It’s not so many years since online marketing was in its infancy and marketers had separate and very specific skills. So you might have had one person working on email campaigns, another updating the website, another designing leaflets and another producing adverts for the local paper. Those days are long gone.
Now marketing is all about bringing all of these skills and more together, under the umbrella of hybrid marketing. But what is hybrid marketing?
Hybrid marketing is combining the old and new marketing channels into one successful overall strategy to make your brand more visible to clients and potential clients. It isn’t about being good at one thing. We have more technology, more data and more ways to engage with customers than ever before and hybrid marketers use them all to good effect. The very best hybrid marketers don’t just know about producing great content, they know how to optimise that content for the audience and how to analyse its success so they can target future campaigns.
Hybrid marketing is so important to companies because it means customers get the right messages about your brand, whether they are reading your blog, interacting on Twitter or picking up a flier. It’s all about using the right combination of techniques for your target market. So while a large national retailer might combine online discount codes with promoted tweets, Google advertising and a TV advertising campaign, a local family-run delicatessen may use targeted advertising on Facebook, engage with customers on Twitter and have discount vouchers in the local newspaper.
All of these efforts are about increasing sales and reaching more potential customers. Seeing your brand through a number of channels makes potential customers far more likely to turn into customers.
Hybrid marketing is the present and the future of marketing. It is constantly evolving, but some of the skills and techniques needed right now are:
- Strategy & Planning – You can create a fantastic plan, but can you walk the walk and deliver it so it reaches the right audience and converts to leads and sales?
- Great content – Content has always been king and is the basis of all effective marketing. Can you create compelling content and do you know how to use it to engage with passive and existing customers? Investing time into quality content means it can be used and reused across your marketing platforms.
- Email – Billions of emails are sent out every day, but how do you deliver an effective campaign? Making it mobile friendly is essential – 79% of people use their smartphones to read emails and 70% will delete emails immediately if they don’t work on mobile devices. Think about personalisation without being over-friendly and consider the timing (evenings often work better than 9-5) and subject line. What about segmenting, automation and A/B testing? They all work, but which is best for your campaign?
- Big data – Everyone is talking about big data. Big data gives us a huge amount of relevant information, as long as we know how to analyse it and use it to our advantage. What trends and behaviour are you identifying to shape your campaigns?
- Digitally savvy – So much more has moved into the digital landscape. How are you using your content to its full advantage across owned channels like your website, paid channels like Google Adwords and earned channels like traditional media?
- Commercially astute – The expectation of a marketer has changed dramatically over the years. You need to make sure all your campaigns, whatever media they use, are delivering by generating leads and ultimately delivering a return on investment.
As hybrid marketers, we go out of our way to master these techniques and move with the times. But do all marketers do that?
Sadly, there is a bit of a skills gap in marketing right now, with degrees leaving graduates unprepared for the real world and some experienced marketers feeling overwhelmed with the rate of change. Which means marketers who already have all of these skills are more in demand than ever. The people who constantly track industry changes and update their skills are the ones who are getting the very best results for their clients.
At Hybrid Marketing, I have been doing this for years. I run an independent marketing consultancy supporting clients nationwide. I have the marketing skills and experience your business needs to achieve your goals.
If you aren’t yet on board with Hybrid Marketing, it could be time to update your team’s skills or call in some outside help.
About the Author:
Minesh heads up a marketing consultancy called Hybrid Marketing which provides businesses with marketing support on an interim or ad-hoc basis.