ostracism. The souvenir of oblivion.
When we go through this, we must analyze every possible way of minimizing risks and draw a patch where Branding and the conversation surrounding the brand creates the best possible image in the mind of the users. Blended Marketing arises from this situation. The perfect combination of online and offline marketing strategies.
We live in a world where we are hit by ads from multiple channels that, long ago, seemed inconceivable. Communication is at the centre of the online world: Google, websites, forums, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Like a great river that suddenly splits in dozens of little streams and end up in an ocean. And you are that ocean.
The extent reached by publicity is such that, throughout the years, its impact has created new actions used by the customers in their costumer journey up until the final purchase. In this study, Nielsen categorizes the different communication channels and paths through which we can be impacted along with the trust each one of them generates in the English customer.
If we decide to implement a Blended Marketing strategy, we are choosing to broadcast a single message, adapted and connected to multiple channels.
Nowadays, in order to succeed, it is essential that we have knowledge of the online environment as well as having the proper aptitudes and competences to develop such a strategy. It is obvious that we must also possess proper training and offline marketing experience.
Messages are more attractive to the target audience thanks to this fusion. A well-executed Blended Marketing campaign will surely translate into good results.
According to the EGM (Estudio General de Medios), 88% of the potential Spanish audience watches TV daily and 48.8% of them also connects to the Internet every day. This clearly means that the synergy between TV and Internet can help achieve many goals. At the same time, combining real-time offline actions in billboards, physical stores, radio, etc. with offline actions will for sure be more productive for the brand.
How to start a Blended Marketing Strategy
Defining the objectives, target and metric.
What do we want to achieve? Fame, engagement, leads, sales, etc. Once we have some clear objectives, who is our target? What channels are we going to impact? It is essential that we perform an exhaustive analysis and a proper segmentation in order to determine the different media and online and offline communication channels at our disposal. Not all of them will be useful or adequate for our Blended Marketing strategy: radio, TV, newspapers, flyers, events, social media, campaigns with influencers, SEM, SEO or Content Marketing, Email Marketing, etc. After we have set these critical aspects, which metrics should we monitor to measure the campaigns development? To evaluate the performance of our actions with accuracy, it is convenient to separate the online metrics from the offline ones to compare parameters.
Mastering and using the 9 “P’s” of online and offline Marketing
A concept that is constantly discussed and evolving: How many “P’s” does Marketing have now? There are many points of view about this, but I would like to remark the “P” in people about the rest of the “P’s”. Now more than ever, people have to control basically every channel, customizing and adapting them as we need. Connecting with people to stand out within a saturated market full of brands must be our biggest priority.
Analysing the nine “P’s” is a must before executing our Blended Marketing strategy:
- People are at the centre of any brand’s universe. Everything else orbits around them. Having crystal clear needs and impulses brings information of great value and, here, digital marketing has a lot to bring.
- Calculated predictions are created according to the behaviour of the aforementioned “P”, people. Tools used for web analytics, social media monitoring, Big Data, etc. can specify and paint targets quickly.
- Personalization. The result of the calculated predictions helps create personalized offers for specific people. General publicity doesn’t exist, each one gets what they want, and that is how it is explained to the world that surrounds it: fishing rods for whoever looks up how to fish trouts, diapers for dads and moms, videogames for Gen Z or gamer millennials, etc.
- Sharing information between multiple users to generate conversations about specific brands. Recommending is a determining factor that helps increase credibility and sales. Controlling “peer to peer” as much as we can may become a differential fact and a competitive advantage to any company. Blended Marketing campaigns have high conversion rates and they will possibly end up being good product or service recommendations.
- When a certain need is covered and it brings value to the user, it makes people feel proud and fulfilled since they can count on something very important for their lives. This situation ends in communities of clients that connect generating a space, digital in many cases, where the user’s loyalty is sought in a natural way in order to create a bond that spreads towards more people. This is the “P” of participation.
- Promotion or communication tries to spread a claim, idea or message that influences the target audience in an adequate way. The final goals are communicating product specifications and benefits and also, thanks to this, have the product remembered and/or bought.
- At this point, it may seem knowing the product should be obvious, but we must remember and review certain elements we have to take into account, such as: knowing our product portfolio and which of the products we are offering through our Blended Marketing strategy, knowing how different it is from similar products, what the brand means to customers and how we want to enter or continue in the market.
- A price policy to compete within the market must be present. It is possible that the final price set for our product will have to be adapted later on due to market fluctuations and people’s purchase power. Analyse production and distributions costs, the wished margin, environmental elements such as competition, substitute products, etc.
- Last, but not least, the emplacement of the product or service: How are we going to acquire it? Which physical or digital platform is it hosted in? Which are the existing distribution channels? All these questions have to be resolved before starting a Blended Marketing campaign. If we want to increase sales, we will not be able to get anything done if we cannot absorb and satisfy the demand.
Examples of Blended Marketing strategies
Theory ends here. Action will always look more attractive and enlightening. Complete the entire puzzle to offer a show. A profitable show…
The Pull and Bear case was very popular. This brand’s strategy was inviting their clients to share, in real-time and through Facebook, the clothes they were trying on. The changing rooms had an interactive screen that linked your offline actions with the clothes to the digital world. Every user acted as brand ambassadors, humanizing and making the last Pull and Bear collection go viral.
Special K’s Blended Marketing campaign was called Special K Tweet Shop. What this action intended was being able to pay in stores with social credit, or tweets in this case. For example, in order to buy a cereal box you had to send five tweets from your Twitter profile mentioning Special K and spreading their benefits and positive aspects. This way every customer makes the brand famous in their digital environment and, consequently, within their circle of friends and family.
Ebay’s campaign in Madrid’s subway transformed the station walls in the physical panel of the ads that were being offered in eBay’s digital portal. This way a platform born in the digital world was brought to offline territory, generating brand image outside the digital world.
A Blended Marketing campaign that is going very well nowadays is the one made by Operación Triunfo. The strategy is using any available resource in social medial: live feed in Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as well as Instagram Stories, generating and driving Trending Topics in Twitter, boosting the YouTube channel with a myriad of playlists and a careful corporate visual design, creating an easy-to-use app, live chatting connected to TV via streaming, among other actions.
All these actions, plus the fame the TV program already has, make the perfect connection path where communication flows through multiple channels, influencing different age segments and a great variety of audience profiles. This is an example of a well-executed Blended Marketing strategy that ends in good results.
If this strategy interests you, do not hesitate to contact us to analyse and explore how this type of campaigns could boost your business sales. See you in the next post!