Most businesses agree that digital marketing – websites, social media, blogs, interactive content, PPC, SEO etc – is at the core of modern marketing.
However, that perhaps underplays the effectiveness of more traditional marketing – events, advertising, brochures, press releases, mailshots etc – which still play a critical role in B2B success.
So, in a world where your customer expects both, how do you apply the best of digital and physical marketing to achieve even greater results?
Used in its broadest sense, phygital – a portmanteau of physical and digital – means a blend of virtual and physical experiences.
It’s something which consumer (B2C) brands use a lot.
For example, car manufacturers carefully marry their showroom and aftersales experiences with the digital marketing they deliver via email and social media. Energy drinks and snack food brands often support their enormous spend on digital marketing with experiences at shows, festivals or a high street near you.
Within B2B marketing, phygital is used to describe blending digital and physical (or traditional) marketing to get the very best from both.
Often one form of marketing is used to support another. For example, digital engagement with a business through their website or social media may result in a physical mailer landing on your desk. A physical meeting with a sales representative could be followed up by an online proposal or other digital content.
The role of digital in phygital marketing
Digital channels are critical to the success of phygital B2B marketing.
Depending on their hierarchy, they are either used to persuade recipients to engage with physical experiences – such as visiting a showroom, attending a trade event or meeting with a sales person – or to back up a physical experience – such as sending an email, video or interactive media to attendees of a trade show or networking event.
As with all marketing, it’s important to remember that your recipients rarely make the distinction between digital, traditional or physical marketing.
Likewise, the differing types of digital marketing become blurred too. Whether it’s your website, social media or content marketing, potential customers will make little distinction.
As such, consistency of message and experience is key. Digital marketing is often short lived, so make your brand identity and communication simple and easy to digest.
The good news is that within B2B marketing – and phygital marketing in particular – digital marketing can do much of the heavy lifting!
Through email, social media, website and content marketing – including blogs, press releases, white papers and guides – you can steadily build brand awareness and demonstrate your expertise in what you deliver. Physical marketing can then swoop in to seal the deal…
The role of physical in phygital marketing
Perhaps the most popular and powerful use of phygital marketing is direct marketing.
If you work in a B2B sector – serving other companies, organisations or professionals – chances are you can identify your ideal clients and the businesses you’d like to work with.
As the name suggests, direct marketing is simply the act of using email, social media and physical mail to contact them directly.
Mailers sent in the post – brochures, flyers, mailshots etc – fell out of favour with the advent of digital marketing. They took another hit during the pandemic, when many decision makers started working from home.
However, they’ve already had quite a resurgence and the less others use them, the more impactful they have become for the companies who do.
Despite high engagement with digital content, a physical mailer can ensure potential customers stop, look and pay attention. They are frequently retained and actioned – and an essential element of most successful B2B marketing strategies.
Account-based phygital marketing
Like phygital marketing, account-based marketing – or ABM – has become another popular buzzword in B2B marketing.
Account-based marketing suggests you adopt a strategy that directs marketing efforts and resources towards engaging a very specific set of existing or potential clients.
Rather than ‘all the marketing to all the people’, you tailor the approach to each individual. Particularly in B2B sectors where client value can be very high, it can be worth going that extra mile to secure a loyal and profitable customer.
Account-based marketing requires close alignment between sales and marketing teams to ensure every marketing material, communication or touch-point is tailored.
It helps break through the noise of more typical marketing by putting something highly personalised in front of decision-makers in the businesses you want to target most.
It’s perhaps no surprise that account-based marketing is one of the areas where phygital marketing is most frequently and successfully used.
As well as engaging with potential customers online, it gives companies the opportunity to target potential clients with mailers, experiences, events, samples and more. Again, direct marketing is key.
Let’s get phygital, phygital!
Experience shows that adopting a single form of marketing rarely creates transformational result.
Whilst PPC, content marketing, SEO, trade events and direct marketing can all make an impact on their own, they typically work much more effectively as part of a full mix of marketing.
Your potential clients are exposed to your brand – and your competitors’ – in many different ways. Putting all your eggs in one basket with a single form of marketing is unlikely to create the desired outcome.
The emergence of the ‘phygital’ buzzword simply highlights how much importance successful marketers are giving the right blend of digital and non-digital marketing.
Phygital marketing is nothing new. Digital marketing has been integrated into most B2B organisations over the last twenty years. Physical marketing – be it experiential, face-to-face or printed – remains part of a successful mix for most businesses.
By carefully delivering a mix of online and offline marketing which support and complement each other, more businesses and professionals can be introduced to your company, recognise your strengths and become loyal customers.
Getting the best from phygital marketing boils down having the right mix of marketing and the right people to deliver it.
As East Anglia’s leading B2B marketing agency, we can help you find the most effective mix and deliver any – or every – element for you.
For more help, simple contact us here.