Tag Archives: Social Media 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Print or digital? Do we really need to choose?

The future of interactive print

In my penultimate blog for 2015 I take a look at how interactive print can take us from the physical into the online world and make content we read more fun and entertaining. Print or digital? Do we really need to choose?

In this post, the transformation of print in a multi-channel world, I showcased innovations that are now available and essentially transform print into a work of digital art.

I hope I highlighted that print isn’t dead.

Like many of you, I live in the digital and physical world of online and print consuming content determined by where I am, what I’m doing and how much time I have.

Print has been doggedly fighting new digital technology and innovations, from email marketing campaigns to online banking there can be no disputing the fact that print dominance has gradually been eroded by new forms of media.

Why have the paper version when the mobile option makes it truly portable and flexible?

multichannelIn spite of this there is a growing reluctance to admit that email marketing and online marketing never really reached its full potential, with many of us reaching saturation point with overflowing inboxes full of junk e-marketing.

Increased awareness of the environmental impact of technology, print is seeing a resurgence particularly in direct mail and a real desire for the printed word.

Why is print often perceived as the naughty boy?

I hear comments like oh, print is finished or we’ve cut right back on all our print and so forth.

Why not look at print differently?

By utilising the benefits of new technology and delivering all the advantages of traditional print but incorporating the latest digital innovations that take print from paper into the digital world.

You can read more about that here.

Only 10 to 15 years ago print was seen as the traditional safe means Stacked Mail of delivering communications.

But with consumer habits changing almost daily, using a wide range of devices to access information from apps, to social media to contactless and apple pay purchasing, how information is digested has become fragmented.

With an audience that switches anywhere between smartphone, tablet to PC to view and purchase this makes it difficult for the marketing manager to create campaigns that engage with their customers.

Technology has helped marketers and brands to understand better their audiences and target them with personalised information suitable for them.

We have become so reliant on mobile technology and there is a generation of young people who have little interaction with print and I think it is really important that we don’t lose print altogether.

The challenge for the print industry is to be able to reinvent itself through new innovations like augmented reality/layar technology and capitalise on these developments by making print truly interactive so in effect the printed word speaks to you.

In the past five years there have been significant developments in digital technology working with print.

AR (augmented reality) transforms  print into interactive content with videos and more digital content.

Layar was one of the early mobile augmented reality browsers to come to market in 2009 providing augmented reality and interactive print bridging the gap between print and the digital world.

By scanning items with the Layar logo, items such as magazines, newspapers, movie posters and more, print is brought to life enriched with videos, web content, links to social media, websites and purchasing.

Layar is now part of the Blippar group and according to their website have had more than 46 million downloads by consumers who are keen to digest more content both from print and digital.

Video on demand gives marketing and brands the opportunity to deliver highly personalised advertising and content.

Think BMW or Mercedes Benz highly targeted and personalised print and digitalprint advertising with a AR allowing the user to scan and view how the car performs.

After you’ve visited the showroom, expressed an interest in a particular make and model, marketing then send you a highly interactive personalised piece of direct mail allowing you to scan and view the content.

Imagine how engaging that is for the recipient if combined with a limited discount offer or free servicing.

A badly designed print item will deliver a poor result much the same with interactive print, simply adding interactive content to a poorly designed print item won’t yield good results.

But create a great bit of print and then add an engaging interactive video or content will deliver great results.

print and digital

The challenge for the print and marketing industry is not solely the creation of content to drive revenue but encouraging the adoption of interactive content as another touch point for the audience.

Educating marketers to use interactive print and digital that will link all their marketing channels and engage with an otherwise fragmented audience is the challenge to making print interactive and engaging in the long term.

 

Content personalisation. Get your message heard.

In last week’s post I talked about why I love print. CMYK printing concept

In past posts I’ve focussed on content personalisation  and where it fits into your marketing efforts.

Content personalisation is important, it isn’t about getting the recipients name right but making sure you are targeting your niche audience with the right information and content.

Social media platforms are a great place to find your audiences and engage with but they can also be a great time waster and an even greater distraction and they aren’t the only place you should be broadcasting your messages.

content personalisationTelesales, emailing, tweeting, blogging, advertising are also part of the process of getting your message heard. But you, your brand, your company, services and products are just another load of noise that disappear into the social void.

