6 Ways Digital Marketing Has Enhanced Print

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October 12, 2017

Young woman working in printing factory. Printing Press

In just a few short decades, we have seen the meteoric rise of the internet, cell phones, smartphones, ebooks, and countless other digital media. A popular contention is that the modern digital age has made printing obsolete, eventually going the way of typewriters and film cameras. The truth is print is still very valuable and necessary. Print is a great way to boost brand awareness, sales, and customer attraction, and statistics show that the ROI for print ads is 125%, but only 87% for TV and digital. A digital ad appears once and then it’s gone, but a print ad is tangible and can be viewed for as long as people please. But when you combine print and digital together, the ROI soars to 163%. You can reach a wider audience with more frequency when you use both. Here are 6 ways digital media has had an impact on the print industry:

Calls to Action

In pre-digital days, print ads had no other option but to simply ask customers to buy the product or service. Today, with engaging calls to action, you can direct them to a website, request that they follow you on social media, enter an online contest, download coupons, or even post their own content with a given hashtag. For example, Cancer Research UK launched a campaign with calls to action saying that your simple signature could help cure cancer. It used both print and digital tactics to ask viewers to call a number and request an information pack. The campaign was a complete success, and their “Be Clear on Cancer” campaign that used the same tactics has saved more than 1,000 people by convincing them to see a doctor if they’ve had a cough for longer than three weeks.

QR codes

QR codes are still the fastest way for printed materials to boost traffic to a web page. Consumers can scan it with their smartphones instantly, and they can be printed on virtually anything. According to Printrobot, there was an 11% increase in the number of QR codes generated from 2015 to 2016. And a 2015 Scanbury report showed 4.3 scans per person, up from 4.0 scans per person in 2014 or 7.5% growth. You can also use QR codes to track data to find out when and where they interact with the printed material, which is good for targeting. Plus, QR codes can come in different colors to align with your branding and they can blend in with the overall design of the printed page.

Variable Data Printing

Variable Data Printing, or personalized printing, allows you to instantly print materials individualized for each customer. You can print pages with each page displaying different names, addresses, text, and even the graphics without slowing down the process. VDP also helps increase response rates and lower costs. Marketers often use this when sending access codes, postcards, or discounts based on purchase history. 86% of consumers say their buying decision came from personalized marketing. The information you collect from VDP can also be used for web-based targeting and emails.

PURL Landing Pages

A PURL or Personalized URL is a link that is created to send recipients of a direct mail or email campaign to a landing page that is unique and personalized to that person. They are designed to cater to each individual customer’s interests, preferences and buying patterns. With PURLs, you can create a powerful and engaging bond with the visitor, as well as gather valuable information through surveys and watch how they interact with the site, which will help nurture them into a customer.

IP Targeting

IP targeting has been called the “postman of the internet” because you can use this product to enhance a direct mail campaign with digital ads delivered to the same addresses. This product captures the IP addresses (a numerical label assigned to each device connected to a computer network) that are associated with the address on the direct mail piece and delivers matching digital ads to websites they visit on their computer. The digital message combined with the direct mail piece can increase conversions up to 30% more than using direct mail alone.

NFC Technology

NFC stands for Near Field Communication. It allows two-way communication between devices that are right next to each other using short-range wireless RFID (radio-frequency identification) technology, similar to how Apple Pay works. NFC’s are slowly emerging in print products and may replace QR codes at some point. With NFC, you simply tap your NFC-enabled device (like a smartphone or tablet) to an NFC tagged item, like a flier or a product label. For example, you may see a poster or window banner that says “tap here to learn more.” Soon, you could even print your own photos using NFC technology by tapping your device on your printer at home.

To learn more about how print and digital can work together contact NextPage here, or give us a call at 816-459-8404.

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