In a nutshell, online marketing is the process of promoting products or services digitally, including across social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
Offline marketing, on the other hand, refers to the methods marketers and advertisers use to promote products and brands in person – whether that’s through television ads, billboards, magazine spreads, or even a retail store visit.
Although there are many instances where online and offline overlap, these two forms of marketing remain distinct enough that they require their own specialized skillsets. In this article, we’ll highlight five successful examples of online marketing being utilized to launch an offline campaign.
One of the best examples of online and offline marketing working in concert is Coca-Cola’s “Double Trouble” campaign. In 2013, the Coca-Cola Company decided to expand its reach to a younger audience by targeting millennials with trucks driving around the country and putting up digital billboards featuring already-established brand logos alongside catchy jingles (song lyrics).
While some might argue that Coca-Cola’s main target audience already has a large presence on social media platforms like Twitter, this was never really the case. Millennials are often called the “digital native generation”, and this is reflected in the fact that 82% of Coca-Cola’s target audience is connected to the internet. However, Coca-Cola wanted to go beyond just reaching an audience on social media and introduce these potential clients to their brand in a way that’s memorable and engaging.
To do this, the Coca-Cola Company turned to online marketing platforms like Twitter and Facebook with a digital marketing strategy that included:
- creating a community of thought leaders and influencers within the millennial demographic;
- growing their reach on social media through enticements like free tickets to concerts and sports events;
- and, ultimately, driving people to a branded website that would provide more information about the product and let them make a purchase.
By focusing on what makes them different from other soft drink companies, Coca-Cola is able to draw attention away from the competition and position themselves as the go-to brand for millennials. Through this strategy, they were able to attract a broad audience of millennials that now consumes more than 25 million units of Coca-Cola per year.
Another great example of combining marketing online with offline is Subway’s #LikeaSubway campaign. In 2015, the Subway restaurant chain introduced their newest product, the “Catch and Release” pesto sub. The pesto sub is a ham and cheese submarine sandwich that lets people eat what they want when they want it by using digital technology to track the location of the locust pests that got into their veggie burgers and cheese subs.
But Subway’s #LikeaSubway campaign is more than just a joint marketing effort with a restaurant chain with a similar name. This is because Subway engaged with a highly targeted group of digital native consumers on social media platforms like Twitter in a way that’s memorable and engaging.
The Subway restaurant chain knew that their target audience was highly digital and connected to social media, owning a 71% engagement index score across all platforms. To capture this audience and motivate them to action, Subway created a multimedia campaign on Facebook that would allow them to showcase their food and drink options, but also give them the opportunity to learn more about the products by providing resources like short crack video stories about the pesto sub and the restaurant chain in general.
Besides pesto subs, Subway also shares its love of America and American culture with its millennial audience, which consumes an average of 14 meals per week and is 85% American.
The #LikeaSubway campaign was able to drive a 21% increase in pesto sub orders across all platforms, which, at the time of launch, was the largest single-market growth of any campaign or offer in the history of the Subway store.
Similarly, Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign uses a mix of online and offline marketing to great effect. In 2018, Nike Inc. created a video to coincide with the release of their Air Max 1 and Air Max 17 models. In this video, the company gives us an overview of the inspiration behind the #JustDoIt campaign, as well as premiers of the two new models in particular.
The #JustDoIt campaign starts with a short story on the Nike website. This story is followed by a video in which an athlete uses his or her body as a tool to create something great. In this case, the athlete creates a racing mesh that allows them to move better. This video, called a “Launch Video”, is then activated when users visit the website or click on a related product in mobile search engines.
Nike uses online and offline marketing to create awareness of their product and to motivate consumers to action. Not only do they want consumers to learn about their product, but they also want to be able to link the video to a specific product or collection of products that the user is most likely to buy. This is especially critical if the athlete is a brand new face to the market, and the video is the first contact the user has made with the company.