The marketplace is noisy with your competitors trying to get their message heard too and your potential customers are having trouble hearing your message let alone finding and engaging with your marketing efforts.

Shouting loudly and sending the same marketing collateral into the social media world hoping that some of it will resonate with a few might work, the only problem with that approach is that people will tune out very quickly or throw your marketing collateral in the bin.

I’ve said in the past that direct mail or a personalised marketing piece can be a great way to start the conversation going and get the prospect started on the journey to purchasing.

89% of consumers get their ideas from a print advert or a direct mail piece I should know I’m one of them so I know it works.

Transactional and marketing mail is a huge market, in 2012-13 Royal Mail handled 58 million items of addressed mail everyday and supplementing your social media marketing efforts with print and mailing services is a natural starting point for multi-channel marketing messages which includes digital and paper based communications.

With economies of scale, savings on printed collateral, postal discounts either via the Royal Mail or DSA (downstream access providers), short lead times and sophisticated highly personalised targeted marketing using digital colour makes print and mailing fulfilment a great place to start the process toward customer engagement.

content personalisation

How do you deliver the right messages to your audience?

  1. Aim to provide unique and valuable information and content on your brand, service or products. Make a strategic plan for developing your audiences’ engagement through a planned process for example – a blog – email campaign – direct mail – promotion on social media. If you know where you are going you can make sure your marketing efforts aren’t wasted.
  2. Focus on one simple message not lots of different messages or content so it becomes distracting for the customer. 
  3. Use the power of pictures with words, the old adage a picture paints a thousand words rings true. We associate images with brands and we want our customers to remember us the next time they need our product or services. We also want them to associate any imagery we use with our company so it reinforces the message.
  4. Using more words wont convey the message using the right words in a more vivid and simple way are more likely to be remembered.

Steve Jobs once commented that his most hated words were branding and marketing.  He went onto say that “people associate brands with television advertising and commercials and artificial things. The most important thing was people’s relationship to the product.

Marketing is when you have to sell to somebody. If you aren’t providing value, if you’re not educating them about the product, if you’re not helping them get the most out of the product, you’re selling. And you shouldn’t be in that mode.”content personalisation

If Apple is right then we shouldn’t be in the business of selling but rather educating our customers, telling them they have a problem long before they know they have one.

Getting to a position where your audience see your marketing and recognise your brand gives them confidence in you because they see the information that you are providing as useful and is helping them in the buying process by adding value to their lives.

The are interested in hearing from you because they’ve become accustomed to receiving excellent information and expect it. It will excite them enough to start the buying process with your brand or company when they are ready.

Whether your marketing is driven solely into the social media stratosphere or you use the ubiquitous bit of paper to get your message out there your content and your message must be unique, original and consistent.

What do you think? 

What is marketing personalisation and what does it have to do with social media?

Personalisation

You cant have failed to notice Coca Cola’s ‘Share a coke’ summer campaign which is a great modern example of marketing personalisation.

Coke replaced the iconic brand with 250 most popular british names.

To ensure that marketing personalisation is targeted it has to be customised and personalised whether personalisation is attributed to direct mail, billing, social media personalisation is the key to engaging with your audience and customers.

We are over loaded with marketing messages subliminally and consciously but how do you cut through the ever increasing noise and get your message heard?

You personalise your product or service to suit the audience that the message is intended for.

Coke’s campaign was designed to create a huge buzz and engage its audience throughout the world and it has succeeded in doing that as people take to social media platforms with images of their personalised bottle.

personalisation

What is the difference between marketing personalisation and customisation?

There are two types of one to one marketing: personalisation and customisation

Personalisation occurs when the company decides what marketing mix is required for an individual this is based on previously collected data.

A perfect example of this is Amazon.com personalised recommendations that display as pop ups when you log in showing suggestions of purchases you might like to make based on your previous purchase history.

Customisation is where the customer specifies one or more elements of his or her marketing mix. An example of this is Dell Computers giving the customer the option to customise the computer they order.

Sending out unpersonalised messages doesn’t engage your audience by personalising the campaign whether it is direct mail, email marketing, social media, billing you are more likely to engage a response from your customers.

96% of organisations believe that personalised marketing improves response rates and personalised emails improve click through rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10% [Hubspot].

