How Print and Online Marketing Work Together to Drive Results

Printed marketing classics bring digital marketing techniques to life with their allure, variety and potency. Meanwhile, print can become interactive when it is aligned with online marketing efforts.  Used singularly, their effects will eventually have limits, but crafted together as part of a customized, integrated cross media marketing campaign, they drive results for businesses in all industries at full force.  These days, QR codes and NFC technology strengthen your print media by directly connecting customers to your website and 76% of small businesses say their ideal marketing strategy encompasses a combination of both print AND digital communication (Pitney Bowes).

Jon and Traci Eppes, Minuteman Press owners with locations in Elgin and Love Park, IL, help their clients master the art of balance between marketing channels. Jon cautions against denying the power of print as it is essentially an oasis for consumers inundated by so much digital “noise”. Jon shares this advice, “Always use printed material to drive customers to your online presence.  Never rely on search engines alone to get you noticed, since search engines invite the competition.  However, make sure to print all of your online tools on your brochures, direct mail pieces, and even business cards because this will help drive your customers directly to you.”

The Science of Print

Science can attest to the value of taking both channels by storm for the most effective strategy.  A neuromarketing study conducted by Temple University’s Center for Neural Decision Making (in conjunction with the USPS Office of Inspector General) zeroed in on the differing responses to physical (printed) and digital media in the consumer buying process, including the “intent to purchase”.  Plainly stated, neuromarketing gets to the truth about how people respond to advertising by measuring physiological responses and actual brain activity, way beyond what they may provide as answers to a survey.  While the study showed that participants processed digital ads more quickly for an instant snapshot effect, they spent more time perusing the physical, printed media.  The results of this rigorous study revealed that consumers exposed to print have a stronger emotional response, better message retention, and a longer-lasting impact for easy recall during purchase decision time.

Notably, and of significance to entrepreneurs building a marketing campaign, “Physical ads triggered activity in the area of the brain (ventral striatum) that is responsible for value and desirability for featured products, which can signal a greater intent to purchase” – (USPS Office of Inspector General).  With an online channel’s ability to provide brand messaging quickly and a print channel’s ability to lock in long-term retention, emotional response and directly impact purchase decisions, optimizing marketing strategy means understanding the dual function of both formats and maximizing the advantages of both.

Email marketing can have respectable ROI when campaigns are executed properly, usually as the result of a consultation with a marketing specialist able to craft a customized, integrated approach. About 50% of all internet users in the United States use email on an average day, so there is opportunity to reach a nice number of customers IF the campaign is properly targeted (or else your efforts could well decline).  Every email should be compelling and have unique value to avoid being labeled as “spam”, and they should align with the same level of design excellence that will be applied to your essential printed collateral.

The Value of Direct Mail and Variable Data

Bob Heimbuch, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President for  the Pittsburgh and Maryland regions, sees clients of Minuteman Press franchises come in for consultations and correct misguided attempts to market with limited vision, turning them around with guidance.  George shares, “Online ads seem like enough of a resource at first, but to stay in front of potential customers and to retain loyal customers, it is absolutely necessary to set up a print marketing campaign as well.  Everything you print needs to have your digital ID on there, too.  Putting QR codes on envelopes or postcards along with specials should be common practice as this covers valuable ground and brings the entire campaign together to drive results on both fronts. The key is having an expert designer.”

Direct mail using variable data printing remains a formidable influence when it comes to generating online sales.  As per a USPS study, we learned that more than 60% of direct mail recipients were influenced to visit the website that was promoted on the printed piece.  Recipients of properly targeted direct mail purchased 28% more items and spent 28% more cash than did the folks in the study NOT in receipt of direct mail.  Another fact from the same study of note is a “revenue lift of 163% for websites supported by direct mail as opposed to those that were not.

Connect on a Variety of Points with a Strong, Consistent Brand Identity 

Today, people need a variety of points upon which they can connect with your brand so a cohesive relationship between the online and traditional print worlds will only strengthen going forward.  The versatility of print is such that it becomes interactive when it is linked to online channels through options such as QR codes and other forms of digital ID, allowing greater opportunity to measure its effects upon recipients and make necessary adjustments.

Dan Byers, Regional Vice President in Southern California for Minuteman Press International, attests to the undeniable need to embrace a broad, integrated marketing strategy for success in today’s business environment.  Dan elaborates, “Online and print marketing are not opposed.  The two can and should be used together to enhance an organization’s marketing efforts and when combined, open the door to cross-media applications.  Once a digital file is created, the entire file or components of the file can be used in a variety of ways in order to increase brand awareness, web traffic and – if the call to action is compelling enough – CUSTOMERS.  At Minuteman Press, we have the ability to easily assist business owners market their companies and cost effectively convey their message in a variety of sizes, from business cards to billboards, and formats; from direct mail to email and social media.”

Remember to Integrate Your Marketing Approach

Even though there is no “boxed formula” for integrated marketing success, conducting a single-option marketing campaign in today’s world is simply inadequate, so winning formulas have evolved to infuse brand awareness into the best of online and print channels. Fortunately, the pressure to hit and maintain the winning mark is relieved when entrepreneurs seek to design customized campaigns guided by marketing and design specialists within the business services industry.  Enhancing the image of your brand while drawing new customers and encouraging existing customer loyalty will be done with unique style and careful attention to results.  Constant adaptation based on data analysis from a professionally crafted, modern campaign will effectively point out the need for your products and services and convince all who encounter your business (through print and online channels) that you are the best.

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