Print 2.0: Smart Print that Works Harder

“By mixing the message across different media you increase the likelihood that the recipient will see the message,” – Dr. John Leininger, Professor of Graphic Communications, Clemson University

This is a guest post by Lorrie Bryan, a writer and public relations professional based in Atlanta.

Today, smart companies understand how to leverage the inherent value of traditional print with Internet technology. The adage says, “Work smarter, not harder.” Today’s print (we’re calling it Print 2.0) melds the virtues and value of traditional print with the intelligence and efficiency derived from digital technology to create smarter integrated marketing. Here are the critical success factors to put marketing Print 2.0 to work for you:

  1. Know your customer.

Successful marketing with old-fashioned print ads or high-tech QR codes begins with a thorough understanding of the person you are trying to engage. “Know how they behave, know them inside and out,” says Jonathan Turitz, creative director at VSA Partners, a premier graphic design and brand strategy consultancy. “All media is being tested in today’s world. Because we are so inundated with information, everyone is working harder to be heard. The key is to be smarter.”

  1. Make your message as relevant as possible.

Since there is a proven correlation between the relevance of the message and the response rate, more and more direct mail pieces are utilizing variable data printing (VDP) technology for personalization, versioning, and customization. “The per-piece cost for VDP is higher,” notes Cooper. “But the higher response rates are causing marketers to think about the cost of printing differently. They stop thinking about the cost per piece and start thinking about the cost per response. Variable data printing costs more per piece, but each piece can be significantly more relevant. Increased relevance means greater response, and ultimately that leads to higher return on investment.”

>> Want to learn more about how you can use variable data?  Watch this video on advanced variable data marketing, which includes three case studies.

  1. Use print in tandem with other marketing channels.

Although Internet ads strive to be relevant, they are frequently perceived as intrusive, and many Web users tend to ignore them. Many unsolicited emails are sent straight to the spam file. A multi-channel approach to marketing has the best chance of being successful.

Dr. John Leininger, Professor of Graphic Communications at Clemson University, says he tells his graphic communications students they should reach out to their clients in a variety of ways utilizing print as an integral element of a multi-channel campaign along with PURLs, QR Codes, and e-mail. “By mixing the message across different media you increase the likelihood that the recipient will see the message. Many studies have shown that direct mail combined with cross-media in a multi-channel campaign produces higher response rates.”

  1. Utilize digital tracking technology to optimize content.

Not only are multi-touch campaigns more efficient, they have the potential to increase efficiency and significantly reduce marketing spending by tracking responses and refining databases. Referred to as “print with intelligence built-in,” PURLS and QR codes help segment prospects appropriately so that your marketing strategy can be more individually tailored and communication can be further personalized.

>> For more information, check out Creating Trackable QR Codes.

  1. Reduce cost by utilizing interactive marketing storefronts and print automation.

“It can all be automated,” Leininger says. Unlike mass mailings and generic blasts, automation programs offer tailored efficiency. All types of direct marketing touches: postcards, emails, PURLs, and text messages can be personalized and sent at designated time intervals based on predetermined parameters. Online ordering systems streamline this process for small marketing departments, as well as for large companies with distributed locations and sales forces.

The integration of marketing strategies and the evolution of print technology have led to the development of print, the emergence of Print 2.0.

>> How is your company taking advantage of Print 2.0? Please share your insights by commenting on this post.

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