If you’re branding and conducting your own brand management – making certain that all your promotions are working to build your brand – it’s important to remember that, though seemingly unrelated, online and offline branding efforts DO impact each other.
Even if you are keen to this fact, it can still be a challenge to understand HOW each one crosses over to help (or hinder) the other.
How Cross-Channel Attribution Affects Branding
It’s relatively simple to see how banner ads, email campaigns, mobile ads, social media communications, and paid search affect your brand management and corporate branding efforts, but can you determine how well that billboard, telly, or print ad is working for you?
For obvious reasons, in-store credit card sales cannot be linked to online identities. However, there’s no reason you can’t ask questions of customers to find out just what led them to make their purchases – no matter whether those purchases happened in person or online. You may find that old-fashioned ads are prompting them to buy in a 21st Century manner, or vice versa. Without delving into this cross channel attribution type of brand management, you may never know, and could potentially disregard lucrative channels whilst pouring currency into channels with low return.
When a new customer walks into your shop, you should not assume that she was simply strolling by and decided to pop in. Maybe she saw a geographically targeted banner ad or pay-per-click advertisement. Maybe she clipped a coupon, or maybe a friend referred her. Likewise, when a new website visitor clicks on your URL and makes a purchase, I would not suggest that you assume he found your website via search results. He may have seen your billboard or a restaurant place mat displaying your web address.
Online activity is so intertwined with daily life that it can be difficult to know just what’s working well and what is virtually inactive, in terms of branding and marketing. This is why a system for determining what paths consumers take to find you is imperative.
Google analytics is a great way to learn how your online traffic is being converted, but those offline endeavours can be more difficult to credit. This is where a bit of personal attention is needed. Encourage open conversations in your circles – both online and offline. Ask questions about how customers came to find you and how they prefer to shop, communicate, and be engaged. You’ll learn a lot about how to move forward and to continue to build your brand.
Branding is a multidimensional, practically limitless, art. When you consider how the faces of online marketing and communications is changing – and how those changes affect offline marketing as you know it – you can begin to understand how the relationship can grow more complicated as days and months roll by.
Engage your audience. Start conversations. Ask questions. Use the answers to reach more of your ideal clients, for a better all-around branding experience.
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