When it comes to online marketing, it’s all about tying the knot. It’s not enough to just launch a digital campaign with new technology to establish presence, direct to a website and promote your brand message. But rather, it’s about creating the maximum experience for the consumer, where your online and offline efforts intertwine.
On The Floor
In the industry today, some of the largest retailers have executed this strategy in clever ways that have yielded strong ROI. Take Home Depot, for example. Instead of taking the standard route of hiring social media managers in their corporate office, they’ve instead hired “social media store associates”, who work 3 days a week as in-store floor managers, and the other 2 as social media content managers.
The idea here was to have people “on the floor”, living and breathing the in-store experience, talking to customers and vendors to locate trends that would then be communicated through social media.
It’s worked brilliantly and efficiently; Home Depot hasn’t necessarily allocated new assets for its social media practice, and now blasts content that consumers can relate to, simply because Home Depot knows what they’re talking about.
Connecting the Dots
Macy’s tied in digital to its offline strategy by placing new technologies in stores. The Beauty Spot interactive kiosks allow customers to search and select cosmetics products, across multiple brands and categories, without having to visit counter after counter. Need some help? A concierge will assist with the new tablets Macy’s has provided them with. And their online denim-fit technology provides women, through 3 steps, to select jeans that are tailored to their body.
Again, the goal here is not just the adoption of technology, but instead the execution of it to magnify the customer’s experience with Macys’ brands, both online and in-store.
Retailer WinCo Foods is on board, too. With the “aisle411” app they’ve recently launched, any shopper with an iPhone (the app for the Android comes out later this year) can peruse brands and promotions from the downloaded free app. The coolest features include voice-recognition software for product searches, and locating products down to the section of the aisle.
CEO of aisle411, the agency that worked with WinCo Foods on the app, Nathan Pettyjohn said the goal was for WinCo Foods to, “deliver optimal shopping experiences to its customers.” This strategy ties in with everything else that WinCo Foods does to make shopping in their stores a fast and easy process.
Fit the Right Partner
And that is it, in a nutshell. Digital technology and online marketing is enticing; all businesses want (and should, really) adopt it as a key part of their efforts. But in a way that benefits the customer through their full shopping experience. Marrying online with offline can be challenging from a perspective of understanding the right suppliers to partner with, so make sure you choose carefully.