As an agency of digital marketers we often find ourselves working day-to-day with the online marketing manager within companies. Don’t get us wrong, we loves us some online marketing managers, they are great partners and we’ve been lucky enough here to work with some of the best in our opinion.
But here’s the problem: consumers don’t think of your company in terms of online and offline, they just think of your company. Yet companies continue to split up their teams because the skill sets are slightly different. The online folks rarely talk with the offline folks, and when they do there often seems to be distrust and game playing going on between the two. Here’s the thing though: marketing is marketing. Sure, the channels and audiences on these channels can be dramatically different, but the concepts remain the same at their core. You’re still trying to reach the right audience, with the right message, at the right time. Period.
With that in mind, companies need to break down the artificial walls they’ve created between their internal marketing teams. Offline and online teams can learn a huge amount from one another, and from a completely selfish perspective, it would be easier for us to do our jobs better if we could design an online strategy that perfectly complemented and supported what was going on offline. Instead, we often have to ask specifically to gain some insight into offline marketing efforts, and even then our great online marketing managers don’t always even know what’s going on offline.
Now I know a big issue is attribution of sales within organizations. The online team doesn’t like to drive consumers to physical locations because then consumers buy in the store instead online and vice versa. That’s an outdated way of thinking though, the goal is drive more sales, and if that’s coming from online or offline it doesn’t really matter because growing sales means more job security for everyone.
That’s not to say that tracking where sales are coming from isn’t important. On the contrary, knowing that your PPC campaigns are driving a 150% ROI where print ads are only driving a 10% ROI is incredibly important, but teams shouldn’t be pitted against one another within an organization to the point where it becomes a toxic relationship between them. Instead, they need to be working together as one marketing team with a comprehensive marketing strategy that spans all offline and online channels to drive sales so that the whole organization benefits.
As digital marketing continues to gain acceptance and traction we know that these walls between online and offline teams will start to come down on their own, but why wait? Start making these structural changes within your organization today and get ready planning your completely integrated marketing strategy now.