Cross media is not the Holy Grail that is going to save your company from ruin. Cross media (or channel) marketing can help drive revenues. It can (potentially) bring in new customers, and help you up the sales you get from current customers. However, without proper management, planning...
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Cross media is not the Holy Grail that is going to save your company from ruin.
Cross media (or channel) marketing can help drive revenues. It can (potentially) bring in new customers, and help you up the sales you get from current customers.
However, without proper management, planning, staff, and technology, chances are that won’t be the end result.
Being able to offer full cross media solutions—direct mail, QR codes, email—is pretty much a must-have today, says Steve McPhee, Product Specialist, EFI's Online Print Solutions (OPS) technologies, which includes Web-to-print storefronts, job submission, variable data, cross-media and retail portals. “But a lot of printers try and then give up. They don’t have the internal focus or the sales staff to do it effectively.”
In fact, to help its customers succeed, EFI works with printers to help them understand cross media and how to sell it.
That sales component is one of the key issues for Print Service Providers (PSPs) looking to succeed in cross media marketing. Especially for traditional printers, or those who are new to this arena, navigating the internal dynamics of a large corporation can be tricky.
“The way email and online are procured are fundamentally different that the way offline services, such as print, are procured,” says Luke Heffron, vice president of integrated marketing for SG360º, a leading direct marketer based in Wheeling, Il. The employee-owned company, which has a staff of 400, re-invented itself September 2012 with a full-scale identity shift into the realm of digital and cross platform marketing. Its stated mission is “to help brands develop connections with the people who matter most: Our Customers. Our Customers’ Customers.”
Critical for both the PSP and the client he/she hopes to bring on board is how the cross media campaign will be managed within the client’s organization, and “who owns what, how monies are moved around, and how these decisions are going to be made,” says Heffron.
Even a simple campaign that deploys only three channels—email, social media, and direct mail, for example, can be tricky. Email and social media will probably require little or no extra expenditure, while direct mail might go through the corporation’s normal purchasing channels. Now your client wants to combine email, social media, and direct mail in one campaign—how does it get managed within the client’s organization? Who manages it? Certainly not procurement.
“These are the kinds of decisions, across every corporation, that they (both the PSP and the client) are going to have deal with,” says Heffron. Besides logistics, internal politics within your client’s organization can come into play. The purchasing department might not want to let go of managing the print component.
In order for the cross media campaign to be successful, the chief marketing officer has to be on board, and ideally be your point person.
The reality is that CMOs are looking for a lens into the communications touchpoints,” says Heffron. “They want to know how each customer wants to be communicated with, and when. No matter what the industry, no matter what the channel, marketers are trying to figure out what the key is to unlocking the desired interaction with the customer.”
To help insure a successful campaign, SG360º’s approach is to implement a two-step process. First, a baseline of communications is established, demonstrating where the client is and how they are using the different platforms.
The next step is mapping out the strategy of how to get the client to where he wants to be. Key to being a cross platform provider is that you aren’t married to any specific solution. It’s no longer just about printing; it’s about finding solutions in order for your customer to realize their marketing goals.
Both the PSP and the client should invest the time in planning, vs. just reacting, says Heffron. When the whole cross platform phenomena first became big, marketers—and their service providers—reacted to every channel that came out.