Tag Archives: Multichannel Marketing

The best of 2015. From interactive print to multichannel

My final blog post to round up 2015. Death_to_stock_photography_weekend_work (9 of 10)

Like you, I’m sure you are sitting at your desk wondering how this year came and went. Sure scares the heck out of me.

Although the world has been troubled and unstable, marketing, social media and print are holding their own.

I think 2015 has really been about making content and marketing work better through cross media marketing and personalisation.

Connect Connection Networking Communication Concept

Companies are waking up to the knowledge that it isn’t good enough emailing or sending a generic marketing piece whether it is print or electronic.

It is about understanding your audience and knowing how to ensure that they get the information they need.

This is easier said than done.

I read a lot about ‘big data’ how organisations need to monopolise data capture and customer data to get the sales pitch right.

No one really knows what big data is and what impact it is having.

In reality big data is a load of data that has been captured either digitally or via traditional methods, like direct mail, web, social media interactions and then entered into a CRM type system.

Then comes the pondering moment, what the heck do we do with all this data?

multichannel servicesMy posts this year focussed on the importance of using print with digital methods of communication, ensuring the customer has the choice how they choose to receive information.

Augmented Reality is still in its infancy optimised by magazines, newspapers and larger organisations.

I expect to see this develop as we all see the benefits of reading something in the physical world before being transported into the digital world.

In March I introduced you to multichannel services – what is it and what are the benefits.

Multichannel marketing is the ability to interact with customers on a number of different platforms giving the customer the choice.

multichannel servicesMultichannel service works similarly allowing customers to simultaneously access their transactional information like invoices, statements and payslips online or being given the choice of receiving a physical printed document.

What makes multichannel so appealing is the fact that any of the above information can be accessed via a smartphone and I wrote about the benefits of it here.

In July, I reported on the Royal Mail’s findings following a survey they conducted into email and print marketing.Stacked Mail

There is a genuine misconception that print is on the decline but the report found when used in conjunction with email marketing it is an effective marketing tool.

The point I’ve tried to convey during this year is that we don’t need to be solely in the digital world.

Customers want to be able to access information on a variety of devices when they want to and not be forced into making a choice.

Print and digital work well together, print is now the first touchpoint before the consumer is taken into the digital world via QR codes or AR (Augmented Reality).

qr code on smartphone screenPrint use to be the end of a marketing campaign now it is the start of a journey for the consumer to make a purchase.

One of the services we provide at Digital Print Management is our Print-2-Mail service.

It is a great way for companies to mail out residual statements and invoices, for those customers that won’t or can’t accept electronic equivalents.

One of the reasons hybrid mail is so useful is the ability to upload documents from your desktop, we take care of the rest and it is cheaper than doing it in house.

In November I attended a really interesting seminar on the transformation of print in an ever changing world.

Unsurprisingly speakers from big organisations including Sky were adamant that print plays a crucial role in their marketing initiatives.

Far from being dead, print is not better than digital it is simply another way of consuming information and is demographic dependent.

Producing content means that we really do need to think about where our audience is, are they mobile, internet based?

Marketing departments have to produce content that is digestible on all platforms from print to web, online and social media.

I end where I started, in my penultimate blog ‘the future of interactive print’.

I emphasise the importance of using print as well as electronic means of communication by optimising new technologies such as interactive print (AR).

Making content come alive on the page and jump out at you is a fun way to really engage with an audience that is continually bombarded with mass information.

Wherever you consume information and whatever your thoughts on print and digital the argument will continue.

Our world is so fast paced and we are forever being bombarded with information.

Sometimes winding down with a good book or magazine without the distractions of pop up ads and links takes us away from reality and into a place of calm and slowness.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my posts this year and I appreciate the time you have taken to read and share my content.

I hope that they have been useful.

From all of us at Digital Print Management…

Happy New Year Hanging Baubles Blue Bokeh Beautiful 3D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

process automation

How to make multichannel work and add value to your business?

Giving your employees and your customers choice to access documents online or view them in a physical format ensures they have choice. Multichannel How it works

When organisations deliver multichannel communications they are moving into a complex and bewildering world of ‘communications’ with the customer?

How do organisations decide what to send by email, print and mail?

How do you understand what your customers preferences are?

And, how do you integrate paper and digital so they work effectively?

How do you make sure that the document flow is secure and document storage available so the employee and the customer has a record of the document in both the paper and  a digital format?

Business documents need to be accurate, timely and easy to digest, get it wrong and the invoice isn’t paid or the document is not responded to.

Get this wrong and you have an unhappy customer and a miserable workforce.

Communications is about making the working environment positive for its employees and this is then reflected forward to the customer.

Customers and employees want to be able to engage on the channels they prefer – SMS, mobile/smartphone, call centres, post, email and web.

Keeping this audience informed and happy is a tough ask for any business.

Factor in different work locations, UK and abroad and the language barrier, suddenly communication is a real business challenge.

Switching off offline communications and putting in place solely online is a surefire way of alienating much of your workforce and your customer base.

With employees and consumers often more comfortable on mobile devices it is important to be able to deliver both a paper and digital version of the same document.

65% of customers who prefer paper bills and statements would consider defecting to a competitor or would leave straightaway if a company removes that choice. 29% of customers who prefer to receive information electronically would consider moving if the option to receive paper statements was removed.

