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Why Fusing Print with Digital and Social Media is the Key to Marketing Success

See how printing industry experts partner with customers to create successful integrated marketing strategies in this special report by The Minuteman Press Franchise Review…

The printed word is still the unchallenged champion of credibility in 2015, perceived widely as more so than anything on the web.  There is an old proverb that says, “If someone invested enough to print and mail it, it MUST be important!” Indeed, print excites people in that its very nature is more attractive to the senses, and the maturing digital age, in a way, has only strengthened its power because these days, there is a saturation of digital advertisements through pop-ups, social media, blogs and websites.  Of course, Internet channels and mobile applications are necessary mainstays in today’s marketing plans for their expansive ability to take conversations – started, perhaps, by a direct mail campaign containing a web address or hashtag – and ensure that they continue in a way where your brand’s message can pick up new audiences along the way and generate excitement online.

Still, what excites target audiences is something different, something new, but also something tangible. Traditional printed media is not only perceived as more credible and stimulating by many people, but additionally, in contrast to the digital channels, print can provide balance to any marketing campaign as well as a relief and a return to what is familiar. Print media, therefore, is comforting in a way that lets the message it bears seat itself into the mind of the more receptive recipient.  After all, the motivation behind the development of custom newsletters and print magazines, historically, was for the purpose of customer retention.

Business to Business market professionals (64% of them) create original content to meet the goals of customer loyalty and retention.  And yet, one of the biggest drawbacks with this content is when marketers fail to continue nurturing customers after the initial purchase decision is made.  To nurture what is an essential lifeline for any business – customer loyalty and retention – business owners and entrepreneurs must continually appeal to them and engage with them in countless ways, from offering a visually striking graphic design profile that supports a brand’s identity both online and off to communicating with customers in more tangible ways such as promotional products, in-person presentations, printed marketing materials, indoor and outdoor event promotions, public relations initiatives, and more.

At the end of the day, it is necessary to bring all of these elements together, to fuse print and digital media into a concentrated, unified force that will strengthen one’s brand identity across the board.

Dan Byers, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President for Southern California, commented on the relevance of print as it connects with the human senses and how that contributes greatly to a complete strategy, “The primary goal of many business owners is to constantly build and promote their brand.  Print is, and will continue to be, a critical part of achieving this goal.  The tangible nature of print provides a tremendous advantage combined with digital media in that it engages more of the senses, making it more memorable.  As potential clients actually hold your marketing material, you are improving your chance of being remembered, a necessary first step in creating brand awareness.  So, do not launch a marketing campaign without print, do not intentionally minimize your brand, and do not be forgotten.  After all, have you ever felt a digital file?”

A Constant Presence

Research has uncovered impressive ROI from print campaigns integrating high-value print creations for marketing purposes.  The range can be from designer hats and shirts to personalized notepads, branded calendars and other traditional printed products that earn their value way beyond simple information distribution.  A study by Advertising Specialties Institute discovered that printed promotional items can yield low costs per impression, as low as $0.002, which is up to twenty-percent less expensive than the common costs of online marketing, and they make lasting impressions. Brands that make themselves a consistent presence at trade shows, public events, fairs, etc., are ensuring that they will benefit most generously from marketing using impressively printed items.

Of course, each printed creation used for marketing purposes must be custom-made and meet deadlines or the time and money invested becomes a ripoff of sorts.  Fortunately, since there is no room for guesswork, each Minuteman Press franchise reviews a customer’s marketing strategy with great care to optimize its effectiveness, avoiding expensive mistakes along the way and optimizing the opportunity to meet or exceed profit goals.

Minuteman Press franchise owners Diane Lavender and Kim Rancatore (North Versailles and Pittsburgh, PA locations), are leading by example when it comes to optimizing the print aspect of effective marketing.  Kim explains, “Marketing through print gives us the opportunity to showcase our abilities and our production capabilities.  We can do this by handing out business cards, mailing out postcards, and passing out flyers.  What better way to show a customer or potential customer how they can use print to market their business than for us to model it for them?”

Something as basic and traditional as a business card establishes social presence and therefore increases brand awareness and visibility while delivering the pertinent contact information along the way.  The visual element that print commands (many feel it’s easier to read than screen copy) utilizes the confirmed benefits of name recognition and logo saturation and using attractive, professionally developed printed products is the way to intensify these gains. Combine that with the impact of digital venues such as the Internet, social medial and mobile technology and it will soon be apparent that each discipline contained in the strategy harvests gains from its own unique strengths.  Plus, an enormous amount of advantage is offered with the print/digital marketing fusion in that it provides real-time feedback and customer excitement from conversations about brand on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc. which allows the plan to be continually calibrated in the most effective direction, making new “brand fans” along the way.  Ideally, a properly governed integrated marketing plan engages individual touch points in harmony, adding fuel to them and invigorating public image of the business.

