Bringing Online2Offline: How to unleash a powerful marketing mix - store2be

Bringing Online2Offline: How to unleash
a powerful marketing mix

Through examples and cases where live marketing and online marketing go
hand-in-hand, we'Il show you why, when,
and how these two channels should be complementing each other, rather than competing for a slice of the pie.

Kourtney Kirton

Kourtney Kirton

15 Min Read • February 28, 2019

Prefer videos over articles?

The most important marketing definitions for 2019

Bringing Online2Offline: How to unleash
a powerful marketing mix

Through examples and cases where live marketing and online marketing go hand-in-hand, we'Il show you why, when, and how these two channels should be complementing each other, rather than competing for a slice of the pie.

Kourtney Kirton

Kourtney Kirton

15 min. read • February 28, 2019

Prefer videos over articles?

In the marketing world today, the mention of anything BUT online marketing in a brand’s marketing mix makes most millennial marketers cringe because of unreliable data, ROIs and KPIS that other channels currently offer. But times are changing, and consumers are demanding a better brand experience now more than ever, and brands need to find ways to engage their target audiences to build loyal and lasting relationships and not get lost in the crowd - but how? The answer is through personal, tailored, human experiences. This idea can take many forms, and one way is as “live marketing,” which can be defined as any form of marketing that involves reaching the consumer in person - from a pop up shop, to a promotional event, to handing out flyers, and much more. In the following article, we will explore why, when, and how you should be and can be using online and live marketing to complement each other, not compete.

“WHY would I put money into something when I can’t calculate the return?”

is the most common question when any type of deviation from the safe, online analytical tools is brought up. Marketers are accustomed, one could even say spoiled, to the advancement of online marketing and programmatic media buying thanks to platforms such as Google, Facebook, Apple, you name it, being able to track nearly everything a consumer does on a brand’s online touchpoints. You want to know the dwell time on this specific flip box of your paid social landing page? Done. It is with these kinds of data points, KPIs and ROIs offered by online media platforms that gives live marketing a bad reputation. But I am here to tell you there is a new movement in the world of marketing. Consumers are starting to get tired of the bombardment of retargeting and constantly being afraid that their phones are listening to them. With the option of ad blocking and paying for premium memberships (with the sole purpose being to avoid advertisements), classic online advertising is becoming more and more irrelevant. People are demanding more from brands - more experiences, more personal touch points, more real-life interaction - and that is right where live marketing comes into play. Now, I am also not here to advertise against online marketing, because that is just unrealistic. I am rather arguing that all brands and agencies should include aspects of both online and live marketing in their marketing mix.

Okay, so I get that live marketing is “cool” and online marketing can be annoying - but still, why both? Let’s dig deeper.

The first reason is that bridging the gap between online and live marketing is highly important for consumers and marketers alike, because solely having an online marketing strategy is no longer cutting it. As mentioned before, the combination of ad blockers with relentless retargeting only contributes to consumers’ frustration with online marketing, and they need something else to associate your brand with other than annoying banner and Instagram ads. 74% of Gen Z and millennials agree on the fact that they dislike being targeted through advertisements on their social media, a statistic that is telling of a generation wanting more human interaction. In addition, 75% of millennials said that attending a live event has been more impactful for them, rather than just taking an action online. What does this mean for marketers? Time to expand your strategies and think outside of the box. Live marketing’s comeback is in full swing, and even 84% of people from this study agree that live/event marketing is a key part of having an integrated marketing campaign. The study also states that 91% of consumers have more positive feelings about brands after attending events and experiences. These facts alone show why online marketing isn’t enough anymore, and how your customers want more.

We have been talking a lot about the shortcomings of online marketing, and how live marketing is the trend you should be considering. However, it has its shortcomings as well, the first being that it is difficult to measure success of such event. Event tracking technology has been developed, which you can check out here, but it is not widespread yet. Events are still being measured by email sign ups, social media mentions, even by having an intern stand at your booth with a tally counter, manually tracking interactions with your event. These methods are incomparable to the type of data you can receive from an online marketing campaign. Another problem area is the effort associated with planning a marketing event, which is partly due to lack of a standardized booking process. Requirements like personnel, location, booth equipment, etc. don’t plan and organize themselves, and need at least 3 weeks of planning and plenty of manpower to get it done. This also requires time and effort - we once heard a CEO of a marketing agency say he needs “at least four junior marketing managers” to plan a live marketing event.


