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The power of combining online and offline branded experiences

Morgan Lathaen February 15, 2021
The power of combining online and offline branded experiences

Staying focused while working from home isn’t always easy. When the kids are running around, pets are demanding attention, or your phone is constantly dinging with texts, emails, and app notifications, it can be difficult to get work done. Considering all these interruptions, it’s a real challenge to get your audience to pay attention to your message, let alone inspire them to act. In fact, according to studies, you’re competing against 4,000-10,000 unique messages per day, most of them coming from digital devices.

One of the best ways to “break through” is to deliver your message via multiple interdependent channels. By combining online and offline branded experiences, you can deliver a 1-2 punch and dramatically increase engagement with your brand.

Online marketing leverages digital-based channels such as email, social media, augmented reality/virtual reality, and video. This is where the majority of people consume content and share it. As marketers, we love online channels because we’re able to capture behavioral data in real-time. We learn something about each person that allows us to make our next message more relevant. Messaging vehicles such as email and social also tend to be very cost-effective. On the downside, digital messages are fleeting. Once your email or post becomes buried in an inbox, it has little chance of ever being resurrected.

Offline marketing partly consists of tangible media such as print, promo, and apparel. Using these products, you can cut through the digital noise. Brain studies prove reading physical print leads to stronger brand recall, higher response rates, and 21% less cognitive effort to process than its digital counterparts, suggesting that it is both easier to understand and more memorable. Furthermore, many of these tangible items have a long “shelf life,” especially practical gifts. This means continued brand/message exposure as the product is being used over and over again. Finally, gifts with high perceived value can create a physiological need for reciprocity, increasing the chance your customer or employee will heed your CTA.

Together, online and offline branded experiences can deliver the best of both worlds: powerful, multi-sensorial, and interactive brand experiences that motivate a desired response.

We’ll use one of our own campaigns as an example. You may have recently seen elements of “2021, Bring It” on our social channels. We sent our clients a gift box containing either branded, regulation-weight boxing gloves imprinted with a QR code or a branded journal with an integrated NFC chip. Both gifts led recipients to an augmented reality mini-game that allowed players to “knock out” 2020. By connecting a tangible item with a digital experience, we were able to grab the full attention of our clients and deliver a “WOW factor” that elicited many immediate responses. See screenshot below.

The response rate on follow-up emails to our campaign was at least 4 times better than any recent marketing email we’ve run (we’re actually still getting mileage out of this campaign). We kept our investment reasonable by utilizing a modular subscription platform for our AR game. Net result = Bigtime ROI.

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