The smell of coffee. A firm handshake. A well-placed joke. The list is endless: not everything is online. Yet you get that feeling when you read articles about marketing. How does that happen and is that justified?
Don't miss the boat. That is the main message of many providers. They point to a new development - for example Instagram marketing - and argue: Panic! You don't want to be overtaken by your competitor? Buy my services because different!
From technology to supply
Those companies are partly right about that. New products and services often find their origin in new technologies. Do you remember calling on a modem for a 56 kbit / s connection? With ADSL came not only fast internet, but ultimately also streaming services such as Spotify and now Netflix. Just walk into a V&D and wonder if they have ever consulted a marketing blog. Oh wait…
Online, offline and the world
That running one after the other resulted in the clapping of the internet bubble in 2000. And that did not smell like rose scent. Despite the unstoppable march of everything that can go online, the percentage of online consumer spending in the fourth quarter of 2015 was approximately 21 percent. And especially expensive things such as airline tickets, vacation stays and concert tickets. The online share in products is increasing, but is only 13 percent. We still buy the lion's share in person.
Like we have done for millennia. The contrast between the online and offline world is insane if you think about it: the "online world" is in itself odorless, touchless and lacks real human interaction. It is the "offsense world".
Business cards, flyers and car lettering
The physical world will always exist alongside the online world. It is and - and. Yes, as a plumber you need a website, but also car lettering to advertise in a traffic jam. As a hairdresser you need a newsletter, but your customers also appreciate the flyers of fun events and practical promotional gifts. As a company that is looking for new people, you have one Facebook page needed, but also a cozy vrijmibo.
It was once thought that the internet brings the whole world together. Anyone who skyped with his aunt in New Zealand (hi Aunt Ank!), Soon feels that. But how many new friends have you met online and actually met? We tend to stay in touch with the same people offline and online. Republicans and Democrats have each other much less in the timeline than you would expect. We would rather be confirmed in our ideas than thought out.
This is called the relevance bubble: you only see what is relevant to you. Google and Facebook eagerly participate: they create a smaller version of the world. A personal internet. A room full of mirrors.
Out of your comfort zone
Dazed in your own thoughts you suddenly smell freshly baked bread. That one expensive jacket feels really nice on your fingers. That unexpected joke during the interview makes you laugh hard. What those physical means mainly do is pull you out of your comfort zone.
Whoever gets hold of my business card, you will notice that it is not a normal business card (so thick that you see if there are two of them). I like to surprise customers who have recommended me with a personal card. With my first Christmas card I sent real seeds to plant with.
The physical world is just not that super interesting. It is not new. Despite the fact that the experience really does something to us. As a marketer we prefer to focus on the latest online developments. For example, advertisers ignore the newspaper en masse. The results are very difficult to measure, certainly compared to one Facebook Ads campaign.
But while print is indeed slowly moving towards online as a medium, you soon forget that many people like to have a paper newspaper in their fingers. It is however. Just look if you are in the newspaper and your mother or sister has saved the newspaper clippings. That feels very different from a screenshot.
Do not forget the physical world when you do marketing. That's where we live.