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The return of the social media-face-to-face hybrid strategy

Back when the Internet was still the wild west, the pioneers discovered that companies with the best brick-and-mortar presence had the best online results, and that the companies with the best virtual presence had the best results at physical stores. Of course, this is consistent with prior learning about distribution strategies.

Automotive brands have long known that local dealership sales are impacted by national image advertising, and that customer satisfaction is supported by the quality of collateral materials (intuitively believed to be a pre-selling tool).

Heathcare marketing, and in particular pharmaceutical marketing, has been driven by push | pull strategies (advertise to physicians to generate pull—advertise to consumers to generate push).

The best branding agencies will concede that branding is great at establishing differential advantage. But that the brand must arm itself and go out in the world, in the form of tactical communication in order to generate transactions—the ultimate purpose of bank marketing…healthcare marketing…all marketing.

Among advertising agencies in Greenville SC, Gibbons | Peck has been known as something of a hybrid ourselves. We’ve been all about branding—hospital branding, bank branding, school branding, general healthcare branding…and at the same time, we’ve made substantial investments in things like digital media, inbound marketing, social media, SEO in the broad sense, and targeted areas like bank SEO and physician practice SEO.

You might say that this is scattered. But we’ve come to understand that the most effective program is the one that has all the pieces in place to win the game. Both pawns and kings. Both infantry and air cover.

Recently, this has come home to roost in our own headquarters. The people at Gibbons | Peck have hundreds (maybe thousands) of Facebook friends and LinkedIn connections. Yet, it recently occurred to us that we might go months (even years) without actually seeing, talking with, sipping coffee with some of those very connections within blocks of our offices. So, about a month or so ago, we implemented a bit of a hybrid strategy of our own. We began to carve out time in our schedule to meet old friends for coffee. Catch up. Chat.

The cool thing is that we specifically state the we are not buying anything or selling anything…just catching up. People seem to appreciate that. Of course, the reality is that these coffee sessions are restoring and strengthening our connections, which will likely lead to stronger business ties in the future. But we just think it’s cool to keep in touch.

So, can we buy you a cup of coffee? There are nine coffee shops within a five minute walk. We’ve tried them all. I can give you a recco.

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