Imagine, you are doing window shopping and suddenly you find a very beautiful dress or a nice pair of shoes of a particular brand. You go in to that store, see the product tag, take out your smartphone, enter that tag and see all the offers available online related to that product, you choose the best offer, then you show it to the sales guy and he gives you that product on the price of that “online available offer”.
Wouldn’t it be a nice “option” also that browsing in offline market (talking about the age where people still go out of their home to buy things) and getting online offers on their smartphones directly & using it while standing in a particular store, instead of “just” doing online shopping, getting worried about the quality or return policy and worse hoping for good delivery service?
To be honest, I also didn’t think of this way either before reading the article “digital-physical mashups” by Darell K. Rigby (Author of Winning in Turbulence) in September 2014’s subscription of Harvard Business Review Magazine. As being a digital marketing professional, I always had this notion that what we are doing is enough for our client and for our industry too. Client either creates an e-commerce website or creates a normal website for his existing physical store and asks us (Social Ninjas) to bring leads for their business. Demands for the creativity, but with good results and thereby connects us with his technical team (please, avoid last words if you developed their website too). And like lab rats, we start doing most used and tested chemical reactions and processes like – “we will do this campaign that particular time, we’ll post that thing when that would happen” and so many other creative things which client ends up with one question – Will it bring leads or not?
Speaking of a country, where the PM praises its citizen for doing wonders with just a click of mouse and whose technocrats are known in the world, I feel there is still lack of will power to bridge the gap between mixing traditional marketing with digital marketing. It’s good that businessmen here have realized the power of technology and the advantages of using it in their business, but they like to keep a gap between both of the things. There are many other issues like investment, inadequate employees and leadership which create hindrance in bridging that gap.
If I cite one of my personal experiences of this offline-online mix – I really appreciate the way government bodies are getting digital and trying to shorten those long queues in their offices. But, when we speak to their staff who is sitting at the front desk, they don’t have any knowledge or information about the simple procedure the government has put on a website to get the things done. They still know the traditional ways of doing things and will make you stand in a queue. Here, we can see the will power of the organization to make things simple, but they haven’t given the proper training to their staff so that they can be abreast with organization’s goals to provide whole new service experience to its users.
As they say, use every resource to the maximum, we (businessman and new age marketers) need to focus on how to make the best use of existing technology and sew it with traditional marketing in such a way that both looks one cohesive unit, not like – this is offline & that’s online. That’s when we will be doing enough, won’t we?