Online to offline and offline to online marketing is a key part of many brands’ marketing strategies, especially those bricks and mortar retailers and ‘traditional’ media brands, such as TV channels and radio stations. It’s an attempt to embrace the digital age, hence the coining of the term ‘clicks and mortar’. Go online for coupons and redeem them in store; in store, prompt to download your app or scan a QR Code. For radio and TV: go online to enter competitions or for more content seems to be where it’s at. These are all common examples of online to offline and offline to online marketing. For many brands, it works pretty well. The thing is though, if you’re going to try offline to online marketing, then you’d better make sure you can deliver. And if you’d expect anyone to be doing well in this department, it would be the King of traditional media… The BBC.
Or would it?
BBC Radio 2’s Offline to Online Marketing Effort
Picture the scene: I’m at work and BBC Radio 2 is providing some background ambiance, as it does every day. It’s not my preference, but the occasional Michael Jackson or Madness tune sometimes makes it bearable. It’s about 2.40pm and the DJ – and I use that term as loose as a prostitute’s groin – thought he’d try and drive some listeners from offline to online with a slick “visit our web site” manoeuvre. He said, with the persuasion of a knife-wielding mugger:
Visit our website to see our Viral Video of the Day. It’s a record-breaking, unbelievable, one handed basket ball basket thrown from about 6 mile away from the hoop. You’ve just got to see it to believe it. Check it out on the BBC Radio 2 website now!
OK, I’m exaggerating a little, but he did make it sound pretty cool. I don’t
usually ever fall for this kind of thing, I’m obviously far too cool and an absolute rebel, but I do like to see what’s going on and check up on what brands are doing with their offline to online marketing from time to time. Besides, who wouldn’t want to see a 12 mile, one-handed basketball shot?
So I searched Google for this ‘Viral Video of the Day’, as the voice on the radio called it. Scanning the results, I notice one from a few days ago and check it out… Nope, that’s not it. I’ll try the website. So I find the BBC Radio 2 website and the ‘On Now’ widget tells me I’m listening to Steve Wright, and who am I to bicker with a widget? I click on Steve Wright, expecting to see the ‘Viral Video of the Day’ slapped all over the landing page. This was obviously too much to ask. The average user would have probably bailed by now, but I’m frustrated. So I set myself a task of seeing how hard the BBC iswilling to make me work to find its video. I scoured the site for the best part of 2 minutes, a digital lifetime, and… Nada.
Don’t Promise if You Can’t Deliver
If you’re trying to exorcise some offline to online marketing, then please make it stupidly easy for me to do or see whatever it is you want me to do or see. Don’t have me searching for minutes trying to find what you’re trying to tell me to try and find. If it’s not there in the first few seconds of looking, I’m off.
I’m not saying that integrating the whole offline to online and online to offline thing is easy, of course it isn’t, but this stuff should be painfully obvious and straight forward. For BBC Radio 2, its efforts were neither integrated smoothly, nor coordinated, two critical components of an offline to online marketing strategy. If it’s not consistent, seamless and simple, then we won’t be hanging around to spend more time with you, no matter how interesting you are or how good your product is.
I’d love to share the video with you, but I still have no clue where it is. If you find it, please share it with me, I’d still love to see this 24 mile, one-fingered bowling ball slam dunk.
Update: You’re not going to believe it! Someone at work found the video, in one search! They reckon, but I have my suspicions… Anyway here it is, enjoy: