Business thought of the day – Spreading the Valentine’s spirit online and offline

As the founder of a company operating ‘in the cloud’, I am pretty fond of everything digital. What’s not to like, it is faster, cheaper and innovative. The sky is the limit!

Having said this, I must admit that I am also quite the avid fan of a good offline marketing campaign as well. Even though we are online, I am aware that a beautifully executed offline marketing campaign has its benefits and can actually provide a better response than online campaigns IF it’s done well!

What leads me to this train of thought (and consequently, to writing this post) were two little ‘presents’ that landed on my desk last week. Both of them celebrating Valentine’s Day.

The first one was a lip balm from our friends at the creative agency Bright Blue Day. It came in a simple looking yet quite unique and elaborate packaging with a slogan calling for ‘Spreading the love…’.

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I liked the campaign as it didn’t ask me to do anything but just did some simple brand re-enforcement that they are a clever agency!

The other intriguing item was an ‘anonymous’ Valentine’s card. After the initial wave of panic of how I was going to explain this to my wife, I quickly realised it was another clever marketing initiative. The envelope and card were both addressed to me, gaining extra bonus points for personalization. The card didn’t say anything but that I should visit a particular website to find out who that card was sent from. I was disappointed not to have a secret admirer but a printer who wanted my business as it came from Carbon Colour in Oxfordshire!

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Reflecting on these two presents it made me think about what the key ingredients are to a successful offline marketing campaign. I think there are 3 main ones which stand out:

1. Be catchy, inventive, or thought provoking (ideally all 3). Just like in the online world, in order to be different and noticed you will have to offer something that gets attention. Something people wouldn’t expect but they would be compelled to share with others.

2. Be personal. You can easily personalize items and incorporate your contacts’ details onto offline offerings and printed materials thanks to modern printing services. All you would really need is a good online database that is up-to-date and clean.

3. Finally, as in the online world and the offline one, you need to track how your campaign is going. What is the point of sending clever and personalized marketing communications if you don’t monitor their progress and customer feedback? Make sure you follow up and track to see the success of the campaign through page or brand metrics.

So, online or offline marketing are both powerful ventures to embark upon. They promise a lot and could help your business grow if done well. Deciding which one you should focus on is down to your personal and business needs and capabilities as well as what your customers expect from you but the most important thing to do is try.

That is all from me folks. Please comment and share. Which one do you prefer – an online or offline marketing campaign?

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