A Hybrid Marketing Mix: Online + Offline

In B2C (business-to-consumer) retail, customers increasingly seek out brands and products which they deem as “authentic”. Being “genuine” and having a social conscience are among the major criteria.

In B2B (business-to-business) retail, customers increasingly seek out brands and products which they deem as “legit”. Building trust and credibility are among the major criteria.

So if you’re in the habit of selling to both consumers and businesses, how do you reconcile the two? The answer is marketing. In today’s world of constant connectivity, customers are increasingly seeking out brands which they deem as authentic, and thus giving them the best chance at converting an inquiry into a sale. This combination of digital and physical marketing is referred to as a “hybrid marketing mix”.

Why Hybrid Marketing?

If you’re using only one channel (e.g., digital or social media), you’re losing out on an opportunity to reach your audience. To capture the maximum value from your marketing efforts, you need to use multiple channels, and integrate your activities across these channels. This is the key to gaining a competitive edge over your competitors.

Going back to the original question: why hybrid marketing? Think about it this way. You’re a business owner or marketer looking for ways to grow your business. You probably approach a digital marketer to ask about generating more leads and sales. They’ll tell you about their lead generation programs, which often include content marketing and social media marketing. You then ask them about using physical mailers to gain more trust and credibility with clients. They’ll tell you that they have a whole strategy around that, which includes events, trade shows, and meetings. You’re basically combining two channels (digital and physical) into one, and maximizing the benefits.

What Is A Digital Marketer?

A digital marketer is someone who specializes in using digital and online tools to generate marketing leads, find customers, and track campaign performance. They may help businesses develop strategies for online marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, and email marketing. They also track the performance of these strategies and provide regular reports to their clients.

The major difference between a digital marketer and a web designer/developer is one’s emphasis in the use of technology and the other’s emphasis on the aesthetics of the website or application which they build.

What Is A Content Marketer?

A content marketer is someone who specializes in creating marketing content to attract, engage, and motivate potential customers to action. The role of a content marketer is to create compelling and consistent content for websites, social media platforms, email marketing campaigns, and other online marketing efforts. They work closely with sales people, product managers, and other marketing stakeholders to define the content strategy for a brand or business. This content may include marketing blogs, case studies, white papers, eBooks, infographics, press releases, or any other type of educational or marketing material.

The most successful content marketers implement a content strategy starting from the ground up. This involves research into the target audience’s habits, motivations, and behavior, and then creating content that’ll engage these customers. It’s also about continuously monitoring and measuring the effects of each piece of content to determine its success and determine the next step(s) in the strategy. For more information on creating a content strategy, check out the Content Strategy section of our blog.

Many successful content marketers combine their efforts with graphic design and SEO to form what’s known as a digital marketing agency. They utilize various software packages (e.g., Google Analytics, HubSpot, and Kissmetrics) to track the effectiveness of their campaigns, and implement what they learn into future strategies.

What Is A Social Media Marketer?

If you’re new to the world of marketing, you may be wondering what a social media marketer does. Your social media marketer is someone who designs and manages social media accounts (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+) to promote products or causes. This includes analyzing customer behavior on social media platforms, creating and implementing social media marketing plans, and identifying opportunities to engage with target audiences through social media. Your social media marketer also may conduct research, identify key influencers, and measure the effectiveness of your social media strategies.

In today’s world, there are plenty of digital marketing specialties, all with specialized training and responsibilities. It’s important for businesses to understand the differences in these roles so they can effectively utilize the services of these specialists. Just keep in mind that each person’s role depends on the specific needs of your business. You may have a digital marketer who works for a digital agency, and provides SEO services to small businesses. Or, you may have a freelance SEO who specializes in small businesses and startups.

If you’re just starting out and aren’t sure what specialties would be right for your business, take your time and study up on what these specialists can do for your company. This will help you make the right choice and put you on the right track to growing your business.