Looking at the AIDA framework, TV/print and online do a great job with the first three steps, especially in creating attention and interest, but they lack the power to drive conversions. For example, how many people see a funny beer commercial on TV or social media and decide right then and there that they will get off the couch, drive to the store, and buy that exact beer? The same for anything that is hard to explain - a product, service, home insurance, etc. If it is too complicated, chances are your consumers just zone out after a couple seconds into your ad. So, in order to have a holistic marketing campaign, having a conversion-strong element is key. This is why aspects of both live marketing and online marketing should be present in your marketing mix.

Now to the fun part! WHEN should I be combining these channels?

The next part of this article will delve into the cases and most appropriate times to combine both online and live marketing to give consumers what they want - an omnipresent, consistent, personal experience (that doesn’t overwhelm their timeline/feeds). We will go through the most effective ways of when to use online and live marketing in tandem:

The cases when you should combine online and live marketing

  • When you have a product that is a fast-moving consumer good
  • When you have a complex product that requires explanation
  • Launching a new product
  • Relaunching products to new or old segments
  • Testing a new market to see if a retail presence is worth it
  • Generating positive brand awareness without the product
  • Receiving the benefits holidays, seasons, and special events bring

1. If you have a product that needs to involve the 5 senses, must be explained, or is brand new

  • Fast-moving consumer goods

    Have you ever seen a Dr. Pepper commercial? They advertise that you can taste up to 23 different flavors in their popular soft beverage. But how would you ever know that without physically trying it? In this case, the online advertising helps with attention and interest, but to create real desire or inspire a customer to make a purchase, trying it first is key. Putting fast-moving consumer goods, such as food and beverages, in the consumers’ hands is the quickest and easiest way to increase brand awareness, salience, and loyalty.

  • Complex products that require explanation

    Take a blender for example. You can only show a “how-to” video so many times. At some point, your consumers need to test it for themselves and see in real life how it works. 41% of consumers agree that events are the best way to help them understand the benefits of products and services, and combining forces with an online campaign only strengthens your brand and products.

  • Product launches

    “Whatever you do, strive for an in-person element. It'll help propel your launch even further” says this Hubspot article on planning a flawless new product launch.This seems fairly obvious - just look at any hype product on the market today, Yeezy, Moncler, or even Kylie Cosmetics. Each brand is in a different industry, yet they all use combinations of social media marketing and pop-up promotions to showcase their products and hype up their newest collections.

2. If you want to expand your targets

  • Relaunch products to new (or old) segments

    Here at store2be, we have a client who is fiercely loyal to online marketing, so much so that they don’t even want the public to know that they are doing anything offline (which is why we will keep them anonymous). When asked about why they made the venture into live marketing, they answered that they have saturated their online market and needed a new way to target groups that don’t see their online, print, or TV advertising. So, in addition to their online efforts, live marketing fits right into their mix as it gives them a way to reach consumers that were either skeptical of the online ads, or had never heard of them before.

  • Testing a new market to see if a retail presence is worth it (with things like a new product, a new country, a new target group, etc.)

    In a time of a changing retail landscape (high rent, low space availability), being able to test a new market, with a new product, in new geographic location is highly important for every kind of brand (e-commerce pure, established offline retailers, or brands with both aspects). This Forbes article highlights this idea - that brands are now using pop-ups (a form of live marketing) to test these new markets and to determine whether or not a permanent retail space is for them, and using social media to bring excitement and attention to these spaces.

3. If you want to generate positive brand awareness- without your product involved

  • Another way to combine online and live marketing in a way that not many marketers think of is in a pure, experiential way, without involving their product at all. Look at this example from Volkswagen, where they installed a piano on a staircase leading out of a subway station to encourage people to have some more fun while taking the stairs. This clearly has nothing to do with cars, yet created buzz for Volkswagen online when people shared their own videos of themselves and others “playing the piano.” In this case, online and live marketing worked extremely well together, and created positive brand awareness for a company, with no cars in sight.

4. If you want to receive the benefits holidays, seasons, or special events bring

  • During holidays, season-changes, and events like the Super Bowl or a music festival, consumers are on a shopping high. These are the times when the most money is spent, the malls see the most footfall, TV ads get the most views, and sites crash from over-usage. Marketers know that it is important to have campaigns before or leading up to these times of year or events, because there are many sales to be made. 61% of shoppers say that they will shop at pop-up shops during holidays, because they have the chance to buy exclusive, seasonal products. This is another perfect way to combine your online and live marketing efforts - promoting an exclusive product online to encourage consumers to go make a purchase offline at your pop up shop, look for your booth at a festival, or attend your promotional event to receive something special.

“So what?” Well now that we have outlined when, let’s get into HOW.

