The Online – Offline Marketing Chasm




I just saw a chart from MarketingSherpa that shows the most important objectives of an e-mail campaign. The findings make sense to a point. Here is the chart showing what is deemed most important in descending order.

I was a little surprised at the difference between the most important e-mail objective (to generate revenue) and the idea of e-mail supporting offline marketing programs. It’s data like this that should create some serious head-scratching amongst marketing executives.

Why? It’s because it shows that the online and offline marketing world are siloed more often than not and that is just bad policy. 25% of the respondents didn’t even think that supporting offline efforts through e-mail was important at all. Huh? Really?! Over the years the Internet marketing community has worked so hard to establish itself that it may be moving toward alienating itself to some degree.

Whether we Internet marketers want to admit it or not there is still a substantial offline marketing world out there that is very effective. One of the great things about the online marketing space is the ability to help make offline channels more efficient and more lucrative. By identifying places where offline marketing spend is being under-utilized or outright wasted we can save money. The areas that are left stand to benefit from the online efforts thus creating a holistic approach to reaching the customer or prospect rather than building fences around the online and offline channels.

If companies are serious that revenue generation is the number one objective for e-mail marketing the idea of supporting every marketing effort, both offline and online, should be a very close second in importance.

Until marketers stop being territorial and actually integrating online and offline efforts fully, success won’t be what it could be. That’s too bad.

How do you view your offline marketing efforts in relation to your online efforts? Are they mutually exclusive? Are they distant cousins or are they joined at the hip?

Let us know in the comments. Thanks.

  • http://theclientrelationshipguy.com Jez Hunt

    Great post, and I think you’re right.

    I’m finding that offline Direct Mail for my clients is working better than ever, but it is the combination of online working WITH offline which is producing the most profitable results.

    There is still a lot of resistance to responding to emails unless there is already a level of relationship there, yet more and more people approaching me have their eyes set on email marketing and social media avenues only!

    I don’t mind companies only focusing on online OR offline…

    … It leaves more room for my clients to wipe up and leave their competitors wondering.

  • http://twitter.com/knlorenz Kelly Lorenz

    Frank,

    While I agree with you that cross-channel integration is often ignored, I think this is more a case of a misleading phrase. When I read “Supporting offline marketing efforts”, I picture online and email as a backseat, or supporting actress role, not as integrating marketing efforts across all channels. I have to assume, based on the response, many responders felt the same way. I wonder if it was phrased “Integrating with offline marketing efforts”, the importance would increase.

    -Kelly Lorenz

    • http://www.frankthinking.com Frank Reed

      Let’s hope so. Either way it shows a disconnect that is not going to move the needle for a lot of folks. Of course, that’s just my opinion :-)

  • http://www.hulmelife.co.uk hulme

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  • http://www.smithandjonesadvertising.com Alyson

    Hi Frank –

    Thanks for the post and the great information. As an advertising and marketing professional, I have to say that I agree with you in that the often the best results comes with integrating online and offline marketing efforts. In this day in age, most of the focus is on social media and such, but I don’t think that means the “old ways” have to become obsolete – like Jez was saying, I too have found that direct mail advertising is working for my clients better than ever!

    Just some thoughts – Keep up the great writing!

  • http://twitter.com/buckmcmurray Buck McMurray

    Great article! A while back, I read an article that stated one of the biggest uses for the Victoria Secret catalog was to push people to the website. On this same note, car commercials not only hope to build recognition for potential buyers, they reassure those who purchased their car that they made the right choice. The point… every marketing channel builds or strengthens the other. Now, that’s not to say marketers should take a shotgun approach to getting out the message, but they need to make sure they are in the most relevant spaces for their target.

  • http://www.mailblaze.com/blog Georgia Christian

    I think this year is going to see much more integration of different marketing channels and it’s really not a bad thing. It’s important to for marketers to stay on top of their game, test new tactics and adopt changing industry standards. It certainly keeps things interesting!