The new “normal” continues to evolve as consumers react to the changing landscape caused by the pandemic. They are now embracing different behaviors as they redefine the new norm and rethink how, when, and why they connect with brands.
Hybrid marketing is a new and evolving term and is sometimes referred to as omni-channel marketing or multi-channel marketing. Hybrid marketing is used as a way to blend traditional forms of proven media, including print and television advertisements, along with social media website marketing strategies. Hybrid marketing is a promotional approach that combines both traditional marketing and digital marketing.
It is an evolution of traditional marketing methods which is the disruptive marketing strategy in terms of marketing effectiveness and efficiency. Instead of focusing solely on online platforms or in-person touchpoints, hybrid marketing merges both approaches to create a more effective and extensive outreach plan.
Let us take a look at what is traditional marketing and digital marketing before delving more into hybrid marketing.
What is Traditional Marketing?
Traditional marketing encompasses the marketing methods that can be used without the internet. These are the methods that have been around for decades and are typically used less often now. However, they are not without their strengths.
Common traditional market methods include:
- Directly mailed postcards, coupons, and informational packets
- Television or radio commercials
- Newspaper or magazine ads
- Billboards and fliers
- Telephone calls and text notifications
We see and hear many of these ads everyday just by listening to the radio on the way to work or even by looking out of the window at the billboards. Each of them has become a part of everyday life.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing refers to all the marketing strategies that are executed online on various electronic devices. It is currently the most popular marketing strategy adopted by large, small and medium-sized companies across the globe.
Common digital marketing methods include:
- Website content
- Email campaigns
- Content marketing
- Social media posts
- Clickable ads
- Affiliate marketing
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
Why Should Businesses Go Hybrid?
The global pandemic has impacted marketing teams in ways never experienced. One of which includes being agile in this new business landscape.
Businesses that are mixing both traditional and digital marketing are commonly called brick-and-click businesses, meaning companies that operate both online and offline. You can also combine online marketing with other forms of promotion and brand awareness depending on the business needs.
Many small businesses struggle to effectively deploy a hybrid marketing strategy to sell their goods and services, or simply not being aware of the benefits of what maintaining a few social media accounts and keeping their Google My Business page can bring about to their organization.
In a truly hybrid marketing approach, customer experience is the main focus. All business’s communications and marketing channels feed into one another to provide customers with a seamless and positive view of the brand.
One of the main benefits of hybrid marketing is that it tracks the customer’s journey and continues, rather than restarts it, across various touchpoints. For example, if a person adds items to their cart in a mobile app, the same cart will load when they look on the website. If they speak to a chatbot online, an in-store customer service agent can see that information and continue the conversation.
So, regardless of the touchpoint being used, the experience is continuous, builds after each instance and is optimised to move that customer towards the bottom of the funnel.
Hybrid marketing breaks down the barrier between offline and online and, rather than optimising each platform, it takes the overall customer journey into consideration.
How Do Businesses Benefit from Going Hybrid?
Better consumer insights
Even if you are taking advantage of multiple digital advertising channels, without a hybrid marketing solution in place, you may miss out on key insights about your consumers. Tracking a consumer from an initial point of content, through various touchpoints along the way, all the way through to point of purchase (in-store or online) is one of the biggest hybrid marketing benefits.
With this data and insight, you may often find that certain messaging, time of day, channels, or offers resonate better with your audience – leading to more sales. Having this 360-degree view of your consumers will allow you to better target your audience for any future campaigns leading to a higher ROI reach.
Better customer experience
The place where consumers often spend time shopping, interacting, and learning about new brands is varied and constantly changing. If you are focusing your digital marketing budget on one channel, you will miss out on consumers who are spending their time elsewhere. Customers may start out in one channel and then migrate to another, and they want to be able to do this seamlessly.
Customers are likely to use a variety of devices to evaluate prices and purchase an item, track their order, receive it, and return it if necessary. They may even want to start the process on one device and finish it later elsewhere. An ideal experience would be: a future customer searches an item at home, they find the product on a brand or retailer’s website. Later on, the consumer would browse through the website again at work on their smartphone, set up an account, and place the item in their cart. In the evening, they decide they do not want to wait for the shipping, and find that there is a store in town to be able to purchase the said product.
We cannot talk about the benefits of hybrid marketing without mentioning its positive impact on sales and conversions. Promoting your products or services to a larger audience will naturally yield more sales and conversions. So regardless of what your business sells or offers, hybrid marketing can help you achieve your goals. Choosing a hybrid concept over a single method can help divide the focus of the campaign.
In order to create a cohesive marketing goal, entrepreneurs should examine why they should choose hybrid marketing instead. One of the two major goals of this technique is to increase conversion. By combining offline scan codes with online discounts allows easier access for smartphone owners towards certain information provided.
Prominently featuring these codes in offline marketing communication or in visible locations at a physical store and linking them towards a second advertising method like discounts or coupons, makes it easier for the customer to experience the full benefits of the overall marketing campaign.
Better brand visibility
The more times prospects and customers engage with your brand, the better. Rather than focusing your marketing efforts on a single platform, you can expand to multiple platforms so that you can reach more people. Hybrid marketing helps place your message across all channels in a consistent and timely manner – be it mobile, online or in-store – whatever is most convenient for your customers.
Every time a customer encounters your brand, they are offered a seamless and personalised customer experience. This leads to better brand visibility and greater customer loyalty.
On the surface, it might seem like developing a hybrid marketing strategy is expensive. You have to invest in the right tools and approach to collect your audience data, analyze it, and create an effective consistent marketing message across all channels. However, when it is done right, all the investments are definitely worth it in the end.
Developing more accurate performance insights helps businesses allocate their marketing budget more effectively. Having a full picture of the customer journey can empower you to understand which channels are the most valuable in driving sales and improving customer retention.
This allows you to make informed decisions to invest more or less in certain channels, targeting strategies and marketing campaigns. Improving marketing spend efficiency and effectiveness makes omnichannel an overall cost-effective business strategy.
Hybrid marketing is not a radical new way of marketing. It is just an attempt to consolidate your approach in an increasingly complex marketing landscape (online and off).
Consumers are beginning to demand a hybrid customer experience because they know it is possible. Businesses that want to please their audiences and keep up with the competition need to start developing a more integrated approach to marketing. Once you start to accept hybrid marketing strategy as the standard, you can then focus on other optimisation tactics like improving data quality, predicting performance, and operationalise insights.
Figuring out where to get started with navigating through different channels, tactics, and data of omnichannel marketing can often feel overwhelming. Here at Hashtaqs, we start with consumer research to define the target audience, eventually leading towards the development of an integrated media strategy, while setting the stage for campaign analysis and measurable performance. We understand what a hybrid marketing strategy requires and our team of flexible and agile experts are ready to help.
Hashtaqs uplifts business through brand transformation and marketing advisory and implementation online and offline, internationalisation through business matching and community development.
Our consultancy work is supportable with the funding scheme of up to 80% for local businesses. Contact us for a consultation at +65 8868 1418 or email us at [email protected]. For more info, visit www.hashtaqs.com.