Irrespective of the statistics customer letters, invoices both paper and electronic, direct mail, email newsletters are being posted out unpersonalised this is a missed opportunity for further engagement with the customer.

Why is data so important? 

brand and personalisation

Making your brand personalised to your audience increases customer engagement.

According to the DMA [Direct Marketing Association] consumer willingness to share data with brands has increased dramatically over the past 18 months. Over 50% of the 1,193 UK adults that took part in in a survey for the DMA/fast.map data tracking report were willing to provide basic information about themselves – name, address and email to receive marketing messages.

Equifax one of the UK’s leading data providers believes that the rise in consumer confidence in sharing data is the increased transparency in privacy policies and improving practices to secure trust.

Major brands such as Unilever are ensuring their privacy policies are communicated better so that customers understand how their data is being used and 43% state that a clear easily understood data privacy policy would encourage them to share their data compared to one in three 18 months ago. Research has also proven that the better the data privacy protection policy is worded the permission to market rate can be improved by as much as 100% with the best notices reducing opt out rates by as much as 10%.

Personalisation

How does personalisation add value to my marketing?

What is the point of marketing personalisation?

Engagement with customers is all about data and never has it been more important than to understand consumers habits and what drives their behaviour to buy.

Purchasing data, social media, customer service interactions and web searches are all the essential components needed to drive customers to purchase.

Ensuring that your database is kept up to date gives a valuable insight in to customers behaviour influencing how you target your specific audience and/or market.

UK Office Direct is good example of managing their customer database when orders are placed on the site it offers similar products which may be cheaper or, more expensive but the point is you are given a choice of products and associated accessories.

This form of collaborative filtering determines appropriate recommendations for
the consumer ensuring that you are made aware of all available products and accessories.

UK Office invoices which are sent electronically contain variable personalised data hi-lighting various up and coming offers, products and accessories that the consumer might be interested in the foreseeable future.

It is clever personalised and strategic marketing because each invoice they email out is highly targeted and specific to the recipient.

The more a business knows about its customer the more it can tailor the buying experience by delivering targeted and relevant content.

Like amazon, a regular visitor to a specific website starts to receive a more personalised experience because the company recommends products and services that may be of interest based on the data the customer has previously entered making  the chance of click through rates significantly higher.

A more customised experience determined by consumer habits will drive conversion rates and encourage visitors to spend more. By being able to have instant access to the products they like with little effort they will respond by spending more money or by returning to the website.

The more personalised their experience is the more they are likely to share it.

Content is king

The more relevant the page the visitor lands on the more likely it will convert in to a sale. By understanding who is visiting the website, mobile site or app will ensure companies can be target specific and retarget customers with offers that make the whole buying experience relevant.

What next?

The new wave of inbound marketing is focussed on ‘personalisation’ and it is not just B2C but will focus on B2B.

By creating a more personalised experience for prospects and customers that delivers solutions to their individual problems, interests, needs and wants will positively reinforce people coming back.

How does marketing personalisation fit in with print?

Variable data printing lead the way with personalisation and the concept of personalisation is not new.

Printing variable data invoices, statements, council tax books and bills were some of the original paper based applications that were highly personalised and customised to the individual.

This form of personalisation has tripped over into the cross media marketing mix. [Cross media marketing] where marketing campaigns can include a PURL, in lay mans terms the PURL is a link that takes you to a website via a QR code or barcode that you scan with your smart phone.

web traffic and personalisation

Good content = increased web traffic = more sales

Content and personalisation has always and will always be king. Good content coupled with a unique and personal buying experience will drive customers to visit your website which is ultimately what we want.

What do you think?

How do you use personalisation in your marketing strategy?

What has worked for you and what didn’t?

Share with us your experience.

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What is cross media marketing and how does it fit in with paper?

Cross media marketing and print

Cross media marketing what is it and where does it fit in with social media and print?

What is cross media marketing and what does it means for businesses seeking new customers and a greater audience?

“Cross-media marketing refers to the use of two or more media types print, email, mobile and/or social in an orchestrated campaign targeting demographic and/or psychgraphic segment. These campaigns can be retention programs targeted at existing customers or acquisition programs targeted at prospective customers. A cross media campaign delivers relevant content and a call to action through multiple media simultaneously as an integrated campaign”[Source: Infotrends]

At first hand there is an assumption that cross media means simply sending the same marketing message across all types of media from social media, multi-media platforms and the ubiquitous bit of paper.

