Which Is Better – Salt or Pepper?
Don’t you think it’s strange that, when we compare things, we are almost inevitably inclined to ask which is better? In many cases, perhaps most, it’s really not an issue of which is better. Take salt and pepper, for instance. They are different, but we use them together. Sometimes we use salt. Sometimes we use pepper. Sometimes we use both. In fact, formal rules of etiquette say that when someone asks us to pass the salt, we should pass both the salt and pepper.
Just because things are different – or because they are similar – doesn’t mean that one is better than the other. Sometimes it just means that they are best when used together. That’s exactly the way it is with evolving technologies. A new technology does not necessarily mean that all previous technology is no longer effective or necessary. Some people have been harbingers of the death of printed media as online marketing is maturing. However, marketing experts the world over are more and more in agreement that neither print nor online marketing are superior to one another, but that they are most effective when used together.
We would like to offer ten observations on how to use print and online marketing effectively.
- Take time to study the strengths of each medium and develop a strategy that utilises both to best promote your business. Studies show that when a company uses both print and e-marketing their advertising credibility increases by 50%.
- Use the strength of print to establish and affirm your brand identity. Make sure your logo, slogans, and identifiers are consistently in print. Then ensure that they also appear prominently on your website so that when people visit the site, they are comfortable that they are in the right place.
- Drive customers to your website through printed matter by making your web address PROMINENT IN PRINT. Don’t hide it in fine print in a corner of your flyers, posters, or banners like it is a courteous afterthought. PROMOTE IT! Here’s a bonus: Do the same thing with your phone number. No one is debating which is better – print or telephone.
- Use print to gain customer attention. Use it to encourage them to go to your website for more information and incentives. You control the process of getting print into your customers’ hands. Use that leverage to get them to your website and or online presence like your YouTube Channel or Facebook Page for instance.
- Include Quick Readers (QRs) in your printed material. Here’s a sample QR in case you aren’t familiar with them. QR apps are readily available for smartphones. Your customer scans the code with their smartphone and your website is downloaded to their mobile device. The content that is downloaded can be changed easily at any time. Use the printed matter to promote a product or service with hard-hitting bullet points. Provide a QR code that instantly connects the customer to more product or service details on your website or even an online video further demonstrating your product or service.
- Use social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, to drive customers to either your online and or ask for their details to send out a printed brochure or catalogue to make yourself easier to do business with.
- Consider how to publish your intellectual property. Granted, it’s getting more and more difficult to protect those rights, but they are better protected by established laws regulating printed material. This kind of information on the internet can be copied and used without credit. Of course, the same can be done with printed material, but the penalties for doing so are clearly defined.
- With the introduction of digital printing, you have the opportunity to personalise printed material. Whilst it is possible these days to target your advertising on the internet it is still a bit more of a shotgun approach reaching a specific client directly. Majority of the team you are competing for attention with the content of the website the user is interacting with as well as other advertising trying to grab their attention. With a well constructed Direct mail and even personalized print campaign your marketing power can be highly targeted to selected customers by type, channel, size, geographic location or any other parameter and then personalised to the recipient for greater cut through.
- Use direct mail. It might sound old-fashioned and cumbersome, but the reality is that direct mail, when used strategically, is more effective than ever. Promote joining your mailing list on your website. Use direct mail to promote unadvertised specials. And don’t forget to use the direct mail to drive the recipients back to your online presence including online solutions like your website, Facebook page, Blog, Twitter and Pinterest. A word of caution here:
- Strategise. Willy-nilly advertising of any kind can never bring the results that an inclusive strategic marketing plan will. Get your entire team to understand the need for coordinated planning. If you have one person and or department responsible for print advertising and another responsible to website development, restructure those responsibilities or, at the very least, insist on coordination of their activities. Your print and online media must support each other at all times.
The advances in the Information Age are occurring faster than you think. (Check out this video from 1994: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWX56YyyWKU. This is only 18 years ago.)
The secret to success is in knowing how to leverage all forms of media to your advantage. Using only one media form means that you can reach some of the people some of the time. Integrating print and online marketing will enable you to reach most of the people most of the time.