Beyond the Screen The Power of Physical Marketing in a Digital World

Beyond the Screen: Harnessing Physical Marketing in a Digital World

SEPTEMBER 12, 2023| DillonShane

In today’s digital-centric landscape, the allure of tangible marketing avenues often gets overshadowed. As CMOs and top-tier marketing professionals grapple with the challenge of piercing through the digital cacophony of ads, content, and social media, they sometimes neglect the power of traditional marketing channels. Yet, the tactile elements of physical marketing offer unparalleled opportunities to captivate customers and imprint lasting memories.

For marketers aiming to elevate their campaigns, blending the strengths of physical spaces with their digital endeavors can craft a holistic customer experience that’s both memorable and impactful.

The Case for Physical Marketing

Digital marketing has undeniably transformed customer engagement, but there’s an authenticity to physical marketing that’s hard to replicate online. Research indicates that tangible marketing tools can profoundly influence brand perception and customer interaction. Here’s why:

  1. Boosting Brand Memory: A Temple University study revealed that print ads have a stronger recall than their digital counterparts. Further, a recent survey from 2022 highlighted that a staggering 77% of consumers are more attuned to their physical environment now than before the pandemic era. From brochures and flyers to billboards and innovative spaces like windows and elevators, physical marketing materials can seize attention and etch lasting brand images.
  2. Cultivating Emotional Bonds: Physical marketing can deeply resonate with the emotional facets of consumer choices. Research titled “The New Science of Customer Emotions” suggests that emotionally bonded customers are 52% more loyal than merely satisfied ones. By employing visually striking methods, such as sidewalk branding or even unconventional spaces like park benches, brands can craft sensory experiences that deeply resonate with customers. Evoking the right emotions can solidify customer-brand relationships.
  3. Addressing Digital Overload: The modern consumer is inundated with online ads and content, leading to digital burnout. Deloitte’s survey found that 32% of consumers feel swamped by tech interactions. Interestingly, post-pandemic, 70% of respondents reported noticing outdoor ads like billboards more, attributing it to digital saturation. A study by Forrester Snapshot, sponsored by PFL, revealed that while digital engagement is dwindling, traditional touchpoints like direct mail are witnessing a resurgence. By weaving physical marketing into your arsenal, you can break the digital monotony and engage screen-weary consumers.

Innovative Physical Marketing Strategies

Now that you understand the power of physical marketing, here are some inventive ways to leverage it:

  • Escalators: Elevate the everyday escalator experience with striking graphics. Spanning the entire length of the escalator, or even enveloping it entirely, can craft a mesmerizing journey for patrons.
A branded escalator with physical marketing
Branded escalator walls with large format printed graphics
  • Elevator Wraps: Elevators, frequented by many, offer a captive audience. Elevator wraps can spotlight your brand’s narrative, offerings, or visually arresting content, making every ride an impactful experience.
A branded elevator wrap for Lays Chips
  • Window Graphics: Convert building windows into a creative showcase. Engaging window graphics and compelling messages can spark interest and drive actions, from product purchases to event participation.
Large format window graphics in orange printed on a hexagonal building
Window graphics for a CrossFit gym
  • Floor Graphics: Utilize indoor or outdoor flooring to underscore key messages or spotlight promotions. Engaging floor graphics or signage on sidewalks or inside premises can generate buzz and direct attention.
A custom contour cut floor graphic sign
  • Tabletop Branding: Employ tabletop graphics or decals to reinforce brand identity and curate a cohesive brand journey for patrons.
A tabletop graphic printed to announce a new store opening
A printed logo for Blue Moon applied to a tabletop

These examples merely scratch the surface of what physical marketing can achieve. The essence lies in discovering unique avenues to engage with audiences tangibly.

The Optimal Balance of Digital and Physical Marketing

While the reach and adaptability of digital marketing are undeniable, merging it with physical marketing creates a comprehensive approach. By intertwining both realms, brands can curate a continuous, multisensory journey that amplifies customer engagement. Embedding QR codes or NFC tags in physical materials can also seamlessly link offline and online experiences. As Ron Levine, owner of Speed Pro Cleveland East studio, aptly puts it, “Triumphant marketing endeavors seamlessly blend physical and digital strategies. To truly shine, harness your available spaces innovatively and bolster your online footprint.”

Physical marketing isn’t an outdated concept; it is a potent instrument that can amplify your brand’s presence like no other. By integrating imaginative physical components, brands can curate unforgettable experiences and nurture emotional ties to enhance campaigns. Merging physical and digital strategies ensures comprehensive audience engagement, creating lasting impressions and driving tangible outcomes. Dive into the tangible realm of physical marketing and unlock its boundless potential, propelling your brand to new heights.

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