But it is really much more than that. In fact arguably paper as a medium has been at the forefront of this cross media revolution for longer than you might think.

Think of direct mail marketing and the various calls to action that can be found on the piece.

Leaflets distributed in magazines and newspapers.

TV, radio and print ads, the focal point of this is cross media marketing or a form of communication with the buyer.

Cross media seeks to establish an interaction between the various types of media elements, to engage, to interact and to encourage the customer to interact with you and the company.

Communications have changed in the last decade and print is no longer the overriding medium used to communicate with the customer but it still has an integral role to play in the process of marketing your services and products.

What makes cross media distinct from its other siblings is its ability to “interact” on line.

Unlike paper, which is intrinsically valuable to hold and touch, you can’t interact with paper in the same way as you can on social media platforms.

Paper still offers value and in a co-ordinated marketing campaign can be used very effectively with social media channels.

There are more channels of communication through to the customer than there were five to seven years ago – the internet, mobiles, smartphones, tablets, email, social media all are instant and results can be measured to provide a deeper understanding of the customer making the interaction highly personalised and specific.

cross media marketing

In contrast a direct mail piece arrives on your doorstep and the consumer might read it if the headline is captivating and the call to action is convincing enough for him to take the next step – make a free phone call, fill in and send back, whatever the call to action is at that moment, the customer interaction may well become irrelevant in a matter of minutes, unlike social media where interaction is here, now and very relevant.

cross media marketingHaving a dialogue on line with a customer or prospect produces results that are defined and measurable.

What makes a campaign become a cross media campaign is how the responses are funnelled into a single data collection point which in turn iniates the first step in dialogue with the customer.

The interaction is the key feature here how to continue and maintain that dialogue with the prospect and convert them in to a paying customer.

Cross media marketing can include variable laser/data printing, PURL’s (personalised URL’s) video web podcasts/webinars, email campaigns and social media.

Variable data print can include a direct mail piece with a printed PURL on paper which then directs the reader back to electronic communication – the internet via a QR code which can be scanned with a smartphone.

Posters, brochures, leaflets anything that can be highly personalised with the customers name, company and a content specific message make the customer interation highly personalised and individualised.

And although print media might be losing out to its social media counterpart it still retains a unique yet visible position in the cross media marketing mix.

Using paper in a strategically defined and structured cross media marketing plan – in other words being clear on the offer to the consumer, having a clear market strategy and focus and providing convincing calls to action will move the audience or customer across the various media channels enhancing their experience and encouraging them to move to the next platform.

An example might be a Pizza restaurant giving away leaflets with a QR code which when scanned takes the audience to a PURL which allows them to enter a unique and highly personalised code printed on the leaflet, which in turn offers a 2 for one pizza on the next visit and then takes them to a social media channel where they can register, like or subscribe for free cinema tickets.

Each touch point builds on the experience and engagement with the customer teasing them to move on to the next platform.

Using a PURL motivates the audience to provide more personalised information about their needs and interests because it feels personal to them.

PURL’s used in conjunction with cross media platforms provide actionable data and intelligence on the audience you are seeking to engage with. Because the message is more personalised and customer centric moving your audience to the relevant social platform where you can continue the social conversation and hopefully maintain an on-going relationship

By collecting and understanding what to do with the data determines what the next call to action should be in your on-going dialogue with the customer. More importantly it is a fundamental part in measuring your ROI (return on the investment spent in/on your media campaign)

Finally, where does cross media fit in with print?

Digital printing is helping companies to capitalise on cross media by being able to produce variable short runs at low cost where every piece of paper can be unique to the individual. Print is tactile, secure, reliable and isn’t so intrusive as social media can be.

What makes print and cross media so effective is its ability to link to electronic media successfully.

Your entire marketing mix is inter-connected and inter-related working toward driving traffic toward the website generating leads for your business with the intent to provide sales and business.

How does your cross media marketing campaign work for you? Are you doing this already? Is cross media marketing just another fancy term used for what we already do in social media?

What do you think? Please share your view with us below.

Coming next week: The Power of Personalisation

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