Coordinating Your Channel Marketing Initiatives

November 7, 2013 Jared Shusterman

We often hear of marketing channels being siloed, with online and offline marketing initiatives especially vulnerable to lack of coordination.  Brands spend a lot of money for both online and offline channel marketing, so it’s necessary that these strategies are aligned to maximize the impact of spend. 

The goals are the same; online and offline efforts are aimed at sales growth, awareness, brand building, and list growth, but the trick is to leverage offline marketing to affect online and vice versa.  Some of what I list below is evident, while other points may cause an a-ha moment. 

A Jupiter Research survey of 2,322 adults found that some 67 percent of consumer searches online for businesses or their products and services were provoked by offline messaging.  We will also discuss how that offline messaging can be informed by web analytics.

Utilize Geo-specific Search Query Data

There is a goldmine of data on consumer intent that can be collected from analyzing local online search metrics.  This data will show regional trends of what consumers are looking for that may inform what products channel partners offer and how to market them offline.  It may also show you that residents of a particular region are looking for your services where you don’t have enough channel bandwidth to serve them.    

A/B Test Online and Bring That Knowledge Offline

Use online A/B testing to shape offline advertising.  It is easy to A/B test messaging, ad creative, and price points on the web to see what combination resonates with your varied customer segments.  Once you identify what works best and generates the most qualified traffic and sales conversions, simply apply it to print or more static marketing assets.  

Keywords Aren’t Just for Online

Emphasize certain keywords in your offline advertising and coordinate those with your channel partner’s local webpages and/or local PPC campaigns.  You can research the keywords customers use to discover your partners and help partners insert them in their offline advertising – closing the loop.  Use those same off-line keywords, phrases, and slogans, throughout social marketing and product blogs so when consumers are driven online from offline advertising, those social postings show up in searches.  

Let me be clear here – top products/services that national brands promote offline should be promoted online through local PPC on behalf of channel partners so when a customer goes from looking at a print ad to searching online, there the product is at the top of paid search results with no more effort expended.  Broaden your paid search terms to include branded terms, descriptive terms, and product specific terms like model number, color, size, etc.

Use Themed Landing Pages

Make sure that landing pages are tied to offline advertising wherever possible – not just a link to the home page.  If you are sending direct mail, which remains steady at an average response rate of 4.4 percent according to Direct Mail News, it must be tied to effective landing pages that can complete a conversion.  That is just one example, however, all your offline marketing whether local or national, tangible in-store advertising, or intangible like radio, should reference the websites and social profiles of your channel partners.       

Distributed Marketing Basics

  The “look and feel” of your marketing communications should match up across broadcast channels whether they come from brand or channel partner, when possible.  For the best user experience, colors, logos, and font types from landing pages to the direct mail pieces must be consistent.  Slogans, voice, and tone should be also be consistent from the corporate site to the affiliate’s local page, even down to the tweets your affiliates send about the sale that day.   

Getting It Right

Successful Brand Managers know that integrating on and offline marketing is another layer of refinement. This level goes over and above just automating brand consistent local marketing for their channel partners. 

Top Performers are 5x more likely to use local marketing automation tools according to Gleanster research.  Despite that, the same research finds that the average organization uses 3-5 fragmented marketing technologies to run fundamental marketing operations.  Where does your company fall?   

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Online and Offline Marketing Channels are often siloed, causing marketing initiatives a lack of coordination that the need to truly succeed.

About the Author

Jared Shusterman

Jared is the Founder and Managing Partner of SproutLoud. Since 2005, he has been primarily responsible for strategic direction of the Company, as well as the oversight of SproutLoud's Partner ecosystem. Prior to SproutLoud, Jared worked in Thomas Weisel Partner’s internet and online advertising investment banking practice in San Francisco. He served as the lead analyst on a number of Corporate Finance and M&A deals including Newscorps’ buyout of Intermix Media ( Jared graduated with a B.A. in Finance and Marketing from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia. Jared has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and is a member of the Young President's Organization (YPO). Jared has been honored as one of the Top 40 under 40 entrepreneurs by South Florida Business Journal and a Top 50 Entrepreneur by Business Leader Magazine. Jared lives in South Florida with his wife and two sons.

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