Sunday, March 2, 2008

offline W/ online Together

Currently I am going through the process of combining offline with online, because I believe the two spaces should co-exist as complements. The people I tell this too in the "digital group" act as if it's the first time they've heard the idea. Really?

wouldn't it be great if everything had an interactive component? don't get me wrong, I think it's where we're going but it's SLOW, no?

Clients are asking now for website upgrades, great! But does the experience online match the experience offline, and what would it be like if you launched both at the same time?

Would we call this a marketing issue? Or rather, as a planner, If I have an idea like this who should I be selling it to? Hmmm...

5 comments:

Mario Vellandi said...

Great question! First there's the aspect of whether the communication changes online reflect actual differences or qualitative improvements offline. While promotion of 'great service' or other minor treatments are quite common in communication, there is a responsibility of comm. designers & planners not to over/under-inflate aspects of the company that simply don't reflect reality. With the addition of external parties (agencies) this sort of assessment and proactive prescriptive approach becomes more difficult, and the relationship has to espouse honesty and understanding.

Second, I agree that more offline activities and functions will have some interactive component. To which degree will vary considerably; AEs and planners are best positioned to propose ideas based on a deep understanding of their customers' offline business as well, through exceptional active listening, open-ended questions, and sincere interest in the client's inner-workings...to build a gradually growing holistic profile.

Third, timing is a variable issue. Online marcom (email, ads, website) can promote future offline events. Similarly it can promote new product launches (coming soon, now available). Same day synchronization would be very appropriate to very short campaigns, time-sensitive data (corp relations). I can't really think of scenarios where online would be intentionally delayed over offline.

Anyways, thanks for stirring my brain today. ~ Ciao

Greg said...

There's been those Pepsi games where you collect caps and track the online for awhile now, but not terribly engaging.

I'll do what I always do, cite some things I've seen that work that seem to follow the digital craze.

Its a bit out of my field and I'm not sure if they fit entirely what you're talking about but Apple (Even in my design classes, Apple was cliché for being far too effective) seems to have product launches down to an art. Before you even get the damn thing in your hands you're left salivating over interactive vids...
http://www.apple.com/macbookair/guidedtour/

Its too easy to tie in a computer to online/offline so when Nike teamed up with Apple (See what I mean?) they created the Nike+ line of shoes that allowed you to place a pedometer that synced wirelessly with your iPod Nanos. Suddenly a very non-interactive product shoes becomes interactive, as you can track your running stats on your iPod and upload them on the Nike Website. You can view each run and see the points where you sped up and slowed down But that's just the beginning, from there you can plot where you ran using Google maps, compare stats with friends, challenge friends, challenge yourself with "goals" and participate in group events, "Run 10k this saturday!" etc. Also you could view the work outs of various Nike athletes like LeBron James in his off season just to see how you compare to your favorite sports star. Also Nike even placed celebrity wager challenges so you could see which sports star manages to run 200 miles first or whole runs 80 hours first or so forth, and then posted videos pertaining to each. Nike could have made the Nike+ line really simple, it tracks your stats on your iPod and that's it. Instead they went full out, with the whole interactivity, stat tracking and promoting a lifestyle product. Seems like they learned a few tricks working with Apple. It'd be interesting to see if others could create the same sort of online/offline convergence that didn't revolve around Flickr/YouTube/LiveJournal/bogger/Facebook or myspace.

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Niko H (nomme du guerre) said...

Erin, first of hi..I just discovered your blog by surfing the usual planner suspects..

As I have been pondering the same thing as you, I would like to hear some more of your you thoughts about the offline online combo...

Cheers, and do keep blogging

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