Quit Pitting Digital against Print – Cross Pollination is the Only Win-Win

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February 19, 2013

No customer wants to hear all messages via email; via direct mail; via social; via traditional media. You get the gist.

Today’s preferred channels for communication have created new consumer behaviors. And consumers prefer different channels of communication depending on personal preferences. This means to effectively communicate one-on-one with any customer you need print plus digital communications.

According to Barbara Pellow, Director of InfoTrends, 2013 is the year of print plus. And though print spending is expected to decrease 6.2% over the next two years, it still makes up 30% of the marketing spending. Meanwhile it’s no surprise mobile spending is predicted to increase 8.8% and online/web communication spending to rise 4.9% over the next two years.

Pellow says these spending shifts present an opportunity for printers and chief marketing officers (CMOs) to become trusted advisors in helping clients or companies understand how to best spend and blend their available marketing dollars.

While survey after survey confirms that most marketers are shifting funds out of their print and mail budgets to online or out of their direct mail budgets into email, you don’t see the cross-marketing or multi-channel marketingblending that’s occurring in the marketplace.

In an InfoTrends study, Understanding Vertical Markets: Enterprise Communication Requirements, more than 1,000 companies and 500 employees were surveyed. In the chart below, you’ll see the strategy behind blending print and digital channels.

SOURCE: Understanding Vertical Markets; Enterprise Communications Requirements, Info Trends, 2013.

Digital + Traditional = Unified Marketing

Unified Marketing,™, coined by Dr. Augustine Fou, helps to visualize customer touchpoints across all marketing channels and across all stages of the customers’ purchase funnel to identify redundancies or gaps and thus optimize the mix of media and tactics.

Dr. Fou illustrates how marketing has evolved from push to pull (outbound to inbound marketing) in his ecosystem and touchpoints slideshare. He consults with CMOs on how to reallocate dollars across both traditional and digital channels to most efficiently impact business goals. Actually he’s made a science of doing so.

Dr. Fou’s scientific approach to identifying gaps in the sales funnel and then selecting the right tactics across all channels enables CMOs to visualize where they are overspending and then reallocate dollars rather than just arbitrarily moving marketing dollars from traditional to digital media.

“This is not just a ‘digital thing’ or a ‘traditional thing’ any more,” says Fou. “The right tactics are chosen based on insights about what bits of information customers need – their missing links – and what channels and tactics would be most effective in addressing these missing links.”

SOURCE: 2013 Really is the Year of Print Plus, What They Think, Barbara Pellow, January, 31, 2013.

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