It’s no secret that the past two years have necessitated many changes in how businesses interact with and market to their target audiences. One of the biggest changes seen since the beginning of the pandemic is greater implementation of hybrid marketing solutions. As 2022 kicks off, it’s more imperative than ever that businesses continue to bolster their omnichannel presence in pursuit of forming better connections with their consumers.
So, what is hybrid marketing? It is a marketing mix of combining traditional marketing and digital marketing. At times, organizations find a marketing program that works very well for them so, over time, they put more and more resources against it until it becomes their only marketing channel. But consumers are changing and more demanding on how they want to connect and communicate. Adding in the uncertainty of COVID and the increases in remote work, it is more important than ever to target consumers through a variety of channels. As many consumers now work from home, they may want an in-person meeting with a financial advisor because heading to an office midday is easy. Or maybe the opposite is true, and the consumer wants a video conference as they are self-isolating.
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At LeadingResponse, we feel there is a natural extension to hybrid marketing – and that is to offer consumers multiple ways to respond and connect, whether that be a call, a chat line, an in-person meeting, an email exchange, a video conference, a webinar – irrespective of how the initial contact with the consumer was made. This relatively novel promotional approach combines digital and traditional marketing styles working in tandem to maximize marketing potential and further reach. Instead of focusing on just a couple of marketing channels to dispense their brand and message, organizations are utilizing multiple digital, in-person, direct mail, and electronic communication channels to reach an intended audience and enable the consumer to respond their preferred way.
There is significant power in understanding and cracking the code on how consumers choose to respond but you need to have the right tech stack in place to decipher the trends. For example, LeadingResponse has developed a tech stack that covers the entire customer journey both in marketing channel execution and response data. One component of the stack is our Consumer Data Platform, a highly secure data warehouse that our data scientists use to determine trends – what programs are generating the higher response rate; or what response channels are trending up – based on overall and specific geographies. Armed with this information, we can advise our clients to tweak their campaigns to ensure they are capitalizing on the trends we are seeing. Additionally, within our tech stack, we have a client portal that enables our clients to manage the consumer journey through their current campaigns; and our Consumer Activation Engine, which we utilize to manage spend across media channels in support of marketing campaigns to consumers; and to manager consumer responses both online and calls. Without this holistic view, it is hard to detect consumer trends as they are occurring.
It’s no longer enough to rely upon traditional marketing methods; in the current landscape, businesses must meet their clients on their terms, a new standard only possible through hybrid campaigns that mix both online and in-person touchpoints. It is efficient, effective, and creates a broader outreach. However, this doesn’t mean that traditional marketing methods are disappearing. Some time-tested examples of traditional marketing still in play today include mailers, flyers, print ads, live events, television commercials, and billboards. Social media, website retargeting, search engine marketing, and email marketing are prime examples of digital marketing formats and combining these two approaches leads to a more efficient, cost-effective, and far-reaching strategy.
As businesses large and small come to recognize the advantages of hybrid marketing, effectively deploying such a campaign requires organizational leaders to ask themselves several key questions before implementing a strategic plan of action:
- What is the primary message?
- Who is the target audience?
- Where will you most likely find that audience to engage with them?
- What is the anticipated outcome?
- How will the success of this strategy be measured?
Only once those questions are answered can businesses confidently move forward with executing a hybrid marketing campaign.
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Best Practices to Know Before Beginning
- Be consistent.No matter what message is put out there, make sure it stays the same from channel to channel. This means sticking to the same colors, fonts, designs, etc., so the audience will know who you are no matter where they find you. Use the same branding concepts for your live events, and the retargeted postcard you send to prospects.
- Be seamless.Make sure your clients feel comfortable and at ease with your brand and message by making sure their experiences – whether online or in-person – look and feel the same. You want the audience to remember and connect you and your services with the brand they see on all marketing materials.
- Be flexible.Although the message must be the same no matter where your clients find you, it also must be catered to the platform on which it appears. Don’t just repurpose similar content from channel to channel. Repurpose presentations into a coordinating webinar, or as a blog, for example.
There are myriad ways through which businesses can brand themselves and their message. This also means there are many ways to connect with the intended audience. Businesses simply must figure out which channels work best for what they have to offer, simultaneously incorporating online and offline approaches. The proven results and benefits of hybrid marketing are extensive; by combining both online and offline approaches, businesses can enjoy a more effective and extensive outreach plan that leads to several favorable outcomes like increased market coverage, lower cost to reach and acquire leads, and building the brand with less effort.
For businesses looking to increase their bottom line through the generation of leads and businesses, be open to all types of marketing channels and assess what works best for the organization at large. With multiple channels working in harmony, the brand is built further. As recognition and consumer trust are gained, the door is open to elevating the business to the status of industry expert from whom consumers seek information and guidance.
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