Print Production Spotlight: Defining Print’s Role in Modern Direct Marketing
Indeed, some promotions are still done best in print-only formats. The Ford Motor Company has found in testing over the years that direct mail works best for generating extended service plan sales for its vehicles. In a Xerox 1:1 Lab test produced in conjunction with Ford's fulfillment and direct marketing vendor partner Budco of Highland Park, Mich., a more relevant direct mail piece boosted sales by 35.7 percent.
Combining relevance and a compelling reason to open the envelope drove similarly stellar results at Dow-Jones. "One of our most successful campaigns used mass customized publications that we delivered by FedEx," says Scott. "We got a 50 percent response rate from C-level executives. They read it because it was delivered overnight. They responded because the content was so strong. We showed them we know their company."
Adapting to the Digital Era
Of course, testing helps marketers determine the best triggers for driving results. Here again, today's digital printing provides an advantage. First, the technology's cost-effectiveness in short runs makes producing relatively small test batches imminently practical.
Second, results are measurable. And when print drives targets to Web locations, the results can be tabulated automatically and immediately for prompt campaign adjustments.
Indeed, crossmedia campaign management solutions can often roll up results from all media channels into a single marketing console to provide key metrics, such as return on investment, across the entire campaign. That's because these systems are fully integrated across multiple media, using a single set of rules to drive creation and management of multiple pieces in various media from a single collection of assets.
Any digital medium can be incorporated in cross-media campaigns, from email to micro websites to social media and SMS text, streamlining management while reaching targets in their preferred media. And increasingly popular QR Codes—readily created for print in most variable software packages—make it easier than ever for consumers to connect to a Web location by simply scanning the code with a mobile device.