Now I know there is a lot of Doom Sayers out there in the marketing world who are advocating that print is DEAD!
But I am here to say that print is not in fact dead, and will be around for the very foreseeable future. However if I was to be asked the question has the amount of print in the marketing mix changed, the answer would be most definitely. Print which was once the principal player, the stable mate, the go to medium as your marketing tool has now fast become part of a much bigger mix.
But do you remove print from your marketing tool box, I say NO WAY as there is way too many benefits of print that cannot yet be delivered by other mediums. Print does and should still play a role albeit a little smaller than it once did in most of your marketing campaigns moving forward.
To illustrate the power of print in your marketing mix even the online giants of Google and Facebook, which are arguably two of the biggest players in the digital marketing space, both sprooking and being sprooked by digital marketers as the place/s to be when it comes to marketing channels even include personalised print as part of their marketing mix.
Have you received a printed offer from one of them in your mailbox? I know that I have received several mail pieces from Google alone promoting their Google Adwords campaigns, which we do use to help promote ourselves in the online world. If your surprised to hear this, don’t be, Google has been using personalised direct mail to help promote it’s business services for years. Most visible are its print campaigns on behalf of its pay-per-click advertising program, AdWords. It sends personalized kits and coupons for $100 in free ads as incentives to get businesses started using the program.
I have found out that Google also uses print as an ongoing nurturing tool by sending out full-color direct mailers to its clients. Every quarter, it sends a full-color, 100% personalized report, folded into booklets. Each booklet includes the advertiser’s Web address, AdWords ad(s), the number of click-throughs, and other metrics.
Could Google use its primary channel, the Web, to communicate this information? Of course! And it does. But its ongoing print campaigns reflect the level at which it values the high-quality, full-color channel of digital print for creating yet another point of connection with its customers. Its personalized mailings drive home the value of its products and services and create a stronger relationship.
Now, Facebook is following Google’s lead. It uses a mix of static and personalized mail that includes personalized URLs and personalized QR codes.
In Facebook’s personalized URL mailings, recipients are invited to log into a personalized landing page. Once there, they complete an online survey that collects critical marketing intelligence from each prospect. Upon completion, recipients receive a special offer.
In some mailings, Facebook includes personalized QR codes, as well. Facebook knows that not every person wants to respond to a marketing campaign the same way. For those who prefer to use a cellphone over the computer, QR codes provide yet another channel of response.
There are two very important messages that we can take from these high-profile brand marketers. Personalized print has a very high level of value—high enough that today’s most successful online companies are using it. Second, there is great value in using multiple channels (in this case, print, mobile, and the Web) to improve results.
Looking to understand the value of personalized print for your next marketing program? Take a cue from Facebook and Google.