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Dove Direct Print & Marketing Blog - “Merging Digital and Print Content Marketing in 2019”


Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "Merging Digital and Print Content Marketing in 2019" takes a deep dive into understanding the value of merging digital strategies with print collateral in 2019. For one, even within the digital landscape, marketers have become more intent on leveraging the various social media platforms to be front and center within marketing and advertising initiatives. To be clear, historically, we have moved away from the heady days of television advertising being the single medium that propelled brands quantifiable results. The television advertising era eventually gave way to other mediums including newspaper, outdoor and radio destinations included in the marketing mix and thus a brand's marketing budget was divided into each medium's expenditure.

Today's challenges in the digital world of advertising and marketing points to utilizing a mix of digital platforms, which further cements the idea that single media platform advertising and marketing will almost always fail to deliver enough gains to justify limiting marketing spends to a single platform or channel.

The marketing community is now beginning to understand that all things digital extend beyond those online areas where the sole focus has been to dominate the social media landscape as well as the online world. Naturally, marketers and brands understand that having a weak social media and online presence is unacceptable. Brought on by the efforts of big data analyses, these marketers and brands are also beginning to comprehend just how crowded the online world has become, and to that end, are looking for strategies and methods to increase online marketing visibility.

Digital Domination

One could make the argument that Gary Vaynerchuk's social media omnipresence mindset and the success of his overall strictly social media strategy can be successful without incorporating any pre-Internet traditional mediums. On the other hand, one could also make the argument that Google, a digital operation, is the number one direct mail marketer in the US. With all that said, it is obvious that digital advertising mixed with some traditional based platforms is the way to go for the near future.

As Gary Vaynerchuk stated, the art of being omnipresent across the major social media channels, is quite challenging and takes time. For example, just 5 short years ago, consumers were being bombarded with approximately 3000 messages per day on average, and now, depending on which data reports one reviews, that number has risen from 4k to 10K!

Therefore, it would appear that on average, the social media messaging output now requires more and more dollars just to break through. Which brings us to what's behind the idea of Merging Digital and Print Content Marketing in 2019, that can better help achieve digital domination and increased ROI.

Getting Digital and Print Marketing to Join Forces

Working from the Google marketing mix strategy that includes online and direct mail working simultaneously to achieve measurable results is the starting point for merging digital and print in 2019.

It's important to remember that incorporating a marketing mix strategy using digital and print is a two-handed approach and not two separate endeavors. Using digital marketing and print together effectively means that both mediums are able to feed off of each other and direct consumers to each medium. For clarity's sake, take a look at some big data numbers that support the two-handed approach. It is worth noting that 66% of direct mail collateral gets opened, while 56% of consumers who responded to direct mail marketing actually visited an online destination. In other words, more than half the consumers responded to both digital and print marketing initiatives. Not only is that a target rich environment, but it also further stipulates that by using both mediums, brands are more likely to achieve their marketing goals. At the end of the day, both prospects and consumers focus on brand messaging where ever they may encounter them.

Digital Opt-Ins and Direct Mail

Digital opt-ins and direct mail collateral have the capability to enhance overall response rates for both mediums. For example, Millennials tend to gravitate towards printed books, catalogs, and direct mail notifications. Therefore, by not simply isolating the focus on Millennials per se, but rather taking the initiative to present website visitors with a digital opt-in form on a brand's website to receive printed collateral, goes a long way toward connecting the two mediums. For one, this process captures prospect data and as a result, personalized direct mail can now be achieved. And to that end, direct mail can be displayed in multiple formats including catalogs, newsletters, postcards, letters, promotional kits, and other special offers.

Using Hashtags on Printed Collateral

The Twitter hashtag behavior can be more effective if prospects and consumers are directed to them outside of the digital landscape. In addition, the hashtag is being used across most of the social media platforms, which serves as a multiplier effect in that a single hashtag can make its way across the social media spectrum. Marketing campaigns should be treated as individual pieces of collateral versus the inclusion of several marketing campaign directives, which can confuse prospects. Therefore, using print collateral to define destinations that include hashtags in the instance of a Twitter marketing initiative for example, will greatly aid the consumer or prospect by the inclusion of a hashtag within the printed collateral.

For example, the recent hashtag, #IUSaidYes generated by Indiana University's newly admitted college students was incorporated into their acceptance letter packets. In today's digital world, it would only follow that the students would likely include that hashtag in any online posts, complete with their acceptance letter images that they freely shared across multiple social media platforms. As of the most recent count, there have been more than 3,200 posts on Instagram alone that included the hashtag, "#IUSaidYes."

QR codes and Personalized URLs Matter

There is a current debate as to whether or not to use QR codes and Personalized URLs within printed collateral. The concern is whether or not the codes and urls are still relevant. When analyzing what marketing techniques are still in play, one should examine what iconic brands are doing, as their marketing agencies are under tremendous pressure to execute, not to mention that they are being held accountable by the day, week and months. That iconic brand observation has uncovered that Pepsi, Snapchat, Spotify and Jeep are all using QR codes today.

