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Matching Online and Offline Channels

Print is very different from web when it comes to marketing.  You wouldn’t necessarily think that they would be as different as they are, but just about everything from overarching strategy to the tiniest detail is often different between print and web marketing.  For example, a few of the differences include:

  • Logos and images. While I am not a graphic designer, I have heard from graphic design friends and colleagues, that logos and images should first be developed with print implementation in mind.  Print quality, material, and resources used in print dictate much about logo and and branding design, whereas web images are fairly consistent in terms of media.  It’s easier to adapt a print image for the web than a web image for print. This has a lot to do with how the images are designed between vector images (print) and raster images (web). Vectors are built with lines, whereas rasters are built with pixels, so that’s why a raster image for your logo won’t work; it can’t be blown up and will pixelate.
  • Branding. Most web marketing is ineffective when it comes to a full-scale branding campaign except when it comes to social media when you develop your brand following.  Print is very focused on branding messages (posters, logos, signage, newspaper advertising) and impressions.  Clicks are what matters with web – likes, ad clicks, ratings, etc. – so the impressions are less of a defining factor.  While the web is a tremendous discovery tool, it isn’t always a fantastic branding tool. The exception to this would be banners, display advertising, and media like that.
  • Content.  The type of content you use between online and offline channels is often very different.  While it depends entirely upon what media you’re exploring, the content, contextual guidelines, and sales messaging differs greatly between online and offline media.

However, if you’re employing both online and offline channels, you want to ensure that your messaging matches up.  So how do you get such vastly different approaches to work together?  Think in terms of your overall goals and treat them as two parts of the same equation.  To implement a successful marketing program, think in terms of this equation:

Goals = [ONLINE (SEO, SEM, social media, etc.) + OFFLINE (print, TV, billboards, word of mouth, etc.)]

Your goal is the end point and the direction you need to funnel your customers.   From that main goal (ie sales of a product) you can figure out what approach you need to take.  It’s like thinking in reverse; you take your answer and use that to break things into its component parts.  If you want to increase sales, improve your online marketing (SEO for improved searchability, SEM to raise search result presence, social media to create brand ambassadors and fans) and your offline marketing strategy (cohesive branding, newspaper or television advertising, media planning, etc.) to maximize your return.  Focus on only one or the other and you might end up with an overabundance of brand fans (print) or unqualified traffic (web).  Use both in concert by adjusting your strategy to suit their respective media and you have a formula for success. Contact us if you need help bringing that strategy together and building a cohesive online and offline experience for your customers.