Offline vs. online marketing. Â Itâ€™s the buzz around many a water cooler these days, with the traditional and internet marketers debating the pitfalls and merits of both. Â But why choose one or the other? Â Canâ€™t we all be a little greedy and have our cake and eat it too?
They make an unlikely duo – the real world meeting the digital world, but they actually go together like pizza and beer. Â A synergistic relationship if you will, one playing off of the other to create a winning combination.
Many companies are still choosing one strategy or the other (or frankly for some companies, neither). Â Over the last couple of years many businesses have started to realize the necessity of blending offline and online marketing to get the most bang for their buck. Â And oh what a bang it is!
Ecoquip is one of the companies making waves! Â Seeing the advantage to effectively combine both print and digital marketing Ecoquip chose a program that would allow them the best of both marketing worlds.
â€œGoing with a magazine that offered a custom cover program option was an opportunity to show different representations of our equipment as opposed to just getting a half page or full page insert in a magazine. Â This was a chance to tell a story, showcase our valued vendors, the social causes we support and use some of our creativity to show different advantages of our equipment,â€ said Chris Grabill, Vice President of Operations at Ecoquip.
â€œHowever the most resonating thing for us has been the opportunity that we had when our content from the magazine was posted online. Â I was able to share, link and tweet out our custom cover feature article; mainly based on the fact that most people engage with me in those types of formats more easily than they do with an email or a phone call. Â So it was kind of a passive way to get that story in front of their eyes, Iâ€™ve even developed some new prospects from it so far.â€
Many companies believe print magazines are slowly going the way of the dinosaur, but thatâ€™s just simply not true. Â They still hold a solid place in our business world, especially in the oil and gas industry. Â However, with digital display and content marketing forging strongly ahead â€“ like Ecoquip – you need to match your print marketing strategy with an equally robust digital marketing strategy or risk being left behind.
â€œIt is the way of the world that there will always be a place for a good tangible magazine but there needs to be further ways to repeat that message online. Â Thatâ€™s what Iâ€™ve found going with a custom cover and doing this digital marketing program, it has given us that opportunity,â€ says Grabill.
The reaction to Ecoquipâ€™s custom cover and digital tie in to optimize and amplify their content has been nothing but positive according to Grabill, â€œMany of our clients and prospects have learned quite a bit more about the equipment and the company itself. Â I think it has given most of them a better engagement and comfort level with our equipment and our company.â€
â€œHaving a print and digital strategy was really attractive in the sense that, I can make up the nicest newsletter or nicest brochure, or I can be the most charming guy on the phone, but it always resonates more when thereâ€™s a third party that has created something and is posting something as part of their product, about my product.Â It was a better way to engage a lot of people and I think it got a lot more eyes on it than other things I have tried.â€ Grabill continued, â€œIf I have an important announcement, itâ€™s not coming from Chris Grabill or Ecoquip. Â It shows thereâ€™s a media outlet thatâ€™s reporting something about Ecoquip both in print and digitally thatâ€™s worthy of being viewed by everybody because thereâ€™s an industry community thatâ€™s speaking about it.â€
â€œFor anyone who is trying to introduce a new technology or a new product or anyone whoâ€™s business model is based primarily on the level of service, I think a blended offline and online marketing strategy gives a really good opportunity to get lots of information out in a creative way about the new technology and to really reinforce the level of service based on the construct of the company, the commitment of the company and some stories about the companyâ€™s service.â€
Grabill adds, â€œThe feedback and the ability and flexibility/different ways I have been able to utilize the interactive cover and digital strategy has so far, and Iâ€™m expecting it will continue to do so, show a better return than standard ads.â€ Â Who doesnâ€™t want a better, more tangible return on their marketing dollars?