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Printing Industry Exchange (printindustry.com) is pleased to have Steven Waxman writing and managing the Printing Industry Blog. As a printing consultant, Steven teaches corporations how to save money buying printing, brokers printing services, and teaches prepress techniques. Steven has been in the printing industry for thirty-three years working as a writer, editor, print buyer, photographer, graphic designer, art director, and production manager.

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Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Custom Printing: Marrying Print and Digital Marketing

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

I read two interesting articles tonight about marketing. On the surface, they didn’t seem to pertain to one another. Upon further reflection, however, I saw that they both make the same point: nothing succeeds like cross-media marketing that presents a consistent message.

The first article (“Motorola’s Interactive Print Ad Changes Colors with a Touch,” on www.PSFK.com, by Ross Brooks, 12/20/13) describes an ad for Moto X printed in the January 2014 issue of Wired magazine. A device incorporating LED lights, circuitry, and polycarbonate paper allows you to actually change the color of the phone in the magazine ad. The print ad campaign has been coordinated with outdoor large format print signage that changes phone colors to match the color of the observer’s clothing.

The second article: “Does Direct Mail Have a Future?” (www.targetmarketing.com, by Summer Gould, 1/6/14), touts the enhanced effects of coordinated marketing, in which an initial physically printed direct mail package brings a prospect to a website to experience the service or product–and brand–online.

The first article focuses on a print ad campaign (albeit one enhanced with electronics). The second article extols the virtues of multi-touch marketing.

A Bridge Across Multiple Media

What creates a bridge between the two articles is the increasing realization among marketers that a coordinated effort across marketing channels carries a stronger message than does one channel alone.

Moreover, the element of surprise (either through unexpected technology or through the coordination of a brand message from print to Web) is more likely to delight and interest the viewer than a single online exposure to the message and brand.

The Wired magazine ad for Moto X is powerful because it has been enhanced with electronics. Because of this, it distracts the reader’s attention from competing ads in the magazine. Moreover, since the imagery appears again as large format printing on bus shelters and storefronts, Moto X reinforces its brand message through repetition.

If You Don’t See It, an Ad Doesn’t Exist

For me, the take-away from the two articles is that if you don’t see an ad, it doesn’t exist. The unexpected color change of the Moto X ad (both print and signage) makes it memorable. A postcard that lands in your mailbox and directs you to a personalized web landing page is more visible, and hence more memorable, than a banner display ad of the same size on your computer.

In fact, you may not have even seen the ad on your computer. Perhaps you’ve trained yourself to ignore such ads—or perhaps you missed it because the online ad has no physical presence.

“Does Direct Mail Have a Future” notes that marketers still send letters, catalogs, and postcards because they are effective. They are an essential ingredient in the marketing mix. However, what has changed in recent years is the scattergun approach of sending the same message to everyone.

Nowadays, using analytics and predictive modeling, it is possible to segment a population into specific groups (or even individuals) and offer a relevant message to each person. Perhaps fewer postcards are mailed to a more select audience, but they are still essential. They trigger the next step to the Internet.

Now marketers can select the right individuals and provide relevant information at the right time. They can send out direct mail packages based on prospective clients’ needs and preferences, and direct them to an online view of the product or service using text messages, emails, PURLs, QR codes, and/or computer augmented reality. Moreover, marketers can produce and mail the print collateral and then alter the follow-up, computer-based information as often as needed.

Print Provides the Initial Contact

Without the initial print marketing, however (be it a print catalog, a letter, or a postcard), there might be no way for the prospect to know about the offer. Even if a large percentage of buyers do seek out product or service information online, at some point in time they didn’t know they needed the product or service. Print provides the initial contact.

As “Does Direct Mail Have a Future?” notes,

“With direct mail driving the initial engagement, the recipient will have the ability to seamlessly link to all marketing channels. This will continue to allow marketers ease of coordination and increased ability to accurate track ROI. The physical link with the digital world will drive the future of marketing.”

It’s all about finding the right mix of print and online marketing, analyzing customer behavior, and tracking return on investment. One without the other misses the mark.

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