Integration of Online and Offline Channels is Foundational for Future Success – Part II

Back in early June, I shared a blog post about print marketing, and I wanted to expand upon those thoughts, adding some ideas about digital channels. Part II of my first blog post is below.


With the rise of social media and the engaged consumer, email has come under increased attack as a dated medium for today’s marketing. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth. While social media has an important part to play, the strength of email as an e-commerce conversion channel is unmatched in the digital space. Because of this, the power of aligning catalogs and emails provides one of the most potent combinations for yielding increased profits.

It’s important to note, however, that the relationship between catalog and email should be tested to determine the optimum contact sequence strategy resulting in maximum results. For example, testing combinations of catalog and email mailings might yield opportunities for spend optimization in ways not achievable utilizing both channels on their own. It’s critical to test since factors such as customer LTV, buyer personas, levels of engagement, and other transactional and behavioral elements can have a large impact on response. When executed properly, the results can dramatically impact the bottom line.

Acquisition channels through social and digital:

As with email, clients must understand how to tap digital marketing opportunities for acquisition and retention in order to enhance cross-channel enablement. For years, savvy direct marketers have leveraged the power of RFM and predictive modeling to drive new consumer acquisitions.

Similarly, today’s digital and social marketers know that Facebook Custom Audiences are growing in importance as effective tools for increasing reach, social engagement, and retargeting opportunities. A lesser known method of acquisition involves using predictive models and engagement scores to create specialized lists that can be loaded into Facebook’s Power Editor as Custom Audiences for Lookalike campaigns. This increasingly common practice used by retailers involves finding a company’s top performing segments (housefile and prospects), loading those segments into Facebook, and then using the Lookalike audiences feature to find new people who are optimized based upon reach or similarity and are, thus, likely to be interested in your business.

Further utilization of digital onboarding sources, such as Facebook, offers the opportunity for more expensive offline marketing efforts, such as a catalog, to target audiences who are already engaged with the brand. It’s a win-win scenario that can be developed to encompass the testing of as many targeted buying segments as applicable. Furthermore, this allows catalogers the opportunity to reinforce branding and offer continuity by tightly aligning offline and online efforts. In a world where customers are engaging daily in cross-device browsing, it’s more important than ever to contextually align offers and messaging.

As with other elements of digital marketing, Pinterest continues to evolve and mature into a powerful content marketing conduit and shopping channel. Rich Pins is making waves in terms of giving marketers the ability to provide easier purchasing opportunities, set up pricing alerts, and offer a simpler way for updating product information. Drawing on creative strategies, catalogers can incorporate more opportunities to promote their Pinterest boards inside the catalog, encouraging customers to unleash their creativity, save products they’d like to purchase, and actively share content socially. By monitoring social sharing activities, catalogers can also include elements in print to denote “top pinned” items or “Pinterest Customer Favorites” to further drive merchandizing opportunities. Similarly, other unique opportunities can be found in social channels such as Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, as well as in display, SEM, and affiliate marketing. Ultimately, it’s vital to find the right channel, message, and offers for your constituency.

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