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Retail outlet BCBG just closed an unspecified amount of its mall shops, not long after many industry giants such as American Apparel and  Macy’s did the exact same thing. The reason? A changing shopping landscape. Technology has completely revolutionized the process of buying and selling. Online sales will soon be on pace with traditional in-store shopping experiences and are even on track to surpass them in the near future. The end is nigh for brick and mortar shops, as more and more people are getting used to shopping on the go with their phones or tablets. Digital advertising is obviously a must-have but alternative tactics might be sticking around for quite some time.

Less shoppers are going to stores but everyone still commutes to work, travels, goes to special events, etc. There is tremendous exposure to ads in the subway, at concerts or in between Hulu streams. A subway ad with a coupon code could logistically trigger a purchase, but so could a simple Google search. Therefore, the key to an effective marketing strategy in 2017 is producing a good balance of channels.

If you have a small budget and are primarily aiming for the lowest funnel (people who are ready to buy), sticking to search engines or retailer engines like Amazon would be best. Once you are ready to expand your depth of strategy, however, it’s time to target brand awareness and start putting your name and product/service into people’s heads. Research has proven that the more someone sees your ad, the more likely he or she is to complete your end goal. It’s easy to go overboard, like remarketing to the same people over and over again after they have bought your product or even shown disinterest. But if you establish your authority in the digital marketing space by appearing at forums where people ask questions about your product/service as well as a variety of different platforms, this strategy can work to a great advantage.

Advertising on Facebook can also generate brand authority bu revealing which friends or contacts in your potential customer’s network are fans of your brand. Forums allow your ads to garner the respect of a voice that has all the answers. As for search engines, it always helps to show up in first position for as many searches as possible. Ads on TV or the display network are really just conditioning viewers into your potential customer, simply because you are always in front of their face.

A successful Omni-channel strategy will ultimately give you more sales, traffic to your website, and great influence within the industry. It’s important to focus on a broader audience if you wish to achieve broader goals.