Integrating online and offline tactics allows for a richer, more complete experience for your customer. With a greater variety of reach and contact, you have a better chance of converting your message to action by the customer.
An interesting case study was presented at a direct mail association (NEMOA) meeting earlier in 2005. Lego, who wants to sell “playful learning” not just colourful building blocks, currently direct markets in 19 countries around the world. Lego, who is well known in stores, also runs The Lego Club, Web site Lego.com, and a catalogue.
Lego found that average annual purchases per customer were higher for customers who used more channels to purchase Lego. Average annual sales per customer:
Retail instore, $83
Retail plus direct, $251
All 3 channels, $472
To maximize the benefit from integrated online and offline tactics, keep the following in mind:
1. Consistently execute. Not only words, but graphics, colours, lighting, texture and sounds. Consistency reinforces quality. Inconsistency causes confusion, a deterioration in trust, thus wasting your efforts.
2. Use the full range of your tactical toolkit, when it makes sense.
3. Construct campaigns so that they be tracked and measured. The challenge in multi-media campaigns is allocating the sale to supporting channels. If not designed for measurement, lack of acknowledgement of a key supporting channel in the success of a campaign may result in a future budget cut, hindering future success.
4. Balance and don’t over do contact. As with all things involving communication and marketing, balance is important. Overdoing contact may cause your customer to feel stalked, and at the very least, irritated. Don’t do just because you can.
5. Heed your customers’ preferences. Allow customers to opt-in and opt-out of mailing by email or direct mail. Customers who are listened to are more loyal and lasting.