For years, folks have said the print world is becoming extinct, and that it certainly would have no place in such 21st century initiatives as cross-media marketing. In fact, just the opposite is true. Not only is print vibrant and alive, but it’s often the very foundation of the fast-growing cross-media market.
As a print service provider, you will find there are secrets to success in the world of cross-media marketing. Among them are learning from others’ triumphs and tribulations, partnering with those already in cross-media but not skilled in print, creating consistent and seamless campaigns, looking to existing customers first for business, and selling customers and prospects on using the approach by means of cross-media campaigns promoting your own company. Try all these tactics, and you’ll fast be on your way to success in cross-media communications.
Orchestras, Not Instruments
Cross-media should be seen not so much as a product but as a wholesale shift in the types of services companies offer their customers. Moreover, it must always be firmly focused on meeting customer objectives, says Lisa Cross, associate director of InfoTrends. “It’s not just, ‘I can do a PURL,’ or, ‘I can do a QR code,’” she adds. “It is about offering a broad array of tools to support marketing-type services. In other words, it’s not about playing a single instrument, but conducting an orchestra.”
Consistency is the key, adds Kate Cook, marketing manager with Caslon, the management arm of PODi. This, she says, helps printers “who want to win through digital printing,” and who have cross-media marketing as a major initiative.
“I’ve seen too many examples of landing pages that looked nothing like the direct mail piece containing the URL to get you there,” she continues. “The branding may be completely different or the offer may not be there. With cross-media, you’re creating an experience, and it’s far more difficult to get them into that experience if it’s not seamless. If you’re encouraging participation in social media, make sure that if you are sending them to Facebook, your cover design on Facebook incorporates the same elements as your printed piece.”
Another key is selectivity in the cross-media marketing channels used, Cook says. Many have the tendency to throw the kitchen sink into a campaign. But it’s smarter to be selectively focused on your target market and desired outcome. “Also, be sure you’re looking beyond direct marketing,” she says. “If you know your customer or prospect is launching a mass media campaign, look for opportunities to tie in print.”
Direct marketing using cross-media delivers the growth graphic communications providers need, and the results marketers crave, adds Shelley Sweeney, vice president of data processing service bureau and direct mail segment, Xerox Graphic Communications. Three changes in the landscape are fueling its growth, she says. First, more consumers are using “always on” electronic media. Second, the media landscape is varied and complex. And third, marketers are facing an increased demand to show return on investment.
“Direct marketing campaigns that use digital media, such as email, the Web, and social media deliver great results,” Sweeney says. She adds that the Direct Marketing Association reports that for every dollar spent on direct mail, an average of $15.40 is forecast to be generated in revenue across industries. “Graphic communications providers must understand that this is a conversation about getting more data to make it more relevant, therefore increasing revenue. Campaigns that utilize cross-media are trackable, and with the right tools, results can be presented in real time.
“Understanding print and design is mandatory. But more important, the top providers understand their customers’ sales and marketing programs, and recognize areas of opportunity from their customers’ points of view.”