If data can be supplied for printing, that very same data can be also used to generate the digital version of the exact same document.

MultiChannel

How does multichannel add value to your business?

New technology allows companies to deliver transactional documents both on and offline to meet different customer preferences – all from one data file.

  • Greater flexibility in page formats accommodates the needs of the audience – quick and easy to read or detailed and long depending on whether it is a financial portfolio or a statement
  • High quality colour printing means shorter runs can be personalised, targeted and relevant for the audience and in combination with online communications makes it cost effective and easier to manage
  • Transpromo messages can be embedded into online and offline communications promoting offers, discounts, services and reminders for customers

In a digital world your employees and customers want to access information, marketing messages, promotions, employee communications anytime, anywhere and on multiple devices.

MultiChannel delivers choice for your employees and customers allowing them to choose whether they want to be communicated to via paper or online making it critical to online business success

See how it works in the video below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRX2_CBPsgI

 

 

How do I make my content marketing fit with print and social media

Although I do not profess to be either a marketing or social media content marketing strategyexpert I’m often asked by our customers, how do we tailor our content marketing or proposition so it is suitable for print and online?

Whilst I know a thing or two about the importance of personalisation and the part it plays in the customer experience; ensuring your content marketing fits into the physical and digital world are two very different disciplines. iStock_000001004704Small

Personalisation isn’t about adding a customer name at the top of an email message.

Marketing automation coupled with CRM has enabled companies to collect large amounts of data about their customers, which means marketing can deliver customised preferences that match the customer’s requirements.

That’s all well and good if you can afford the marketing software tools and a comprehensive CRM system but if you are an SME it’s not quite so easy.

Whilst the large familiar brands want to convey the idea they are smaller and more personable so they can win more customers; the SME is wanting to achieve the opposite effect.

There is a link between businesses that are successful with branding multichannel marketingthat represents the success of the company, I call it familiarity. But this takes time to build a following and an identity.

Simply adding your logo on to all your printed stationery and social media channels does not make your business stand out anymore than the next.

Pushing the same post or content marketing message out to all your social media channels is not the same as customising the message to suit each of the social media channels.

Customers will use different channels to view your marketing from the physical direct mail piece to being able to view content on social channels, on different devices or a combination of all and will want to see and read different, but, familiar messages. Marketing and strategyEach social media channel has different characteristics and whilst consistently posting good content is important it doesn’t mean it should be identical on all channels.

So how do you go about building the buzz about your business?

Here are some key points to consider.

  1. What does your company stand for? Where do you fit in? Can you define who your audience is and where to find them? Ask yourself and your customers why do they choose you, what makes you stand out? What is the identity of your company?
  2. What products and services do you offer and why does your current customer base choose you for these products and services?

By being able to answer the above questions will help you choose where and what social platforms you should be on to be seen and heard.

3. What drives your business? What are the company values? Are your employees also buying into the company ethos and its mission?

If the people that work in the business perceive that the company lives and breathes by what it stands for then they in turn are loyal, trust the company they work for and are genuinely more heart-felt in the way they deliver to the customers.

This becomes evident when customers talk to your employees.

The best compliment an employee can say is “this is a great place to work” in turn this makes the customer feel comfortable knowing they are working with the right supplier.

4. Understand the customers experience – look at the company through your customers eyes and ask, what are their expectations, how do you think you deliver overall?

If an issue occurs all the customer remembers is the problem they had with your company, late delivery, the support person who was unhelpful. How well you resolve the customer issue shows your true company values and sets you apart from the rest.

5. Your content should be consistent with the same tone throughout, that way your customers identify and recognise that it’s your company –  from the marketing piece delivered to their door through to the social media channels. Keep your messages different and entertaining.

6. Make an impression and be distinctive – carve out your own identity it might be fun and light hearted or serious and measured but above all keep the tone and message consistent with the company profile.

That way customers don’t get confused and think it’s another company.

7. Change content marketing across channels –  it’s easier to post the same message to every social media channel but even harder to know which one works best.

Understanding how each of the platforms work and what they can do is a step forward in establishing if you are likely to find your customer there. For example we use twitter to promote posts, ideas, quotes and industry news.

8. Choose the right channels for customer contact – twitter might be great for sharing news and reviews about your products and services and other content but, YouTube might be ideal for you to demonstrate a product. Pinterest is a great place to organise boards that showcase your imagery – photos, blogs, interests.

9. Think about how you communicate your brand – You might have a product or service that is not mainstream in other words not something you’d talk about over breakfast but by getting creative and promoting a story about how your product/service helped an organisation save time/money etc is a fun way of showcasing how your product works. print word in letterpress type10. Make your printed marketing piece the first customer touch point. Customise and personalise it according to the customer and relate it to the product/service you are promoting. Use context (reasonably) imagery, and give them a reason to follow you on social media sites by making your print more interactive using QR codes and AR. (Augmented Reality)

Customising content across social channels for better response takes time and doesn’t happen overnight.

Consistency is important for an integrated marketing campaign right through from print to social.

Being able to deliver useful marketing messages consistently that delivers on its values and promises, guarantees to win customers, but there is a warning, it doesn’t happen overnight.

What do you do to get noticed?

How do you market your products and services and how well does it work for you?

Share with us what has worked and what hasn’t.

Next time: In my next post how to use print more effectively?