This is the big question - HOW exactly do I combine these two methods to make my campaign most effective? We have outlined three different ways to do it and will discuss cases that would fit well with each way. Keep in mind, your strategy all depends on two questions that you must answer before starting any campaign: what is the goal of your campaign and what are the specific characteristics of your product? These must be clearly defined before starting any campaign (marketing 101 anyone?).

When you should combine online and live marketing

  • 1
    Start with live marketing, follow with an online campaign

    1. Relaunching products to new or old segments
    2. Testing a new market to see if a retail presence is worth it
    3. Generating positive brand awareness without the product

  • 2
    Start with an online campaign, follow with live marketing

    1. Launching a new product
    2. Receiving the benefits holidays, seasons, and events bring

  • 3
    Start with an online campaign, host a live marketing event, and follow up with another online campaign

    1. When you have a product that is a fast-moving consumer good
    2. When you have a complex product that requires explanation

Live Marketing into Online campaigns
  • How it works: The first way is to start with your live marketing - whether it be a pop up shop, a roadshow, a mobile promotion handing out flyers, etc. and follow up with a social media or ad campaign. Your live marketing event or events can be a kick off to your online campaign and use user-generated content as the basis of your online activities, for both advertisements and social media. You even could do something like use an existing brand influencer to attract consumers to attend the event and encourage online engagement with them after the event. Another foolproof way to get online interaction afterwards is to hand out individual vouchers that can be redeemed online, which also makes the event more measurable.

  • When it works: The cases where this would work the best are when you want to relaunch products to new (or old) segments, to test a new market, and to create positive brand awareness without the product. Why is this? Because the best way to find flaws or mistakes in your concept, product, or services is through testing it, and a temporary promotion for your brand is the easiest way to do that. You are able to temporarily try a new product, with a new target group, or relaunch a product without the risk of opening a whole storefront or pouring money into retargeting ads and social media. For the case of creating positive brand awareness, just take the Volkswagen example from above as proof of why this concept works for boosting your brand.

Online campaigns into Live Marketing
  • How it works: The second way to plan your campaigns together is the opposite of above - starting with your online campaign to hype up and lead to your live marketing event. You can not only generate buzz, but you also can offer exclusives to your online followers or have people sign up for the event on an online form, and give them something special at your event to further encourage attendance and measurability.

  • When it works: The cases that work best with this approach are clear - a product launch or during a holiday/event. For a product launch, let’s look at Nike as an example. To launch their new retro, Space Jam Edition Air Jordan’s, they did it straight up 90s style. They used social media to tease the final location of their event (later revealed to be a concert), and peak consumers’ interests. On the day of, they released the final location on social media. The concert was held right outside of a retail store called House of Hoops NYC that sold their shoes, and they not only sold out of their new kicks before the end of the concert, but created a serious impression during the event - 1.3 million impressions to be exact. For product launches, this is one of the sureshot ways to gain exposure, create buzz for your product, and make sales. During the holidays or an event, it is best to hype up your event so that when consumers are planning their shopping trips, your event makes their list.

Online campaigns into Live Marketing into Online campaign
  • How it works: The third and final way we will go over is a combination of both tactics above, by having an online campaign both leading up to and following your live marketing event. Encouraging consumers to visit your live marketing event, hosting the event, and following up with relevant online content is the best way to create a consistent, omnipresent brand experience. As mentioned before, you can do a combination of activities, by having sign-ups prior to the event, giving those attendants a unique item for attending, and a voucher to be redeemed online afterwards.

  • When it works: The cases where this works best are when you have fast-moving consumer goods and when your product is just too complicated to explain online only. For FMCG, this makes sense - take Coke for example, and say they launched a new flavor. Having an online campaign that spreads awareness and creates buzz is the first step, but consumers are tough because they trust the old, familiar Coke flavor and aren’t easily swayed. The next step would be to allow them to try it. Once they have had a taste and you have involved their senses, follow up online with more targeted advertising or encourage social media involvement. Now, they have garnered attention and interest, created desire, encouraged action, and cut through the competition by using online and live marketing tactics together. Complex products are similar to this case, because by using online and live marketing, brands can start creating awareness and interest online, using the live marketing event to further demonstrate how their product works to get consumer desire and action, and use online marketing to follow up with further deals and information on their product or service.

Ready to bring your marketing mix into 2019?

Through these examples and cases where live marketing and online marketing go hand-in-hand, we have shown why, when, and how these two channels should be complementing each other, rather than competing for a slice of the pie. Today’s marketing landscape is a vast, but with the right mix of online and live marketing, you are bound to unleash a powerful strategy that will bring in sales and revenue for your business.

Curious to learn more about these concepts? Contact us below and let’s plan your next strategy.

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