How Digital Print, Technology Fit Into Your Optichannel Marketing Mix
Brands are always looking for ways to optimize their marketing — whether it’s by channel, tactic, or overall strategy. Enter digital print and its associated technology. The result has the ability to enhance the overall marketing mix, as explained in a recent podcast.
Print marketing is a viable marketing channel in itself, agree “Podcasts From the Printerverse” host Deborah Corn and her interviewee — our Chris Lyons, president and CRO of Target Marketing Group at NAPCO Media. But there are still ways to optimize print, they say. So drilling down and optimizing just this channel can reveal secrets that increase ROI from print and raise all ROMI.
Within the half-hour podcast that covered all things marketing, updates about NAPCO Media and its brands, and a summary of PRINTING United — a conference happening from Oct. 23 to 25 in Dallas — Lyons and Corn discussed how brands can optimize even marketing’s steadfast workhorse: print.
The topic will even be the centerpiece of a 1.5-day course, hosted by NAPCO Media’s BRAND United and co-located with the PRINTING United conference. Podcast host Corn, of the Print Media Centr, will be the master of ceremonies for the BRAND United event, helping tie together all of the speakers, case studies, and how-tos for attendees of “Digital Printing for Professionals.”
Drilling Down to Martech-Enhanced Digital Print Marketing
Many marketers who want to optimize print are already taking some first steps that may not be obvious to most of those among the steady flow of professionals investing in the channel.
For instance, in our research, Target Marketing found that from 2010 to 2016, investment remained steady in direct mail — which is one type of print marketing. In 2016, “69% of respondents [were] either increasing or maintaining their use of [direct mail].”
But that’s even before adding in the factor of digital print. And even before this digital print factor, marketers who are optimizing direct mail are doing so with software. Our research, "2018 Marketing Technology Stack Investment Trends," revealed that direct mail martech was in the top 10 of the marketing tools professionals told us they were going to purchase that year. And the excitement about using martech to optimize direct mail wasn’t just lip service — 54% of surveyed marketers planned to buy the tech in 2018, up 10% from 2017.
Returning to the topic as discussed in the podcast, Lyons points out to Corn that marketers have far more martech tools available to them now than ever before. And adding in the possibilities available with digital print — from substrate options that can create unforgettable tactile experiences to mind-blowing data-enhanced content personalization — there’s far more marketers can do now with print marketing than providing direct mail recipients with personalized landing pages they must type into browsers from the URLs they see on postcards.
The BRAND United course will show marketers just how wildly creative they can be with print marketing, while optimizing the channel and upping ROI.
For instance, Lyons says:
“Personalization in direct mail really shows that brand marketers understand their customers. Instead of just putting ink on paper, marketers are really using data assets, feeding that customer intelligence into their martech stacks, and creating dynamic messaging that truly engages mail recipients in the optichannel customer experience. Personalization in digital printing can go far beyond a prospect’s name.
“Say for instance,” Lyons continues, “Ohio State wanted to personalize mail to an alumna. She played trombone in the band. Instead of sending a ‘Dear Irina’ mail piece, OSU could send a postcard with her name, written in band members like TBDBITL’s Script Ohio, but saying ‘Irina’ and with a trombone player dotting the lowercase ‘I.’ Now, the prospective donor will know that message is just for her, because every Ohio State fan knows only an exceptional sousaphone player earns that privilege in reality. So that trombone mail piece is the kind of personalization marketers can achieve with digital print.”
And no matter who you are, images true to who you are will make an impression.
“It will mean something to you,” Lyons says.
Corn added that marketers already have their own reasons for finding print meaningful and valuable — customers hold onto it and value it more than electronic communications. Print is more accountable to marketers, in terms of measurement as a touchpoint, than other channels.
Marketers attending the BRAND United course will even get a “certificate of completion,” print proof that they continued their marketing educations.
And they, too, can use an optichannel approach with that proof — adding the certificate to their LinkedIn profiles.
Then, in the audio channel, Corn provided podcast listeners with a code to receive a discount on the BRAND United course cost. But marketers will have to listen to transfer that knowledge to another channel.
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.