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what challenges do you face when trying connect online to offline (and back) marketing?

I have seen the topic of bridging the gap of online-to-offline marketing (for brick and mortar business), popping here and there. I am curious to hear about some of you, in agencies or otherwise, have to say about your approach. More specifically, what were your top 5 challenges and top 5 success. Are traditional clients responsive to such offering? Is it even, a real thing? Or just another buzzword?

8 Replies

Devin Voorsanger
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Program Director, Tech Entrepreneurship @ Zahn Innovation Center at City College
Richard,

If I understand you correctly you are asking about marketing to people in both an online and offlien environment?

If that is what you are asking then it's been going for years. With great success. I usually use a 'cross channel' marketing approach in all of my lead generation (usually getting a 10%-13% response rate). In this scenario, I do the following:

Create a mailing list of all of my prospects with their name, address, title, name of organization anaddress sity and email.

I then write an email which I variably populate with mail merge in Microsoft Word. I then do the same thing with a variably sent email either from an email provider like mailchimp or manually from outlook.

I drop the physical mail at the post office on Friday and schedule the emails to go out in three batches Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 8amfrom my email address with the subject line "meeting request". It works quite well.

Hope that helps.
Tim Kilroy
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Tim Kilroy Entrepreneur • Advisor
Analytics - LTV - Boosting Profits - Digital Marketing
The real challenge in this scenario (which to be clear is a classic multi-channel approach where advertising can be done online or offline and conversion can be online or offline).

This is a hairy problem. Same channel conversion is easy to tackle. But cross channel is hard. If a visitor has clicked on a search ad, checks out your site, and then makes a purchase in store, how do you track that? In most cases, you need to create unique points of identification at offline conversion (e-mail capture, loyalty number, payment form, etc) and wait for online visitor to identify (log into account, use same form of payment, use loyalty number) and then you can knit together prior digital exposure to conversion.
This is a REALLY hard problem that is fraught with difficulties and need a well thought out data collection and aggregation plan (and no data silos between online and offline).
I don't know that anyone has cracked this as scale.



Paul Geller
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Paul Geller Entrepreneur
Web Executive, Entrepreneur
Not sure if this is germane to your question, but our product bridges online and offline in a specific but different way. Thankster.com allows you to send physical, mailed cards in handwriting that looks authentic (yours, or one of ours). We can automate sending based on rules. So you can now systematically reach your existing list both digitally and physicallyby weaving us into your existing campaigns. If this could be relevant for you let me know; if not, sorry if this veers off your intended topic.
Richard Mutezintare
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Richard Mutezintare Entrepreneur
bit wrangler at ioniq systems
@Tim Kilroy, you touched on the true sense of my question. I meant the question in the sense of running effective (possibly large scale) marketing campaigns (targeting consumers) that combine both online and offline components. If I correctly understand your point...The main issue would be data collection and aggregation, between the two worlds...as it were (online and offline)?

What other approaches have your tried to bridge the online-offline (data wise) gap?
Abiodun Thorpe
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Abiodun Thorpe Entrepreneur
Experienced Digital Strategy & Analytics Consultant
@Richard My team and I are working on solution along this line. This web application should be out on another by mid February 2016.
Tim Kilroy
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Tim Kilroy Entrepreneur • Advisor
Analytics - LTV - Boosting Profits - Digital Marketing
Richard Mutezintare- the goal is really twofold:
  1. You have to collect TONS of data
  2. You have to give the visitor every opportunity to self-identify so that you have a unique identifier to parse #1 against.
Much of this depends on what you need to understand - and what kind of relationships you have with your customers - collecting e-mail addresses and loyalty card #s are the obvious ones, but getting folks to opt into text messages or something similar can work - the keys are really in being able to identify the visitor uniquely, and then being able to lasso all of their interaction data to that unique identifier when the customer self-identifies.

It is very far from being an exact science...
Samia Azmeh (Kamoun)
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Samia Azmeh (Kamoun) Entrepreneur
Senior consultant Digital I eCommerce I Virtual Market places I Omnichannel & Retail
agree with Tim unique customer data is key for personalizing content and equally being able to ship from any channel means consolidating stock info
Justin Adelson
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Justin Adelson Entrepreneur
Director of Marketing at Language and Learning Centers of America
Unfortunately I cannot offer 5 challenges/successes at the moment, but I can provide one case that a past client has success with.

We were running Facebook ads for an online tutoring company for SAT & ACT preparation. The commitment and purchase of one of their subscriptions was pretty big so it was less likely that a parent would go from ad impression to conversion if they have never heard of the company. So instead of advertising the SAT/ACT prep services we advertised for a free webinar on how to do well at the SATs (i.e. "a carrot"), but the parents had to submit an email address to reserve a spot for the webinar. We would then send the parents down a sales funnel that would initiate a call between a sales person and the parent to discuss the tutoring services, which would then convert to a sale.

Majority of the funnel mentioned is done online (sans phone call), but you can use the same "carrot" method for acquiring offline information (e.g. mailing address, phone number, etc.). You can also use the carrot method the other way and have people sign up for an email newsletter in person (i.e. "sign up for our email newsletter and get 20% off your next purchase!").
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