When it comes to finding resources, Cook urges beginning the process by looking internally. In many cases, software already being used has elements enabling printers to execute fairly advanced cross-media campaigns.
“Talk to and learn from others who have already entered that space,” Cook says. “I can tell you what’s going to work all day long, but most people want to see an example of what works, not only for them but also to share with their customers. Another thing that’s really important is to not just learn what worked for others, but what didn’t. That will save time in learning what doesn’t work.”
Sweeney agrees that learning from the experiences others have gained can be a terrific way to become more adept at cross-media marketing. “Great case studies with documented, measurable results are key,” she says.
“Xerox has a wealth of case studies through their 1:1 Lab marketing program. All are from the end customers’ point of view and demonstrate the power. Additionally, many of the cross-media software platforms have tools that allow you to get results real time, such as the uProduce Marketing Console from XMPie. The [ability] to get the results quickly, review the analytics, and make recommendations or changes is very powerful.”
For her part, Cross says that because there’s no one association that covers cross-media or integrated marketing, companies need to go through the associations representing different channel types. These include the Mobile Marketing Association, Direct Marketing Association, American Association of Advertising Agencies, and the Content Marketing Association. “Follow the trends through those associations,” she says. “You can go to trade shows, attend webinars on best practices, and follow your competition to see what those competitors are doing.”
When it comes to marketing these services, it is essential PSPs not only fully grasp the value of what they‘re offering, but also sell that value to customers, Cook says. PODi members aren’t just selling products and services, they’re selling value, she asserts.
“Another thing to consider when entering this new space is the idea of partnering with another entity already in the space, and offering that other party the print component,” she says. “A lot of agencies and service providers focused on the digital space may have not explored the print, which can really be the heart of the campaign or serve as its starting point.” And as the provider of that print, a PSP may be in a very important position on the team, she adds.
Of course, one of the most effective ways to market cross-media services is to use your marketing abilities in a cross-media campaign targeted at your own customers. Says Cross: “If you design your own cross-media campaign, number one, you can show customers what you can do, and number two, it’s a learning experience for everyone in your organization. And third, you can document what you were able to do for your own company. There have been a number of printing companies very successful [with this approach].
“I know of many printing companies that use lunch-and-learns to get out the word, and use their own cross-media services to promote those events.”
To effectively market, print service providers need great stories, Sweeney says. It can be an example of a campaign they themselves implemented, or one provided by Xerox or other sources. “Make sure it’s measurable, [and] applicable to the industry your client is in. Offer to ‘test’ a campaign for your end client,” she recommends. “Proving it works will change your relationship with your end client. You will become the valued marketing consultant they need.”
Who are Good Prospects?
The best prospect for a cross-media campaign is any one who reaches out to a consumer market, Cross says.
Cook has a broader assessment. “Any current or prospective customer can be the ideal prospect,” she asserts. “It’s all about identifying their needs and selling the value. And that’s where it’s really important to be equipped with case studies to demonstrate the impact it has for others on their vertical markets. It’s always easier for customers to take that next step if they can relate to another person’s success.”