With people spending more time online, digital and mobile channels are a natural choice for marketers. But despite the rise of digital media, you can’t afford to overlook traditional advertising channels like print and TV.
Brands need to find ways to leverage online and offline channels to achieve the best marketing outcomes. Here’s where the concept of offline to online marketing (O2O marketing) comes into the picture.
Let’s look at some offline to online tips to make your marketing more effective and ROI-driven.
Table of Contents
- Use QR codes to bridge the online-offline gap
- Collect information from offline consumers
- Develop a cross-promotion strategy
- Leverage beacons to engage offline consumers
- Introduce digital elements in physical stores
- Ensure consistency across channels
- Use immersive technology in the offline world
- Incentivize online actions
- Implement smart packaging
Use QR codes to bridge the online-offline gap
Even though digital ad spending is snowballing, brands are still actively investing in traditional advertising.
However, traditional advertising has some drawbacks.
Suppose you put up an ad for your new product range in a leading newspaper. Now what? You may never know how many people bought your products after seeing the ad.
Traditional advertisements on TV, print, billboards, etc., aren’t trackable, and calculating their ROI can be challenging.
QR codes resolve this hurdle by making your traditional advertising campaigns more actionable and trackable.
You can create a QR code for your eCommerce website and put it on your print ad. Readers can scan the QR code to visit your website and buy the products.
Since dynamic QR codes are trackable, you can see how many people scanned your QR code to visit your website. Hence, you can evaluate your campaigns and see how they’re performing.
Collect information from offline consumers
Data is the modern-day fuel. Collecting first-party data can help marketers run targeted marketing campaigns and achieve better results.
However, collecting data from offline consumers can be tricky and requires manual work. It includes manually entering customer information, like name, address, phone number, etc., which is inconvenient and time-consuming.
Here are two things you can do to smoothly collect information from offline consumers:
- Ask for minimal information to make the process quick.
- Incentivize consumers for sharing their data.
Once you collect customer data, you can send them targeted offers to encourage repeat purchases.
Develop a cross-promotion strategy
Marketers often run standalone campaigns for digital and offline channels. That’s a mistake!
Your offline and online marketing campaigns should be in sync and promote each other.
Integrating your digital and traditional marketing channels has numerous benefits:
- Seamless data collection
- Customer journey mapping
- More sales
- Higher ROI
Let’s understand this with an example.
Suppose you’re an electronics brand running a newspaper ad promoting your new range of products. People can buy the products online from your website or offline in your stores.
The ad can include your store’s address and a QR code to send people directly to your site. And on your website, you provide the locations of all the stores where the new product range is available.
This way, people can buy your products regardless of the channel and touchpoint.
Leverage beacons to engage offline consumers
Beacons are Bluetooth devices that send push notifications to mobile devices in a specified geographical area (called geofence). Leading brands like Target, Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Walmart use beacon marketing to increase footfall and sales.
Most beacons have a range of around 30 meters. When a person enters the geofence, and their smartphone’s Bluetooth is on, the beacon sends them a browser notification. You can personalize the notification message as per your marketing needs.
For example, Walmart installed beacons in their store and parking lot to send offers and personalized notifications to shoppers. Similarly, CVS Pharmacies used beacons to send refill reminders to customers.
Beacons are cost-effective and easy to set up. Therefore, they’re an attractive option for hyper-local marketing. Over 50% of the top 100 brands use beacons in their stores, and the beacon market size is projected to reach $31.61 billion by 2026.
Introduce digital elements in physical stores
Digital experiences in physical stores have emerged as a major retail technology trend. It’s also known as phygital retail.
Retailers can introduce digital elements in physical stores to offer an immersive shopping experience.
Amazon Go (Amazon Fresh in the UK) is a classic example of phygital retail.
Customers can pick up the items and walk out. The payment is automatically made through the Amazon Go App. Shoppers don’t need to stand in the queue or wait at the billing counter.
You can use QR codes, kiosks, AR/VR, and other technologies to introduce digital elements in your stores.
Ensure consistency across channels
The terms “multichannel” and “omnichannel” are often used interchangeably, but they’re disparate concepts.
A multichannel strategy comprises online and offline channels, such as physical stores, eCommerce, etc. The offline and online media aren’t necessarily integrated. When you integrate and unify all the channels, it becomes an omnichannel strategy.
Let’s understand the omnichannel concept with Sephora, a leading cosmetics brand.
Sephora is a D2C brand that sells a wide range of beauty and cosmetics products on its website. Shoppers can also consult a beauty expert or join the expanding Sephora community to interact with fellow consumers.
Sephora’s website also has a “Stores” section where you can locate all the Sephora stores.
In the stores, Sephora has installed various tablets. Shoppers can use tablets to access their Beauty Bag, try items virtually, and add items to their wishlist. They can then purchase the items in the store, the Sephora app, or the website.
In conclusion, ensure consistency across your online and offline channels. This includes consistency in your branding, tone of voice, staff behavior, and everything else.
Use immersive technology in the offline world
Technology can make offline experiences immersive and memorable. Communication in channels like newspapers and billboards is often one-way.
As a result, users can’t get involved or participate, leading to low engagement.
Immersive technologies like AR, VR, and QR codes can make your offline campaigns more engaging.
Magnolia Market used Augmented Reality (AR) to take customer engagement to the next level. They offered an AR store, allowing users to view 3D models of the products in their homes, offices, and other settings.
Similarly, Misereor launched an experiential campaign called the Social Swipe to collect donations for poverty-struck people in Peru.
People could donate by swiping their credit cards at the kiosk. And every time they swiped, the kiosk displayed an animation of a bread slice being cut from a loaf.
Incentivize online actions
You must’ve seen brands rewarding users for downloading apps, ordering online, or following them on social media.
Collecting data from offline customers is difficult, and there’s limited scope to engage customers offline and build meaningful relationships. By onboarding users on online channels like websites, apps, and social media, you can better engage them and encourage repeat purchases.
For instance, if you’re a grocery store and have launched a mobile app for delivering groceries online, you can offer a discount coupon for first-time orders.
Implement smart packaging
Smart packaging in retail is gaining popularity, and the global smart packaging market is projected to reach $38 billion by 2030. It helps in monitoring product shelf life, providing product information, and warranty activation.
QR codes are an effective smart packaging tool. You can print QR codes on product packaging to share product information in the form of PDFs, images, or videos. Additionally, you can use QR codes to bring consumers to your website and social media.
Consumers love omnichannel experiences. Implementing an O2O marketing strategy can help you boost user experience and sales.
If you’re wondering how to integrate your offline and online channels, the tips discussed above will help you get started.
If you want to develop an omnichannel brand, QR codes can help. You can use QR codes to bridge the online-offline gaps and provide an integrated experience to your users.
QRCodeChimp is a QR code management platform that lets you create and manage QR code campaigns. So, sign up for QRCodeChimp right away to get started.