Does print still have a role in today’s world of digital media? The answer is a resounding YES! In fact, when print and digital tactics are used together at the right stages the result can be much stronger than when used separately. Here’s a quick overview of the communications strategy process along with the critical pieces of the puzzle that will lead you to success in your next event or campaign.
What is targeting and why does it matter?
First and foremost in your to do list is the critical step of creating a target persona. A persona will help you align how you message your customers and what will interest them most. Knowing the details of age, gender, occupation, family status, geographic location, income and interests will greatly increase your ability to reach those customers in the most relevant way. Additionally, some data sources provide the ability to overlay digital attributes to facilitate cross media campaigns for stronger responses.
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How can I get my customer’s attention?
The most complete target persona in the world and the best messaging or offer can still fall flat if you aren’t reaching your customers. Here’s where the tactical rubber meets the road and you make your first contact with your prospects. While there are various ways to get your message in front of customers using digital and print media, the most effective campaigns rely on a mix of both. Each form of media has a place where it can really shine and that place has a great deal to do with the stage of the communication process.
When should I use print in communications?
The early stages of customer communication can benefit greatly from print media due to its “staying power” and ability to make lasting impressions. Direct mail and “out of home” (aka signage) are among the most effective awareness vehicles, from an ROI perspective. A well-targeted and executed customer acquisition direct mail campaign has more than 30x better chance of response than a “prospecting” email (3.4% for direct mail vs. email at a .12%.) Email certainly has a place in the marketing mix and it’s very effective for ongoing engagement. Other forms of print, such as floor graphics, have been shown to increase browsing in the area of the graphic by 280% and increased featured product sales by 17%. In a perfect scenario, you will typically be using print media to drive actions and acquisition and digital media to reinforce the messaging and remain engaged when your prospects are moving through their daily lives. Both direct mail and floor graphics are great vehicles for guiding customers to your site and then gaining “opt in” for email communications – which brings us to our next stage.
What’s the right strategy to keep a customer?
Once your customers have opted into your email communications, be sure to keep the messages relevant and delivered at the right cadence. One challenge to be aware of with email programs is subscriber fatigue.
Subscriber fatigue is primarily the result of content that isn’t relevant to your audience. Your personas will help here but you also want to track and correlate content topics and click through rates. It’s important to recognize when it’s time to change or even re-start the relationship with your customers by closely monitoring their open rates and engagement with your communications. The opportunity to change the tactics and re-engage customers is frequently overlooked by marketers who simply continue to send messages or remove the un-responsive subscriber. Instead of removing them from your list, consider sending the wayward customer a creative and personalized mail piece with a special offer to encourage re-engagement. Direct mail has the ability to impact a customer relationship like no other media
When planning your communication strategy, keep targeting in mind then leverage print and digital in the right places and you’ll see stronger results in both acquisition and retention.