The Connectivity Between Offline and Online Marketing

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By Erin Kristyniak, VP Self Services and Agencies, Partnerize

If the holiday season showed us anything, it demonstrated that consumers still have an appetite for shopping at a physical retail store. According to Sensormatic Solutions, Black Friday foot traffic rose about 48 percent over last year. That’s still down about 28 percent from 2019, but it tells us that marketers need to have a multi-faced online to offline strategy.

The consumer journey is ever-changing and marketers have to easily adapt. Let’s face it, consumer behavior has shifted—they hold the reigns and marketers are no longer in control. As a result, omnipresence is quickly growing in both cost and complexity.

A true omni-channel strategy shouldn’t be about online vs. offline. Instead, it should be about creating seamless shopping experiences and capture a true 360-degree view of each customer. Retailers should look at how marketing and data management efforts across all channels affect each other and sales overall.

As we navigate the constantly changing stages of the COVID pandemic and prepare to drive customers in-store, online to offline measurement will become increasingly important for retailers or any companies with physical stores that generate a significant amount of revenue offline.

So, how do your marketing partners and affiliates contribute to online and offline sales? How can you optimize partner programs to increase online and offline sales? Below are a few strategies.

QR Codes

QR codes were first introduced back in 1994 and started to find their way into a marketers toolbox in the early 2000s. They were a quick and easy way to direct consumers to a landing page or website but they never really took off. Consumers needed special QR code readers and the process was a little clunky.

Fast forward to the COVID-19 outbreak and QR codes were popping up everywhere. Restaurants relied on them to display menus online, other service-based businesses utilized them to showcase services and products. Suddenly QR codes found a second life. The tech advanced so that every cell phone was its own QR reader and consumers were loving it.

Retailers who also have a strong online presence can utilize QR codes in online and offline advertising to target new customers and then incentivize them to head in-store. For example, those who scan the QR code can be offered a unique voucher code or an offer specific for their local store.

Card Activations

Work with partners who have a card-linking or activation offers. These partners can promote your products and services to a new audience and give them the ability to activate a specific offer.

Geo Targeting

Engaging with your app partners means you can utilize geo-targeting capabilities to send push notifications to new audiences when they’re near a specific store you want them to visit. This is great if you want to focus on specific stores, over others.

Existing Spend Data

Some partners offer the ability to analyze a customer’s spend data. This gives you the opportunity to discover which customers are shopping in-store with your competitors and target them with specific online offers to shop in your store instead.

These days marketers have an array of strategies they can take when working with affiliates and partners to drive new customers in-store. But the most important thing is to ensure you’re measuring this activity and the success it’s driving. Having the ability to track both online and offline activity and work with your partners to establish a truly omnichannel approach that is as flexible as you.