Since consumers are insistent on receiving personalized advertising and marketing messaging, QR codes and PURLs can deliver that personalized consumer experience that leads to explicit landing pages. This process in turn also acts as a consumer information gathering technique that defines who and how they are using the printed collateral messaging. In addition, by taking this a step farther, marketers can create various URLs with the intention of compiling divergent interactions meant to differentiate demographic elements such as purchasing history, geographical data, age groups, and online habits.

The Variable Digital Printing Asset

Make no mistake. Print's VDP (Variable Digital Printing aka Variable Data Printing, aka Variable Printing designations) technology provides an immediate method of creating personalized, print collateral. Therefore, all of the prospect and consumer data that a brand has accumulated can be instantly incorporated into print collateral strategies. VDP offers a wide array of print collateral design. Brands can target by creating various graphic messages to certain demographic alignments, from zipcodes, to ethnicities, to purchasing history, and more. In addition, the VDP process can also be used for promotional activities such as frequency rewards, give-a-ways, promotions, special offers, and the like.

The most impactful asset of personalization in printed collateral is the use of identifying and using marketing messages addressed to consumers by name. In the event that folks may not think this is a big deal, targeting a prospect using their full name, embossed, or debossed and/or in spot or full color on direct mail collateral increases response rates to the tune of 135%!

The Call-To-Action Mantra

Great sales people are of the mindset to always be selling. Insofar as when to ask the prospect for the sale, will vary by a number of factors, some internal to the prospect's business and other instances that are external, which could lie beyond anyone's control given certain circumstances. However, that old saying, "If you don't ask for the business, you'll never get it," continues to be in play. Similarly, sales elevator pitches are meant to briefly qualify a brand's expertise, while requesting a meeting in a 30-second or less interaction.

Therefore, it would make sense to design print collateral that is similar in nature with a call-to-action. Care should be taken to generate the information a brand wants to convey to prospects and consumers, however, beyond the informational aspect, branded print collateral should also contain a call-to-action. Calls-to-action which can be very creative depending on budgets and resources, should direct folks to specific landing pages and/or social media destinations. For example, Snapchat was the destination used by Netflix to prompt users to share images among their friends using signs that provided a mechanism to Faceswap among popular characters in Netflix shows. One can surmise that Snapchat benefited from usage, while Netflix could can gauge for a fairly low cost, which characters are favored, which shows are in demand and therefore be able to understand popularity rankings being put forward by these influential marketers.

The Live Event Factor Using Print and Social Media

A recommended strategy for reaching omnichannel marketing experiences can be achieved by including social media calls-to-action within printed collateral distributed or used at brick and mortar retail locations, special events, trade shows, etcetera. Keep in mind that directing folks at live events to social media channels can be as creative as the brand cares to be. Another aspect of incorporating social media directives from a live event, pushed by printed collateral, provides both prospects and customers the opportunity to experience a unified marketing approach.

For example, Victoria's Secret recently launched an in-store campaign designed to create interest in a new fragrance that was being introduced. The strategy here was to use the selfie addiction to generate on-site, in real time, customer discounts. Victoria's Secret used in-store printed collateral to engage shoppers to take a selfie while in the store, post it with a campaign designated hashtag, and then present to a store clerk, or store sales person to receive a discount.

The Net-Net

Prior to delving into Merging Digital and Print Content Marketing in 2019, brands and marketers need to identify and comprehend their prospect and customer journeys. Understanding how, when and where print and digital can coexist will maximize the probability for increased response rates, better brand visibility, and of course, deliver better ROI.

In addition, brands and marketers need to ensure that all messaging, branding and communication materials are consistent across all mediums. As more touch points are added, so should the consistency of those digital and marketing materials that if done correctly will reinforce the brand's messaging. Thanks for reading Merging Digital and Print Content Marketing in 2019!

Let's have a conversation about direct mail strategies, printing, print software, transactional documents, variable digital printing, brand equity and unified marketing collateral during our next Open House. We invite you to join us on Thursday, October 25th, 2018, for an hour or two, anytime between 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Let us show you how to improve your document processes to optimize your workflow, reduce your costs, and maximize your organization's printing, letter shop and mailing capabilities. Dove Direct does have an official USPS certified bureau located within our offices that will save you time and money. And, if you bring us your files, we will create a demo file for you. For more information call Carla Eubanks at 404-629-0122 or email Carla at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Dove Direct, your Atlanta based print and mail solutions provider offers organizations end-to-end data, printing and mailing solutions: Data Management, Variable Digital Printing, LetterShop and Fulfillment, Fully Automated MLOCR Presort Bureau, Marketing and Production Management Support and Secure Data Life Cycle Management.

If you don't want to wait for the Open House, you can reach Dove Direct today by calling 404-629-0122 or use the contact form for Dove Direct.

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