Start determining what behavior you want to encourage or the data you want to gather. For example, Kohl’s reward program allows them to gather data for better personalization.
Kohl’s Cash allows customers to earn and spend rewards both online and in-store. Customers must link their Kohl’s reward account with their online shopping account, which provides Kohl’s access to a wider range of information about the customer’s shopping habits.
By aligning your reward programs with both digital and retail marketing strategies, you can also drive specific actions. For example, you could use your rewards system to encourage in-store visits by offering in-store only coupons or gifts.
Sephora’s rewards program, for example, allows customers to earn ‘beauty points’ for online and in-store purchases, which can be exchanged for discounts on purchases.
One of the perks of their reward program is an annual birthday gift, which must be collected in-store.
Reward systems are powerful; to get the most out of them, make sure you align in-store and online goals.
Using reward program tools like iVend and QIVOS CLOUD, or integrating a third-party loyalty app into your current CRM software, allow you to connect in-store and online purchases and drive specific actions.
Personalize Your Marketing Strategy
Personalized marketing is the practice of using data and technology to create individualized offers and marketing messages.
Personalization can be as simple as a company using your first name in an email or as personalized as a brand offering a discount on an item you viewed online but didn’t purchase.
Here’s the thing–people no longer want to be hit with blanket marketing messages. They want to interact with brands who understand them, who take the time to consider the unique challenges they are facing and offer solutions.
In fact, transactions increase six-fold when customers are provided with personalized marketing messages.
When wielded carefully, the information you gather about your customers can help personalize marketing messages and provide better service by addressing specific needs. Combining the personalized information you gather can help you better align your marketing strategies across all channels.
The plumbing landing page addresses plumbers specifically, allowing the company to highlight benefits specifically for plumbers.
Another prime example is the blog VPN Reviews, a site dedicated to educating their audience on the best VPN for their needs. Instead of compiling all of the information on one page or post, they created separate blog posts for each provider and user needs.
Imagine this: you stop by the grocery store on the way home for work to pick up groceries for tonight’s dinner. You aren’t really sure what you want, but figure something will look good.
As you enter the grocery store, your iPhone vibrates— turns out your store has your favorite lemon pepper rotisserie chicken on sale. You grab a hot chicken, a bag of salad, and fresh bread and dinner is served (or it will be, as soon as you get home).
Is this the future of marketing?
Nope, it is right now. This is beacon marketing.
Beacon marketing first launched in 2013, yet it remains a mystery to most retail stores.
So, what are they and what do they do? Beacons are small transmitters that use Bluetooth technology to send messages to smartphones located in close geographical proximity to them.
In addition to sending beacon-based messages, marketers can also use beacons to better understand how their online marketing efforts impact in-store sales.
For example, say you sell take out pizza. You’ve been running an ad targeting [your location pizza] for your Monday night discounts. Sales have picked up, but you don’t really have a way to track whether your ad is increasing walk-in sales. Maybe it was the first week of school and no one felt like cooking?
By placing a beacon in your store, you can see that someone nearby viewed your ad, then stepped into your store. Google notes an in-store visit— and now you have more data to understand what efforts work so you can focus on strategies that drive revenue.
Beacon marketing can help you support your customers by better understanding how they search and help you improve your marketing by more accurately attributing sales to online or offline marketing efforts.
Create Connected Content
The most successful businesses don’t just offer a fantastic product and awesome customer service. They stand out as leaders.
Think about the industry leaders— companies like Google and Microsoft. Sure, they have insane market budgets, but they also produce a massive amount of content.
So, how do you create really good, really long content? By developing long-form guides that thoroughly cover a topic your customer base cares about.
For example, Lendio, a small business loan company, created this long-form guide about short-term loans. The post is over 2,200 words long and covers tons of topics, including how much short term loans cost, how to apply for one, and how to improve your approval chances.
They use headings and a table of contents to break up the long content and make it easier to find the information they are looking for.
Numbered lists and bold text makes it easy to scan, which is essential for online content.
Another stellar example is from Buzzsprout, who uses added visuals to help explain their content beyond just words:
Did you know that one way to bring in some additional revenue to your blog or business is through promoting other products and services on your own blog?
For example, does your audience use (or would use) a VPN? Take a look at how the blog above showcases the best VPNs for their target audience while earning some affiliate revenue in return.
Just remember that in order for this to be successful, you should only promote products you personally believe in and think would bring value to your audience! Don’t be spammy with your affiliate links or share them just to make a buck or two.
Mailshake’s cold email masterclass is another great example. It’s a highly-designed, chapter-by-chapter overview of how to build a cold email strategy from the ground up, complete with videos and long-form written content.
This type of in depth content helps build brand awareness online, which can be powerful when it is leveraged offline at your retail or business location.
There are several ways to align your retail and online strategies when it comes to content. First, you can use content to drive email sign-ups, which can draw customers to your physical location through in-store coupons or sneak peeks.
Pique Tea takes this approach, writing long form content on general health topics, and offering lead magnets to get people to sign up:
To connect in-store customers to your online content, you can generate a QR code, to link customers to content related to a specific purchase or in-store items.
This message uses social proof, explains their value, and includes a highly valuable download, all in one email!
Sending email receipts can also align your digital and retail strategies. Customers don’t have to keep up with paper receipts (win!) and it also gives you the chance to ask if they would like to subscribe to your awesome newsletter.
Got a popular item out of stock? Offer to email customers when it returns.
What do all these suggestions have in common? They provide the customer with something valuable. All marketing is more effective when it provides value, and email is no exception.
Offline to Online Marketing
The future of marketing isn’t online or offline— it is both. By combining the power of both strategies and aligning your efforts, you can better understand who your customers are, what they need, and which marketing efforts you should focus on.
Adam Enfroy writes about how to scale your blog like a startup to over 100,000 monthly readers at his website. He launched his blog in 2019 and started generating over $20,000/month in revenue within 7 months. He wants to teach new bloggers how to do the same.