Consumers are at the center of every marketing communication strategy and rightly so – the fact being that the marketers are working overtime to understand the media consumption pattern of the consumers. While the online channels have made their presence felt, there is a near consensus in the marketing community that the websites should act as a facilitator – to guide the consumers towards the most appropriate channel of transaction.
In a reversal of the fortunes, the last decade has witnessed a mass scale adoption of the online (eCommerce) channels by the traditional retailers. These web savvy etailers have successfully integrated internet as another functional channel to their portfolio.
But, the larger and more challenging question for the marketers is the value addition of integrating offline channel(s) in an online landscape. While a planned channel integration has unquestionable benefits for your business, there is a disruptive effect of this exercise on the marketing as well as internal communication.
Define Your Demand
The objective is to create a strong emotional bond between your brand and the consumers and this demands a perfect understanding of the online-offline channel combination. It can be a puzzling mix of online channels (Paid AD channels, affiliate, email, banner Ads, webinar, blog, micro-blogging, RSS, podcast, IPTV) AND offline marketing channels (traditional print (print media, mail order, PR , industry relations, billboard, FM & TV).
It not only requires an insight of the product demand, but also an understanding of the media consumption trend of your potential shoppers. In essence, you are helping your consumers to accomplish their transactions in the most efficient way and also assist them in engaging them with your brand, products and services.
Choose Your Channel(s)
Consumer preferences and media consumption trends fluctuate along with the market, and this keeps the marketing teams on their toes. Marketing ROI is not assured by sticking with your best performing channel mix throughout the lifetime of your product. Best practices like market and technology assessment, opportunity analysis, needs & gap analysis and innovative services certainly help in short-listing the best offline channels – but a regular evaluation of media consumption trend (of your consumers) is the best bet for a sustained return from your channel mix.