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What you need to know about ‘phygital’ marketing

Creating satisfying digital experiences for customers is a strong focus for marketers. But smart marketers never forget the other side: what customers experience offline, in the physical world. 

When you manage to bring these two worlds together into one integrated experience, you can build a truly savvy marketing approach that results in an extended customer lifecycle.

You can do this in all three stages:


Prepare: mix and match

If you want to create the perfect mix between digital and physical customer experience, you main challenge will be to make a match. How do you build a bridge between your offline consumer and your online profile? Turns out it isn’t necessarily that hard to do. Here are 4 good ways to get started.

1. Ask at the point of purchase
When people buy your product at the registry, simply ask for their email address. Make sure you explain to them why you want this: to send them a short satisfaction survey, to send them a coupon with extra discount, …

2. Discount for data
Some retailers already provide a direct discount for people who are willing to give them their data.
A small invest with a big return.

3. Make it fun
We heard of a small retail company that came up with a big idea to start data acquisition among its customers. When leaving the store, customers were invited to enter a photo booth. If they scanned their receipt and entered their data, they got to take and print free passport pictures. A fun physical customer experience with great digital potential as a result!

4. Loyalty card
If you already have a loyalty card in place, it’s really easy to take it a step further. Simply use your loyalty program to link purchased goods to a person and trigger targeted email messages.

Go live: enter the journey
Have pinpointed the product and time of purchase? Did you match it with the right data? Then you are ready to start building a triggered phygital marketing program. Just think about all the phases in your customer journey: purchase, confirmation, review, warranty,… Then think about what you can do with them. Here are some examples to get you going.

1. Pre-purchase
Let’s say you are a restaurant. You have a huge potential to use the momentum when people make a reservation. You can send out an email that confirms the reservation, and why not add a promo for a menu special? A more functional example: Belgian power supplier EANDIS triggers weekly emails to notify users about upcoming maintenance work, and informing them on which precautions to take.

2. Purchase
As said above, why not ask for an email address to send a short survey, a receipt, an offer for the next purchase, etc. Fashion brand SuitSupply has turned this way of working into an art form.
3. Post-purchase (short-term)
How long after purchase will the average customer use your product for the first time? A couple of days for a t-shirt, a week for a household appliance, a month before watching a DVD, … Why not send out an email to ask if everything is OK, maybe give a tip about a hidden feature or ask to write a customer review? Cinema company Kinepolis asks people via email to rate the movie they just saw.
kinepolis-blog4. Post-service (long-term)
You can also think in the long run. For instance, if you know the average lifetime of your product, try to make use of this. A supplier of heating solutions can use triggered email messages to remind its customers of the mandatory 2-yearly maintenance check-up.


Embracing phygital marketing is all about seeing opportunities and seizing them. Where can you acquire data from your customers, and how you use them to generate additional moments of contact?

Posted on
May 15, 2015