It’s easy to overlook the potential of physical marketing in the quest for great brand recognition when our world is increasingly going digital. Nowadays, CMOs and senior level marketing executives have one constant task – determine how to cut through the digital noise of advertising, social media, and content marketing to set their brand apart and capture attention. With a push for trackable, digital-only tactics, many marketing executives may overlook more traditional avenues to reach target audiences. That’s why it’s important to remember that the tangible touchpoints of physical marketing can provide unique opportunities to engage customers and leave a lasting impression.
Marketers who want to stand out and take their campaigns to the next level can harness the power of physical spaces along with their robust digital strategies to foster a comprehensive experience that leaves a lasting memory and experience for their customers.
Why You Want to Include and Expand Physical Marketing
While digital marketing has revolutionized the way we connect with customers, physical marketing offers experiences that can’t be replicated online. In fact, studies have shown that physical marketing materials can have a significant impact on branding and customer engagement. Some of these benefits include:
1. Increasing Brand Recall: According to a study by Temple University, customers have a higher recall of information presented in print ads compared to digital ads. And according to a 2022 marketing recall survey, 77 percent of consumers say they notice their physical surroundings more now than they did before the pandemic. Physical marketing materials such as brochures, flyers, and direct mail have a tactile quality that captures attention and makes a lasting impression while billboards and maximizing alternative spaces like windows, floors, and elevators enables your brand to show up at relevant times and places.
2. Fostering an Emotional Connection: Physical marketing allows you to tap into the emotional aspects of consumer decision-making. According to “The New Science of Customer Emotions” research, customers who are emotionally connected to a brand are 52 percent more valuable in terms of brand loyalty, on average, than those who are just highly satisfied. By leveraging visually appealing techniques, such as escalator and elevator wraps, sidewalk branding, or even utilizing unconventional spaces like picnic benches, you can create a sensory experience that engages customers on a deeper level. And being able to evoke a motivating emotion through your physical marketing, whether that is that feeling of fun and vibrance or feeling of security, can translate to a stronger customer relationship.
3. Combatting Digital Fatigue: Consumers today are bombarded with online advertisements and social media content, and many are experiencing digital fatigue. A survey conducted by Deloitte revealed that 32 percent of consumers feel overwhelmed by the amount of technology management. In fact, 70 percent of marketing recall survey respondents claimed that they are noticing out of home ads such as billboards more following the pandemic due to increased digital fatigue. That means customers are looking up from their screens! Even a Forrester Snapshot study commissioned by PFL found that 76 percent of surveyed marketing leaders found that engagement with digital tactics were dropping, while 78 percent reported that analog touchpoints such as direct mail have seen a performance boost. By incorporating physical marketing into your strategy, you can cut through the digital clutter and capture the attention of consumers who are seeking a break from screens.
Creative Ways to Utilize Physical Marketing
Now that we understand the importance of physical marketing, let’s explore some unconventional ideas to incorporate into your marketing mix.
1. Escalators: Transform mundane escalators into captivating brand experiences. Utilize eye-catching graphics that span the entire length of the escalator or even use the whole escalator, creating a captivating journey for customers as they ascend or descend.
2. Elevator Wraps: Elevators are often high-traffic areas with captive audiences. Utilize elevator wraps to showcase your brand’s messaging, products, or enticing visuals. Engage customers during their elevator ride and make that impactful impression.
3. Window Graphics: Transform building windows into a canvas for creativity. Leverage graphics and messages that pique curiosity and entice customers to take an action from purchasing a product, becoming aware of an advocacy campaign, or participating in an event.
4. Sidewalk or Floor Branding: Take advantage of the physical space inside or outside your building by utilizing sidewalk or floor space to reinforce key messaging or highlight promotions. Engage passersby with attractive branded footprints or signage to create buzz and draw attention to your store.
5. Tabletop Branding: Whether using table covers or layering decals, table top branding helps businesses stand out, reinforce brand recognition, and create a cohesive and memorable brand experience for customers.
These are just a few examples of the interesting ways to leverage physical marketing. The key is to find unique opportunities to connect with your audience in the physical world.
Striking the Balance: Physical and Digital Harmony
While digital marketing has undeniable reach and scalability, the integration of physical marketing provides a well-rounded and holistic approach. By combining physical and digital strategies, you can create a seamless, multisensory experience that maximizes customer engagement. Incorporating QR codes or NFC tags in physical marketing materials can bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds, allowing customers to easily transition from offline to online experiences. As Speed Pro Cleveland East studio owner Ron Levine likes to say, “Successful marketing campaigns are a marriage of both physical and digital marketing strategies. To be successful, utilize available space in interesting ways and complement your digital presence.”
Physical marketing is not a relic of the past but a powerful tool that can enhance your brand’s presence. By incorporating inventive physical elements, you can create memorable experiences and foster emotional connections to bolster campaigns. The integration of physical and digital strategies ensures that you engage your audience at multiple touchpoints, leaving an impression and driving meaningful results. Embrace the tangible world of physical marketing and bring its potential to life, elevating your brand’s marketing.
The author, Paul Brewster, is CEO of SpeedPro