Incorporate Printed Calendars

The ways we mark the passage of time have become as varied as the events that fill our days with the advent of all things digital.  Everyone needs to record the unforgettable as well as the routine dates that keep our lives functioning.  The printed version of our calendar is still very much a part of homes and offices everywhere and can be incorporated with ease as part of an extensive marketing campaign. About half of smartphone users don’t even bother to use the calendar app at their fingertips regularly. In fact, while nearly all homes and businesses had utilized them in the early 1980s, today, the percentage of use for printed versions of calendars remains a strong presence at nearly 80% use.  That means that in nearly 30 years of digital advancement, the need to provide this familiar organizational tool has not seen a significant decline. Right now, more than half the calendars at home and upwards of 80% of calendars in the workplace are still specifically promotional in nature.   It’s important for a printing industry franchise that provides quality printed calendars for promotional use to realize that they are still a very much desired and pertinent part of any potent marketing campaign.

Jon Wittenberg, owner of Minuteman Press of Sandy Springs, GA offered thoughts on the value of balancing various marketing tactics, “We may be in a digital age but people still like to touch things! I love my Kindle e-reader and Kindle Fire tablet but there’s something about that paperback that is still appealing. The same can be said for print marketing.  The Internet and smart phones are great but people still like to get ‘snail mail,’ providing the opportunity to be dazzled with a compelling marketing piece. We actively promote the EDDM product from the post office where we help customers select their target marketing areas, design and print postcards, bundle and deliver to the post office. It is a great value and, importantly, it is a stand-alone marketing piece as opposed to the catalogs or envelopes stuffed with dozens of other advertisements that consumers are likely to simply throw out without opening. We put our money where our mouths are, too. Our EDDM campaigns have proven successful and we will continue to do them.”

Print bolsters e-commerce and social media

Many companies operating exclusively online use print media to further the drive of profits.  Some of the biggest Internet-based companies follow up initial sales with printed catalogs because of their convenient and appealing nature when it comes to browsing at a leisurely pace and lending themselves to checkmarks and notes and passing around the dinner table. Still, there is also the option to create catalogs and other printed marketing materials that can interact digitally with smartphones, thanks to barcode scanners.  And yet, printed catalogs push impressive profits partly because they fall into line with new trends in family time such as “electronics-free Saturdays” and the appeal to unplug. Of course, this is advantageous to print marketing because many customers are feeling the same need at times.  When those times strike, print media is the perfect way to encourage continued spending.  So a limited print run of a modest catalog may increase traffic and it doesn’t have to be sixty pages long as a simpler, neatly-printed 5-8 page overview of products, popular items and categories would easily catch attention in a productive way.  In the same way, circulars and postcards are invaluable to creating and maintaining customer awareness and return business by ensuring they are seeing the brand and are being reminded of products and services.

Believe it when it’s stated that print and social media get along famously.  If print media is done the right way, as it is assured to be by the marketing specialists at The Minuteman Press Franchise, print marketing adopts the brand’s voice and will be consistent and engaging.  The pleasant result of a properly governed print campaign is the development of “fans” who will want to seek the brand out on social media and similarly, established visitors of social sites will pay more attention to the print marketing.

As testing and evaluating results of any marketing campaign is necessary, doing so make sure that the tone set is steady and “shareable”.  Adding to that, print compliments social marketing by tending to multiple generations of customers because, it seems, that while older folks tend to lean towards print and youngsters towards online, neither group stays completely with one format over the other.  Printed materials can drive traffic to social media by promoting hashtags people can use to discover and participate in campaigns on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook (where promotions can be found).  Again, print is a strong tool and people of all ages will respond favorably to the effort put into excellently printed marketing materials while the online efforts continue to benefit from the printing industry’s contribution.

Jeff Robey is the Florida Regional Vice President for Minuteman Press International and offers the options that are inherent to print marketing, “You can market a business with several print items: Brochures, business cards, newsletters, catalogs, postcards, the works.  A very effective method of delivering your marketing message is to buy a mailing list of your target prospects and mail them a postcard or brochure that is visually appealing and has a strong call to action. For many type of businesses, Every Door Direct Mail works well.”

While online marketing is not going to decline in use and in fact, needs to be incorporated into modern marketing strategies, remember that print is vital in ways that digital media will never be able to replicate by virtue of the fact that digital advertising saturation highlights the unique, appealing properties of tangible printed materials.  It is then clear that the Internet doesn’t encourage dying within the print marketing channel. Quite the contrary is true.  It puts a bright spotlight on print because printed media is perceived as refreshing, more personal and although it has seniority over digital media, in today’s climate, it offers something “different” into the mix which encourages people to pay attention to its message and branch out into countless other channels of connection with the business it promotes.

The best way to capitalize on using print for effective marketing is to seek printing industry experts with marketing specialists on board to help keep close surveillance on the entire integrated marketing campaign.  This empowered campaign starts with a solid brand foundation that includes contrast and a bold, fascinating messaging platform with uncommon messages to target audiences while connecting on all touch points likely to entice customers; and an excellent selection for this purpose is Minuteman Press, the world’s largest and number one rated digital print, design and marketing franchise.

To learn more about joining the #1 rated Minuteman Press franchise family, call us at 1-800-645-3006 or simply fill out the contact form on this page.