A question we often hear from customers, friends and prospects is “Isn’t the impact of Social and Mobile Marketing killing print media?” Well, let us be the first to assure you that print is very much alive and doing quite well, thank you very much. There is no question that new technologies over the past several years have disrupted the traditional print on paper concept, and there is no doubt that there are future emerging technologies that will continue to do so. However, every new development creates opportunities for those of us engaged in providing or using marketing services.
In today’s business environment it is almost impossible for a company that merely provides print services to survive. In fact, today’s marketers are leery of sales representatives who attempt to sell them a product versus being able to work with a consultant who is embracing and using today’s enabling technologies to provide custom solutions. Print still remains a vital part of a communication chain that works in tandem with a marketing plan, and working with client’s on their business development is not new to us as we embraced the need to provide marketing solutions for our clients several years ago.
The web, and now mobile media, being an integral part of those solutions has helped to provide many dynamic means for conveying marketing messages. Response rates and the return on campaign investments improve when a campaign incorporates the use of multiple channels and multiple touches. Integrating print media with a web interaction, and synchronized with a link to Social Media channels can now provide response rates that were previously unheard of. While the basics behind engaging a prospect or client remain the same, the use of data driven marketing provides for higher levels of personalization in both the print and virtual environments, providing targeted, customized messages on every level.
Print drives people to the web and to the virtual environment. The overwhelming majority of online interactions and purchases made today are the result of a printed piece (catalog, direct mail promotion, etc.) engaging the consumer and generating their initial interest. Years ago we might have placed an order by phone or taken the time to fill out a form that we mailed in (sounds painful compared to current standards). Today we sit at the PC, grab our tablet or our “smart” handheld device, and go to the company’s web site where we can gather further product information, read reviews, and if desired, make our purchase. In some scenarios the keystrokes are minimized or eliminated completely when we scan Quick Response Codes with our tablet or smart-phone.
Written by Rick Hall, Business Development