When your marketing projects get messy, you have two options: spend precious time untangling, or give up and grab the scissors. As companies evolve their logistics to meet the needs of a consumer base that shops increasingly online, they need a partner versed and capable of effortlessly simplifying the convergence of physical and digital marketing. That's where an integrated marketing arm comes in.

A Physical/Digital Marketing Strategy Mashup

The truth about the world today is that our physical and digital worlds are intrinsically linked, marrying high tech and high touch. Forward-thinking marketers know this. However, it’s one thing to understand the trends and another to get ahead of them. Again and again, we see marketers struggle to reach consumers where they are with the right messaging. We see marketing plans that cherry-pick strategies for digital vs. physical. Most often, we see marketers dividing their time and budgets with divergent vendors that silo these two important channels and snarl the supply chain. But we’re not seeing enough of the comprehensive, cohesive physical and digital integration that truly resonates with target audiences where they are now.

Related: A Guide To Combining Traditional Print and Digital Marketing.

What is a Physical/Digital Marketing Strategy?

In true mash-up fashion, physical and digital integration has been coined by some as “Phygital” marketing. Rather than digital vs. physical, it is both. This approach optimizes all touch points in a consumer's journey; the best phygital marketing is so seamless that a consumer does not even realize the effort made to connect the two. Rather, the marketing strategy beautifully blends them through a seamless supply chain. It enables highly personalized experiences, more relevant offers, and higher conversions, while providing a simple, positive customer interaction that encourages highly repeatable sales. 

The Challenges of Physical/Digital Integration

While many marketers embrace the idea of physical and digital integration, their execution is in fact, not actually integrated. They set up complicated digital vs. physical divides, employing one vendor for physical production and an agency for online work, along with list brokers, and more—for a disjointed supply chain that’s difficult to manage. They must oversee online and offline teams, reconcile different technologies, manage various platforms, merge data sources, and deal with ever-greater complexity. 

A digital vs. physical strategy can also be more expensive when executed this way. It requires higher upfront costs for the required technology and employee training. Often, marketers need to reimagine and renovate their spaces. And it’s difficult to calculate a true ROI with different sources managing different strategies. 

How to Win

It’s time to consolidate vendors. With an integrated vendor partner, marketers can bundle supply chain services and overcome these challenges. By leveraging AI and other advanced digital marketing strategies, they can smooth and strengthen the marketing supply chain, integrating physical and digital tiers, teams, and technology. They can capture insights through data analytics and increase overall efficiency and effectiveness. They can streamline workflows and resources to keep costs down—and alleviate the complexities. Finally, clear communication among all points of the supply chain can optimize workflows, overcome challenges, and ensure success.

Related: Print and Digital Two Pronged Marketing Tactics.

Let’s Get Physical (And Digital) At the Same Time

Physical/digital integration makes all of our lives easier. By eliminating the complexities of managing digital vs. physical experiences with vendors that actually excel at both in house, marketers can make their lives easier too. And ultimately, they can generate higher sales, better ROI, and stronger customer loyalty, while saving time and money. Connect with us today about your growth goals, and we’ll get you there, in a truly integrated fashion. When you untangle the supply chain, you can master the physical/digital divide too.

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Written by Lynne Kingsley

Lynne Kingsley oversees the digital marketing client services team as well as the marketing strategy division for the company. Since joining the company in 2016, she has increased Ironmark’s digital presence by over 700%, establishing a new lead generation mechanism for the sales team. A certified inbound marketing professional and HubSpot agency partner, Kingsley has been helping companies transform their marketing function into fully diverse and streamlined growth engines since 2003. With agency and client-side work under her belt, Kingsley’s strategic experience spans both the B2B and B2C sectors. Prior to joining the Ironmark team, she served as in-house marketing director for several non-profit organizations. Kingsley is an honors graduate of the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University.
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