As technology develops and changes the way we do business, no longer is any one marketing medium considered king. Most campaigns now consist of several integrated strategies incorporating both print and online marketing; in fact, a recent Pitney-Bowes survey shows that 76 percent of small businesses say their ideal marketing strategy encompasses a combination of print and digital communication.
Here are a few trends in multi-channel marketing.
Video has a unique place in the marketing mix. Video content is easily absorbed and ideal for communicating complex details in a simple manner. Combine the power of video with the benefits of personalization to get the maximum viewer experience. Personalization is done through variable text, personalized still images, and special effects.
QR Codes and NFCs
Several weeks ago, we did a blog on Near Field Communication (Near-Field Communication (NFC) — What’s in it for me?). Somewhat new to the market, NFCs are likely to replace QR codes but they work similarly in that they both provide easy links between two channels of communication. In specific, NFC technology uses a tiny microchip to send a signal directly to your mobile device.
Personalized URLs (PURLs)
PURLs combine variable data printing with digital forms of collecting data. Readers respond to seeing their name in print and go to a personalized landing page where they see their name and other personal information again. In return, they are likely to provide additional information useful for your contact database. PURLs are a great way to improve response rates and return on investment. Also, using additional design features and including a targeted special offer enhances the customer experience and perception of brand.
Variable Data Printing (VDP)
Although variable data printing isn’t exactly new, marketers are using it with increased confidence and for more complex campaigns. VDP allows you to uniquely customize and personalize each piece by changing both type and images. For example, savvy marketers send a postcard with an image of a ski lift to a client whose idea of a perfect vacation is a ski vacation, and a picture of a beautifully sandy ocean front to a beach lover. The driving force behind a successful VDP program is the database. To get the most bang for the buck with variable data, companies need to know their customers’ interests, spending habits, hobbies, and dreams. Variable data works because it appeals to emotions and the reader perceives that special touch often lacking in traditional print marketing.